The Game

Like that time I woke up in a bag of chips. Alone and salty.

At first, and only for a quick second, I had the better half of a mind to savor the uniqueness of my situation, but salt, not unlike sand, has a way of being rudely invasive to the orifices of the human body. As I lay there, naked, awakening to the entirety of my discomfort, a thought flashed through my mind. I needed out. So, I moved from under a chip I had used to cover myself against the coldness of the night, and rose to my feet. Dusting my shoulders, as one does, I looked for a possible escape. I wanted out of this reality. Being in the belly of a potato chip bag was not a fate to be particularly enthusiastic about.

Nothing.The bag seemed immaculate, uncreased even. Nonetheless, I set out to find a weakness in the bag I could work at.

What seemed like hours passed. Doubts weighed on my, by now, fruitless endeavors. How helpless and ashamed I felt. They will probably find me dead and dried out, I thought. Maybe someone will bite on my corpse and think I’m a chip. Surely all this salt will suffices to dry up my cadaver to the desired crispness so as to trick someone into swallowing me. And I will become poop. Like every other one of these, my bagmates, my newfound friends, united by our lonesome, gory future fate. This idea cheered me up a little. Even if I were to escape, who’s to say life is all that better out there? Besides, who’s to say this bag, this vessel, isn’t travelling under water or even into outer space? To escape this bag would undeniably mean finding certain death.

No, there are surely far worse fates than this, I thought. I have here food and shelter. I have here a life to live and memories to travel. On such thoughts, day one ended. Sleep was calling for me, and i, exhausted, was glad to call it a day.

That night the nightmares began.

A night of tormented sleep found me buried deep and worse off than I myself would admit. With sandpaper for eyelids, carpet for a tongue, and a mouth and a throat as parched as the meaning of the word allows and then quite some more. Water was as nonexistent as my faith in finding any. With my body as stiff as a tree and my skin as crisp as a dead leaf, I had begun my transformation. How could I have not seen this coming? I gathered myself, rose to my feet, rubbing my hands together as one does in such circumstances, and looked about. Crumbs. Rats! I was at the bottom of the bag. How did I get all the way down here?

Then, not without a smile for the overall pity of the situation, I started scrambling my way upward. This enterprise turned out to be more of a workout than expected and soon I was reduced to taking a moment of rest every so often in order to play catch with my breath. These breaks grew longer as the day went on, and i, finding nothing else to do with the free time, took up carving probable obituaries on some of the surrounding chips. When these finally bored me, I started writing false suicide letters explaining why I had chosen to die in a bag of chips, and, from there, I moved on to the elaboration of several love letters, one haiku, three songs (never completed), a will; until I finally resolved to write real, heavy, honest letters of farewell. Somewhere near the top of the bag, I fell asleep. Thus, day two ended.

That night the nightmares pursued and furthered their siege.

Day last. I am a chip. Sometime during the night the oxygen level became unbearably low, leaving me light headed and quite rightfully feeling sorry for myself. My eyes would not open and moving my body was a battle I knew I could not win. The end was foreseeable. So in order to kill time, I figured I could play a game I had always liked: who can stick their tongue out for the longest time. Competition wouldn’t be very fierce around these parts; I figured my odds of winning were pretty good, which, I’ll be honest, sounded marvelous to me since I had never won at this game. So I engaged. Then, curiously, nothing happened. I tried again. Still nothing. A chip was pressed against my mouth, preventing me from sticking out my tongue, thus ruining my chances for victory. I felt sad at this thought and tried to cry with no success. What a sorrowful sight. If only this stupid soft flavorless chip would…wait a minute! Maybe this wasn’t a chip! If, rather, this was the side of the bag, I could try and bite my way out into freedom, fresh air and life! If I wasn’t under water or in outer space that is…The risk was worth taking, I was about to die anyway. So, I nibbled away excited. Please be it the bag I’m biting at, I pleaded. Please, please!

Success. After considerable effort, I had managed to pierce a small hole, which allowed for the air to gush in, in, in and in. Salvation! I was at last delivered. And by the simplest of games.

With this newfound freedom I decided to play the game some more. So I stuck my tongue out the hole and won.

The End


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