I seek refuge in wordles, scrabble, spelling bee and in whichever online word games I can find in order to get myself high on dopamine. The kudos so generously hurled upon me by inanimate emojis on the screen keep the mind abuzz and ticking, ready to challenge itself with even greater gusto. How easy it has become to escape one’s own emptiness. The desire to spill paint or words on scraps of paper has all been consumed by this unmomentous pursuit for a superior score; the deflated ego momentarily ballooning up. 

This write-up is a confession of my addiction to online word games. They are the reason I have not penned anything in a while. Every little bite of my free time gets shamelessly swallowed up by this new indulgence. May be it is a sign of ‘getting on’ and sinking into general decadence. At least it saves me from myself and my dogged need to think, feel, be, understand, watch the shadows shuffling under the chairs. I am spared my own intensity, my need to explore, go wayward. I am a happier person now, going through the day riddled in dopamine. 

Seema Muniz

Yet the compulsive mind can’t help itself as it gallivants away gleaning thoughts, devouring news, acting, reacting, forming and formulating ideas for my next post. There comes a point when exhausted, it too withdraws, disillusioned by the futility of such meanderings, going in circles, posing questions when answers actually lie in repose. With renewed enthusiasm, as though justified at some level, it throws itself in the chaotic conundrum of internet games. 

Eyes glued to the screen, my lips stretch into a smile more frequently than they used to. Yet, emotions continue to be churned out by the wind toppling so abundantly on eager trees…and by unreciprocated call of the crow pheasant, gliding gently into the afternoon sprawl of the chiaroscuro ground. 

A cool quietness pervades and I want to abandon myself to this tranquil hour…but the little voice pleads, “just one more game…how about an eight letter wordle?” The very thought excites indolence, finds excuses for creative inertia.

“Mom, please don’t do this to yourself,” there is concern in his voice, when he sees me smiling triumphantly into the screen.

Invisible tears flood my being. Here I am, bidding farewell to the Muse as it slinks off behind the curtain. 

Maybe, just maybe, it’s getting ready for the next act. 

Seema Muniz, a feature writer with the Times of India group in the nineties, is an avid reader and educationist, who homeschooled her son until tenth grade, while drifting between New York and Alaska with her family. She is also an artist, with a few solo and group shows in Albany, NY, to her credit. 

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