Quarantine games is a series I will be doing over the next few weeks focusing on the intersection of board games and the ongoing pandemic. The things I miss, the things I have discovered, games for comfort, solo games, digital games. The hobby is upside down, but if nothing else that can create an interesting perspective on the games that make it great.
It was, ironically, Friday the 13th. I have always had a fondness for Friday the 13th. I remember holding a birthday party on Friday the 13th, and still holding the date in high esteem even if the party was canceled unexpectedly. I own a black cat so if I was the least bit superstitious I would already be in trouble.
My coworker and I had received word earlier that week that we were to begin working from home until further notice the following Monday. Being the sentimental sort, and figuring it was our last hurrah for a while we both went into the office that Friday. It was a strangely quiet day, with any customer facing work at a minimum as customers themselves sorted out their response to the lock-down orders. We went to lunch, Mexican, another last hurrah although we hardly knew it at the time. Towards the end of the day we packed up our things, and it was surreal. Sort of like half packing to leave the office for good. It reminded me of clearing out my dorm at the end of a semester.
Our things packed, and the day at an end we decided to have one last game. A round of cribbage for the road. We migrated over to a nearby conference room, one with a window and some beautiful late afternoon light. We dusted off the cobwebs, talked our way through the first couple of rounds, and we were off to the races. It was an incredibly close game, but there was levity and ease, not tension. Here were two close friends, playing some cards on a Friday afternoon, just beginning to not know what would happen next.
He won by one point. I will remember it for a long time. Not because I saw victory slip out of my grasp, but because it was the last time I saw him in person. Now we are both safe and well, hunkered down in our respective fortresses. We see each other all the time on zoom calls for work. We chat regularly. There are hundreds of ways we could play cribbage virtually every night if we so choose. But that game on Friday the 13th means something different now. It always will. It was one last Cribbage game for the road, and none of us knows just how long that road is, or where it leads.