Monday, January 04, 2010

Life's Rubber Bumpers

I used to love leaning into a six-foot-long tilted board lighted garishly and covered with lots of lights and rubber bumpers and roll overs and flippers you controlled, trying to guide a silver ball to defy gravity and rack up points...to win a free game or beat an opponent or just to listen to the score being counted with dings and clicks, the thunk of the free game counter. No video game ever gave me this feeling. Also, the Atomic Fireball which featured Norse gods was where I learned the names Odin and Wotan. The former is often useful in crossword puzzles.

Life isn't unlike an old school pinball experience. There is the inevitable decline, the lights and color and score-keeping. And the random way the rubber bumpers and roll over poppers send the arc of things careening here and there.

Last night a couple at a party we attended told the story of their meeting, how they both went to a dance club on a certain evening. How she asked him to dance, he refused her because he was in the process of buying someone else a drink, how he found her later and danced. Our lives are like that. FFP and I once wrote a version of our paths through life that improbably brought us together and packaged it up as our holiday card, masquerading as a board game called 'IF' I believe.

All those moving parts of our lives, the world, everything mattering in ways we never expected. All the little accidents, the happy ones and the tragic ones. And you with just the tiny control of a bit of table English (not too much or TILT!) and the flippers (relax, use them separately, careful, timing is everything).

Holidays is drawing to a close...ends Wednesday. Maybe I'll keep writing in this particular space. Or not. Put another couple of quarters in and see.

3 comments:

Sarah said...

I love your writing, and read it regularly. Please continue. You have a way with words that is unique and insightful.

Jerry in and around Dallas said...

Ditto to Sarah's comment.
Hope your dad is doing all right.

Jackie said...

Yes, yes, please continue....