the game

I got invited out with some people I didn’t know very well and so was kind of tagging along. we entered a big building, and I had no idea whether it was a club or a party or a show. we sat waiting in an anteroom with some strangers, and I thought maybe restaurant– but then it started. it was a big interactive game that ranged throughout the rooms– we were given scenarios and then had to act, quickly, in response to them– everyone else seemed much more adept at this than I was. at one point during a dress-up bit, I tried to cut loose, see if I could really get into it, was twirling a belt around over my head and hoo-ing in character– but then the buckle hit something and clanged, and I stopped and felt, in retrospect, that it had been in poor taste and not particularly ingenious. I just wasn’t getting the game, and it was incredibly embarrassing and frustrating.

and then when it ended we all filed through and received little assessment cards, and as I stood in line my competitive side kicked in– and then I got my card– I could hardly look at it– but I thought it had a D written on it– and I’d seen others get As. I was having trouble reading the handwriting– there was a little note which might have illuminated it, but I couldn’t make it out. with the near-certainty that I’d utterly failed, now documented, I felt like a complete and utter waste– I was crushed– I had liked the game, wanted to play it, and simply was frustrated by my own clumsy slowness.

there were a bunch of electronic consoles scattered around– at several points during the game there had been two or three challenges going on at once– people would be selected out and go off for whatever bit and return to the group and pick up wherever we were at the time– one of the things going on seamed to be taking place on these monitors. so after everyone left, I tried my hand at it– and was utterly flummoxed– the operating environment was like nothing I’d seen before, full of many navigational choices, complex and graphical and clean and bright– and I thought, here is the future, and I can’t keep up.

then there were my glasses– for some reason I discovered that I was unable to look, to see through both eyes at once– the left eye would just stay closed and then if I forced it open, the right eye would close– I thought the problem must be the glasses, the prescription, and in the process of fiddling with them, snapped them in half.

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