Two Stories I Almost Forgot To Tell

Yes, it’s way too late to be blogging on a Friday night. What the fuck were you doing at this hour that’s so much better?… Oh, really? Yeah, that’s pretty cool. Anyway, I was remembering to write these two stories.

1.

When I drive into work, I have to pass a gate and show my ID, which they run this thing over until it beeps, and at the same time they check my trunk and it’s very orange alert.

Yesterday the gate had been broken off, but we still had to pretend to wait for the gate arm to rise, because there’s something about us as people that makes us try and go through the routine, even if the routine has been shattered. There was no real reason for me to wait to drive through the gate yesterday. There was no arm to raise. But I waited until I saw the stump of the arm raise up and then I went through, because it seemed polite.

This morning, however, the gate had been replaced. I drove up, popped my trunk, and pulled out my ID. The security guard put her little machine up to my ID’s bar code, but it didn’t make a sound. She tilted my ID, moved it around a bit, and then she said, “BEEP!”

Just like that. She made the beep sound for her machine. I couldn’t stop laughing. “It’s too hot to bother,” she said to me. “Just go on, girl.”

I love that she couldn’t just wave me in, either. I needed the arm to raise, just like she needed to hear the beep sound. Otherwise it wouldn’t feel like we accomplished something.

2.

Back last weekend during Drinks By the Beach, the day turned to cards, specifically Texas Hold ‘Em, specifically because I’m married to a man who plays it all the time. Stee would like me to point out here that “all the time” means maybe twice a week, tops. For me that means “all the time.” That’s way more consecutive hours playing poker than I spend say, drinking glasses of wine. But I feel like I drink wine “all the time.” And neither of us feel like we have a problem.

So, poker. I’m making my usual poker face, which means I look miserable. Sara can’t stop wanting to bet everything on the table, even if it’s not her money.

Check it. First round. (Game? Hand? I DON’T CARE.) We’re playing with hypothetical money. Completely fake money that doesn’t exist, nor is ever going to change hands. We’re each given an imaginary one hundred dollars that doesn’t even earn representation with toothpicks or anything. Just, “We each have a hundred dollars.”

The cards are dealt. I’ve got two queens. I’m all in.

Sara can’t take it. She must call. Rebecca calls. We all turn over our hands.

Sara’s holding Ace/seven. Rebecca has a nine/six off-suit.

“What the fuck is that hand, Rebecca?”

“What?” she asks. “I have fifteen!”

As I rake in the imaginary money (my full boat beating Sara’s, which drives her crazy because now she’s out of fake money that doesn’t exist, and I’m totally loaded in conceptual cash), Dan says: “I don’t know anything about poker, but I know it doesn’t involve counting to fifteen.”

“We’re not playing Black Jack?” Rebecca asks. “You gave me two cards!”

“Rebecca,” I say. “You have a nine and a six.”

“That’s fifteen!”

Stee’s hands are in the air. “That’s a shitty hand even for Black Jack!”

“It’s fifteen!”

“It’s crap!”

Now I can’t resist. “Stee didn’t even have an up card. Did you think the hold ’em cards were the up cards? Because that means stee had twenty-seven.”

“Well, I don’t know!” Rebecca looks hurt. Adam rubs her arm, but doesn’t say anything, because even he knows that she should have hit on fifteen.

Sara asks, “Can I borrow some imaginary money from somebody?”

And I say, “I’m going to need another drink, and I’d like to go back to the time when we were all just talking about the Kool-Aid man.”

And Dan says, “Go fish!”