In Dec 07 Alessandra had decided to move to England. I had to decide whether to sign a lease and keep the flat for another year or leave. Since I have been historically bad with commitment, I left Milan. Came back to the Seattle area for a while and stayed with my mother. It was during this time that I began grinding live cash games. The money was good, but i was restless, unhappy, and for the most part a drunk. One day in march I woke up and decided I was moving to Paris. 2 days later I left. I began a blog the day I decided to go.
March 20, 2008.
I'M GOING TO PARIS
Pissing in the Tulalip casino bathroom at 7:03 am. Loud farting shit noises coming from a stall. As I’m washing my hands I glance over and see the merrymaker. It’s the cab driver I had the last time I came home. Fuck. I’d like to go. Been here since 5 pm. I’m done. Only up about 200, but its time. Table is dead. Old men now. The only one left from our all night session is Frank Ferrari. A good natured fairly strong player with a rockin’ name who's been playing since 11am the previous day and seems very intent on not leaving until he recoups his losses. The geezers are easy to run over but I don’t really feel like it. And more importantly Gonzaga is playing in the first round of the NCAA tourney today and I don’t know what time the game is.
At this time in the morning there is never more than one cab waiting outside. I don’t want to go home with fart shitting boy. He is retarded. My guess is fetal alcohol syndrome. I’d be willing to lay a few large bills on it. Maybe even give up to 3 to 1 odds. I was bit scared last time riding with him. Was like being chauffeured by a ten year old. We listened to rap.
I go back to the table and piss away about 50 bucks, not really playing, just kinda waiting to go. Waiting until at least 8am when fart boys night shift is finished.
Get up from the table and cash in my chips around 9. One cab is waiting outside. As I’m getting in I see a large plate of half-eaten huevos rancheros sitting on the front seat. Sit down. This one is about 450 pounds with a mess of greasy black hair beneath a ball cap. Seat belt doesn't work. He notices my struggle. "Do you want to sit up front?" I truly do not and keep trying to get the seat belt to work. The cab is filthy. He is filthy. He asks again. "Do you want to sit up front?" I don’t want to say no. I’m too tired. I feel obligated. And I’d really like to have a seat belt on. I can’t move over to the other seat because there is a kid-chair in it.
I get in the front. He transfers the huevos rancheros to the back seat and it spills onto the back seat floor boards. We go. He laughs and says his breakfast is all over the place. I’m kinda scared to look over at him, but I also kinda want to in a masochistic way. He has a large unkempt black mustache. Ugly whiskers hanging out over his hole like winos on 1st avenue. Bits of egg. Belly almost touching the steering wheel. Blue track pants. Fat hands with fat fingers and bizarrely long nails. He looks like he has gout and he coughs a lot.
Nearing Stanwood he gives me his card, says he can pick me up anytime. Starts yammering about about a fraudulent cabbie in stanwood who doesn’t have a taxi license. Grabs his license and sticks it in my face. "He doesn’t have this" . I read the name on the license. Victor Pouklis. Victor is still holding his license out in front of my face. It appears that I am supposed to take it, examine it, maybe so that I know what a real one looks like. I don’t bite. He takes it back. Yammers on about the fraud cabbie being a perv, that he hits on women, in his cab, all of them. "Doesn’t matter if they are married or not. He doesn’t care." Victor pauses. "Now what kind of marriage is that?" I say I don’t know. " I guess he touches them too, you know, grabs ’em and stuff." "Are his seat belts also broken?" I ask. Victor isn’t sure. "Or does he just have really long arms?" Victor-"I don’t know if his arms are long" Victor thinks for a moment, then continues "but on the other hand he could" We are almost there. I’m going to Paris.