I always remembered this place differently.

It was never a question of what it was. As a child you just knew. Walking through those doors you let the lights reach into your soul. Choices - choices were the separation from home. Follow this path to the Skee-ball games, and then later basketball hoops. Make a right here, drop your shoes and climb the sky. Retrace and head to those tables where Mom shelled out too much for greasy pizza. Randomly decide to get up and do it all over again.

Other times there would be cotton candy, or balloons, or the Country Bears. Spending time and tokens to try to get tickets so you could walk out with the biggest commercialized advertisment in the place. Maybe it was a bear, maybe it was a frisbee or a walkman, but it was going to be taken. Taken by you.

*sniff*

Smell this place? Clean and sterile and quiet and serene. The balls are all in the cage. The machines rest, blissfully unaware of us. The prizes restocked, the pizza dough cleaned up, heck even the Country Bears are sleeping. In the morning this silence will be broken, this serenity replaced with screaming voices and greed and anger and the destruction of our youth.

Ha, you know, to think. These walls I once loved. This place I once cherished. It was my safe haven. My Christmas in July. Do you ever feel that way? Do you have that place there? Does your heart even feel it anymore?

No matter. The time has come now. I'm tired of living my life like a damn game. I'm tired of it being balls and toys and tickets and tokens, trying to push the next kid into submission so the next day I will have the walkman at school. There's so much more potential in all of us to step above, to climb the ball pit to the top and just cut the net, spill the balls and weak kids to the floor while the parents watch with big, open eyes and scream and yell but they can't reach no they can't reach they will never reach me no matter how high they jump.

*sigh*

The time has come to live our lives.

Let's play.

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