I thought up a game where the players all die but you did too so what’s the point. But then there’s this other game called the Game You Are Playing Whether You Say So or Not where we raise our arms and shout, “We win! We win! We win!” Everybody shouting wins, but the biggest winner is the one most convinced that we win. Easy to pick up, and yet, each time the game is played there are over 6.7 billion losers, many of whom don’t even know to feel bad for it. Which if that doesn’t piss you off now, it will. After a real close game, we tailgate awhile and head into town in the truck bed, flashing honkers, then park in the street and fuck shit up. It’s not a perfect system but it carries a message. Truthfully? We wouldn’t let the locals play if they wanted. Any of them tried to raise an arm–buddy, they’d lose it.

Gabe Durham lives with his wife in Northampton, MA. He MFAs and teaches at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. He interns at Dzanc Books. He curates the Gather Round Children Variety show, a series of lively evenings of art and entertainment. He gives away free words and music at You can read more of them at Everyday Genius, notnostrums, A cappella Zoo, Dogzplot, and matchbook.