« on: March 29, 2011, 02:23:07 pm »
After a while things changed. A lot of people grew out of pogs, I've heard. A lot of others just grew bored with them, forgot them once the craze died down. Heh, I envy the innocent. Our change didn't come from time. It came from the guy with the razor slammers.
Our little regular group stopped getting together. Not just for pogs, either, really entirely. Couldn't even meet one another's gaze in the schoolyard. Mikey was the first to go, now that I think about it. He didn't show up to do pogs one day, and this is when we just did it because it's what we did, not out of any sense of sport or fun. Anyway Mikey was at home. His mom gave me the whole "can't come out to play" routine but I knew what was up. I walked around the back and looked into his window. It looked like he was trying to clean his room or something, but every time he came upon something disc shaped, he stopped and stared for a minute, then calmly put it down and tried to move onto something else. Coins, soda caps, at one point he was all fucked up by the little paper rounds left by hole punches. He turned out okay in the long run, I hear, some kind of doctor. I was happy to hear that.
Danny is one of those guys that shapes the events in a positive light. He's an advocate now, got himself a social work degree and everything, and he specializes in cases like ours. When I ran into him at the supermarket the other week and found this out, he was holding a box of Ritz crackers. I was walking by and he became suddenly very interested in the nutrition label. Didn't say a goddamn word.
Eric. Shit, Eric was the star of the show back then. He had this flick of the wrist that would send your pogs flying. Thing of beauty, it was, real talented kid. We were glad to have him around, but I think we all knew he wasn't going to be in our little group for long with the kind of ability he had. He turned out the worst. Had the hardest to fall, I guess. I never had the nerve to see him again but the stories tell themselves. Turned into what he hated. Went from game to game, sniffing them out on the wind like prey, toting some kind of homemade slammer he'd been working on. Just mutilated the pogs from that point onward, his considerable skill gone totally awry. I wonder if he ever got out of it.
Me, I'm done, you know, moved on. Still have my moments, of course, like anybody. I'll be rummaging through the old junk drawer and a little metal disk will slip into my hand, the weight still familiar after all these years. Danny and Mikey and Eric flood back into vision, just some kids with a hobby. Gotta drop that thing shortly after, shut that drawer up tight.
Hell of a fucking thing though, pogs.