Monopoly

The dog just passed jail, and a thimble isn’t too far behind her.  But the dog isn’t doing much, just saving her hard-earned starter cash and running around through different parts of town, varying her pace in accordance with fortuna’s wisdom.  Eight paces.  Three. Four — and she’s found a broken ATM that gave out $100.  No way she’s returning that.
Currently the thimble is in the gentrifying violet neighborhood, which is a hell of a lot cleaner than that disgusting duplex of a neighborhood bordered by Baltic and Mediterranean.  Streets, not the seas, however.  That would actually be pretty cute… probably.  European, even… maybe.

But you know what’s great?  That little thimble owns Boardwalk and Park Place, so that’s pretty much great. She even built a classy hotel there, but it’s not your average hotel. There’s no room service, but that has a lot to do with the fact that there are no rooms. You can pay — in fact, you must pay — but the rent is pretty awful, and as far as I can tell as an outside observer of this unending four-cornered torture, this is “rent”: ORIGIN mid 16th cent.: from obsolete rent ‘pull to pieces, lacerate,’ variant of rend… and not to be confused with “rent”: noun a tenant’s regular payment to a landlord for the use of property or land.

And I watched these two today, the dog and the thimble, run around and hand paper money back and forth, but mostly forth since the thimble was totally killing it at this game that involves no thought and even less when your opponent is reticent to buy any property, which is basically the only way you can play Monopoly wrong besides perhaps exhibiting benevolence.

And such odd clemency was what the thimble offered when the dog, €124 to her name, rolled a six and landed on Boardwalk, “rent” €2000 with hotel.  ”I can’t pay” “Yeah, I know.” “I guess the game’s over?” “No, it’s okay, let’s just keep playing.” “Should I write it down that I owe it to you?” “No, it’s okay, we’ll just keep playing.” “Okay.”

But why, I wondered?  How was this game going to end?  What was the thimble waiting for?  Was it such a great feeling to own all four railroads and have €3847 that it was in fact preferable to sustain the game interminably and thus be the ‘winner’ longer than if the game ended, at which moment one is the ‘winner’ but such a moment is transient… “You win” “Okay.” “Can we play scooters now?”

Was this some extremely sophisticated aesthetic revelation that the thimble had happened upon, that it is only by delaying gratification that one approaches infinite, temporal, infinite (it’s both and neither) happiness? Or, or, or was it just egoism, or some sort of bizarre master-slave dialectic, whereby the thimble fed on the dog’s utter poverty for feelings of supremacy, in fact depended on the dog’s lack as a counterpoint to and thus a description of her own wealth, or just a fear of the end?