Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Queen of Hearts

Life is like a game of poker, all about the bluffing. At this very moment a group of people sit down to a game of poker. Whether they sit around a dining room table on Wisteria lane, the old kitchen table at their granny’s home or in a dank cellar of a brothel they all play the same game. They smile to their play mate, pull out their chair and sit down confidently, gulping their drink in case the liquid gets trapped in their tight throats.

Sitting around the table peering at each other, the housewives done a brave veneer upon their faces, flawless to each other but inside less fearless. Like Alice they see one another as the Queen of hearts, the person they must face to figure out the puzzle of Wonderland.  A fake laugh, a flutter of eyelids, a tap of a wine glass and their puzzle is solved, one walks away with the money, while the others wonder where it all went wrong.

At a rickety table in the back-ass of nowhere a family sit around a table; they drink tea and play a ‘friendly’ game of poker. The beloved son bluffs his way through to the end, but his sneaky smile is a give away the others know all too well. His ends in tragedy.

The smell of tobacco and cheap gin fills the grim room of the tavern cellar; the scurrying of rats can be heard by the four men as each sits around the keg of beer. They stare through each other, waiting for one to cave under the pressure. A gun is pulled, a struggle ensues and Mr Unfortunate goes home to tell his wife they are moving house the following morning.

Yes, poker is a game of deceit and trickery; one man bluffs his way to the end with a dead hand and the guy with the two aces has pulled out long ago; It is a game where one person wishes for more and the other is happy with their set of four.
 As we sit in the dining room underneath an ornate chandelier or in the old musty kitchen beside a purring cat or whether it be in the basement of an illegal brothel with creaking floorboards above our heads we watch each other intently to call each other’s bluff. Little do we know that the person beside us has it all, a full house. They sit in the dark, as their queen of hearts wiggles in their hands saying ‘off with their heads’. We take another glass of wine, heat up of tea, sniff of cocaine and the game resumes.

Until someone overdoses from their tea and the others realise the white stuff floating on its surface wasn’t lime scale from the kettle.

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