Clareified

Where does the good go

Archive for January, 2007

When it’s over

Monday, January 29th, 2007 by Dawn Summers

I smiled at the floorman and handed him my player’s card.
“Hey, you did your hair,” he said smiling.
“Yeah.”
“Looks good.” He gave me back the card. I sheepishly said thanks and put it in my bag.
I took the escalator downstairs and met Karol by the valet counter.
“Ugh…the floor guy noticed that I changed my hair. THE FLOOR GUY, guy! I cannot come back here again for like…weeks.”
She laughed.
“That is bad.”
It’s hard to imagine now, but that first trip to Atlantic City with Karol, something like 18 months ago, was one of those spur of the moment impulses that happen once in a million years.
And if anyone had told me then, that I would turn into an AC regular, I would have scoffed, rolled my eyes and laughed. Out loud. For hours.
I lived with my mother at the time and we had just had one of those awesome “under my roof” fights that ended with someone swearing that when they turned 18 they were “so outta here forever.” Nevermind that said person may or may not have been 25ish already.
Not much else was going on in my life. I was changing jobs…again. It was August, so there was no TV and I was marking time watching Netflix movies. I was in a Spielberg phase and was mid-way through Close Encounters when Karol immed about Atlantic City.
I was pissed off at her for telling me Hachem had won the world series of poker because I had spent all of July vigilantly avoiding any and all poker sites, magazines and articles, so I could be surprised when ESPN aired the event later in 2005.
It was almost five in the evening and I was a very nervous driver so the prospect of three hours on the highway in the dead of night was unappealing.
“Come on…you pick me up and I’ll drive.”
“I don’t know…where are we going to stay?”
“I’ll look up someplace on priceline…are you in?”
I thought about it and decided, hey it’s something new and different. You only live once, after all.
I threw some clothes in a bag, told my mom I was staying at Karol’s and left the house.
I took the bus out to the garage where I stored my car. (Why I have a car when I live in New York, mind boggling.)
I was on the bus for ten minutes when Karol called my cell.
“Have you left home already?”
“Yes…I’m going to get the car…are we not going?”
“No…we’re still going…what are you wearing?”
I looked down.
“T-shirt and jeans…why?”
“Um…well…no reason, but be ready to go the distance.”
“Huh…what distance?”
“Nothing…hurry up.”
I got to Karol’s apartment building and she was already waiting for me downstairs. She is never ready on time. I started to worry.
She put her bag in the trunk, I got out and moved to the passenger side, while she took the wheel.
“What’s all this going the distance stuff?”
“Well, you know…just wanted to make sure you had comfortable shoes…layers of clothes, so you aren’t too cold or too hot…you know, be ready to go the distance through the night!”
She was being suspiciously cryptic. She lived in a one bedroom with her boyfriend and so I started to look for signs of blood splatter.
“Umm…Peter’s not dead in your apartment is he? Cause I really am not prepared for a life as a fugitive.”
She smiled at me. But didn’t exactly answer my question.
We hit the ATM and finally made it to the Jersey turnpike.
“This is going to be so fun! It’ll be like Swingers, but with two girls…and Atlantic City instead of Vegas…we can write a movie,” she was practically manic.
“Peter is dead in the apartment, isn’t he?”
She laughed.
“Come on! We’re young, we don’t have any kids…can’t do this when we’re married and living in the suburbs!”
Now I laughed. True enough.
“Ok! I think Jada plays me in the movie.”
We drove through the night, mapping out scenes and reliving memories. There was possibly some talk of magic love potions and seances.
When the Atlantic City skyline finally came into view, we were excited to hit the tables and begin the wild Swingers adventure.
But first, we needed a place to stay.
Priceline was a bust because you can’t make same day reservations after four, so we just started calling hotels.
I had won money at Tropicana the first time I played poker in AC, so I suggested we go there.
We formed the line to get Tropicana cards, while we talked to the various AC hotels.
Everything was either completely booked or insanely expensive, until we hit the jackpot. A room for $79 at the comfort inn. It was 11 p.m.
We doubled checked that we’d be able to check-in at whatever time in the morning we were done playing, exchanged high fives and made a beeline for the Tropicana poker room.
We got seats at separate 2/4 tables.
I fell in love with a black guy at the table after he folded pocket queens instead of calling the $4 turn bet. As he talked through the hand to me afterwards, I picked out place settings for our poker themed wedding.
I went to find Karol and surprise, she was at the blackjack tables!
“Dude!”
“I was card dead,” she said explaining why she was not playing poker as planned.
“Ok, come to my table! You have to meet this guy! He folded pocket queens! QUEENS!”
The two of us returned to the table and Karol found out the guy lived in Brooklyn, so she gave him her number and told him that we play in a bunch of games in the city, if he ever wanted to play.
We stayed at the Trop until six or seven in the morning.
“Man, am I looking forward to getting into bed and going to sleep for like ten hours!”
