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A Profile Piece

I had to recently do a profile piece for my Feature Writing class. Figured I may as well upload it here, since I haven’t had much time for recreational writing as of late what with classes and homework and such. Anyways, enjoy!

The first thing a visitor notices about John’s first-floor apartment is that it is littered with animals, both inside and out. The entrance to his apartment is, basically, an outdoor hallway that holds the doors for three other apartments and ends in a wooden deck overlooking a woods, filled with the chirping of insects. When he finally answered the door with a faint smile and a welcome, you are greeted by not one, but two cats as well as a large rabbit, Sir Harington. Before the interview could begin, however, he brought me over to his computer and put a flash drive in his hand. Apparently the drive contained a free version of a new survival-horror golf game given to him at the Baltimore Comic Con by an independent developer, whom he had never met. After playing the demo, he proceeded to find anyone who would listen and bring them to the developer’s booth, urging them to try the game. As thanks, they gave him a free drive which he then gave to me to download, then pass it on to a friend to help the new developer get its name out. The more you talk to John, the more you realize that that is the kind of man he is.

The easiest way to describe a man like John is through his actions. While attending a Catholic elementary school, John first discovered his penchant for going against the norm. His uniform required a certain level of dress and, forgetting his tie, he had a friend make a cardboard cutout of one and wore it to mass. While not against the rules, John received a detention anyways and the school changed the rulebook the next year. “I would like to find loopholes and I would abuse it.” John made his initial friends at Stevenson by inviting over 25 people to lunch the first day, and spending time with those who remained. He hasn’t changed much, since.

Since he was sixteen years old in high school, John has been working whenever possible. He applied for a work permit as soon as he was able and began working the floor at a local Bestbuy. After working there for just a little while, John began being moved from department to department, eventually working in pretty much every one. John smiled and gave a bit of a chuckle, “All the departments started playing pass the Holliman.” He eventually ended up in Geek Squad, where he fell in love with both the job and the culture, and stays not only for the discounts the position provides, which he happily accepts, but also to keep up-to-date on computer information and for the enjoyment. “Working for Geek Squad is a very fun experience, and they take care of you.” Recently John was moved up to corporate Geek Squad, where he assists customers over the web with virtual computer repairs as well as the occasional spot check of Geek Squad centers, though the latter is more of John’s many side jobs, such as DJ’ing, running his own business, and working at his brother’s comic book shop.

John’s brother is about 26 years older than John, and the two have never been especially close, only coming around to visit on occasion. In fact, his brother was around so scantily that John, for a time, believed himself an only child. Whenever he did visit though, he brought gifts, “He wasn’t home a lot, he had moved out by the time I was born, so whenever he did come around it was, ‘Hey try this new card game’ or ‘Hey, try this new board game’.” It is his brother that John attributes his love of games to, seeing as his mom never enjoyed or encouraged that sort of behavior. Ever since, though, John has loved games of all kind. His job in his brother’s comic shop is, in fact, to teach customers about new card games, and has memorized the rules for seemingly all of them through the years. It didn’t take long for John’s love of games to expand to video games, “I’m a gamer, a very big gamer. I have almost every console known to man.”

John’s life is a precarious balance between drop-down, drag-out fun and excessive work, and he tends to always be doing something. One may wonder how he manages all of it. “I don’t. I am crazy, I always will be crazy, but that’s why some people love me. There’s not enough hours in the day to do what I do, ever… It is busy, I don’t have much free time ever, but really I don’t have enough time. I stress myself out, I burn myself out, but that’s just who I am,” he says, sitting in his apartment, a soft smile on his face.