The streets of Los Santos are mean, but for Johnny Manziel they’ve always offered sanctuary. Damn the media. So unforgiving.
But when Johnny hits the streets of Los Santos, baseball hat and sunglasses to avert any attention, it’s nice to know that he can duck into some windowless little dive, and drink in the regular life and pretend like he’s not part of something bigger for awhile.
Sure, occasionally someone recognizes him, but usually when they do it’s just with a nod–an acknowledgement that even though he won a Heisman Trophy, he’ll always be one of them. He might have sold some autographs, got busted for drinking when he was underaged, sent out a tweet or two after he had a few too many, but that all seems somewhat inconsequential when there’s 20 million digital mad men running loose on these streets, murdering and robbing for no damn good reason.
There was that one time Nasty Nate, Johnny’s No. 1 homeboy and personal assistant, tweeted out that picture of digital Johnny with his new girl. Johnny had only been dating her for a couple of weeks and he had no idea the girl had turned a trick or two when times got rough back in the day. And who was he to judge her if he had known? Everybody in Los Santos has a checkered past.
But it didn’t take long for digital Deadspin to get a hold of the picture and track her down. They made her out to be some sort of working girl. Digital Johnny Manziel responded with some sort of ambiguous tweet on digital Twitter.
“I wish y’all could walk a mile in my digital shoes.”
But, even with all that drama giving him every reason to completely retreat into his own shell, Johnny could never stay away from Los Santos. It was a part of him.
He just knew he had to be more careful now. After all, it wasn’t even like he had done anything wrong, it’s just that because of his digital football fame he was always going to be under the microscope.
And so here Johnny Manziel is. Sitting here in one of those windowless joints with no clocks and no cares, hat pulled down low, drinking in a video game. Digital Wright Thompson calls and he sends it straight to voicemail. Those journalists were half the problem anyway.
They spend two digital days with somebody and think they’ve unearthed the essence of that person’s being. They speak in absolutes, but you can be damn sure of one thing: Nobody knows digital Johnny Manziel.
Because for digital Johnny Manziel, there isn’t just one world — there’s two. There’s the football world (EA Sports NCAA 14) and there’s Los Santos (Grand Theft Auto V). Sure, they try to pull some funny business in NCAA 14. Say that it’s not Johnny Manziel at all. They say it’s Texas A&M Aggies QB No. 2 or they give him some ridiculous name like Randall McTaggart, but we all know who it really is.
Yet, the one thing Johnny’s always made sure of, is that the two worlds never interfere with each other. And even when that seems naive, if not downright impossible, Johnny Manziel has always felt like himself in Los Santos. And that’s a feeling he doesn’t plan on letting go of.
Bunch of crazy assholes driving around on the sidewalk in stolen Buicks. That’s Los Santos. Mad man walking down the street engaging in a firefight with 30 cops, only to get arrested and set back on the streets the next day. Los Santos.
Just the other day, he saw a guy walking down the street with a bat crack a Jamaican for nine dollars. NINE DOLLARS.
But, digital Johnny Manziel has never gotten involved in the crazy stuff. However, in a way, he appreciates the insanity. It’s nice to be in a place where he is considered the “normal one.”
It’s nice to be in a place where he doesn’t have to be Johnny Football every damn day–in a place where he gets to be regular, old digital Johnny Manziel once in awhile. Use a fake ID (like it’s ever been a big deal in the first place) and have an ice cold whiskey coke because he feels like it, just like the rest of the world.
Sure the streets of Los Santos are mean, but at the end of the day, it’s the place that digital Johnny Manziel calls home. Los Santos is his town. San Andreas is his state.
These are his people.