The third day in Vegas is when you truly find out what you're made of. I always feel a little homesick (AJ-sick) waking up after two full days of hilarity, thinking that I can't take another drink or an another face-injuring laughing fit and that I should just hit the road and get back to my boy.
This time was no different and as I trudged back to the IP sportsbook Sunday afternoon, I was thinking about making a run for it. A nine-hour bender (mostly at the Geisha Bar) the night before had my body in ruinous shape. I was stuck a goodly amount, having not won at anything--including roulette and Roshambo--all weekend. I was filled to the brim with stories and memories and friendship, saturated like a sponge on the ocean floor. What more could I hope to accomplish by sticking around?
And then I walked into the 'book and you were all there and...well...first I got a drink. Second, I got hugs (men and women). Third, I got bets down. Fourth, I laughed my ass off. Fifth, I finally won a goddamn wager.
"We're chasin'!" Daddy and I screamed at the others, ripping up our shattered parlays and heading to the window to lay some money on the underdog Saints.
"This bet is 50% to root against the Cowboys and Rooster and StB," I said.
"50?!?" Daddy replied. "Hell, 90%. I hate the fucking Crack Wagon."
Four hours of fist-pumping, knuckle-bashing and "Romoverrated!" shouting later, I cashed a ticket, brusquely slicing through a small crowd yelling "Winners coming through!" Drew Brees and the Saints were the fulcrum upon which my gambling fortunes turned as we proceeded to head to a 1/2 NL table and crush it thanks to some strong play and a Luckboxian turn card or two. I even took some cash off a Pai Gow table later on.
Which is not necessarily the point, though my wallet was pleased. The point is this group of people can turn even the foulest of moods by their sheer presence, their ability to knock you backwards with the most hysterical quip and the importance of the bonds we've all formed. It's nigh impossible to do it justice in this space. You just have to experience it.
That said, I'll try to run some scenes in the coming days. Dick Bro. Why Asian dealers hate Easycure. Crush. Mash. Raise. Garth breaking his craps cherry. The Backhanded Compliment Game. Testing melons. How much to drink a shot of bong water? The Logger Tournament. GCox and the Weekend of No Sleep. Roquefort. The greatest text message ever. Your momma has three teeth: one is brown, another is cracked and the third one has braces. That last one's a creeper.
Before I go, a couple things. One, sincere thanks to April for doing all the dirty work to set up the tournament (and for lunch and the massage). I'm sure I have barely a tenth of the knowledge of all the shit she went through to ensure our good time. You're the best, my dear. Second, you all have always made me feel welcome, vital even, and I'm not the only one. As if you needed proof, I give you Dacia:
I read the piece on Pauly's blog and realized that my life is forever changed because I ACTUALLY HAVE MET these hooligans! I have been trying to download the events and paint a picture of the weekend with words but I just CAN'T. All I can come up with is: "It was epic, you just have to trust me." It was one of the best weekends ever. It was simply one of the coolest experiences with some of the funniest and most intelligent people I have ever gotten drunk with! It was a little hard to come down from... re-entry into the life of the responsible and being surrounded by not a single person who could appreciate the stories I have!