Mind and Heart love to play with their friend Resistance. Like siblings, Mind and Heart don’t always get along, but when Resistance comes out to play Mind and Heart are buddies.
Mind and Heart team up, but Resistance takes the lead on all their games. As kids there’s not much at stake. They can play until the sun goes down. They play until Mom and Dad tell them to come in for dinner. They play until the teacher tells them recess is over.
Like kids at a candy store Mind and Heart adore their friend. They look up to their friend, but as they grow up they question their friendship with Resistance. However, since they are head over heels for their friend they continue to let him lead.
“What game do you want to play today?” Heart asks, as they step outside.
“Yeah, what’s it going to be today, R?” Mind says, “See what I did there? I gave him a nickname. Simple, I know, but clever right? What do you think of that?”
Resistance smirks, “That’s a good one, Mind. Good going. No one could have thought of that. I thought we’d play King and Peasants today.”
“Oh, but we’ve played that for the last month! Can’t we do something else?” Heart asks
“According to my records, we’ve played King and Peasants for the last 3 months. I think it is time to switch it up.” Mind says
Resistance chuckles, “According to your records…you wanna switch it up do you? Hmm, ok. I was going to play the King, but if you’d like to be the King…go ahead.”
“No.” Heart says, “Mind was saying let’s play a totally different game. One where no one is King and no one is below anyone.”
Resistance raises an eyebrow and purses his lips, “How about we play King and Peasants until I have to go home? Then you can play whatever you want.”
“But…” Mind utters. She begins to get anxious.
Heart watches her friend tense up and tries to do something. She tries to stand up to Resistance, “That’s really unfair. We’ve played the game a lot. You’re always the King and we are always the Peasants. It makes us feel…it makes us feel like we don’t have a voice that matters. It’s not very fun to play with you when Mind and I don’t get to pick any of our games.”
“I’m sorry.” Resistance says, emotionless, “What do you want to do?”
“OH! Mind has a whole list of things. They’re really good. You should hear some.” Heart says
Mind jumps up, no longer feeling anxious, and takes out a long list, “We could cook a really good meal and then eat it! We could do the laundry while we watch TV. We could listen to music and clean our bedroom. We could read an inspirational book. We could play a card game. We could organize our books for school. We could get all our homework done before dinner and then watch the sunset. We could learn how to do yoga, or a new exercise, or look up a new recipe, or write a story, or finish a story, or do some journaling, or go for a walk. Oh, or we could go to a park and journal there, AND take a walk at the park! That’s a good one, right? I have lots of other ideas, but what do you think so far?”
“Those are great, Mind!” Heart says, “Some of those sound like productive activities, but they can still be fun.”
“Haha, right.” Resistance chortles, “Now explain something to me. Those sound like games to you?”
“They’re…good activities. I like the make believe stuff, the kind of games that draw you into fantasy, but we aren’t 10 anymore. I thought it would be nice to get some productive things done while still having fun.”
“Right, we’re not 10, but we’re not 40 either!” Resistance says harshly.
Mind and Heart stand in front of Resistance feeling stunned. Mind is at a loss for words. He has a desire to rebuttal, but feelings of rejection keep him quiet.
Heart speaks up once again, “You’re right, R. We’re not 40, but we can do things that are productive and still have fun. I feel like we should do something other than play pretend, right? I mean we’re 16. It’s time to take ownership…don’t you think?”
“You guys are kidding right?! Ownership? Productivity? Are you on something? Tell me you’re smoking something. You tried beer, or had too much wine or something. Don’t be pulling my leg.” Resistance says
“No,” Heart says, “Why would we do that? We’re 16! We can’t do that and we’d never pull your leg. We love you. We’re not lying to you. We’re just asking for a little maturity and equality.”
“Huh, ok…” Resistance says, “Let’s play King and Peasants, and go watch TV!”
Heart looks at Mind.
Mind looks at Heart, “At least it’s part of my idea.”
Resistance pulls his paper crown out of his pocket. He grabs a stick and puts his crown on his head. He speaks in a British accent, a terrible British accent, “Now my faithful peasants join me in the living room for some television.”
Years roll by. Mind and Heart continue to play with their friend Resistance unaware of the toxic relationship that has been cultivated. Until their friend Body starts asking for attention, and they realize how neglected Body has been. They have been so mesmerized by Resistance that they didn’t realize how they neglected themselves, and other people, and many other things. By the time Mind and Heart were deep in the throws of their college career it began to become clear how Resistance had played them, and led them astray for years.
One Wednesday night Resistance bursts into the library and finds Mind working on the computer.
“Hey, buddy! How’s it going? What you working on?” He pulls over a chair and abruptly sits down close to his pal.
“Uh…I’m working on my homework?” Mind says, as she feels herself tensing
“Uh huh,” Resistance says, getting close, “And how’s that going for you?”
“It’s fine. I’m getting through things slowly. This paper has been hard to write.”
Resistance takes a look at the computer, “Oh yeah, looks like a difficult subject. ‘Get To Know Me’ paper and so far you’ve got an introduction. ‘Hello my name is Mind and I’m taking this class because I needed the credit and…’ Well, nice work buddy. How about we go get some coffee, maybe go watch the soccer game and come back to this later?”
Mind winces, “Well…this is due by midnight and I’ve got some other longer assignments that I need to work on too. I think I should finish this before I take a break.”
“Oh, come on. You’ll be fine. We’ll just go get some coffee, watch the soccer game and come back.” Resistance pats his friend on the back, “Don’t worry. It’ll all work out.”
So Mind saves her work and goes to get coffee with her friend.
Later that night…
“Oh geez! It’s 11:30?” Mind says as she quickly opens her laptop, and races to finish her paper. “The first assignment for this class during my junior year and I’m already cramming to get things done. Darn it!”
A few weeks later Mind and Heart are hanging out in their room. Resistance walks into the room without knocking, “Hey! Let’s go to a bar!”
“I’m pretty tired, R. I think I rather stay here and watch a movie or something. I’ve got an important exam to study for this weekend.” Mind says
“Yeah, I’ve had a long few weeks. I’d like to just chill.” Heart says
“Oh come on, you dorks! Loosen up. Let’s go have some fun! You guys were always talking to me about fun when we were kids. Don’t you want to go out and play?”
“Play at a bar?” Mind questions
“Yeah, play at a bar!” Resistance says with great enthusiasm, “They have games and stuff. Let’s go!”
“But…” Heart murmurs, “But…I don’t…”
“No buts!” Resistance says, “It’s the weekend. Let’s go play!”
Mind and Heart grab their wallets, unaware that they had dropped their self-respect, and went to go party at a bar.
END OF PART 1