After about two weeks of this, I became an expert at finding mines and lost about 10 pounds. I borrowed $50 from my begrudging sister under the condition that I pay her back when I got my next paycheck. If she's reading this now, I swear, sis, I fully intended to pay you back.
Fifty bucks in hand, I went to Subway and ate three feet worth of sandwich. The resulting sickness caused me to miss two days of work (or $80 worth of food). The good news was that I was not hungry for two days. It's pretty hard to think about food when you're staring into the bowl of your toilet every half-hour.
At no other period in my life had I ever been so aware of the passage of time, even waiting for Christmas morning to come. When you're starving, or waiting for a game that you've hyped in your mind, time seems to pass so slowly until the need gets satisfied. Eating was for people with money, and Diablo might as well have been a diamond-encrusted hamburger and fries.
Eventually, the days of waiting became hours until I could cash the check at the bank. That soon turned into time I had to wait for the software retailer to open. But before I could go, though, I was waylaid by my uncle who demanded rent, utilities and $40 for some missing jars of bar olives and cans of whipped cream.
After the ambush, I barely had enough money for the game. I had a decision to make: I could spend my remaining $50 on food-which would have been logical-- or, I could go down to my software emporium, get Diablo and return to pilfering bar condiments. It was an easy decision. After all, who knew when, or if, I'd get paid again?
I waited for the bus to come. I waited for some jerk with a missing leg to get off the bus. I waited for the manager of the shop to open the goddamned door. I waited for him to slowly browse the boxes of Turbo Tax and Pascal 4.0 until he found the only remaining copy of the game. I was barely able to get to the food court before I opened the 8 by 6-inch box.
And it was just as amazing as I had imagined. The instruction manual was like a 20-page treasure trove of information like "If you wish you can adjust the game's volume by choosing the Options selection." and "Left-click on the location that you want your character to walk to." I committed these facts to memory - perhaps I was a little over-excited.
I had Diablo - and at least for today, I would not be eating my dinner from a jar.
I got it home and placed the shiny metallic disc in the tray. The installation went well but, as I have come to learn with PC games, you don't know how it's going to work until you actually play the game. An error message popped up that said, "This application requires direct draw support, please restart the application and try again."
And so I restarted the application again. And again. That failed, and I realized that Diablo was not meant to be. My heart broke, and thereafter so did my monitor as the result of a bit of kinetic troubleshooting. I considered turning to a life of crime as a method of paying for a new video card and monitor but, alas, I had no gun. I returned to eating bar olives and was fired a few weeks later. I never got a chance to play Diablo.
I sold the computer to buy a bass guitar and some 99-cent bean burritos.
Marion Cox needs food badly.