“Do you know what the story is with Hsu?”
“You mean the Chinese guy?”
“Yeah… He doesn’t seem like he belongs here. All he does is twiddle with the checkers set.”
“Oh, he belongs here. A couple months ago, one of the new guards tried to get friendly with him. Tried to play him a game – Hsu went nuts; poor guy can’t count past 6 now.”
Shortly after noon, Jon stops by Hsu and his checkers set.
Hsu looks up at Jon with a sad expression. Jon is new to the wing, but he knows Hsu doesn’t speak English, so he makes a friendly gesture – Palms out, he points at the board.
Hsu is playing alone, both black and red. But the board is odd, the checkers aren’t on the squares, they’re on intersections. The pieces are laid out haphazardly; clustered in a corner, and sparsely distributed over the rest of the board.
After a moment Jon cocks his head with confusion, and then recognition. Cautiously, he picks up a black piece, and places it on the board. Hsu looks up at Jon, now with excited eyes. Jon can play Go.