Poker Faced! (Revised)

A short story by Joseph Eulo

I flew to Las Vegas solo; no luggage, no carry on, just the cash in my pocket and the shirt on my back. I sat in the window seat, isle 10; it took me ten minutes to convince the little old lady that she was in my seat. She looked at me like I was a crazy I didn’t blame her because I haven’t shaved or showered in a week. Finally the stewardess came over and confirmed my story and told the old bag to move, she did so reluctantly cursing me under her breath. Damn me!

I sold everything I had to bet it all in a poker game, my chances of winning was better than playing black jack. My last ditch effort to redeem myself to my friends, my family, and the two big Italian guys that wanted to break my legs. I owed them too much money and this was my only way to pay them off and reclaim any scrap of self respect that I had left. Why did I bet it all on the ponies? Damn me!

I prayed to the poker gods that they would grant me good cards and enough luck and wisdom to play them. I had been practicing my poker face the moment sin city invaded my thoughts, but is hard to keep a smile from your face when you have good cards and a scowl when you don’t, it’s difficult, and I am emotional. Damn me!

As I looked out the window over the wing of the plane I could see the lights of the strip, the MGM grand, the Luxor… this wasn’t the first time I’ve been to Vegas and I hopefully not my last. I don’t know if it was the stale peanuts or the thoughts of the punishment that will be inflicted upon on me if I lose, that gave me so much heartburn, so I starting popping Tums in my mouth like they were tick tacks.

The butterflies flip flopping in my stomach made me vomit as we landed. Bits of peanuts and strawberry Tums stained the dress of the little old lady that sat next to me “Sorry ma’am” I said as I attempted to wipe off the vomit from her dress, “get your hands off of me, you fuckin asshole!” she yelled. Great, I have been in Vegas for five minutes and I am already making friends! Damn me!


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