Thursday, January 12, 2006

Table Change

"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."
"Are you?"
"No. Maybe I'm just impossibly arrogant."
"Are you?"
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."
"Nothing personal."
"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."
"Not usually."
"I've got a good read on you."
"I know."
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.
"I do."
"Just poker?"
"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."
"Fuck you."
"Hey, it's your game."
"You know what I know about you?"
"More revenge?"
"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."
"Good idea."
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."


At 10:36 AM, Blogger Irritable Male Syndrome said...

They're gonna do it.

At 10:54 AM, Blogger BigPirate said...

snap, snap, snap

At 11:03 AM, Blogger skitch said...

Where do I find the book this excerpt is from on Amazon???

At 11:16 AM, Blogger Meek said...

Nice post.

He's bluffing, he is gay.

At 12:23 PM, Blogger DrChako said...

You keep raising the blogging bar.

Here I am trying to cull out a fan base, and you blow us away with a story you probably composed in the shower this morning and banged out in 5 minutes. How can I compete with that?

Well, I bet you don't have a pic of a 7 foot tall Dutch babe on YOUR blog...

Nyah, nyah, friggin' nyah.


At 12:58 PM, Blogger Joaquin "The Rooster" Ochoa said...

He nailed the least in my chapter...and please ask me if you can use my material from my upcoming book...I pass you a chapter and you steal it...typical L.A. Blogger Crew...tell you if they aren't culluding they are plagerizing

At 1:30 PM, Blogger jremotigue said...

Another home run for the Speaker.

I'm guessing it's a couple playing some weird fantasy game. Then they go home, read dirty excerpts from Pauly's blog, lick their collection of casino chips, and bang on a pile of old Card Player magazines.

Put the lotion in the basket!

At 4:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Results oriented crowd over here.

At 5:08 PM, Blogger High Plains Drifter said...

You paint an excellent picture, Joe.

At 5:42 PM, Blogger change100 said...

I love it. I hope there's more-- prelude to a novel perhaps?

At 8:18 AM, Blogger John G. Hartness said...

Great stuff. You not just pretty, you gots skillz, too.

At 9:08 AM, Blogger StudioGlyphic said...

Nice one.

That makes two good posts this week, I think.

At 11:31 AM, Blogger Shelly said...

Good stuff!

At 10:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I normally wait until I've lurked for a while before I comment, but I didn't want to ruin the impression I got from this.

This was wonderfully written. I was hoping that the "..." at the end would be a link to the end of the story.

It sounds like the a great beginning to some poker-themed murder mystery or spy novel or something.

Well done!

At 12:43 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

I hope there's more boobs in this story.


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