Wordslinger • Dissident • Webwright

Broken Promises

Published 11 July 2008

He squinted at the man across the table from him—things were looking grim. He’d sworn never to go back, yet here he was and all those promises, what were they? Splutter? I didn’t matter; what mattered now the guy across the table planning to trounce him.

This guy had been pounding him ever since they started, and he’d not been able to offer much in defense—a jab he or there, but he’d mostly just thrown what he could in the path the onslaught. But he wasn’t out yet. He had cards left in his hand. Taking a deep breath, he made his draw, praying it was enough. “Tap your mana, Ryan,” he whispered to himself, “it’s time to make the Magic happen.”

After a twelve-year hiatus, my cousins dragged me kicking and screaming back into Magic: the Gathering. Of course, they weren’t the only reason. Already I’m in, whole-hog.

Gathering around a table with friends and strangers is sadly rare in our society. Looking for a Magic game is a great reason to meet new people and doesn’t require a backpack-full of apparatus like Dungeons and Dragons or Warhammer 40k. I’ve spent more money on it than I should and even built a Magic Game Tracker to keep track of scores on my phone.

In 1996 I forswore the game and money wasted. I sold my five-color, twelve dual-land deck of every flying creature in the game for $160 to a hobby shop and who in turn probably sold the rares for ten times that. The commons and lands I just threw away. Even chucked a Mahamoti Djinn I found a few years later because I was so sick of them.

But now I’m in a strange city and know few people. The ones I’ve met at the hobby shop are the most friendly and decent so far. In exchange for that, broken promises are but dust.