I always maintain that cliches exists for a reason. They are born, and last because of a distinct layer of truth. There really are Italians who cry “Bellissimo!” Absence really does make the heart grow fonder. And there really exists small cafés in Europe with people playing chess outside.
Could be France, or Italy. I’ve seen this stereotype/cliche in both. To be honest, I’m not entirely sure how we ended up here, or how Womble convinced me to play chess. Not that I snub it, as a game, I just lack confidence in my skills, enough that I myself will never suggest playing it.
I imagine if I were ever to take up gambling, I’d walk in, simply make a donation and walk out. Pointlessness avoided, middleman well and truly cut out.
Still, chess is a pleasant way to spend time, and attempt to de-fog a hangover-recovering mind. It’s a work in progress though; I was doing well earlier until I lost my queen because I forgot kings could kill…
It’s also a marvellous chance to think. Chess demands silence, and has all the time in between moves to just ponder. On your next move, sure, but also…
Does Womble have family? It’s a question I’ve been harbouring since Rapture (blame the father figures and sibling issues). In all our times together: no visitation requests, no mentions, not even a phone call. I’ve no ideas what circles he occupies, or when, or where.
I could say he and I are verging on brotherhood. That would be fine with me.
I’m letting go my desire to know his past. That chat may arise, someday, but only by his choice. For now, I’d be content with knowing the basic stuff. Just to know if he’s okay. Really okay. To just ask him:
He nods and starts setting up a new game. I stand and take our cups inside.
Sometimes there isn’t an answer. There isn’t even a question. There is just the unknown.
Which I’ll come onto, later.