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thought i was a donut, ya tried to glaze me

8.18.2007

know when to fold 'em

I consider myself to be a positive person. I'm cynical, yes, but more so realistic, and I recognize some stuff is really fucked up and not everything will go your way. In spite of all this I remain unflaggingly optimistic about life. Regardless of the hand I'm dealt I always seem to think it through, look on the bright side, and play on. Who knows what kind of cards I'll get next go around, right? Keep rolling the dice, you're bound to get lucky. Keep pulling that lever you'll eventually get a whole bunch of 7s...

I also think I'm real fucking clever with these gambling references, so I'll continue with them. Here's a word to think about--bluffing. The term is used in poker, and is defined by freedictionary.com as :


bluff 1 (blf)
v. bluffed, bluff·ing, bluffs
v.tr.
1. To mislead or deceive.
2. To impress, deter, or intimidate by a false display of confidence.
3. Games To try to mislead (opponents) in a card game by heavy betting on a poor hand or by little or no betting on a good one.
v.intr.
To engage in a false display of strength or confidence.
n.
1. The act or practice of bluffing.
2. One that bluffs.



I've only played poker a few times, back when my sister, the Annie Duke of my house, tried teaching me how to play. We sat at my dining room table, my sister to my left and James to my right and J.Webs across the way. Every hand I got, despite my efforts, was revealed to everyone around me by the look on my face. It was funny, really, how hard I tried but could not succeed. I could not bluff. Frustrated, I quit and watched TV instead. What I felt and thought in poker was written on my face, and there was nothing I could do to change it.

But in the game of life, with this precarious deck, I am one hell of a good bluffer. I recognize that outside of game circumstances it's called "lying", but I prefer to use the term "bluff." To bluff--"to engage in a false display of strength or confidence"--faking it til' you make it, I guess. That strength is something I fake everyday. Some things more than others, because I don't think I'm all that insecure. It's just there are some situations in my life that I would change if I could. And with my luck, it's not the type of things you can really change, either. I can't ask the dealer for another card on this one to make my hand a little better. I can't ask for a change of heart or to change the heart of anyone else. So instead I play on, and bluff my way through, and fold my corners in and look up then look away and wonder if anyone really knows what kind of cards I'm playing with. If they actually believe I have a royal flush when it's really just a lonely heart that doesn't add up to much.

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I wonder if my writing has even improved?