Karol agreed. Adventuring was exhausting.
She called the hotel to find out the fastest way to get there.
The guy who answered gave us directions, but then he asked “are you coming here now?”
“Yes.”
“Why?”
“To check-in…we booked the room last night.”
“Uh…sorry, ma’am…but we are booked.”
“But we made the reservation like seven hours ago and asked about checking in late and they said it was ok.”
“Sorry…but we have no rooms.”
Karol hung up and called the reservations desk.
Evidently…we did have a room…the only problem was we had it for that date a year hence…in 2006.
The clerk asked us if we still wanted the room. Karol gave him an earful and then cancelled it.
“What now? I will not sleep on the streets of Atlantic City! My mother thinks I’m with you in Manhattan…if we’re killed down here, I will be in such trouble.”
“Actually, I’m pretty awake, I can drive back.”
Whew.
We put on shades and turned toward the rising sun.
We were tired, but rejuvenated. We talked the whole way back to Manhattan. We got back to the city around 10 and partly due to delirium and relishing the opportunity to retroactively not lie to my mother, I slept at Karol’s house.
And yes, turns out, Peter was alive and well.
Who knew that would be just the first of dozens of trips just like it? Well, not just like it…but when we left on Friday…er…Saturday, it had a similarly impulsive feel.
I had been out Friday night hanging out with Pi and Cash money — learning bridge and playing speed Scrabble into the wee hours of the night.
Fisch, no doubt still smarting from my 3-0 victory, bailed on our scheduled rematch and I found myself wide awake and bored.
I watched some TV and decided to take a couple of Tylenol PM and force myself to get a good night’s rest.
I climbed into bed and was close to dozing off, when the phone rang.
It was Karol.
“Hey, can I sleep over?”
“Yeah, sure.”
She had been out with her friend Tom at my bar, I might add, and left when the bar closed at 4.
She was at my door ten minutes later. I let her in and turned to go back to bed.
“Hey! No bed! Let’s play cards,” she slurred.
I set up the poker table and we finished our first heads up tournament at around 5. I was shuffling the deck for another, when the lightbulb went on over my head.
“Dude…if we’re up playing cards…why are we not in Atlantic City?”
“Uh…I am not good to drive…”
“What’s that supposed to mean! I can drive…now…sorta!”
We headed to the basement, I fired up the Dreamgirls soundtrack and we were once again on our way to the air conditioned city in the dead of night.
The night was cold, there was a dust of snow covering the roadside and with only a handful of cars on the road, the night seemed extra dark.
I checked the rearview mirror. Nothingness.
Black.
We fought about the music.
“I’m driving, I get to pick.”
“Well, you can’t pick songs just to annoy me.”
“I can pick whatever I want. When you drive, you always pick whatever you want.”
Then we began the usual last minute phone tree to find a room for the night.
She scored a free room at the Sheraton. We were about a half an hour away, when I started to feel the effects of the Tylenol PM.
“Oh crap! I forgot I had taken those pills…”
Karol decided the best way to keep me awake was to talk about the comfortable Sheraton beds.
Doofus.
I rolled down the window and let the air beat my face until my fingers numbed from the cold.
So this is how the Dawn Summers story ends? A fiery crash on the road to AC, with Karol?
I hit the brakes and slowed down.
We crept to the AC exit.
“We’re going to get pulled over for going too slow.”
“Look, the last time we took that exit, we were going too fast and Fisch almost lost control of the car.”
Safe is better than dead.
We got to the Sheraton in one piece…only to find out that they didn’t have a room for us.
“Sorry girls…you can come back at noon…we’ll have some clean rooms by then.”
Karol looked at me.
“Come on…do something. Be crazy black woman or lawyer…”
My eyes were closing.
“Dude. I don’t even remember how we got here.”
Karol yelled at the check-in clerk and the night manager for a few more minutes before cancelling the reservation.
We got back in the car and tried to get a room at the Comfort Inn.
No dice.
We eventually ended up at our old standby, the Holiday Inn Express.
We slept till about 2 or 3 and drove out to the Borgata to watch the WPT main event. We spotted some poker celebrities and ate dinner before going to play some 1/2 at the Hilton until around 5 in the morning.
We went back to the hotel for the night and congratulated ourselves on managing two nights for the price of one.
The next day, we somehow ended up at the Tropicana – a casino we haven’t visited in months.
We sat at a table out on the main floor, like we did on our first trip. I pulled out the Tropicana poker card I got that day and stared at the smiling Dawn in the corner.
Karol took the card and said “that’s hot.”
“Shut up…do you remember that day when we got these?”
“Yeah…I lost mine though.”
“Ha! Remember that guy folding pocket queens?”
“Yes!”
We spent the rest of the afternoon at the Trop and had dinner at one of the restaurants on the concourse level.
It was snowing when we hit the road back to New York. The air in the car was cold and darkness was interrupted only by the steady breeze of flakes.
We rode home in silence.
All adventures, I suppose, must come to an end.
Hopefully, just in time for a new one to begin.

