As I paint the house’s siding with Benjamin Moore’s color “hale navy”, the FM radio’s randomness plops me back into memories – to exes, to graduating high school, to a memory of Wayne, a poker player to whom I dealt.
There was something about Wayne. On more than one occasion, his chair got removed because of the odor he left behind, and at close to 400 pounds, he was the butt of many a joke. But his entertaining stories and give-the-shirt-off-his-back personality made him easy to love.
When he started dating Leslie, his fame in the poker community rose. A poker dealer herself, Leslie was a younger 50-something (to Wayne’s 60+) and was two hundred pounds lighter. They never spoke of their time together, leading to even more whispers of denial, disbelief, and hypotheses of what went on behind closed doors.
I learned of the word succubus from him – a female demon. Whenever I dealt a card that made his hand lose he’d spat it at me with fondness. That’s one thing I liked about Wayne; even when losing hundreds of dollars he did it with class, never taking it out on dealers or players, like so many do.
The last I heard about him was that he slipped and fell on the ice during an Ellensburg harsh winter. I wonder if he’s still alive.
During his poker sessions, two bounty hunters – a husband and wife duo – would appear. They’d stand behind him, and recount their near misses and chases. Wayne, their mob-like boss would listen, and far too calmly would indicate the next step to take. Then off they’d go. Looking back, those bail bondsman stories were gold, I wish I’d had the foresight to have written them down.
It’s “Turn the Page” during my wax on wax off motion that prompts these memories. Having never heard the song when Wayne mentioned it was his favorite, I promised to give it a listen. I’m often unimpressed with recommendations, but the way Bob Segar captures a haunting lonesomeness with a bluesy saxophone and twang has stuck with me.
“On a long and lonesome highway, east of Omaha
You can listen to the engine moanin’ out his one note song
You can think about the woman or the girl you knew the night before
But your thoughts will soon be wanderin’ the way they always do
When you’re ridin’ sixteen hours and there’s nothin’ there to do
And you don’t feel much like ridin’, you just wish the trip was through”
Damn, Mazzy Star’s “Fade Into Me” just came on, and however much a memory of drinking wine with a perfect stranger as the sun came up is a fun tale to tell, it’ll have to wait for another day.
4 thoughts on “Turn The Page”
I forget to read this a lot of times but when I remember I am always rewarded with good writing.
Wow. That means a lot. Thank you, Chuck.
In case you didn’t know it, Uncle Mike love your writing, I’m always glad to share childhood stories, Your Dad has always been older, so why do I look old fat and bald and he looks like High school Luv you
Thanks Uncle Mike! I love hearing your stories of my Dad; I hope we get to do it soon. Love you too.