I'm going to be perfectly honest, I'm in pain.
I've never had an addiction problem but what I'm going through feels a lot like withdrawal. All the symptoms are there. I'm aching. I feel a longing. A void that can't be filled. I'm sure the tremors will be rolling in soon.
You see, way back in April, I found myself entangled with an online chess opponent -- a German fellow. It should be noted that I've played Germans, Iraqis, and Syrians, online in randomly selected games. All without incident. Though I will admit beating these gents gave me added pleasure.
But this Bavarian was different.
In a clear breach of online netiquette, he started talking trash. At the same time he was questioning my skills, he was propping up his own in a manner that demanded a reply. And so I obliged.
What followed was a 51 day match that went way beyond the chessboard. The game ended when, left with no option, I was forced to resign. But now I am missing my German compatriot.
Those of you privy to my Facebook newsfeed watched the whole thing unfold. But, because today is a slow news day, I thought I'd recap the juicy affair through the magic of screen grabs.
Here's how it started.
It escalated quite quickly.
And then the German and Yiddish cursing began.
At which point I decided I would stretch the game to its maximum limits and use every bit of time allotted to me. Mostly because I sensed it made him mad. Very, very mad.
And thought it was working.
For a few days he had gone silent and not responded.
Turns out, he was not the Bonsai type. Nor did he respond to one of my earlier submissions, a link of motivational posters. But I was not about to give up.
If he knew how his long bouts of silence were killing me, he would have remained silent and won the games being played on the board and on the screen.
But, true to Teutonic tradition, he lashed out. And I got to play some more.
It was at this point, after 50 some odd days, the game would end.
And as you can see, there will be no rematch.
Hence, the pain. The excrucriating pain.
Your silent prayers are welcome.