I once played a game of chess against the collective unconscious—it was me and Jeff Bonhag—but we never finished it. We drove from house to house, asking whoever lived there to make a move with a black piece, just one move. Next we—that’s me and Jeff—would make a move with a white piece, and it was on to the next house. Then the weather turned, heavy thunderheads rolled in, and our car dug into the dirt as we took each winding hill road too quickly. It was clear that, if we kept driving, kept playing, our final move would be against Death itself, the specter who will countenance no loss. Check and mate. We pulled the car up to the rocky bank, threw the board and pieces out the window, and watched them float down the Mascoma River.

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