I don't know why I'm thinking about this while walking in the door of my apt this morning. But I was just reconsidering why I don't play.
The thing about chess is that it is many games in one. Everyone is just always in such a rush to play the only whole game they know. But there is no time involved, no reason to rush, other than the fear that no one will be willing to play along or that you'll give yourself so entirely over to playing against a fantasy double in your own mind that you'll become that crazy old man in the park no one but the pigeons talk to.
There is within chess most simply the opening, the middle game, and the end. But then there are so many more games nested there besides. It's just not possible to be good without playing them and so much of becoming practiced to the point of being natural is recognizing quickly what game you might be in.
So, do you play? And, would you consider dusting off a board with me for a game of openings sometime?