Teake likes to play games--scrabble, board games, cards, etc.--and he likes to win. A few months ago he and another friend of mine who also loves games and is very competitive were talking about their competitiveness and wondering out loud whether there were any situations where they would allow themselves to lose a game. My friend, Alexis, remembered when he was playing chess with his dying father. His father had never beat him at chess, but this day, a few days before his death, he did beat him. At first Alexis insisted he played as hard as he could--that he would never have let his father win, even if he was dying. Then, as an afterthought, he said, "Well, maybe I did lead a little too softly." Teake countered by talking about how aggressively he played scrabble with his frail and ailing mother, never letting her win a game. Listening to them, I wondered about our need to win, to best someone, even someone we love, even in death.
I've been lately thinking that marriage is a sort of game, albeit a more serious one, and Teake and I a team playing against some shadowy players we can't see, let's call them Tedium and Firecracker Sex.