We broke up. I moved out. We divided our possessions. All the hardware was mine - the Xbox, the Gamecube, the PS2; most of the software, his. A sad sifting of the content of two lives once shared.
It all went fairly smoothly - until we discovered that we both had large game files on one Xbox. No problem, Justin said, I can probably copy them over using ethernet. So he bought a new Xbox and I brought over mine one afternoon and we tried to transfer our respective games. Just to be on the safe side, I had brought along an official Xbox-approved memory card.
Justin is a man of action. He promptly called customer support. "I have two Xboxes," he said breathlessly. "A memory card that's too small and an ethernet cable. Lets try to figure this out."
Impossible, he was told. There was no way to transfer my saved games.
"That's ridiculous," Justin countered. He doesn't back down easily. "There are a lot of brilliant people at Microsoft and you can't tell me that they didn't think of this problem. Now we're going to stay on the phone and fix it together."
"Well, could I get a bigger memory card then?"
That is the biggest memory card Microsoft makes.
Justin started to get frustrated. "Okay, maybe I could talk to someone else who would know how to help me?"
No one knows, because it's impossible.
"So you're telling me it's not possible for my ex-girlfriend to take with her her own saved games? I can't believe that! You make it sound like hacking my Xbox is a good idea!"
Three hours later, the last phone call in a series of stymied attempts to do a simple data transfer was over, and we both stared at the one Xbox that jealously guarded both our saved games. It is unlockable. We've got the book. The great black box sat implacable, a challenge and a dare.
But not today. "You keep it," I said, finally. "You're sick."