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  • Emma Dalenberg

11.9.21 - Chess Club Origin Story

365 days of free writing for 30 minutes, Day 3


Sometimes I feel like I really haven't changed that much since elementary school. Sure life has became more weird and complicated, the highs are higher and the lows are lower, I don't drink milk anymore, but when I'm faced with a situation that freaks me out, I pretty much handle it the same.


In 1st grade, I decided to put myself out there, so I joined chess club. I don't remember the first week. My guess is it went just fine. A little check mate here, a little check mate there, the usual as far as chess goes.


The second week, I showed up ready to go. Again, a little check mate here, a little check mate there, chess as going to plan. Twenty minutes before chess club was finished, we stopped playing and welcomed a guest speaker—the winner of last year's annual elementary school chess tournament, now a elementary school graduate, attending the middle school. I don't remember his name, but we'll call him Erik because a 5th grader who is good at chess is always named Erik. Definitely Erik with a K.


Erik began presenting his strategy to take down 4th grade chess beginners, and I noticed I had to pee, but I couldn't leave. I wanted to hear how to win the chess tournament. I could hold my pee. I held my pee all the time. What's 20 minutes?


I think you may know where this is going.


17 minutes in, I was crossing my legs, rocking back and forth, praying to a god I already knew didn't exist, that I wouldn't pee my pants. I know what you're thinking. Why not just get up and pee?


I don't know why I didn't just go to the bathroom.


This is one example of a thing I did in elementary school that I still am doing right now. Not holding my pee, but putting up with something uncomfortable to gain a reward that definitely isn't worth it.


Erik's tactical chess information was definitely not worth the pain of my pee expanding my bladder, but I kept on holding on so I wouldn't look like the vulnerable opponent that didn't catch Erik's finer details.


I made it the last 3 minutes, but as everyone started to get up to catch the second wave of buses, I pissed my pants.


...well, that was 29 minutes of writing. I think I'll continue this one tomorrow.






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