I’ve always wanted to learn to play chess, but I’ve never found anyone with the time or patience to teach me, and I’m far too lazy to become self-taught. But I’ve come to realize that it’s not the game itself that I crave.

What I really want is the leisure time to spend hours in pleasant communion with a friend, talking, testing my cognitive abilities. I picture us sitting on a wide veranda on a summer evening, the warm glow of the lights from the kitchen illuminating the chessboard, with crickets and fire flies bearing witness as the bug zapper crackles in the background and iced tea leaves sweaty rings on the table. That sounds like a heavenly way to pass the time.

I also need the discipline I could learn from chess because one of my fatal flaws is that I’m virtually incapable of thinking more than one step ahead. This has caused disaster in my life on more than one occasion. Long range consequences, contingency plans, they seem to elude me. Chess teaches you to plan, to anticipate.

I hope there is chess in my future, but that’s far too many steps ahead for me to figure out.


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7 thoughts on “Checkmate

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