MillionairesWhenever I start to feel confident or comfortable, I get bitten. This has to be something about me.
Earlier this year, I had a nice situation with work. One gig went 25 hours a week, another averaged 10, so I had a solid week's work each week, which meant I could get my affairs in order.
So the 10-hour gig sacked me about a month after that was all set up.
I had a good June at poker, and started feeling confident in my ability. I felt I would make it. But July I cannot win a hand. Now I think that June was all good luck and this is how good I actually am. The problem is that it could be true and I would have no way of knowing. I am not actually losing (although give it a couple more days and I will be) but I'm not going well. When you run your hand into a better hand, you start to think, was I unlucky to run into AK there or should I have expected it? (Mostly the answer is, you were unlucky, but that's no consolation.)
Why choose something that you can't tell if you do well? Why would someone like me do that? Answers on a postcard.
Obviously, I need to be more accepting of it, but doing that tends to make you hopeless (I mean without hope, not hopelessly bad).
I accepted that I would not be likely to have my writing published and promptly stopped bothering to write.
I accepted being ugly and now I'm sad that no woman looks twice at me. I don't have to want other women to want other women to like the look of me. I am vain enough.
I try to accept this life and now I have no ambition at all. I am just spiralling into the grave.
I accepted that I cannot be the perfect father and now I think I am not even a good one. You probably think I am, but you probably have much lower standards than I do.
I am lonely today. I have a couple of poker buddies but they are not chatting today. Other guys, who I want to talk to, don't bother with me. Well, what do I have to offer? A couple I thought I was somewhat friendly with seem to have dumped me; I don't know why. Most people I know are in the other half of the world, and I'm not really very interesting to talk to anyway, so most don't bother. P is asleep; A is asleep; Father Luke has a girlfriend and no time, it seems. I don't know whether he's still trying to learn poker. He hasn't bothered telling me.
Yes, I'm feeling sorry for myself. I have a chest infection. I have been sick all week, and I can't take sick leave. I don't have time for my poker study, and when I do have time, I waste it by smoking weed because I am too self-destructive to learn and too fearful that I am wasting my time learning anyway.
Sometimes you think, well, just stop being a fuckhead. But life feels like a carousel. It spins round and you're not in control, so you can't stop it. And you're too dizzy to think straight. You cannot jump off because there is nowhere and nothing to jump into.
I am listening to Aphex Twin's Selected Ambient Works II, so I'm much more chilled out than all this whining would make it seem. If you've never heard it, it's the last word in ambience, the album that, I think, cemented Aphex's reputation as one of the great geniuses of modern music.
It is static, like all great ambient music. The ear craves dynamism, it seems, so pieces that do not move can become wallpaper. But when a moment or two of it catches your attention, you can sit, mesmerised, listening deeply, and become caught up in its cycling, and find smaller dynamisms. It's a million miles from his frenzied drillnbass stuff, but excellent nonetheless. It's also a pleasant change from the minimal techno (a lot of Andreas Tilliander, GAS and Apparat, the last of which I suppose is not so minimal--and surprisingly Four Tet, whose Ringer EP is not the twittering folkatronica we enjoyed on Everything ecstatic, but is intense techno mode allemande, but no worse for it) and noise rock (Lightning Bolt and the fantastic Black Angels in particular). I also recently acquired Minotaur Shock's Maritime, which was a lot jauntier than I expected: closer by far to Mr Scruff than to Boards of Canada, which made it slightly disappointing, although judged on its merits, it's okay. Also, I've been listening to some Nightmares on Wax, which is smoky triphop, but not so much my cup of tea as it would have been when it was first released a decade or so ago, and to Sally Shapiro (sweet girlie vocals laid over italo house, which is nicer than that description makes it sound), Girl Talk (Avalanches-style cutup that is cleverly put together but lacks the songwriting of the Avalanches), Booka Shade (techno in the Leftfield vein).
LOL. The poker gods must have heard me whining, because I got a guy on chat who has been doing a lot of the work I have been slowly getting through on ranges and EV, and he gave me his spreads, which will save me hours of work. He was also very good to talk to. I learn from everyone who will share. I try to stay as humble as possible with poker, so that I do not close myself off from learning. If only boots would teach me how to know what card is coming next! I'd make us all millionaires.
Some days, I feel marooned in a hostile universe. Others, I feel that I could make my dream come true and find myself in a stone house by the sea, wildflowers in the walled back yard, a pear tree in the corner, beholden to no one but my own kin. How hard can that be? Really, how hard?