Tired Moves

[Part two of the story I began yesterday]

“You must be tired.” As if to prove his statement, Murph lifts the bishop from the board with his thumb and middle finger, reaches forward and picks up my rook with his pinky and palm, then laying his bishop in its place. “You get sloppy when you’re tired.”

Murph lays the captured rook to the side. He’s right, as usual, I was up at 3:20 and after smoking two packs I gave up on getting any more sleep. I considered cancelling our weekly match this Tuesday, but I knew playing would relax me. Even if I played like crap, which is exactly what I’m doing at the moment. Every time I lose a knight, I get aggressive with the other, like it needs to avenge its partner, and when I overfocus on offense I forget to check the board. Murph’ bishop was threatening that knight, but it was protected by a pawn; moving the knight exposed the rook, which had no protection.

I sigh, move the knight. “Check.” Might as well stay committed to my attack. I look up at Murph, his face contorted with a mock smile, the disappointment evident in his eyes.

“If you want to end this game and take a nap, it’s fine by me.”

I feel a yawn developing like a fast-approaching storm, and I can’t stop it. Covering my mouth, and shaking my head, I tell him I probably should get back to work anyway. I’d been a zombie all morning, there was a report due at 4 and I was behind schedule.

“Everything OK with Darci?” Murph’s question catches me entirely off guard,but I recover quickly.

“She’s downstate, visiting her folks.”

“Helping get the house set up so her father can get around safely?”

I shrug. “Yeah, I guess. Told her they need to call the Visiting Nurses Association or someplace like that. Not sure why she won’t listen.”

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