Who’s Game?

I’m a game-player. As in, board, card, word, and the like, not as in I’ll say one thing and mean the other and be so passive aggressive about everything that eventually you won’t be able to tell what the hell you really wanted in the first place but are quite certain that it’s not what you eventually ended up with. Although… if you ever play a game of Risk with me, that will probably be the end result. That, and the fact that I’ve won.

A sham sort of pride, sure, but a necessary one and as it hurts no one, even makes them laugh (not the intended effect, but I’ll take what I can get) I see no reason why I shouldn’t engage in a bit of braggadocio every now and then. Especially since I’m a genius (ignore that).

The games I truly love are ones that stretch my amazing mental abilities (again, kindly disregard) to even greater heights (i.e.: a plateau just above sea level). Give me a nice, messy puzzle and watch my brain go ballistic as I try to match it all up, turning the pieces around and around until finally they make sense, come together into a coherent whole.

The best games to play are with people. Now, remember, I said I’m a player, not a playa, and being a keen observer of human nature, there’s nothing I like more than trying to puzzle together a personality. A co-worker of mine, we’ll call him Denton (because he’d flip if he knew I think of him as a Denton) got really excited about something one day, then, thinking better of it actually happening, said in the saddest, most resigned voice, “Probably not.” Unable to help myself, I burst out laughing and have called him Eeyore ever since.

Scorned and vengeful, he replied that if he was Eeyore, well, then, I had to be Owl, full of myself and an insufferable know-it-all, a stuck out tongue the only thing lacking in his rebuttal. Again, unable to stop the laughter, I thanked him for the wonderful compliment and have consequently collected owl kitsch for my desk at work. Yes, for Denton, to rub it in, but also because I do consider it a compliment. I’m freakin’ smart, goddamn it (overlook that, please).

Of course, once going we couldn’t stop, and proceeded to pair up our other co-workers with the inhabitants of the Hundred Acre Wood, magically finding them all accounted for amongst the Piglets and Tiggers and Roos. Having exhausted that little patch of our imaginations, we expanded the game, systematically going through every TV show we loved: Deadwood, Battlestar Galactica, Rome, True Blood, and on and on, placing each person in their part, fitting them nicely into the pre-made picture.

Interestingly, we never agreed on who I was in any of these configurations. We got Denton down, every time, no quarrels at all there, but when it came to me, no such luck. I insisted I was Bullock, he thought I was Alma. I countered with Roslin, he saw me with Gaeta. I stood firm on Vorenus, he refused to give ground on Cicero. I dug my heels in with Eric, while he would only go so far as Sam. I began to think I was being unduly recalcitrant, contrarian just for the sake of it (I am Scottish, after all), but soon realized it was simply because I was right. I usually am (don’t heed such nonsense).

What Denton didn’t know (still laughing at that, by the way, and also, wouldn’t that make a great young adult book title circa 1976, you’ll have to imagine the plotline yourselves) is that I am, actually, all of them.  What’s more, while we stood there arguing, I kept thinking, but I really want to be Sol. And Starbuck and Octavian and Jason. And why not clutch my pearls Lafayette or impius elecebra Atia or sexiest toaster in the galaxy Six or goddamn son of a stunkwhore Calamity Jane, because, although you’ve not seen sufficient proof, I can blue streak with the best (take note of that one; that one’s true).

Does this make me schizophrenic? To that, we answer no. Different disorder altogether. I have no issues with our reality, we get along well for the most part and everyone shares their toys nicely. I get through my day with Owl outsides, no one the wiser, and the rest of my many personalities, though decidedly dormant, have the decency to at least warn me before they declare themselves to the world.

So who am i? Pretty much everyone. And I stopped, long ago, trying to coalesce my many pieces into one simple, pretty, pre-defined picture. Turn me whatever way you want; I probably won’t fit where you think I should. A word of advice? I find it helps if I forget what I really wanted in the first place. Then I can be fairly certain I’ll eventually end up with exactly what I need. That’s the ultimate game-changer right there. It’s worked for me so far. And I’m brilliant. That’s certified. Or is that certifiable (pay no attention to the Cara behind the curtain… )

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