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I played chess in the park today. They have open boards and you find an opponent sitting by themselves and you sit down and play. I played a eleven year named Delores. I figured I could beat her because she was wearing a retainer that was tilted sideways, and she wore really thick glasses and she kept taking them off and rubbing her eyes, and she looked scared. I look for ways to win because it helps me with a new sense of confidence that I’m just starting to build out of sitting up straight, a tin of menthol cigarettes, and a VHS tape about P.T. Barnum.

Alas, I lost in less than a minute. She beat me in two moves. My inebriated ambition made me tragically reliant to cliched ineffectualism. I was blind to Delores’s chess masterdom. I couldn’t hold back my tears. I shook. Delores sat next to me and comforted me by patting my head. Unfortunately it made me cry harder.

Delores said, “Don’t worry. As Carlos Albinger said, “Each one of us has our own places of excellence in which we sometimes grandly reside.”

I thought about how I came up with mixing a can of tuna, kraft macaroni and cheese, and del monte string beans in my freshman year of college and I impressed some people on my dorm room floor. They said it looked bad, but tasted good. I felt strong again.

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