Games: Which are the Easiest to Play


 Games: Which are the Easiest to Play

I am getting a little old for this sort of thing, but I would have liked to have taken a trip somewhere…oh, anywhere, I guess – at least to the next town, to see if the water there tastes like pineapple and sunshine, or diesel and disappointment. But, I live in a small town in my small house in my small neighborhood, and here I will be forever. It is a sad tale. Come with me, tale reader, and I will tell you a sad tale:

Between the walls of the womb, I developed a unique skill. In fact, I was so skilled at it, it is a miracle I was ever born, that I was ever allowed to survive on my own. At the time, I saw nothing wrong in it. I thought I was doing my job well. But I didn't know that, as I fell and stumbled through the icy waters of the world, I was falling into disgrace. I didn't know this until the very end, when I was only a few feet from the surface, struggling for air and light, and about to be crushed in the soft, bone-crunching embrace of the depths.

When I was born, I was put into a brood-mother's arms. She was supposed to watch me and make sure I prospered and was well cared for, but babies do not thrive in public. And so I was given to another woman, who watched me carefully in secret, while I grew large and strong in the dark womb of my foster mother. And the time came when I had to be given a name: mothers always have to have names, and I was no exception. The foster mother and I batted around many, many names, but none of them seemed to stick. There was a fishtank in the room; the only decoration she had in the drab, concrete room, and it languished with brown algae and dying fish. But I was fascinated by it, when the foster mother put me in front of it, and I saw all of the colorful fish and the peculiar underwater plants. I pointed and grunted, and she gradually figured out what I was trying to say. 'Fish' she thought, and then I screwed my face up, and we tried 'Fishes', and it worked! The foster mother beamed and hugged me, and she moved me to her chest again, where I stayed warm and safe until going off to bed. I fended her off as she tried to change my diaper, though. I wasn't ready to go to sleep yet.

As soon as she stopped, I darted back and stared at the fishtank. I pointed, and she understood and fetched me a toy fish from her room. I was so enthralled and happy that she decided that I would be named after that very fish. Fish. For short.

Then came the school.

I wasn't very good at it. I didn't like floating in the watery hallways, or squeezing through doorways when the water went from currentless to currenty. I wasn't very good at understanding the shapes that were made, either; they were all just pictures, to me. The teacher wanted to see me succeed, she really did, and she tried and she tried and she tried, but I still failed all of the tests. Eventually, she had enough of my failure and success, and decided that maybe I could shine in the gym. I didn't see the point, at first. I liked books, and my foster father had taught me how to read, and I loved to read. Gym was just pointless wading through mud and dirty water. But I figured that I had to be good at it, so I investigated the gym and found out what it did. I was amazed. It was a wonderful place to be! There was a brightly colored, bouncy, bouncing gym ball. I couldn't understand why it was bouncing on its own, until the teacher explained it to me. I went crazy, bouncing and bouncing and bouncing, then I relaxed after that. There were two other kids in the gym, Stephanie and Marty. I'm sure you've met them before – as a child, I was always getting my toy fish eaten by them.

And I liked it! I loved school, finally! I could bounce, then relax, and bounce, and relax, and I didn't have to learn shapes anymore. I loved the swimming pool and the whole idea of the water, and swimwear seemed so passe compared to gym clothes. I was surprised that sometimes the fish really got eaten by others, sometimes it was students. It wasn't anything to get upset about, though. It was a sign of someone's hard work, and everyone got to eat fish, sometimes, so it all worked out. And these days, I ate fish with my foster mother.

Conclusion: with some simple alterations, I came to be the fish that was named after me. The school knew I was special, but they didn't know what I was; it's a secret that I have kept all this time.

Until now.

Stephanie and Marty are no longer in school. They've graduated, or they've started working. The teachers and the whole town know though. I try to keep up with what's going on, in the local newspaper.

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