when i was in memphis, garebear and debo were working on a puzzle from which they knew four pieces were missing.
the circumstances of their having gone missing were uncertain, though debo whispered to me that she may have accidentally vacuumed them up.
so there was this incomplete puzzle on the table, with four missing spots of blue sky.
and yet my parents persevered. for they were going to finish the damn thing regardless because they'd paid good money for it and you don't just give up because you may have accidentally vacuumed up some spots of sky.
but oh how it vexed them. you could see it in their eyes. they love puzzles, but their enthusiasm for this one was dimmed. it was a chore, a test they had to complete because they'd embarked upon it but one which their hearts were no longer in because, once completed, they knew it would remain incomplete. parts of the picture, they knew, had been lost.
and yet they are this competitive with themselves, that they could not let it go. this is quintessentially my family. we only play games we know we can win. but stuck with a losing hand, stubbornly we plod on to the bitter end.
they finished it a few days ago. garebear called me up to tell me of their triumph. bearoline, WE BEAT IT, he said, before declaring, and then we threw that stupid piece of crap into the trash!