Thursday, September 11, 2003

i look forward to wednesday's the most. i know john will write his 3-paragraph e-mail to us, reminding us (as if we could forget) of poker night. there's always the re-cap of last week, and notes about boones farm and raking the pot and packing up your balls and walking away. that will be the highlight of my day. then wednesday night will roll around, and though i show up a bit late, in true lindsay fashion, it's all good. these people are my friends. we play a few rounds, i'm down 5-10 bucks in the first 10 minutes, guaranteed. 8:30, 9 o'clock rolls around, and people start to disappear. "gotta call jeremy, it's after nine, and i have free minutes." cora will return from the porch about 20 minutes later. sometime soon after, jason bows out for a few... but not too long, cuz jen's gotta work in the morning, and cincinatti is an hour later than us here anyway. john, being the host and poker aficionado, already took care of his business before we came, maybe not even at all. maybe she knows better. doug, now doug's a different story. his girlfriend, robin, is high maintenance. if he promises her a call at 9:00, she's mad at 9:02 and pissed at 9:05. so when 10:30 rolls around and he hasn't talked to her at all today, he's sweating nervous. whipped, for sure, but he's a good guy so we'll let it slide. i see how nervous he is, and start conniving. "doug," i say. "here's the story: your boss takes you to the bar after work, which is true, you know... couple beers, you're talking, you're asking advice on OMLP... he's chatty, you look at the clock but can't cut the night short. too much at stake. that's your story." he agrees, however nervous, and knows this will work. because he's graduating and looking for a job come may, it's now or never to put himself out there. who better than to knowingly ditch a call to his girlfriend than for a very important network. foil-proof lie. i'm such a good liar, even if it is for doug. robin'll be for that anyway cuz she's a teacher and is counting on doug to bank. "anyway, it's not unreasonable for you to be out at 10:30 anyways... i don't know what her deal is," i say. that too is a lie. you want great guys to call you. you want them to reassure you that they are yours. you don't want doubts and scenarios going through your head as to what they are doing tonight, who they are with. you want them to be waiting at their phone, watching for 8:59 to flip. even better than lying for people, though, i am the best liar to myself. what you don't know (can't see) can't hurt you. i keep telling myself that. again and again. day after month after year (or so it shall be). then why do i wait for the prompt box to disappear from the arrival of words? usually i can reply a lie, even to my own questions, but this one is like paying for the last card up, after 3 antes, and getting the black mariah. unexplainable, freak of nature, out of your control.

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