Comic Books to Codebooks


Did you ever notice that when
you are looking all over the place
for something, you find something
else you weren’t looking for?

I found a brand new deck of cards
in the bathroom closet. What for?
Spider solitaire on my phone is one
thing, but playing cards?

As I made a poor attempt to shuffle,
I realized that I’m just as bad at cards
now as I was in the nineteen seventies.
My brain doesn’t think cards. Period.

War and Go Fish came to mind. If you
had kids in the previous century you
know what I’m talking about here.
Does anyone play cards anymore?

My parent’s generation played cards
or mahjong every week it seems.
Things change. But do we change?
I’ve never been a card player.

A few games of Gin Rummy a few
times a decade was my limit.
No interest in casinos or gambling.
Life is gamble enough for me.

I remembered an earlier, different
time. Whenever we deployed on
an exercise, Sergeant K would
pull out his favorite board game

in the dead of night somewhere
in the woods in Germany to pass
the time in our operations van
waiting for inspectors to show.

I guess I could have said that
without using “in” a million times;
but, I’m not going to change it.
Some things you don’t change.

Can you imagine? Sitting there
responsible for tactical nuclear
release and playing “Risk: The
Game of Global Domination.”

1970s. No smartphones, no PCs.
Books, games, and cards were
about it when you were deployed.
Looking back, I’m not convinced

that technology has done anything
to improve who we are and how
we act human to human. It seems
to me that life then and now could

go from comic books to codebooks
in a heartbeat. Maybe not so bad.
Certainly not as bad as watching
“Dallas” reruns in German.

 

 

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