It's sort of like I'll be home for Christmas, except different.
I find it amusing that the two really important occasions of a given year for me are located on traditional Christian holidays. The first of course is Christmas, which I value simply because it is a time when my family makes an effort to get together and return back to our place of birth. I very much enjoy that event and strive to be there every year.
The second occasion is Easter. This is quite different because instead of flying to visit family I drive to visit friends at the Comfy Lounge. Back when I began university my frosh leaders told me that I would spend an awful lot of time in the Comfy Lounge. At the time I had no idea what this entailed but they assured me that since I was a gamer I would be unable to resist the siren's call the Lounge puts out. They also assured me that should I deny that irresistible song I would see my marks go up 20% but that few gamers managed to achieve this. They were right on all counts.
This, ladies and gentlemen, is the Lounge in all its glory:
Surely there can be no nobler pursuit than the playing of games in a comfortable, familiar spot while furiously trashtalking all opponents and wishing desperately for the dice or cards to fall your way, just this once.
I spent 12 hours a day in the Lounge for several years. It was my living room, my den, my dining room and occasionally my bedroom. I met most of my current friends, most of my past girlfriends and my wife there. That room is simply soaked in memory and mystery, a place so shrouded in lore and the ghosts of games past that it is hard to even zone in without being overwhelmed by visions of things long gone. Each year I send around an email to those who once occupied this room with me inviting them back for just one day to recapture some small shard of those times.
Each year on Easter Friday we converge on the Lounge to talk, reminisce, reconnect and play. This year will be the 9th time we have done this and the crowd is not diminishing as the years pass, rather it is changing. The hardcore gamer bachelors are still there, but now we regularly see babies and new parents joining the festivities. I rather did not expect that dirty diapers and cribs would end up being a main topic of conversation in the Lounge but that is where we are these days.
The Lounge waits for us, quiet and patient. It knows that although we have moved on in our lives once a year we will hear that song once again and be unable to resist:
(You know, the thing you shout when you have 3 for bridge and you need ... a fourth)