Originals

05/08/2013

Play Everything

A prose-poem.

By: Filipe Salgado

Filed Under: Art Experimental Feature Life

chess

Play everything.

No, I’m serious, play everything.

Play that game of hopscotch those kids drew up on the sidewalk with coloured chalk. The boxes uneven, the numbering crooked.

Play Rogue and try to decipher its pre-Wikipedian mysteries . Play Colossal Cave Adventure and learn its arcane syntax.

Play pool with sharks and scratch because you were blinded by the puffs of a dozen American Spirits smoked in unison.

Play Ms. Pac-Man at the Laundromat. Drop quarters between spin cycles. Get into a leaderboard war with ASS.

Play chess in the park against the old men at night that say awful things about your mother when your queen takes their bishop.

Play checkers with a child. Do not give advice. You cannot always be there: Let them make their own mistakes.

Play bocce ball with the old Italian men in the park. Watch age become elastic, faces growing older with consideration than youthful with victory.

Play a choose-your-own adventure book. Turn to page 34. Make poor decisions and accept that your death is potentially around every corner.

Play a round of pub trivia. Have a brief falling out with a friend over the land mass of Mali. Reconcile with the cheapest half-pint available. Wash the bitterness away.

Play hide and seek with your ex-lovers, and hope to never be found again.

Play on fake instruments. Move on the fake dance floor. Don’t let people convince you it’s a substitute without substance or love.

Play the boardgame based on the hit TV series Dynasty with friends who have never watched the show. Create whole new mythologies around Patrick Duffy’s barely tamed mane.

Play those violent messes, big and crass, built like tanks. Appreciate the engineering and strip it for parts. We can do a lot worse, but we can also do much better.

Play every Twine game you can find. They are the neighbourhoods you get lost in when visiting a new city, and are unable to find your way back to. Play Even Cowgirls Bleed and How to Speak Atlantean and The Vermin Throne and Sacrilege. These 21st century zines will be gone one day.

Play a game you’ve created out of derelict Monopoly hotels, a deck of cards, and a map of the 48 continental United States.

Play the back pages of the free morning tabloid. Respect the crossword that isn’t a weak shine to a Merriam-Webster thesaurus. Finish the Sudoku puzzle, then paint by numbers and find hidden, broken kaleidoscopes.

Play around your city, looking for geocaches. Explore the side streets you’ve never been down. Or leave something in the dark recesses of the cereal aisle. Or under bar stools. Or with those ex-lovers. Use the city as a canvas to sketch on a lattice of memories.

Play games at home, on the street, on your phone, on your table.

Play games with your friends, with your enemies, with your lovers.

Play.

Just play.

Filed Under: Art Experimental Feature Life

About the Author:
Filipe Salgado is a bank teller, but he swears he isn't that bad. You can read his tweets at @philthe25th or read his fiction at Big Talk, Real Slow (http://bigtalkrealslow.tumblr.com/)

  • http://twitter.com/Jpailthorpe Jordan Pailthorpe

    I adore this. It feels like it should be performed. Was it written for the stage?

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