Friday, February 03, 2006

Switching Gears

Please to enjoy Parts One and Two.

She saw him as soon as he walked in. Small wonder since she'd been eyeing the poker room door for the better part of four days. He moved carelessly to the line at the front desk, not seeming to notice her. She mucked her cards and started in his direction.
"Two-Five No Limit," he said to the brush.
"KJ," he said, as she hovered at his elbow.
"KJ?" she asked. "I thought your name was Tom?"
"It is," he replied, arrogant smirk rising on his lips as he turned to her.
"So what does KJ stand for?"
He arched his eyebrows at her--still that smirk--and spread his hands palms up. She looked over his shoulder at the electronic board, seeing his name on the list. "KJ," she muttered, determined. And after a moment, "Aw, you fucker!"
"King-Jack. At your service."
"Where ya been King Jack?"
"Taking a little break."
"From poker or cheating on your wife?"
"So, you sleep with a girl, a nice girl, an attractive girl, and you disappear? Can't even call?
Callings for suckers. Raise or fold, dear."
"I try," he said, the smile warming, turning wry.
"I raise."
"Good," he said. "What are we drinkin'?"
"Big stakes."
They walked out of the poker room toward the bar. She pulled up a stool and gestured to the bartender as he leaned against the dark wood.
"I'm separated," he said, not looking at her.
"My wife and I, we're separated."
"How long?"
"Four months, give or take."
The tequila arrived and they both quickly slammed down the shots, eschewing the lime and salt. "Again," he said, twirling his finger at the bartender.
"How come?" she asked.
"You with the questions."
"Betting for information."
"Touche." He paused, looking into the distance. The next round arrived. He swiped the glass into his paw without seeming to look and pounded it quickly.
"Thirsty?" she said, amused.
"She cheated on me," he said not hearing her, still eyeing some distant point. "With some random guy. Out of nowhere."
"So you left?"
"Heh," he snorted. "No, I didn't leave. Beer?"
"Yes, thank you."
They both stared elsewhere waiting for the beers, the silence rare and thick.
"She left?"
"Not right away."
"How'd you find out?"
"She told me."
"Confession's good for the soul."
"But I knew already."
"She moped around the house for two months, treating me like a dick. She lost a bunch of weight and started going to the tanning booth. More nights out with the 'girls.'"
"Any kids?"
"One of each. Four and seven."
"Yeah." He took a long pull off his beer and she thought she could see a little mist filming his eyes.
"You get to see 'em?"
"Not enough."
"Never is."
"What I hate is not knowing what I miss. Those little moments, the things they say out of the blue, a certain laugh. It's like those moments don't exist. Not like they did when Daddy came home every night."
"I'm sorry, Tom."
"Threw us away. Destroyed us. All three of us. For what? Fleeting infatuation?"
"I'm really sorry."
"Thanks Gwen," he said.
"I think that's the first time you've used my name," she said, steering him from his sorrow.
"Sounds nice when you say it."
"Glad you think so."
"Maybe I was wrong about you," she mused.
"Always keep 'em guessin'," he said, the smile returning. "Adapt. Switch gears."
"Speaking of which..."
"Yeah, let's go play some cards....Gwen."


At 7:45 AM, Blogger Joaquin "The Rooster" Ochoa said...


He best no fall for this girl...women are the rake, man.

At 8:44 AM, Blogger Pokerwolf said...

Keep going, Speaker.

You're hitting a home run.

At 5:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whoever you are Anonymous, you're giving Anonymous posters a bad name.

Anonymous Bosch

At 7:00 PM, Blogger FatBaldGuy said...

Cool story. I realy like the "noir" feel, and I usually don't go for that.

At 9:59 AM, Blogger peacecorn said...

More please!

At 11:08 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

Ok these small bits feel like a hand job, I need the whole thing before I explode.

Metaphorically speaking of course.

Keep crushing man.

At 3:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Get this book out soon!

You humble and inspire me.


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