Playing the Game

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Wherever I looked people were playing the game. It had caught on like wildfire. It had caught on like nothing else. They were at it big time – yes sir there was no doubt that playing the game was the thing to do! You were some kind of weirdo for sure if you weren’t playing the game. I wasn’t playing the game of course. That wouldn’t be my style. But all the same I couldn’t help thinking that it must be a pretty neat game the way everyone was playing it like that.  I must confess to being pretty curious as to what it felt like to be playing the game, but I held back all the same. I always hold back – that’s kind of my style to do that. I don’t know if this was because I was worried that there might be some kind of snag or pit-fall or whether it was just because I didn’t want to be like everyone else. Probably it was because I was staying aloof, as is my nature. Probably it was because I didn’t want to join in with the masses. Who wants to join in with the masses, after all? Actually that’s kind of a stupid question, come to think of it. Everyone wants to join in with the masses. The masses want to join in with the masses. It’s kind of what they do!

 

So I just go around watching everyone else playing the game, playing the game, playing the game. The way they do.  Boy do people love playing the game! It’s a fad. It’s a craze. It’s the thing to do. People are so faddish, I mused. Always wanting to hop on the next band-wagon to come along. It never ceased to amaze me the way that people loved going along with whatever happens to be trending at the moment. What’s trending? Oh, I’d better check that out. It must be super double-plus good… Spot the error in that logic, right? Just think how terrible it would be if you got left out, if the band-wagon went off without you! Just think how terrible it would be if you were spotted in public not joining in with the latest trend! Dear God in heaven that would be so humiliating. How would you ever live it down?

 

You can see perhaps that I am by nature somewhat aloof. I don’t like to join in with trends or anything like that. If I see a bandwagon going down the road my first thought isn’t “How can I jump on it?” My first thought is “Let me get the hell out of here!” “Beware the toxic man-swarms” said Robert de Ropp. There was a man who knew what he was talking about! You wouldn’t catch him joining in with the latest fad, just for the hell of it, just because it was the latest fad. You wouldn’t catch him being giddily intoxicated by the latest craze. No sir you wouldn’t. Not on your nelly…

 

But all the same – for all this talk of mine – I find myself being damnably curious about this game that everyone is playing. It’s really getting to me. The game is so damn popular, so damn ubiquitous. And everyone seems to be enjoying it so much – or at least, if not enjoying it, enjoying being engrossed in it. I don’t think I really knew what it meant to be ‘engrossed’ in something until I saw people playing the game. It’s such a curious phenomenon. Being totally engrossed in this way I mean, not the game. The game’s a curious phenomenon too, of course. A very curious phenomenon. Actually though – now that I come to think of it – that’s what the game’s all about really isn’t it? It’s all about being engrossed. Being so very engrossed. Being so engrossed that you don’t even know that you are. Being so engrossed that you don’t even know what it is that you are engrossed in. And in the case of the game, what you’re engrossed in isn’t anything at all really! It isn’t anything at all really because it’s a game. Games aren’t real, are they? I think we all know that…

 

I can only look on and marvel. At the way everyone is playing the game. Playing the game, playing the game, playing the game. At the way it has caught on so much. Playing the game that they actually exist. Playing the game they’re real. Playing the game that they actually are the people they are playing so hard at being…

 

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