far too much writing, far too many photos

[continued from previous entry]

Another low-stakes game — nickels, dimes, quarters. And again, no real alcohol intake, no cigars. Plenty of chow, though, and far too much conversation, with music constantly cranking away on the household sound-system, all kinds of music. Food, music, banter. And poker.

A tighter group than the previous one, at least from my perspective. And a weirder, more complex group — drawn from a sprawling social network of several years’ duration, one that spent huge amounts of time together in one configuration or another, built on connections rooted in the 12-step universe. Which may account for some of the complexity. And some of the weirdness.

That game held together for a while — two or three years, maybe more. A couple of its members found mates and got hitched during that time. Which, in combination with me buying a house here in northern Vermont and spending increasing time in this part of the world, brought about the game’s gradual unravelling.

But for a while the monthly get-togethers continued, with attendance a bit more haphazard, the number of participants slowly dwindling. Near the end of my first year here, not long before I began shifting my existence to Madrid, we threw together a field trip, a cardplaying weekend up here, out in the middle of green hills, dirt roads and not much else. Five of us signed on, though one, W. — one of the weirder quirkier individuals in the bunch — oozed a vague ambivalence it. Never coming out and expressing actual doubts, but giving off a faint, slippery vibe of… something… that was hard to put a finger on. And when the day arrived, four of us showed up here to find a message from W. on my answering machine. Left while everyone else was en route — perhaps purposely so, to avoid having to tell any of us directly — saying he wouldn’t be coming. No emergency had come up, nothing urgent kept him in the Boston area — he just wasn’t coming. The last communication I ever received from him, a weaseling out that seemed to signal the game’s slow demise.

Ah, well. Everything has its life-cycle.

I’ve been part of other games, and when I say ‘part of,’ I’m overstating my involvement in them. None was the kind of regular event these two were. And none of the others ever really took. Either they were one-offs or once-in-a-blue-moon affairs. Or something simply never clicked — no group’s ever been so overjoyed at having me around that they made sure to have me back as a regular attendee. Or called to invite me to holiday festivities or dinner dates or wild evenings of sexual hijinks. And the truth is I haven’t felt a whole lot of enthusiasm for poker these last few years, the time when, coincidentally, the game has become vogue, stylish, hyper-fashionable. I find myself mostly playing uninspired poker, picking up one or two sizeable pots, then watching my winnings slowly bleed away, coming out a couple of bucks down or a dollar or two ahead. And not really caring either way. Feeling a kind of listless shoulder-shrug about it all.

Could be it’s not really my kind of entertainment. Or it could be I need to stumble across the right game, the right bunch of people.

Or something. As with everything, time will tell.


This evening: passing showers produce a twilight rainbow

EspaƱa, te echo de menos.

3 Responses to “poker, part III”

  1. Mouse

    sexual hijinks?
    blooming heck!!!
    I dated a guy who lived in Somerville when my company had an office in Harvard Square… loved it there, fabulous people, lively atmosphere, good vibes…
    It’s a small world, n’est-ce pas?

  2. rws

    I loved Cambridge, too, and considered it home for a long time.

    Blooming heck? That must be code for bloody hell.

    Mouse, would you send me your email addy via the email addy you’ll find on this page? (’about rws/contact’)

  3. Jay

    You must be playing the wrong kind of poker.

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