Unless otherwise attributed, all content, text or image, on this site is © TaunaLen 2005-2011.
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Thursday, July 17, 2008

Forty-Two

Forty-two points in twenty eight pieces of ivory, and I warily eye his face, wondering if he’s already uncovered my off.

His eyes narrow, the creases in his face deepen and he smiles. He studies what’s been played and selects a domino. Turning its face to the table with a resounding ‘thunk’, he arches a bushy eyebrow at me. I am anxious, second-guessing myself, eyeing my remaining hand. I hope it’s not a trey.

It’s hard to imagine a day, long before I was born, when only men were admitted into this squared circle, the clack of wooden rectangles being shuffled on the surface of the card table, the voices of women floating in from the kitchen.

I have heard the story of a young girl, not quite teenager, who stood silently at her grandfather’s shoulder, watching, not making a sound. Eventually, that gruff, wrinkled man granted her entrance, and began to whisper explanations. He challenged her to pay attention, read the pips and anticipate his opponent’s next move.

And my mother learned, and she taught me. Today, fifty years later, I can sit beside that grandfather’s son, and hope that he is not disappointed by my mistakes, that he’s as patient with this four generation square of both males and females as we try to anticipate his next move.

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