I don’t play much anymore. I used to with my close high school/college group of friends. It wasn’t that we played games, per se, but rather that with them I felt like the world was my playground. I had a curiosity and easy delight and a child-like perspective of the world when we were together. This is not something that came naturally to me. My childhood was harsh and cold and not the least delightful. So a break from my natural/conditioned realism and pessimism was such a relief. In fact, looking back, I can see that I collected friends that were child-like. Sure they could be flakes, perpetually late, irresponsible and ambition-less (like my mom), but they were fun. And I didn’t have to rely on them for my safety and well being (like my mom). And I didn’t have to see them or spend time with them unless I felt like it. But what a treat. Not the healthiest, but definitely tasty. A sometimes snack.
Nowadays I no longer have a group of friends to hang out with. They have all moved away – as close as San Diego and as far as Israel. I have a handful of very close friends that I make time to see individually. Time spent with them is very meaningful. It can be light-hearted, it can be intense, but it is always fulfilling. When it’s just the two of us, it feels like a secret world has been established. We are safe together, and we can play. It’s like a mini-vacation, peaceful and positive and fun. Refreshed and recharged, I can go back to my life of responsibilities and bring back with me some of the strength and joy.