prize

I have been spending all my quarters on the claw game that is us. I'm not getting any better, but I'm definitely going broker.

At first I thought it was about precision. That if I puzzled out the distance and depth - if I reached just far enough - I would get you in my grasp. It didn't work. 

Down you tumbled back among the others, sinking in the softness, winking one perfect, plastic blue eye at me. I was teased, I was titillated. I tried again. 

I thought maybe my perspective was off. That from where I stood unmoving, you were too two-dimensional. And god knows you are anything but. So I went this way and that, lifting and dropping my head, tracking you like an animal that hasn't yet decided whether it wants to be caught.

But all my dancing around made me run out of time, and the joystick went joyless in my hand.

I cashed in a five, then a twenty, then my heart's savings, and I played until the arcade attendants (who look suspiciously similar to my friends) gently pulled me away.

"We open at 11," they said, leading me to the exit. "But maybe consider a hike instead?"

I am determined to beat this game. The prize is wildly out of reach, but I am wild about the prize. Though if you could just lean towards me the tiniest bit, we'll have a much better chance of winning.