I'm sorry if you find my lack of prudent money management somewhat offensive. Perhaps you yourself dream of having a $60k bankroll, a hundred buyin rule, and a steady income. But that is not how I am. I'm not interested in grinding out your bourgeois living.
But soon I was losing and on tilt, and when I asked him to play higher he said no. I often find my opponents try to set the terms of play; it's all part of the game. Although I was losing, he clearly viewed me with caution; as if, as a jungle man, he saw me as a drowsy but dangerous snake which might still bite. So, since he wouldn't give me action, I short-stacked the first player I found at 100/200 and lost the rest.
After that, I had to get out of the house. I put on my heavy black coat and boots and walked straight out of the door. I didn't want to speak to anybody, not even my best friend Henrik. I just wanted time on my own. I caught the bus to Emaus nature reserve on the outskirts of town. It's one of my favourite places. There are beech and hazel trees; oak trees, elm and ash.
As I stomped through the snow, I saw a couple in their late 20s, and their young son of about 5 or 6 running ahead, chasing after their fat little dog. The boy's entire outfit was colour-coordinated the same shade of blue. Just that little detail stuck with me. I imagined his parents together choosing it in the shop. I looked at the man and I thought, this is what it means to be a strong man: to have a wife and a son and a dog. That's true strength. One day I might want it too.
I walked to the top of the reserve where there's a great view over the nearby Gustafsberg reserve and the city fjord. I found a clearing and I just laid down on the snow and felt myself inhale and exhale and looked up at the gray sky. I just wanted to feel something, to be reminded of my mortality, of my place in time and space. It's always like this after I have been gambling; it is like coming up from the depths of the ocean; I must learn to breathe again; to feel the air on my skin.
It was dark by the time I caught the bus back into town. I found myself walking past Harry's Bar just off the main street in Uddevalla. Probably people I knew from high school would be there, with their hair products, house music, and designer labels. I had enough money in my pocket to get in, and briefly thought of it. A dozen shots of tequila suddenly seemed a very attractive proposition. Then I caught my reflection in a doorway, realized my back was still wet from the snow, and I hadn't changed my clothes since Wednesday. I went back to my parents' house.
Once more in my room, I logged on to FTP to check the action. There was a PLO game going; players I knew I could beat, if only I had chips. I felt like an injured footballer bitterly watching the game from the sidelines; but I made notes in my mind from what I saw of their play. Always processing data. I soon logged off, though, feeling the old sickness rising in my stomach. I ripped off my clothes, got into my single bed, and tried to sleep.