This week my thoughts on strategy have been pushed back into the depths of my mind. Decklists of MBC Counter-Rebel and Counter-Burn will remain there, because right now there are more important things to think about: I’m alive.
Some things in life make you think. Sometimes something happens to you that makes you sit down for a minute, try to relax and look at your life and wonder whether it’s what you really want. For some people it’s the diagnosis of a serious disease; for others, the death of a loved one.
Monday night on my way home I was involved in a car accident – a car accident on the motorway at around 70 mph. I saw a swerving car behind me, and the next thing I knew the car was spinning around down the road, bouncing off the central reservation faster than most animals can ever move. Eventually the car came to a stop and my passenger and I were okay. We were both shook up, sure, but we were both alive and well.
After I’d got home around three hours later, I sat down and what had happened really hit me. If a tyre had burst, or the car had spun a different way, I could be dead. The important word there is ‘if’. As many people have pointed out to me, it didn’t – I’m still here. It doesn’t stop you thinking, though.
I wondered about the day I’d had. If that had been my last day on this planet, had I enjoyed it? Was it really worthwhile? What about the last week? Was it a good week? Did I do things that I really enjoyed? In some cases the answers are yes – in others no. I don’t enjoy my job, but that’s okay because it’s my last day tomorrow. I don’t enjoy travelling for three hours a day to get to and from work, but that’s okay because my new job is two minutes from where I live. I enjoy seeing my friends down the pub, I enjoy playing Asheron’s Call and manage to squeeze in at least two hours a day. I enjoy my new flat. I like living with my new flatmate.
What about Magic? What about this game I spend a couple of hours a week writing about, more time playing and most of my time thinking about? Do I still like it? Do I still want to play all the time?
The answer is undeniably YES. I love Magic. I love the people I’ve met through Magic, I love the thrill of the competition, I love the challenge of building decks that can compete in such a cutthroat environment. I don’t like how little time I get to play these days. I don’t like the fact that I see people – people that I know I can beat – winning tourneys because I haven’t put enough testing in for another month in a row. I don’t like watching my ranking going down when I know that I understand Magic better than I ever have. These are all things that can be worked out, given the luxury of a few more days on this planet of ours. I fully intend to work them out because whenever I go, I want to go out at my best. I want to go out and in the very last second I can still think and function as me I want to think”Yeah, I couldn’t have been any better”.
So if it was your last day – would you find time to play a game or two of Magical cards? To be honest, I think I’d spend the time with my friends and family and get drunk – hell, there’d be no hangover would there? If I had two days, maybe a few games would sneak in… maybe.