The sun had barely risen when I cracked open my eyelids, the familiar excitement coursing through my veins. My day was already planned out: hours of gaming and laughter with my best friend, Alonzo. It was the time of Nintendo 64, and our unwavering loyalty to the gaming console was akin to the loyalty we had for each other. Back in those days, Alonzo and I were inseparable, practically living in each other’s homes. We’d trade PlayStation discs like prized possessions, always eager to see what new adventures awaited us. As the Nintendo 64 took the gaming world by storm, we knew we had to get our hands on it. Our neutral territory became the narrow hallway outside our apartments, where we managed to set up a dusty old television monitor, rigged with an extension cable and RCA cables. This little space became an extension of our homes, our makeshift gaming arena. I remember my mom being irate at the frequency with which I would run in and out of the house, completely oblivious to her concerns. To me, it was just outside the door. What was the big deal? Only now, as a parent myself, do I understand her frustrations. I wouldn’t want my daughter playing video games in the hallway of our building either. But times were different back then, and our hallway gaming sessions were a far cry from roaming the streets. Our little haven between the two apartment doors was a sanctuary, and with every flick of the power switch on the console, we left the world behind. The smell of stale carpet and peeling paint was replaced with the virtual scents of GoldenEye and WrestleMania 2000. The hallway’s dim, flickering fluorescent lights gave way to the vibrant colors of the screen. It was in this space that we spent hours mastering the art of the headshot and perfecting our wrestling moves. Our laughter echoed through the corridor as we immersed ourselves in our games. The creaky, off-white walls seemed to absorb the joy we shared. It was a unique bond we were forming, one that would prove to be an essential foundation for our future on-air collaborations. These precious memories, forever etched in my mind, remind me of the simpler times in life. It was there, in that tiny space between our apartment doors, where we nurtured a friendship that would last a lifetime.

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