It all begins anew
Oak Park is a place of broad lawns and narrow minds.
"Your momma show me how you move it, go ahead, put your back into it, do your thing like it ain't none to it ..." There's only a half-hour left in this month and I'm whittling it away by dancing in my apartment to 50 Cent.
What a month. I can say I did everything right. I made two grand this month to pull myself out of the red, playing everything from limit to no-limit to PLO and Triple Draw. But I never pushed it. If it didn't feel right, it was an early evening.
I won that crazy raffle. Now it's two days away from Vegas and my bankroll is loaded for bear.
I flew 9,400 miles (round-trip) and did the right thing by reconciling relations with my estranged grandmother. I drew strength from her grip of my hands, watching her break the chains of her stroke like an out-of-his-mind Morpheus making his way to freedom in The Matrix.
I'm feeling restless again. I'm originally from Oak Park, Ill., where Hemingway was born and his quote about the Chicago suburb always resonated with me. It criticizes the soft life, the unexplored, more fear than understanding. I sat through the dinner of a well-meaning friend recently who regaled me of tales of a Club-Med-style, a Green Zone-style vacation.
That's not how I roll. That kind of stuff eats at me like Neo realizing in The Matrix there's something more to the existence he's living. My vacations: Drop me anywhere in a country or a city and I'll core it out, know my way around, in two days. Sometimes I see people who are telling me about things like Ikea or The Gap and think, man, when I was your age I knew my way around a dozen countries, traveling like Qui-Gon Jinn.
I'll often travel by the worst means possible (dirty buses, a scooter with bald tires, a Russian airplane with chickens on board) and I prefer it if I can't speak the language because you're forced to learn something. I have an unbroken streak of trips in Europe where somebody always invariably asks me for directions.
When somebody who travels to resorts asks me how a country is, what do I tell them? It's like when people are amazed at what I eat. What do I say? They're not around to see me when I'm out on a solo swim far from shore in the ocean. Or that I'll run full speed up the most difficult hills on 4-mile runs after work, totally sore after the run. Or me trudging up seven hills to work on a bike.
With poker and work, my life is a little more sedentary than it used to be, but I've earned everything that I do in this life. If I'm going to eat a cheeseburger in front of you, I'm going to do it and enjoy your special meal.
It's unfair for me to slam others for all they know when I just know better -- there's more to life than the broad lawns of the city. Bring on the adventures, bring on March.