Must have been 89 or 90, so long ago, I can barely remember exactly, I just remember that it was the greatest video game gift I've ever received, and probably the best Christmas I've ever had.
I must have been 10 or 11 or so.
My aunt Loida possibly saved up and/or probably had to borrow money to buy it for me, because this particular gift, it cost about $100 some odd dollars back then and I figured I'd never get it, since she supported 7 of us and my uncle's drug habit on top of a car that conked out at least once a month.
I had been asking for this gift as hard and as often as I could for two years, a few of my pals had one, and I'd hang with them just to get my fill, to satisfy the urge to have it, but it wasn't enough, I needed my own, but there were bills to pay, and kids to feed, not much extra for videogames.
The only videogames we did get were occasional used NES games from Doorae's mall down on West Farms, where we'd gamble on a random title and risk it and get whatever we thought was cool.
There was no internet back then, only word of mouth, so if a game sucked, you were shit out of luck.
But, if Ralphie from across the hallway had the game, it must have been good.
He was an only child who got all the cool games.
Otherwise, we blew about $20-$30 bucks on a real piece of shit, either way, that was what we got maybe twice a year, if we were lucky.
I'd mostly get my games by borrowing and trading with friends.
One good thing about being a Foster kid, and living in the hood, people tend to move a lot.
When you borrow, and your pal moves, you got a free game, it almost always worked out in your favor, but, there were times when it totally fucked you over, and you lost a game or two.
A gamble, but sometimes, you’ve got to give it your all with the shitty cards you're dealt, none of that know when to fold’em bullshit.
Anyway, Christmas day comes, we used to open gifts at the stroke of midnight on Christmas day, I remember opening a few gifts, mainly action figures, and stocking stuffers from grandma, mostly sweatpants and socks and art supplies and shit.
I'm done unwrapping all the fodder, but my dream gift was nowhere to be seen.
Did they forget?
Did they not care?
What the fuck?
WHERE IS IT??
And then my aunt passes me one last package, MAYBE, just MAYBE, here it is, a rectangular shaped box, with the words “from Santa, to Bryan” written on it (my family always writes that shit on gifts).
Is this it?....
What could be inside?
Is it a trick??
I unwrap this gift hesitant, slowly,like the first time I took a girl’s bra off, nervous, yes, but with a hard on so stiff, I could jack a tank up to change its tire and not have it bend.
I get the corner off, from there, I kick the shakes, and just let it rip, there it is, oh my god....it's a ....it's a FUCKING GAMEBOY HOLY SHIT!!!!!!!!!
Out of sheer excitement, I jumped so high, I almost banged my head on the eight foot high ceiling, there's photo evidence of this somewhere, meanwhile, I'm screaming “A GAMEBOY, A GAMEBOY” so loud, everyone in the house is all smiles for me, it's like I got the gift of gifts, and all my cousins and my brother knew that this was my moment, I had finally gotten something I wanted in my shitty life, the fact that I lived in the hood, that I was poor, that I was unfortunate,none of that mattered, at this moment in time, I was a millionaire, I was Richie Rich, I was golden.
I immediately tossed four double a batteries into the Gameboy and began playing the only game I'd own for a good few months...Tetris.
This was a momentous occasion.
This was the greatest moment ever in my young life.....
Then, the horror came....
A few months later, I STRONGLY believe my uncle would go on to steal my Gameboy from underneath the pile of unmatched socks in my sock drawer and sell my Gameboy on the street for $20 to buy drugs.
I had nothing now, my moment.....was at an end, and life had no purpose.
I wished his death so hard that even the devil thought I was being too harsh.
He had to die....
I suffered for a few months, no Gameboy, just regular console games to hold me over in the meantime.
Luckily, the god of video games heard my calls, and the next Christmas I got the Gameboy core system!
I was back!!!.
Then the horror struck again....and when I slept over my friend’s house, they switched their broken Gameboy for my brand new one...
I still own it to this day, it works, but the screen borders are a bit cut off.
Life sure can suck sometimes.
And this is my little holiday story, the story of my best Christmas throughout my childhood, my video game Christmas story.
Special Thanks to Titi Loida, without you, I would probably be in jail or dead somewhere.