“Why don’t you write something positive? “, she asked.
I looked at her.
“What do you mean?”
“Well, people will really think that you’ve some sort of a gambling problem if you keep writing like this”
“You sure I don’t?”
“Well. No… But maybe you could write something about what poker has given you in the next one?”
Gambler’s diary vol XIV: The next one
It’s always been easier for me to write about life when things aren’t going as planned – and given that my plans usually are outrageous or just plain megalomaniac – it isn’t really that tough of a job. If your plan is either to conquer the world or to save it, failing is a rather predictable outcome. And that’s what I believe life in its essence truly is: figuring out a goal just hard enough to keep you busy and find meaning in a place where there probably isn’t one. Many people whom I’ve talked with have found my way of thinking dark, some funny, some even both, but I don’t see it that way. For me the fact that individually everyone is meaningless just means that no matter how hard you fuck things up, in the end – it doesn’t matter. It’s called positive nihilism. No one will judge you in a thousand years unless you manage to create something like Jesus, or maybe Hitler– and pretty much no one is neither Jesus nor Hitler. Everyone’s small and even the big ones will be eventually forgotten.
Now you might be wondering: hey Jude, this is a poker-blog what are you talking about? And to that I would say: Fuck off. Firstly: it’s my blog – not just a poker blog, and secondly: if I wish to go #deep I shall do so – just ask your mom (had to).
But the real reason is that my GF’s question “What has poker given to you” isn’t that easy to answer. The obvious choice would’ve been everything, because it has. Not that it has always been easy – because it hasn’t – but it has molded and changed me more than anything else and given me opportunities that many only dream of. But everything is a shitty answer. Everything isn’t an answer that I would accept, so it isn’t an answer I’m willing to give. After a long think I redefined my answer to “meaningful moments”.
So now you see why the #deep part had to be put in. Because for me life is about collecting as many of these little moments where I feel something unusual. These brief moments of time that now live inside my head as a memory, that I can explore and live again if the present seems boring or plain.
One of these moments:
Miami, heavily sedated and trying to get into Eleven (nightclub that I wrote about earlier)
“He can’t get in; he’s wearing shorts and we have a policy”, the doorman told us.
I, Mr.R and Pampo walked from the night club entrance to the side of the road and had a little brainstorming:
“So, we need pants” I said.
“You’re absolutely right. But how are we going to manage that – it’s not like anything is open at this hour”, Mr.R said and pointed at his watch. The clock was around 1am.
“We improvise”, I replied.
“Mmmh, shhhould I go home?” Pampo slurred.
“Of course not.”
I saw a man coming to our way. He looked approximately Pampo’s size.
“Yes?” the stranger looked at me wonderingly.
“I require your pants dear Sir”
Where did this British accent come from?
“Yes, my dear sir, let me buy your pants off from you”
“Yes, how much you want for them?”
“Dude, this is weird”
“No, no. Let me explain sir”
As I explained our situation to the Stranger, a streetwalker appeared from somewhere next to the poor and now defenseless Pampo.
“You want to have some fun sweetie?”
I signed to Mr. R to take care of the situation as I finished explaining why we need some pants as soon as possible to the Stranger.
“So, can we buy your pants?” I finished the story.
“Well, can’t say that I’ve ever done this man… but sure you can have them for 150 dollars”, the Stranger said.
I took 150 dollars out of my wallet, and was just about to give them to the Stranger when I hear a whisper from my right:
“Hey man, you looking to buy some drugs?”, a very shady figure had appeared out of nowhere next to me.
“But of course! Just wait a moment.”
I put the drug dealer on hold as I hand the money to the Stranger. He hands the pants to Pampo who’s still harassed by the streetwalker. I give a glance to Mr.R saying: you were supposed to take care of that. He gives me a look back that says: what can I do? and shrugs. The streetwalker starts to put the pants on Pampo. I turn my head: the Stranger is standing in front of me, embarrassed. He’s wearing tightie-whities.
“You did a good thing” I assure the now pantless man.
“You guys have a good night!” he responds and starts skipping to a taxi.
And this is the moment that I often come back to. It’s not a moment of a big win or a huge loss. It’s a moment where a stranger is skipping in his tightie-whities across the road, a streetwalker puts pants on Pampo, one leg at a time, while a drug dealer is yelling for us to come to the “quiet parking lot”. A moment of pure madness fueled by tequilas and cigars which emanated from us and rippled through the streets of Miami.
So, what has poker given me?
I guess… The ability to buy pants off people?
P.S. We never got into the Eleven that night.