Friday, July 17th, 2009, 2:30 pm
This is the second time I’ve come home from seven weeks in the desert to sweet, summer rain:
The trip home was uneventful, though I think I might’ve still been drunk when I woke up to pack. The final table wrapped at 11PM, not the 7AM we all feared, and of course the media rushed en masse to the Hooker Bar for cocktails. I took one last swing at video poker, encouraged by BadBlood, and this time I came through in the clutch:
You can’t read the payout slip but it was good for $435, as I hit quad deuces on a dollar machine. A $400 profit instead of a $100 loss, which wiped away most of my gambling losses for the trip and put me in a very good and very drinky mood the rest of the night. But all too soon night turned to day, and I set a 5AM hard-cap on myself to bail. I’d asked that my flight be pushed back a day so I wouldn’t have to rush around on the last day and could maybe actually enjoy myself a bit before heading home, but it wasn’t switched and so I had to say some quick goodbyes to the people I’d spent seven weeks with. If I didn’t goodbye before the evening ended, apologies, and anyway you were probably sick of me anyway.
When I caught the cab at Gold Coast for the ride to MGM I felt like I’d already disconnected from the WSOP and that life. I wasn’t working anymore; I was a tourist. Not even a tourist, I was an expatriot finally on his way home. I grabbed a few hours sleep, threw my clothes and gear in bags, and after one last overpriced meal I decided the hell with it and went to the airport early. Tired of all the people, tired of the nonstop flashing lights and electronic music of the slots. As I walked out of MGM for the first time I noticed my face hurt, especially around my jawline. I was actually confused for a sec when I realized that I’d been smiling all day. Smiling hard.
My flight was unremarkable, I got home around 1AM to find a note on my mailbox that said THIS ADDRESS IS CURRENTLY VACANT DO NOT PLACE MAIL IN THIS BOX. I removed it and opened my front door to find that I hadn’t been accidentally evicted. My couch was there, my desk, my kitchen. I cooked a little something for a snack (I cooked!) and got my laptop hooked up to my big monitor. I was home, and I was happy.
I got up around one in the afternoon (my bed does not compare to MGM’s, which must be addressed) and went to my desk. And here, a moment of melancholy–there wasn’t a chocolate-chip muffin waiting for me. Most days at the WSOP Al would bring me a muffin from the Gold Coast and that’s how I would start my day. Now, no more muffins. Sigh.
But I’m home. And it’s raining. My windows are open and a cool, sweet breeze is washing over me. Birds are singing. I’m home.
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