Snakes and Pills

043 - above

"Your move," the man across from Walter said. Walter needed this verbal reminder, for, if he were honest with himself, he wasn't really paying attention.

The chirping of the birds and the buzzing of the insects had proved a formidable distraction for him. But Walter reconsidered terming them as such. A distraction takes you away from something more important or something you want to pay more attention to.

In short, a distraction forces you to ignore something more deserving or desirable of your attention.

But Walter honestly did not care in the slightest about the game. The nature surrounding him was infinitely more interesting, and thus, in the end, wasn't the game more of the distraction?

Oh well, he decided, he might as well make his move. He looked down at the board. Something was missing.

"Where did my...what did you do with...?" Walter stammered as he puzzled over the current layout of the pieces on the board. The man across from him just grinned.

"Are you talking about this?" he said gleefully as he displayed one of Walter's pieces proudly in his hand. "Captured. Man, you really are getting older. A8 to E4. It was a legitimate move, I don't know how you missed it."

It was true, Walter was getting on in years, but even if he were still in his youth, he wouldn't have noticed the move, since he wasn't paying attention at all. Perhaps he would have seen it coming, though, he thought. And protected against it.

But further, he considered, what should he even care? He briefly considered his remaining options, but they all looked bleak.

Bleakness, on a beautiful day like this. Could you imagine such a thing? Walter decided at that moment that he would not let it get to him. He didn't care.

So he slammed his hands down on the game board, and quickly shoved them across it. In the process, all of the game pieces went flying, and ultimately the board itself toppled off the table, leaving the state of the game in disarray.

Understandably, Walter's opponent was quite shocked and angered by this unexpected turn of events. He stood up and looked at the mess that Walter had created. "Man, what the fuck are you doing?!"

"I don't care about this game," the elderly man responded calmly.

"This is bullshit!" his competitor shouted loudly. "It was a fair move man, and as soon as the match starts to go my way, you trash everything?"

"I didn't do it because things weren't going my way. I concede defeat, you win," Walter responded calmly, feeling better about his surroundings already.

"That's not the fucking same, man!" his irate competitor shot back. "I wanted to beat you, to really win, not just to have you tell me I won!"

"To be honest, I fail to see the distinction." Walter meant it. A win was a win, after all, and that was what they both should have been trying to accomplish. Now, Walter had already conceded that ultimately, he did not care about the win, which was why he decided to end the game in the manner which he did.

But now, the apparent anger and the statements of his opponent seemed to indicate that he too, was not in it simply for a win. If neither of them were playing just to win, then Walter wondered why they even began to play in the first place.

But it was no bother, Walter told himself. That was the other gentleman's business. He was free of his distraction, and thought it wise to get busy with what really mattered to him.


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