Thursday, July 14, 2011


Slater taught me to play chess when he was six. I beat him the first seven months when the game was all about just knowing your next move. In the process of winning I would become obnoxious (even more than usual) and perform the latest touchdown dance. What I thought I was teaching him was winning is good, celebration is fun and losing sucks. Beat me 'cause you know you're hating me right now.

After seven months he did. He does and he forever will but he doesn't do a dance, just a smile and a normal toned let's play again to which I reply, no, I can't take the defeat, man.

I wish we would have played tonight. I think we both needed it. Me the defeat, him the success. A cathartic end to the day.

This game of strategy is where the strategist plans another year of his life and at the expense of a summer vacation where he lived with his Nana and Paw and worked every day at a job banking funds for a year long college hold out. It is where the one whose mind can read the definition of strategy, can use the word in a sentence but show a remarkable lack of exhibition of said word in a real life situation or game of chess. I don't plan but I write myself notes or make lists on dry erase boards, sometimes I mark them off but most not.

Slater has an extra gland, an interior tissue marking the existence of forethought. In all the scientific studies I've done it is evident we have something here which can biologically skip a generation. It is a direct descendant of his Nana and Grammie. The boy rocks it to the point I have to hold myself back when he doesn't have a smile on his face, when he is planning in thoughtful consideration. I have to tell myself not to clog. Not to do the special clogging move reserved for the most intensive of moments. I need tap shoes.

You don't seem happy.

I'm fine.

Well, you're just not the smiling boy I've witnessed as of late.

I'm getting this stuff done for college, Mom. I have to work tomorrow and Saturday.


Why do you have to work?

'Cause I need money.

You have money, right? Do you need money?

No, I'm fine.

He fills out the papers, shows me what he has done, talks about an appointment next week and asks me if I need the computer.

No, I'm fine, I say. Thanks for recording House for me. It's like I have a new date with him every night.

He smiles and marks something off a list.


Music tonight is provided by The Black Rebel Motorcycle Club with snoring dog accompaniment.

Next on my list, Bukowski.

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