Blog by Sumana Harihareswara, Changeset founder

16 Feb 2014, 19:44 p.m.

A Berkeley Memory

Hi, reader. I wrote this in 2014 and it's now more than five years old. So it may be very out of date; the world, and I, have changed a lot since I wrote it! I'm keeping this up for historical archive purposes, but the me of today may 100% disagree with what I said then. I rarely edit posts after publishing them, but if I do, I usually leave a note in italics to mark the edit and the reason. If this post is particularly offensive or breaches someone's privacy, please contact me.

Something like 13 years ago, I agreed to go on a day hike with my then-boyfriend and his group of friends. They all played a lot of games together -- tabletop campaigns, video games I think, the occasional LARP, I don't remember them all. That's approximately all they talked about, and I wasn't interested, so I didn't hang out with them much, which is one reason Dan and I started drifting apart. It was the same way in the van on the way to the hike. I could sing along to a bit of the Weird Al CD, but all the rest of the chat was game game game.

One of his friends, though -- not one of his neighbors in his apartment complex, so not one I saw all the time, but a fellow gamer -- saw that the conversation wasn't engaging me. So he said, hey, can we talk about something everyone's interested in? or something like that. I think he said it more than once, to keep the conversation from leaving me out.

He didn't know me well, and I think he was busy driving the van. I still remember that act of hospitality; it's the thing I remember clearest about that day. I barely remember anyone else from that social circle, who all went with Dan after the breakup anyway. But I remember him. I remember his name, his wallet name, and I remember that he hated it, and I remember his nickname. Thank you, T. I wonder if you remember that day at all.