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The moment we were married everything changed. The drugs we had done were now taboo to talk about. By far the biggest step she took to make me into a man was to make me throw away all the things that made me less mature.
I was forced to donate all evidence of nerdery to Goodwill, including the boxes of Super Nintendo and NES carts and many original X-men comics. She even made me throw away the issue where they turned the X-men into the multi-cultural organization that it is today. You know how much that issue is worth today? ($5.80!) She also made me throw out the life-sized statue of a creepy Leonard Nimoy as Spock that I'd won in a raffle at a comic book convention-okay, maybe that wasn't such a bad idea. Have you ever walked to the bathroom in the middle of the night and seen Spock eyeing you from the shadows? Don't.
I was able to hide some mementos of my formative years from the Great Purge of '98. A limited edition flask with the symbol of the United Federation of Planets etched on it survived tucked behind The Wheel of Time series and other tedious books I knew no one in the house would ever read again. Many of my 2nd Edition AD&D books found a new home at Jim's house, who nearly cried once he understood what was going on. He took the books like he was receiving the personal effects of a dead man. In a way, I had died.
Sue went about turning me into a productive member of society. Her father landed me a job at the Springfield Coupon Clipper where it was my duty to correct spelling mistakes and make sure the decimal places were in the right place. Due to my diligence, Mark&Pack shoppers didn't receive coupons for $299 off their "frozen pees."
During the next four years I lived a double life. After work, I was hanging out at my friends' houses and playing games. We drank and smoked, swore and acted like a bunch of nerds from Illinois, which of course we were. It was nice to be able to be myself. I didn't have to hear about how much better I could be or pick up the Dr. Pepper cans that doubled as ashtrays. Eventually I got a part time job at a junk yard helping the owner sort steel and aluminum. The hours were very flexible and that gave me an alibi to hang out at Jim's and kick his ass in Unreal Tournament.
As with any story of infidelity, my duplicity caught up with me. I made one stupid mistake, and then tried to cover it with a stupid lie. I guess when you get so used to lying, you start to believe that you will never be discovered. I had preordered Battlefield 2 during the summer but I stupidly entered the address to our house on Grownup Lane, when I meant for it to be delivered to Jim's. I should have known what was up as soon as she asked me, "Do you have anything to tell me?" I said "No," but she then produced the box with that huge "2" on it. At first, I felt horrified, a sick feeling hit deep in my bowels; my dark secret had finally been discovered. Immediately after that, though, I was glad that the game had arrived a day early.