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Monday, October 5, 2015

THE JOY OF PLAY


the shadow line series by tj worthington
 
Went to visit friends Justin and Crystal to see the day's race, and watch Vada play. She played like a kitten the whole time I was there. I told Crystal I have my very own Vada now in the form of a kitten that plays all the time. Vada makes everything into play. She picked up a small package of her daddy's, what looked to me like, earplugs. She said it's candy, let's eat it. I said I don't think daddy wants us eating his earplugs. She said it's all right, and she acted like she picked one up and handed it to me to eat. I acted like I ate it. She asked if it was good. I told her it was and she pretended to eat one. Later, she had some blue play-dough (sp?) and stuffed it into a plastic tea cup. She pressed it to my mouth, the play-dough, and said, "Drink." I pretended to drink. She said, "Was it yuckie?" She then smelled my lips and said "It smells yuckie." I was laughing inside the whole time I was there with Vada playing while the tv was going, giving me a fun distraction from something that gets a bit monotonous after a few hours.


The last 80 laps are the most interesting for me, though the earlier part of the race is important, too, to see how the different drivers are doing, who is having a good day and who is not. I love about the races that they are unpredictable. I hear announcers talk about who is favored to win and what's gonna happen and I think, Shut up. There is no knowing who will win, sometimes right up to the finish line. I've seen a win by a few inches and a win by a quarter of a lap. I've seen a big pile-up at the finish line where a dozen cars crossed the finish line wrecking, sideways, backwards, tires smoking. I've seen the winner run out of gas with a quarter lap to go and have to coast to the finish line to come in second. It is bound to be big betting business in Vegas and underground gambling all over the country and around the world. It's such big money, I think some people are looking for ways to rig a race for betting, though I can't see any way it could be done. Seems like football and basketball would be easy to rig, but a 400 mile and 500 mile race seems a bit more difficult. Where money is happening, a way will be found if it hasn't already.



We watched the last quarters of several football games, saw a few good plays, mostly quarterback sacks. Not an exemplary day for football. Vada played with her mermaid doll and danced around in her fairy dress, not a tutu, but a long nightgown type dress with pictures of animation girls from a kids movie. I asked who they were. She said, They're fairies. I thought, interesting. How many years has it been since I've heard the word fairy? It seems like it just about left the language and some kids movie brought it back. I found a word, reading Orwell's 1984, published in 1946, that has fallen out of the American vocabulary except as a product, tang. Orwell used the word in its original meaning before "the drink of astronauts," Tang, came on in the 1950s. Tang the drink put an end to tang the word. Vada kept me in good humor the whole time I was at the house, playing nonstop, stream-of-consciousness, one idea following another in a flow that went as the wind blows.

 
Though Sophia was back home, I felt the same spirit with Sophia as with Vada today. Both are relentlessly entertaining. Vada kept Sophia in my mind, and now Sophia is keeping Vada in my mind. Seeing Vada today, after a couple weeks living with a kitten, it charmed me to see human baby and cat baby loving play so similarly, stream-of-consciousness play from one thing to the next with no transition between the two but their random sequence. It's what the living do in childhood, play and learn at hyper-speed. I find it curious that our first interaction with the world, growing into it, humans, the four-leggeds, birds, I don't know about fish, but they probably play too, we play. And, like Vada and Sophia, we play nonstop thinking nothing could be more important than the moment's play. We adults continue to play, we just do it in more twisted forms. The games adults play are games like one-upmanship, the one I find most tiresome. We gamble, get drunk, get high, race cars, shoot guns, listen to rock, continuation of play into adulthood. It's good to have Sophia and Vada in my life in a time when I'd about forgotten play. It's fun right now with kitten crawling all over me. 

the shadow line series
by tj worthington
 
 
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