I realize it has been a little while since I have had a story to share. This isn’t to say that I don’t have stories or haven’t been working on them. It is more to the point that the ones I am working on right now are taking up a bit more time than I am able to share them on a weekly basis right now. So, in a nutshell, it isn’t that I have forgotten the stories, it’s that I am working through what I can and still trying to entertain you with the oddities of thoughts and such.
Which brings us to the topic of the day.
I like to bring out the reminder that I have been a geek and a gamer for probably my entire life. Of all the strange things I do and have done, this is the persistent thing that always pops up its head. So yeah, I have been playing a game on my tablet and even my phone that I wouldn’t have thought would have relevance to anything. That isn’t uncommon, a number of the games I have played throughout my life have been abstract with no connection to anything other than the game itself.
This is in essence the idea behind solitaire. It is an abstract card game that you play as an amusement to pass the time or keep yourself distracted. We all know it and we all understand it. When you play it in its many forms the baseline is, you will lose. You keep playing it because there is a chance you can win and sometimes you even do. Mind you, there is the portion of the population that gives up on it after a short time because the idea of any iteration of it is futility.
So ZMan games has a version of solitaire called Onirim (I play the app version published by Asmodee). The baseline is exactly what you would expect of a game of solitaire. You are more likely to lose more often than you win and there is some strategy to how you play your cards (as well as a modicum of luck). But they take it a bit more into the fantasy realm.
The concept is you are walking through the land of dreams looking for the doors that will lead back out again. There are four different colors (suits) of cards with their own doors. Certain cards have special abilities to allow you to do a bit of trickery and maybe give you some strategy along the way. But it’s the concept of the nightmares that bring in the ultimate frustration within the game.
Yes, I said frustration…
I don’t know about you, but solitaire has never been more than a mindless card moving game for me. Even in the various forms I have played over the years it is simply something you can do without having to think too much about it. I couldn’t understand why this game brought on moments of frustrated rage. You might relate to what I mean. Those moments where you get so frustrated that you hold your hands to the sky and growl or scream and then it passes so you can carry on with your day.
I was driving along, music blasting from my phone through the car’s speakers, and my mind wandered. This is a common thing. I don’t do well for long periods of driving because I get bored with little else to do. I spend quite a bit of my time deeper in thought. Wait… sorry started wandering again. Back to the point.
So, I thought of this game and why it bothered me so much. I mean, this is solitaire it shouldn’t have this effect on me or anyone. It was in this moment that I broke out in laughter. I knew what it was. The nightmare is an interruption. We have them in our lives and they cause that same bit of frustration. You know exactly what I mean if you have ever spent time alone in your writing space or maybe watching a tv show you are really into.
It’s that person who breaks the moment of concentration to talk to you and doesn’t go away. Or worse, they interrupt and realize for a moment that they are annoying, so they step away only to come back a few minutes later. And it’s like they never have the thought that they are driving you insane in the process. You can’t get anything done or the show is completely lost. You pretty much have to start back at the beginning to try and grab at that one ephemeral moment that might have been worth a damn. And all you can do is look at them, at the insanity that brought into your single moment in time and say WTF!
I wouldn’t have thought it possible, but it seems that with this game ZMan captured the perfect iteration of what life is like as a writer. Or even just anyone really. But I take it as the writer thing because even when I have the office door closed I still get everyone coming and breaking the moment. Sure, they knock and ask if I am busy, but even that is enough of an interruption to take away from everything that is happening.
This was my morning. I had originally shut the office door in preparation to sit down and do this. Part of the routine though is to spend a little bit with some minor entertainment as I eat breakfast. I got a text from my daughter, asking if I could help her with something for a class. Not a problem, because I hadn’t made the mental switch yet. When she left the room, she left the door open. This is the invitation for all the other “nightmares” to break into the room. The grandson likes to visit when the door is open. But he will spend a few minutes yelling at me from the hall before he does usually (he is only one). This morning he is yelling at me from the hall and I am doing my best to ignore him. Yeah, I didn’t want to get up and actually shut the door. He came into the room and shut the door behind him. I had the distinct impression that he told me he will not be ignored. Sometimes the interruptions are cute, not much you can do about any of that. It’s one of those things that makes you laugh even though it takes away the mojo.
I have a new appreciation for the game, Onirim. Sure, it is still frustrating when the nightmares invade but there are times I can look at them and laugh because if you don’t laugh at things, sometimes all you have left is frustration and rage. When those take over, you miss the moments in life that are much more interesting.
If you enjoy these stories, consider leaving some coffee money in the jar or you could buy a book or two. Either way helps keep the stories flowing.