It is snowing this morning, here in the Haunted City. The flakes are light and fluffy, falling gently in the still air, covering the ground with several centimeters of pure white. (Note for Americans: centimeters is Czech for inches.) The old men and their wiener dogs are having a tough time of it this morning – the fluff is up well past weiner dog belly level and traction is tricky. Still they are out, doing what must be done. True Czechs, they know that snow comes and goes, but they will endure.
It is late enough, this morning, that others are out as well. Here at U Kormidla the joint is jumping in the very low-key way this place has. I am upstairs, and I’m trying not to stare as I figure out if one of the girls at a table I can see downstairs is one of my favorite bartenders at Cheap Beer Place. My eyes, it seems, are not what they were.
Ah, time. If I could just be like the older Czechs seem to be—somehow reconciled with its steady depredations, stoically enduring the everyday aches and pains of life as a side effect of not having died yet. Instead I spent yesterday stopped by a headache, unable to write anything that wasn’t pure poop, and turning for shelter from thought to a place where mental activity is optional and likely to be painful as well, headache or no. I went back and played online poker for fake money.
I described it already, the other time I tried it, so I won’t go into detail here, except to say that the only thing worse than playing poker with people who bet completely irrationally, seemingly without looking at their cards, is playing against those people and losing, which is what happened yesterday morning. That afternoon I had a mission: win back more fake money than I had lost. It took a while, and then I found myself playing with other players more at my level, my own mental acuity was recovering from its migrainal body-blow, and the shimmering in my vision went away, and I had a really good time. I ended up with a nice big pile of fake money and the ridiculous fantasy that maybe I should play for real money—I mean heck, I just made fifteen hundred bucks! Right?
Income thus assured I now must turn towards making at least a token effort to be a part of the world around me. I am behind on correspondences of all sorts, emails from nice people who are patient enough not to have written me off yet, people I haven’t seen in a long time, even phone text messages.
Yet all I really want to do right now is sit, sip my tea, and watch the snow drift down in the courtyard outside my window.