After the Playground
I wanted someone to play with, but I wanted to create the rules.
But as a child, I was often confused about what to do with toys, what playing with them would entail. I was disinterested in the cause-and-effect implicit in the baby doll someone gave me which, when you poured water in its mouth, would yellow the plastic diaper with fake pee. Instead I favored sand and gravel and park structures where recreation did, in fact, correspond with recreating your orientation within space. Tag is not what I’m talking about. I preferred playground play to playground games. Games have rules, constraints, winners, losers. They are often accompanied by some disciplinary gaze, either within or without, demanding a particular orientation or conduct toward other players.
Teoria WidzeniaTheory of Vision
What is Sport?A Lover’s Discourseevaluate
Tracy O'Neill is the author of The Hopeful (2015) and Quotients (2020). She was a 2015 National Book Foundation 5 Under 35 honoree and a 2012 Center for Fiction Fellow. Her writing has appeared in Granta, Rolling Stone, The Atlantic, the New Yorker, LitHub, BOMB, Narrative, Guernica, Bookforum, Vice, VQR, Austin Chronicle, and Catapult. She attended the MFA program at the City College of New York and the PhD program in communications at Columbia University.
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Imagination could only take me so far. I was ready to dance—and this time my mom couldn’t say no.