"You're a little bit weird, aren't ya?" she said.
"Why do you say that?" he responded, surprised.
"You never talk."
"That makes me weird?" He eyed her over the top of his sunglasses, before turning back to his cards. "Maybe I'm just shy."
"No. Maybe I'm just impossibly arrogant."
They both folded on their action and continued.
"I've seen you here a dozen times. We've sat at the same table at least half of those..."
"Eight. And and you never even acknowledge me."
"Are you gay?"
"Ha. Now why would you say that?"
"You get manicures."
"You never talk to me."
"I never talk to anybody."
"You never look at my boobs."
"Yes I do. Hard to miss 'em most days."
"And I'm not gay."
He pushed out a raise, getting one caller at the other end of the table. She continued to stare at him during the hand, but didn't speak. He fired again on the turn and river, mucking instantly when the final call came.
"Over-played that one," she charged.
"Can't bluff a calling station."
"Not that one anyway."
"You bite your lower lip when you're bluffing."
"You squint your eyes when you want a call."
"You get a little too drunk and bleed off chips late at night."
"You flirt too much with the old dudes and it doesn't always work." And then to the dealer. "Chips?"
"Chips on 12!" the dealer shouted. The chip runner was there instantly with a rack of reds.
"You could use a break after that hand," she said. "Let's go get a drink."
"Okay," he sighed, stacking the chips and handing two to the runner.
"You're steaming," she said as they exited the room.
"Because you played it poorly."
"I think we've established that."
"But you don't tilt when you get bad beat."
"I've got a good read on you."
They pulled up to the bar. Jack and Coke for him. Margarita (rocks, salt) for her.
"So, do you have a good read on me?" she asked.
"What do you mean?"
"I mean, how come you don't put a move on me."
"Like a check-raise?" he said, smiling his first smile.
"You know what I mean."
"Never thought about it."
He chuckled and averted his gaze toward the back of the bar. She was still looking at him. He could see her in the mirror. She was attractive, for sure.
"Okay," he said, turning back to her. "You like attention. That's why you talk so much at the table. You want people to notice you. You know, somewhere in your head, that you're desirable, but you can't quite bring yourself to believe it, probably because of the way that asshole treated you. Poker is your revenge. You get a superior look on your face when you out-play one of those pretty boy punks."
"Hey, it's your game."
"You know what I know about you?"
"You make a good living, but you hate your job. Poker is your escape, from that, from the rest of your life, which you can't believe has gotten this boring. Divorced, maybe. Ignored her too much and now you regret it, but won't do anything about it. You'd rather pretend it didn't happen, that it wasn't your fault, than confront the issue and be proven right. Or wrong."
He nodded his head slightly, but didn't say anything.
"You're running away," she finished.
"Yeah, from girls who talk to much."
"Might wanna request a table change."
He drained the last of his Jack and Coke, savoring the mild burn as it swam down his throat. "Play some cards?" he asked.
"Definitely," she said, sliding her glass across the bar and standing up. "You thumb your cards when you have a big pocket pair."
"You tap your right foot when you're on a draw."