Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Beat With a Stick

I am so tired. It might have been the poker, or the last growler of high octane beer that got dragged out at the end, or my daughter handing my ass to me as she drew one flush or straight after another, or the road trip, or the lousy mattress, or the dog sleeping against me like a furry lump, or maybe it was the chemo. All of the above, I say.

I am sitting here, on my very own bed, in my fuzzy pile pants, supper done, dishes washed (or at least put in the dish washer), a second wine on the bedside table, the dog curled up on her blanket to my left, the boy downstairs watching a movie, the girl off at work, and me barely holding onto consciousness. It ran late last night. Who would have guessed for a Monday night poker game? Don't normal people have to work anymore?

I have to take a moment to tell you about this group I play with. Goes back about forty years now. Last night we were trying to remember how we started it off and as near as we can tell, it began with a "men's" group in the early seventies. This was a time when women's groups were springing up like weeds and those of us who were of the Y chromosome variety and were trying to shed our neanderthal brow ridges decided to form an analogous society that would explore our more sensitive and tender sides. After a while we got tired of trying to analyze our motivations for various things, making pot-luck dinners together, and going on social outings. We started playing poker.

Some of us still are. It is now a multi-generational, mixed-sex group that is more or less centered around my old home town, though several of us have migrated south and now live in the larger metropolitan center I find myself a part of for the past twenty years. Whenever I go north to visit friends and family, I always try to stimulate a gathering of the faithful to spend a night tossing out nickels, dimes, and quarters as a pretext for visiting our more sensitive sides.

Last night was a riot. We wound up with too many to play at one table, but rather than split, some of us would sit out for a few hands and just gab. The ages ran from the seventies down to the teens. The language was bad from time to time, but the bond of friendship was so strong. We laughed, we bluffed, we taunted, we played. We told stories, we drank, we smoked (only some and outdoors), we were family.

This is one of the wonderful things about growing older. To be able to look back upon years and years of togetherness, to watch each other grow grey, to see each other's children be born, to grow, and to become parents themselves. To live through this life, to support each other when death calls, to grow, to love, to grieve, to laugh, to drink, to enjoy - this is truly a measure of wealth that I have been blessed with. Money plays no part in it other than to toss as small silver disks into the center of a threadbare green baze covered table. We were rich beyond belief last night and now I am tired.


Blogger Cheesy said...

Sleep deep... sleep well my friend!

9:09 PM, March 20, 2007  
Blogger Sister Spikey Mace said...

Sounds like a great time was had by all. You do know how to appreciate the good stuff, P.

10:13 PM, March 20, 2007  
Blogger lime said...

aaahhhh, you've put a big smile on my face. that is indeed priceless time. so glad you got t o enjoy that. so glad you shared it with us too. clicking the light off and tiptoing out ....

6:56 AM, March 21, 2007  
Blogger Radish King said...

Those pics of you off to the right. You're a handsome devil indeed. Hair or not.

8:33 PM, March 21, 2007  
Blogger Leesa said...

Sounds like a great night :)

10:48 AM, March 22, 2007  

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