BECAUSE I BOUGHT a Nook Color a month ago, it was lying on the bed.
Because it was lying on the bed, a child picked it up and pushed some buttons.
Because he pushed some buttons, he saw a single-player chess app.
Because they didn’t get bored taking turns with the single-player chess app, I bought them a chess set and a chess book.
Because they requested it, they now get a section from the chess book and a game every night at bedtime, instead of a story.
WE RIDE BIKES.
Because we ride bikes, we get up to Isham for the Inwood greenmarket most Saturdays. It’s .6 miles. We wouldn’t walk it, and the subway or bus would cost $9.
Because the boys have a new travel chess set I got them so they could play on the bus after swim class, they brought it today and set it up where kids run around.
They explained the game to a new opponent and attracted an audience of kibitzers.
BECAUSE THEY’RE SO fixated on chess, and because we ride bikes to the Inwood greenmarket, and because bikes engage you with your surroundings instead of isolating you from them, they zeroed in on two men playing chess while we were riding past on Seaman.
CHESS! CHESS! CHESS! CAN WE PLAY!?
“You can’t play,” I said, “but you can watch.”
“They can play!” offered the man I’d recognized.
So we braked and walked our bikes over.
The men welcomed them, talked to them, challenged them, and taught them the game of Pawns.
They, in turn, cracked one of the men up when I said, “Hey guys, tell him our name for en passant,” and the boys yelled in unison, WHACK ’IM WHILE HE’S RUNNING!
(“I’m running, I’m running—WHACK!” the man riffed, chuckling.)
After two games of Pawns, the boys played chess, with much better kibitzing than they’d had at the greenmarket, and I learned that Sundays, they set up multiple tables for whoever wants to play and actively help kids with the game. I also learned the man I was talking to had ditched his cigarette as the boys came up. They don’t want to teach that. Just chess.
Because it was all so cool, I forgot to take pictures.
Then because the whiny hungry crabbies had arrived, we said thank-you and rode home.
We ride bikes.
I got a Nook Color.
Therefore life has gone in a completely unforeseeable way.
Children’s chess, Sundays 10am–3pm, Seaman and 207. All are welcome.