A Different Kind of Game By Loren Meza

Right now I’m sitting alone in my favorite bistro. A cocktail or two, some delicious comfort food, and possibilities, all lie in waiting. Nights like this call for red lipstick. Nights where, no one you already know can make up for the crappy day you’ve had. The ones where existential crises dictate the order of your mind, and everything your mother ever reprimanded you for sounds like a good idea. So I watch the room, how it evolves, how the air shifts with each coming and going. Notice how each waiter sees to the flow of energy.

The lighting is dim, almost enough to make me feel somewhere distant. My mind begins to wander and I think, what are you waiting for? Just then, a hazy recollection of a foreign film I saw once begins playing in my head:

(An apartment in the city. A rainy September night. A couple, in the throws of a quarrel.)

CRASH! A vase with orange tulips shatters as it hits the wall. A woman, dark hair and a supercilious smile, is refusing to listen to anything more. She combs her hair away from her face with her fingers and heads toward the bedroom. She is packing a bag determinedly.

BOOM! In the other room, a man, cool and irrational, scatters the books from a shelf all over the floor. He makes his way to the bedroom only to find she is readying to leave. He stands frozen, his expression suggests his emotions have been heightened but on which end of the spectrum she can not tell. She takes a moment and analyzes his face hesitantly before she pushes past him.

SLAM! Paralyzed, the man stares, first at the door, then the disastrous apartment.

(End scene.)

Suddenly, I break from the tangential thought. Like being conscious in a dream, I realize I’ve never seen such a movie. I do have a recollection, however, of an awful version of myself storming out of my apartment with vigor. Then, confidently wandering to somewhere; anywhere that would place me in neither the hero nor the villains role.

Frustrated and intoxicated, I now recognize that I have been playing an egotistical game of who is right and who is hopelessly wrong. It has escalated sufficiently. I find myself comforted by the thought of bowing out of the game, and yes, tonight will be the night. I have never been any good at this but I do have the upper hand, which holds a glass of whiskey, and I come to a decision. What a waste it would be to quit when I have the king in check. So now I’ll wait, expectantly, for my opponent to make his move.

After all, a falling out is only half the fun.

Loren Meza focuses on the female perspective of love and life.


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