Two jacks beat my miserable hand. The dealer seemed to intuitively know with each successive hand that I was doomed. The real problem is that I was unprepared for the game going in, otherwise I would’ve dressed like an immigrant headed to the new world. The entire closet, layer upon layer of clothing and underwear worn in such a way to assure that no less than a hundred hands would need to be played before it was done. Surely I could’ve won a few with those odds.
Instead I began from a deficit. The first round ended with a sweater thrown to the floor. The second hand was just as terrible, which prompted the question “shirt or jeans?” Of course the dealer went with the jeans, keeping a close eye as I dropped them to the floor. Two in a row, what are the odds that three games would be lost, at least that was the hope, to win one. The third hand was the worst, a pair of two’s against the dealers set of three nines. So the question was asked “Underwear or shirt?” A smile explained very clearly that underwear it would be.
I’m not a terrible poker player, I actually like to think that I could hold my own on most days. Today wasn’t my day, and if anything I was playing like a Junior Leaguer that had heard about card games, but never been tempted to touch them. Pushing back away from the table, I stood, and down they dropped to the floor. Fourth hand, and I could sense that luck was on my side, or at least the odds had to turn in my favor.
But as a precaution, three holiday stockings that were intended to be filled with oranges and treats for the holiday, were instead slide onto each foot. At least now, I could play four more hands before I was laid bare, and the game would come to an end. And that is exactly what happened, four hands were played, with the final game ending again with a pair of jacks, hearts and spades to be exact. There is a certain pleasure to being the loser of such a game. Sure, there you are nude, the other player not. But, it is also true, that the one that is naked has all the power, the one clothed is at a disadvantage.
Choice. It all comes down to this in every moment and breath that is taken in this life. The coffee table, the couch, on the wooden floor next to the christmas tree, or gripping the mantle above the fireplace? And with each choice comes the consequences, of potential sprained ankles, skinned knees and elbows, or an exhausted collapse, gasping for breath, muscles aching and sore. Only then, cards abandoned to the table, clothes strewn about the room, under tables and chairs, can the warmth of a comforter be found, and sleep.
I hope everyone this holiday season has a warm and happy time with friends, family, or ones love. And if it is a case of a quiet evening with ones spouse or lover, let me recommend two things: a deck of playing cards, and very little in the way of clothing. Music is optional.