I know the end is near then. Opponents on the defensive sit back in their chairs and nibble on finger nails, the gold of a wedding band glinting in the light. The aggressor leans forward, eager for victory, an excited smile making wrinkles in his cheeks. Inevitably, someone wins and someone loses, but every match ends with a handshake and gentlemanly congratulations, chuckles and sincere grins. The warmth of their bond fills the library.
And I wonder. Will the little boys of today, when their hair grays and thins, when the time comes when they talk of grandchildren and retirement, meet in the library to play chess? Will they build this kind of gentle camaraderie? Will they stare intently at the checkered board and plastic pieces of an ancient game? Will they sit in the silence and share the experience with other men like them?
Or am I witnessing a special generation of men?
I think yes, but I hope they will not be the last.