The Game of Life

The Game of Life

I’ve worked for corporations for years, as evident from the high-water mark of shit just under my chin. Corporate life can tarnish one’s values and blacken one’s soul. I just try to keep my head down and keep plowing forward in the face of over-regulation, bureaucracy, off-shored stupidity and pervasive executive greed. But still.

I can’t go into what set me off this time; regardless of the saying that ‘the mountains are high and the emperor is far away’, his spies are everywhere. A blog with my name is a blog with my name, right? So no details.

But as I rode the bike home after a particularly frustrating day, surrounded by FUVs who despised me for saving the planet, in a world where FOX news croons about congress cutting NPR loose, of Jersey Shore and Jackass and, ah Christ, another animated movie with typecast actors phoning in their voices, it piles up, you know?

It hit me while I sat at the Fairbanks light watching the oversized pickups (with bedliners) make un-signaled left turns as their light went red, what life really is.


Life is a game you buy when you are young. You read the rules and think it all looks so exciting. Then comes that rainy day when such a game would be perfect, with your house filled with guests, and you bring it out. “Let’s play,” you chirp. The dice are rolled and off you go, moving your scotty dog, your race car, your old shoe. Because it’s just a friendly game, right?

Then you realize that half the players are cheating. Openly. They steal from the bank, they over- or under-count their moves to suit their purposes, they lie, and they argue the rules. And as they get ahead, they brag. They spread their money for all to see, yakking about how this proves their superiority.

The other half of the people don’t care. They don’t understand the rules, they yawned as you explained them. The dice they drop from their limp wrists, they move their pieces like zombies. They chatter and clown with the other players. When it’s their turn, they’re in the bathroom. They just don’t give a shit about the game-world.

And that’s the game you thought would be fun to play with attentive players, with everyone decent enough to follow the rules. At first you wanted it to last forever; you couldn’t conceive of its end. Now you almost wish it would end, regardless that a cheater will win and the disinterested won’t know its over. You really don’t like these people at all anymore, even though they are, distantly, family. And once it’s through, you’ll put everything carefully away (ignoring the bent cards and drink stains), slide it onto the shelf and never play it again.

Yes, Life is just like that.