Inventing Games

by Glen Binger

As children we invent games and we're really creative.

We concoct ridiculous rules and enjoy making adaptations to them.

And everything makes sense.

Then you grow up, lose creativity. You don't invent games anymore.

Recess is replaced with a second job.

Money weasels its way to the top of your list of priorities,

Right into the biggest concern — number one.

From the back of your mind,

The creativity eats at you; begging to make a new game.

But there is just no time. You work

More hours than humanly possible

And somehow still don't have any money.

So you become depressed.

You take pills your doctor recommends in order to become less depressed.

The pills make you even less creative. And they really don't help.

You feel numb.

You realize you feel numb but can't do anything about it.

So you decide you want to stop taking the pills.

Then, after ignoring your doctor's advice,

Stop swallowing the chemicals after dinner each night.

Suddenly, it becomes hard to function without them.

Weird side effects start consuming your mind.

You're balding. You know it's because of the meds, not because you're getting older.

You're out of shape.

Again, it's because of the medication and you can't stop eating.

Every morning becomes difficult to begin.

As the shower slowly fades from cold to warm, you ask yourself,

“Why do I even bother getting out of bed?”

You wonder if anyone else feels this way, which you later decide

They don't.

And for some reason, the tiles remind you they need to be cleaned

Only when your leaky eyes blend with the luke-warm shower water.

You add it to your list of priorities, even though, you know

That you will forget about it the second you dry off.

It will be replaced with something more important;

Something like buying groceries for next week or

Changing the oil in your car.

By the time you snap back into reality,

You're at the mirror brushing your teeth.

Quickly, you get upset because you've missed out on about ten seconds of your life.

But you brush it off with the memory you share with your little brother,

The one where brushing your teeth used to be a game:

Where the first one finished could gloat and brag because they won.

Twenty-six years later, you still pretend you're racing.

You wonder if your little brother still races when he brushes his teeth.

Somehow, you know that he's thinking the same exact thing

And you smile to yourself in the mirror.

Because for those few seconds of your day

Everything makes sense.