Game Point

A doodle

I learned most of my life lessons from playing chess. The first lesson I learned was to focus on the king, the target, the big game. All those other pieces–the pawns, the lesser, even the powerful–they’re just there to distract you, to throw off your aim and drain your bullets. Keep your eye on the king, the prize, the heart. Take him out and no matter how many pieces are still left on the board, you’ll get home rich today.

The second lesson I learned from chess was that control is everything. All those pieces under your command and as long as your king is safe, you should make sure the enemy commands less. Take control of the board. Never forget where you are in the game.

But, heh, to be honest if you ask me anything about controlling the board, I wouldn’t know how to answer. I’m just a piece in the game, and as every other piece, all I have to worry about is the king and how to not get myself killed. And how to keep myself under the boss’s command, of course, or I’ll lose a whole day’s meal.

The enemy king, tonight, was a fat man with a terrible laugh who wouldn’t stop barking it out from his seat on the twentieth floor of the most stylish hotel in the city. He’d had one too many bottle of alcohol and was trying to smooch his assistant, who was–poor knight–trying her best to avoid him without looking like he was going to be away.

On the third soft, barely audible rejection to his caress, the king whispered to his knight. Another bottle, he said, for the both of us, because he thought he was not too drunk to think up of something clever. She nodded, a soft polite smile, and made that her chance to escape, an L-movement away to the barstool, where she met me.

Her eyes were bloodshot, as if at every seconds when he wasn’t looking at her she was crying. Her arms were scratched red and her sleeves torn. I could tell that they had already lost this piece, that she had fallen off the board and was not going to make her way back.

She sat there for a while, holding back tears, putting up a smile that was as false as all the movement she’d made for the king. And then, once she thought she’d had enough, as if she was still a part of the game, she asked for a bottle.

It was my move. From behind the bar I gave her a most sympathetic smile, and then I went to the back of the shelf and fetched a very special bottle, never before pulled out for anyone. I handed it to her while whispering, quietly, conspiring nothing, that she should give this to him, but never drink a drop.

She blinked for a second, and then, as realisation dawned that her side had already lost, that she was glad for that loss, she nodded. The smile she gave to me was sincere. A knight to another knight.

The fat man drank quickly and fell asleep. The knight–former knight–tidied the mess he left behind and went. Myself, I packed up my things and sent a message to my player. The enemy king is down.  By morning there would be an outroar, but no one piece to blame for the game was over.

My teacher returned my academic writing assignment back at me because he said it’s not clear what the main sentence of the paragraph is, that it should have the exact same structure he’s taught in class, that it should contain the exact same sentence I use for the thesis statement. I understand academic writing isn’t creative composition, but I still don’t like my work being thrown back at me just because I decided to get a bit creative with it.

I wrote this doodle just to vent that frustration. For that school assignment, I wrote a paragraph about chess, so that’s where the motif came from.


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