It's not an addiction, not really, my compulsion to play Freecell. Just like Facebook -- or Pinterest, or Progress Book, or my online library account -- Freecell is simply a distraction. It's a tool for procrastination.
I lied. It's more. The simple on-screen card game is a path to calming down. If my head throbs during a writing struggle, if I'm miffed at family, if I just absolutely can not send out one more pitch letter, I call up that green screen with its stacks of virtual cards. I move cards left, right and up, in all kinds of configurations, until the few remainders float up to the top. Glory!
I did, anyway. Then I got a new computer that came loaded with Windows 8, a horrifying software program. And, much to my surprise, the laptop did not come with Freecell. After upgrading to 8.1 so I can at least use the darn machine, I searched endlessly, knowing the pastime has to be somewhere reachable by Windowsign/Search. After all, Freecell has been part of a games package with every computer I've purchased in at least the last decade.
Thanks to a google search, I learned that Freecell is gone. Poof! Apparently corporate clients don't like their employees killing time playing the game so Windows took it out.
I understand that reasoning, in theory. But I'm in my own office in my own house, so I should have the option to play. And those cubicle workerbees? Trust me, they're blowing off responsiblity with some sort of taboo procrastination. It's not as if with Freecell missing they can't amuse themselves using their smartphones. Scramble, anyone?
Several Freecell variants are available for download via the Internet. I tried a couple. They stink. Fuzzy cards, oversized screens, tiny letters ... . Humbug. I occasionally get going on my iPad, but that version has two flaws: It flashes all the cards that can be used, and I do not want that assistance. And it doesn't state when I've blown the game and need to give up. It would be nice to know to stop trying or to start the game over. So I use it, but I feel gypped.
In the meantime, I'll fill my anxiety-ridden time writing blogs. Until the itch hits. Then I'll run to the iPad for the subpar Freecell game.