Snoozy, Droopy, or Sleepy-Eyed Joe, whatever I’ve chosen to call this older guy at the pub tourney, well, he through me a curve tonight.
First off, let me tell you that I made the final table and had the river not nailed me twice in all-in situs, I’d be waggin’ the ol’ peeny for sure, for I’d have surely taken the thing down two weeks in a row.
Second, I have to vent a bit on the young guns. Not all of them, mind you, for here are a few outstanding lads among the Tuesday night crowd, young men who you just know will or do make good fathers, are hard-working, thoughtful and considerate guys who can’t play poker for shit. No, I’m speaking of the degenerates.
— A bit for the ol’ man, but he ain’t got much goin’ right now. You?
One has to listen closely to decipher this much as their words seem preternaturally slurred, which leads me to only one conclusion: a level of THC in their bloodstreams that has had a permanent effect on their affect. It gives me pause as I reflect on my younger days and fear a latent embarrassment wondering if I approached such sloth of tongue back then.
Their play reflects a certain understanding of the game, most likely garnered from micros online, covered with nonchalance aped from television; or perhaps it’s the dope. A little misdirectional banter opens them up. Fun. Gone.
OK, Chris…I mean Joe. At the table, Joe speaks in clichés: Rock and a hard, guess I got to shit or git; no way ‘round that, and is an unabashed calling station should he have any kind of hand at all. I can’t say he’s quiet, but the content is lacking. Our story, however, takes place away from the poker table.
Prior to the tourney, the smokers gather outside, Joe among them. I stopped to speak to Chatty Kathy, also a smoker, not because I wanted to engage but was engaged. Others arrived and talk became a young woman’s search for an internship as a medical assitant. I suggested the VA clinic in Salem. Joe keyed in.
— Do you know Drew X?
— No. He works at the clinic?
— At the counseling center.
Ah, I thought. Explains a lot. Of an age just beyond mine, perhaps troubled by that war In which I helped pick up the pieces and later salved their wounds with booze. We spoke of vets our age, and it turns out that Joe is an advocate with a foot in the door to the state legislature. He has a strategy to effect a change all the while letting those with the votes think it is their agenda. He speaks at the table in a manner that considers the age of others much younger, those who have no idea, no similar experience to that which Joe must surely carry within.