NOTE: This entry was originally posted on a different site on September 3, 2016 and has been slightly edited prior to re-posting here.
It’s poker night.
I show up at a private house game where I’m one of the regulars. We play in our host’s garage.
Shortly after the game starts, a new player arrives, a young black man who resembles NBA star Dwyane Wade. I know this because later, on the TV, I can see ABC News’ George Stephanopolous interviewing Dwyane Wade in the aftermath of the tragic shooting death of his cousin in Chicago. The TV is right above this new player and I notice a strong resemblance, so for purposes of this blog, I’ll call him “Dwyane.”
When he first arrived, Dwyane looked familiar and I thought I might have played poker with him one or two times previously, but now I’m not so sure. He’s wearing shorts that hang down below his knees and look like they are two sizes too large in the waist. I just don’t get that look, but seriously, I try not to judge. Once I even tried wearing my pants positioned where the belt loops are just below the fattest part of my butt cheeks (only at home, alone). It was not comfortable. The slightest breeze, movement or bump into something could collapse my pants down around my ankles before I would have time to react. If there is something about that style of dress that I was missing, I’m still missing it.
The other thing noteworthy about Dwyane’s appearance is his cap, which at first glance appears to be a military reference, but actually says “STRIPCLUB VETERAN” across the front.
I try not to judge.
The thing is, Dwyane has brought a female friend with him, and we can only assume this to be his girlfriend. She was strikingly attractive, with longer, curly, well-coiffed hair that reminded me of Beyonce, only with darker skin and wearing yoga pants. I’m not one to know these things, but if someone told me Dwyane’s girlfriend had undertaken some artificial booty enhancement, I would believe it to be true. Whoever started the trend of women wearing yoga pants as everyday apparel deserves to be rich and famous, with a special place in heaven.
Lacking any other name to use, for purposes of this blog, I’ll call her “Bey.”
Bey sits very quietly behind Dwyane and watches him play poker. Occasionally she moves from the back of his left shoulder to the right side. For about 59 out of every 60 seconds, she is pulling or rearranging a couple of strands of hair in the front, rubbing off the hair product holding her beautiful curls in place. She is left with a few strands of frizz among a sea of curls. I wish I had a time-lapse video.
No introductions are made, so perhaps this isn’t Bey’s first appearance here and I’m the one who is slightly out of the loop. That would be normal.
Nevertheless, here we are. Bey is the only female present, not playing poker but just watching, not talking other than some infrequent and inaudible words with Dwyane, smoking hot, and Dwyane is still wearing his STRIPCLUB VETERAN cap and has to grab his shorts every time he stands up.
He gets a run of good hands and after an hour or so, Dwyane is up approximately $250. I feel this very strong urge to say something. Like: “Hey ‘Dwyane,’ why don’t you take your winnings and buy ‘Bey’ a very nice dinner, then see if y’all can find something else to do? Oh yeah, and lose the hat!” With a wink and extra emphasis on the word something.
But I try not to judge, and keep quiet.
Our host always provides something for the players to eat, and tonight it is chicken stir fry from a Japanese takeout place. Dwyane brings a full plate over to the table, and a few minutes later I hear him encouraging Bey to have some too. I had dinner before arriving, so I passed on the food. It might have been delicious. Although our host insisted that it was a medium-priced Japanese chicken stir-fry, from a distance is looked like the stuff you get when you have to search for coins in the sofa cushions so you can afford the cheapest Chinese takeout in town.
I need to learn not to judge.
Mrs. is probably right when she observes that I’m not so great at dating anymore (nor was I ever). But tonight, I’m feeling pretty darn confident in my “what not to do on a date” reads at this poker game.
Around 1:00 a.m. I am leaving. Dwyane and Bey are still there. His winnings have turned into a loss. Rather than top off his stack, he continues to play with a single, short stack of chips in front. Bey looks bored with everything other than those strands of hair she keeps stroking, determined to get the last bit of hair product out of there.
I consider offering Bey a ride home, but it occurs to me that at least one of them may have some major insecurities about their relationship. Besides, how would I start a conversation: “Do you know about Beyonce? My step-mother calls her “BEE-yonce” but my father calls her “Be-YON-see.”
Nah, that would never work. I make a mental note to say something nice to Mrs. tomorrow morning.
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