Monday, January 28, 2008

A reflection on poker's ills

entry i made during the summer after sophomore year about freshman year


5 am. may 4th, 2003. finals week. i had played way too much poker for my own good. i shut the door behind me to wayne manor. i had an econ final in a day or so, but that was ok, since my gpa didn´t matter. all that mattered was that i got into one of my three schools, and everything would be ok. i would start a band, start a better major, start a new life in a couple of months.

besides, my life at duke was over. preemptively hearing of my departure, my group of friends had officially excluded me from their block. might as well have excommunicated me officially. as some would say, ie jenipuh, i had been character assassinated. oh well, there was steve, the guy i recently became better friends with. he wouldn´t mind a single, and i told him that i´d try to notify duke as late as possible to try to ensure that he got one. (steve later told me that he didn´t mind if my airplane got into a crash, so he could have a single. the dick heh) i wonder what life would be like next year if i stayed at duke...

but i can´t. i started the walk from west campus to east campus. i can´t come back here, i´ve worked too long, too hard for my college experience to be drained like this, doing nothing fantastic with my life. where was the college town i was supposed to experience? where were the masses of asians i was to associate with? where were the classes i wanted to take instead of premed this premed that, the search for knowledge for knowledge sake rather than for pre-professional bullshit? if i stay here, i´ll be pre-med for sure, and that would just be pure injustice. everyone asian here wants to get the fuck out, and everyone else elsewhere seems to be fine where they are. wtf is this shit. wtf is this dur-i-have-nothing-the-fuck-to-do-ham. where were my as gary would call them, dkny wearing fuckers, people of all different kinds, instead of this generic white frat i´m an idiot that thinks i´m cool because i cheer for duke basketball while i drink boy shit. wtf is this nonexistent social scene that leaves you bored in your room twindling your thumbs until you go out and just play poker all night? i´m tired of you saying, duke is a good school. yes academically, but where was my college experience? fuck all that good school shit.

i felt in my pockets. they were empty. i remember my dad visiting me just a couple months ago because he was in the area. he had given me about 400 dollars to spend. over the course of the semester, i had probably lost all of it to poker. was i just a terrible player? (i can now guess why i played so poorly, and what mistakes i made, not transitioning concepts of limit to no-limit, as the two are very different games. now as me and bobby joke around this amount, while still no chump change, doesn´t seem that significant anymore, but at the time i was working without a my own money.)

my studying and eating habits have gone from barely to nothing as my poker addiction stayed, and i wondered why i spent so much time on a game that even if i did win consistently, it would never be enough to justify the time spent. and since i was losing considerably, it didn´t make sense to keep playing...the uber competitive nature in me told me to keep going until i could beat the game. that i was determined to do...

but it wouldn´t matter, i was getting the fuck out of here, no one could remain laughing at me, the sucker, i´d be long gone by then. i´d be in the northeast, where i wouldn´t have to worry about poker or any of that bullshit, i´d be enjoying the rest of my college life there.

i started finally completing the 40 minute walk to east campus, nearing the bus stop. it was far too early for any buses to go to east, and i was not aware of the magical thing called safe rides. it was the longest and quietest walk i took, and it was very sobering, though i spent all of it as sober as i´ll ever be. i decided, that i needed something to eat.

i met up with gary at the marketplace, who looked at me kind of strange. ah gary, a fellow anti-dukite.

"sup, doug."

sup gary. what are you doing here?

"have a fuckin 9 AM final man...chem, man i´m fucked. what are you doing here?"

just came back from the manor...lost a shitload today. you can´t tell anyone man.

"yo, you ok? how much did you lose?"

around two, around two hundred.

i was actually somewhat disturbed by the amount, and somewhat disturbed by my thoughts at the time.

"geez. you gotta quit man. i don´t know why you play poker all the time if you keep losing."

hahaha, i don´t know either...oh well.

i started chomping on my fruit loops, a cereal i´d never get as a kid because my mom thought it was too sweetening. if she knew what other stuff i did like this, she´d have a heart attack.

"so, you really going to leave us here huh. get the fuck out."

hopefully...that´s the plan. i need to just leave this place and start a new life.

"heh man...fuck you. going to leave us...naw man, just kidding. if you gotta go to bahstahn and go to hahvahd to make you happy, by all means go do it."

thanks man.

i really appreciated his comment at the time...i think he was the first one that supported my decision as a friend. as i left him, i thought, i hope he finds his baegeen yuh jah.

when i finally got in the car and left, i had packed everything and left nothing behind, i was prepared never to come back. the only duke item i had was my coach k signed hat (which i lost at wilson! argh!) and was so detached from it that i didn´t even join the duke blogring that esther created.

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