Verbal Chess

I often wonder if she can see it, if any of you innocent bystanders can see it, the chess board that seems to materialize out of thin air every time we start one of those endless conversations. Insane you say? Perhaps, but at times I can see it so clearly, so vibrantly, I can swear it had crossed that thin line between the reality in my head and the reality all of you are living and metamorphosed into existence.

I can see it very vividly, floating above our heads or between our bodies, occupying physical and psychological space. Oh and what a beautiful chess board it is, exquisite in its making perfect in its details. The mahogany wood frame, polished with a great deal of love, with an intricate pattern worked into its sides. Inside the frame, the vast expanse of checkers, I am always mesmerized by pattern, symmetry and all things so numerically perfect. I can’t help but be drawn by those little square marble inlays, laid down in that mahogany frame in alternating colour, a white marble square followed by a dark brick red one. The marble squares so perfect, so tightly fitted, so enticing to play.

Never ones to decline an invitation, soon our chess pieces make their way to the flawless board. White and black armies of words and concepts symbolised into pawns, knights and queens. We start to play, making statements, responding to questions, making queries and inquisitions, arguing and counter arguing. At first it is all second nature, simple and basic. Then as the conversation progresses and the game becomes more unique, we start the real verbal chess, thinking a move in advance, two moves, factoring in how we’d each respond to the other person’s response to our original words before uttering them.

You are thinking that my description sounds rather insincere and quite exhausting, but you are mistaken, it is more along the lines of mentally exhilarating. Our game progresses, becoming more difficult by the second, until we hit an impasse… we both realise that there is nowhere further that this conversation can go… we reach that realisation way before the conversation ends. Impassioned we violently clear the board sending the little marble pieces flying in different directions. Once again the board is clear. I enjoy the sensation of a cool empty board. The coolness of the now empty marble squares seems to diffuse the situation.

For the time being the board disappears, only to reappear with the next slightest hello.


4 thoughts on “Verbal Chess

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