I spent years as a tomboy, desperately trying to fit in. So I watched a lot of Pokemon, Yu-Gi-Oh, Dragon Ball Z (even as a kid, I was like, “Twelve episodes to power up? What is this even”).
I never got into video games, because I’m basically a computer mouse on a serious tracking delay. And if I ever played GTA, I’d probably just walk around offering the ladies money and a warm meal, and buying cars at the dealer, and not hitting anyone ever. My favorite thing when my friends would play GTA would be to just listen to the radio stations in the cars they stole.
But I did learn to draw from Pokemon cards, and this game is bringing back old feelings of being a junior high nerdling in summer school gym so I wouldn’t have to take actual gym. There was a boy I’d sit with on the bleachers, whenever I had the option to. We’d draw diligently, copying the Pokemon from cards onto anything papery that we could get our hands on, from those brown paper towels they have in school bathrooms to notebook paper, our drawings made ridged and bumpy from the pebbled textures on the bleachers. Pokemon cards were perfect for drawing because they could fit in our pockets and they were detailed. He was encouraging. Kind. And much, much more talented than me.
It was this, and a boy in elementary school who showed me how to draw 3-D houses and 2-D T-Rexes, that got me into art. People thought he was weird. I was also pretty weird.
I don’t remember much from being young. My brain got rid of that to make room for more nonsense. But I remember sitting on the bleachers, drawing with my friend. Or sitting in the lunchroom in elementary school, drawing with my other friend, or sitting against the wall at recess, hunched over paper. I remember what it was like to have a moment where hours of frustration spent drawing the wrong line distilled into clarity when it finally looked right.
I miss it. I miss spending time with friends. I miss drawing, and being happy with what I drew. I especially miss the feeling of Pokemon cards in my pocket. But for once, I’m getting to go on the adventures I always imagined going on. And I’m not pretending to like something so people would think I was cool, I actually like it. And it doesn’t take twelve episodes for the Pokemon to just decide to freaking do something already. Which helps.