It’s a piece I’ve written in the past, with present, minor improvements
Reggie saw him as he would a wild horse. He knew if he just walked up to him abruptly he’d have been trampled on by the wild one’s rage. So, slow and deliberate, he approached him from the side, making sure to catch his attention. He knew he was successful when the aggressor whipped his head to him. At that point he put his hands up, and spoke.
“What’s ailing you son.” He wasn’t trampled by fists, but he was barraged by words. He vented to the old man every injustice and misfortune he believed he suffered. His ungrateful friends, his overbearing mother, his asshole of a boss and his bitch of a girlfriend, were described in hate-filled detail. Reggie listened calmly and patiently. After Tom finished his rant, Reggie said these words:
“Sounds like you need some sublimation.” The young man looked at him as if been given a glob of goo in a bucket.
“What the fuck is that?”
“Follow me.” Again, another person to tell him what to do he thinks to himself. But, then he felt this was different. He didn’t command, he didn’t demand, he didn’t offend, or even pretend. He just suggested. So he followed.
“Take a seat.” There in front of him were 64 squares alternating in black and white, and atop those squares, cut rosewood figures that he’s seen in passing but never thought would ever pick up.
“This is a pawn. It can only move forward, unless there’s a piece in it’s diagonal path. Then it can take it, like so,” the old man says, showing him.”
Part of Thomas Evans wanted to blow up on the old man. He just had a major breakdown and this was his solution? Chess?!! And offer for a new job would have been nice. A free trip to Hawaii would have been better. Hell a blow job from the hot waitress in Bennigans would have patched things up. In Thomas Evans’ mind, this game was the most absurd, yet simultaneously the most sensible thing for him to do. He listened to how each piece moved. He learned how to play the game. And now every Thursday after work, regardless of how terrible Tommy’s work, relationships and life was, he played a game or two with the park resident.