Mark is the calm and sensible one in our relationship, whereas I am the choleric and hysterical person who needs to be calmed down. This is true in sorrow, anger, love, and computer gaming.

I joke that Mark is my Mood Control Device, Mark I. He bulldozes my peaks, and fills my valleys. I also like to tell myself that I make his emotional life a bit more like a sine-curve than a flat line.

When Stephen comes to visit, my competitiveness can get the better of me if we fire up the old Xbox and engage in co-operative gameplay. I like to murder him, metaphorically speaking, in games like Rocket League and DOTA.

That’s when Mark comes in to untangle us from each other, and tell us to play nicely with each other or not at all. Not to forget that he chastises me when I go off to sulk if I lose a game with a necessary “Oh for God’s sake, Col. Grow up.”

That is what we’ve done today. Stephen came over, and we engaged in a bit of mutually assured destruction in computer gaming. With just days left of the summer, we’re cramming in all the things we haven’t done because we’ve been too lazy. This is just one of those things.

Therefore, it was with a great sense of smug satisfaction that I heard a lot of shouting and grunting downstairs. It was Mark’s and Stephen’s turn to play, and for once it was I who could slide wickedly into the room, and fire off a “Oh for God’s sake, Mark. Grow up.” when I found the two doing battle over the best controller.

I can live off this for days, and bring it up about a dozen more times, when he’ll try to flatten my emotional waves. I can raise an eyebrow and mention that he was the one who nearly got into a fight with his best friend over a damned controller.