The All-Nighter

Tuesday, May 27th, 2008, 6:32 am

Why bother going to bed when I had to be up at 4AM to drive to my folks house so my Dad could ride me to the airport? It was just past midnight, I was still sifting through items to take or leave. I decided to take my telephoto lens, the one I affectionately call my "big dog", figuring at the least I’ll be able to get some good shots of Isabelle Mercier from beyond the horizon. I left behind various shirts, shorts, and shoes because I couldn’t justify loading up my suitcase on the odd chance I’ll need ANOTHER white button-down shirt. Light is right, yes? Not that my carry-on bag doesn’t weigh more than a Honda Civic.

I took a shower around 3AM, scraped away the fuzz on my chin, and went about shuttering my flat. Unplugged all the appliances, switched off all the power strips, closed the windows and lowered the blinds. Leaving home is always touched with a hint of melancholy, and that’s especially true when I won’t be home till mid-July. My nephew will be walking, talking, check-raising. Another reason for this wistful feeling is that today’s my wedding anniversary. That was a good day, a good time had by all. Went over my ex’s place yesterday to give them all the goodies I brought back from Vietnam. Can’t believe it’s been two months since I left on THAT trip. Nice to be going to a place where I can kinda speak the language. In Costa Rica they speak Spanish. In Vietnam, of course, they speak Vietnamese. In Vegas the language is cash. Money talks, bullshit walks, etc. God knows I’m not fluent in that language but I can stumble along and get by.

When it was time to head out I gathered up all my garbage and carried it down to the dumpster, which was filled to the brim and rather pungent. I was about 10 feet away when I heard a loud rustling and a wee beastie jumped out, scaring me half to death. It was one of the neighborhood cats, I saw his collar and tag glisten in meager light from the security lamps. Guess he smelled something good in the trash and decided to have a little early-morning snack. I threw away some marinating chicken so if he returned there was some good eatin’ awaiting him.

Went back up to get my bags and went through my ritual. I always take pictures of my apartment before I leave–I guess so I remember what I have to look forward to when I get back–and once I start my car I kick off my journey with Motorhead’s "Ace of Spades". Gets me in the mood to move.

RIght now I’m experiencing something I won’t find in Vegas–humidity. It’s muggy has hell out there and just sitting at the gate I feel all clammy and gross. Humidity I won’t miss. I am disappointed that I’ll miss the start of our beach volleyball season, which kicks off tonight. The cabana didn’t even open this weekend so I could get a bon voyage beer. Something else to look forward to upon my return.

But that’s a long, long, LONG way off. Funny, last year it seemed like we’d be out there forever. June crawled along and it it felt like there was an infinite number of poker tournaments for us to cover. But once July arrived, and especially when the Main Event started, the time flew by. Whoosh. I’m sure it’ll be much the same this year.

Looking forward to it all. The mob scene every day outside the Amazon Room. The acres of poker tables within. That exquisite thrill you feel when you come up with yet another synonym for "flop". It’s the World Series of Poker, baby. Time to roll up the sleeves and tame the beast.

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