I hate Winter

Monday, January 29th, 2007 by Dawn Summers

Days since last weather related slip and fall: 0

Funny Scrabble Quotes

Saturday, January 27th, 2007 by Dawn Summers

“Uh…that game brought out an ugly side of me…and I’d like to apologize.” -Cash money after last night’s narrow loss.
It reminded me of the time I played with Lola and Polo and the baby was crying and Lola picks her up and says “don’t worry baby we love you more than Scrabble.” And then she looks at me and adds “well, mommy and daddy do anyway.”
And then I laughed.
Scrabble…the box should have a warning label.

Conversation of the day

Friday, January 26th, 2007 by Dawn Summers

(On whether Isaiah Washington should be fired from Grey’s Anantomy for calling gay guy a faggot.)

Me: So you’re trying to find out if I’m more racist than liberal?
Karol: Yes.
Me: And the verdict?
Karol: Well, turns out…more liberal.

What the hell is Karol trying to say?

Friday, January 26th, 2007 by Dawn Summers

She sends me a link to this article:

“I can’t believe how blessed I am to finally have another human in my life,” said Ridenour, 40, on Tuesday. “Just when I was on the verge of giving up hope, along came a guy who wasn’t married, gay, or repulsed by the sight of me, and my whole life changed.”

Added Ridenour: “God, I’m just so glad I found him. Or anybody.”

Not so random thought

Friday, January 26th, 2007 by Dawn Summers

Manicures are scams. That is all.

One more reason for marriage

Friday, January 26th, 2007 by Dawn Summers

You need someone to wield the club when the lion is eating your face.

Wildlife officials on Thursday credited a woman with saving her husband’s life by clubbing a mountain lion that attacked him while the couple hiked in a California state park.

Jim and Nell Hamm, who will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary next month, were hiking Wednesday in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, 60 miles south of the Oregon state line, when the lion pounced.

I am not alone

Thursday, January 25th, 2007 by Dawn Summers

Hope for the rest of you out there: the ipod that fell into the water is up and running again after about a week of constant charging and leaving it alone.

To the left, to the left

Thursday, January 25th, 2007 by Dawn Summers

Obama calls for universal health care insurance.

Every American should have health care coverage within six years, Democratic Sen. Barack Obama said Thursday as he set an ambitious goal soon after jumping into the 2008 presidential race.

“The time has come for universal health care in America,” Obama said at a conference of Families USA, a health care advocacy group.

“I am absolutely determined that by the end of the first term of the next president, we should have universal health care in this country,” the Illinois senator said.

Oooh, a reason to smack to Karol in the head!

Thursday, January 25th, 2007 by Dawn Summers

Hurrah!

Scientists studying stroke patients are reporting that an injury to a specific part of the brain, near the ear, can instantly and permanently break a smoking habit, effectively erasing the most stubborn of addictions. People with the injury who stopped smoking found that their bodies, as one man put it, “forgot the urge to smoke.”