I sat down at the poker table, and cashed in for chips.  This is where my life had taken me, after months of solitude and being upset.  Work, wasn’t the same.  I wasn’t the same. The poison of such sadness had seeped into every facet of my life.  Nothing was cheering me up.  I look to my right and left, and it’s as if I was at the World Series of lost souls.  Just seeing all the different faces at the table, each one battling their own demons, each one looking at me with conviction and judgement.  Which one cheated? Which one had the gambling problem? Which one was the alcoholic? Which one had the broken heart? That was easy.

Each hand I lost was further plundering me down the hole of depression. The lowest of lows.  Yet I wanted to hit rock bottom. Scotch on rocks please. Once you hit rock bottom, the only way to go is up. Either with the wings God gives you, or through the purgatories of life. I order more drinks.  Old man winter at the end of table smiles as he takes another one of my hands. You’ve lived your life old man, why take another. I take a deep breath and look at my stack of chips. Once a castle, a fortress covering up to my eyes and hiding all my tells, is now but a crumbled wall. They were nothing more than a large step away from capturing the flag, and kingdom.

And then it happened. Rock bottom. The text message that I was dreading, but I was waiting for. Secretly hoping for. I forced her hand, but I wanted to.  I still have chips, but I pull away from the table to gather my thoughts.  This is it I say to myself. I can’t get any lower.  I take a break, and walk into the bathroom. I splash some water into my face. Look in the mirror, and see nothing that resembles the man I was just a few months back. She was gone, and now, I was ready to put it past me. I realize, I will never be that man again, but that wasn’t a bad thing. It’s time to move up and move on. Fuck it. I down another scotch, and sit back at the table. I’m not these people. I’m better than this, better than them, better than…I better man up.

Finally, I get a hand I can play, and I can see myself winning. Old man winter, death, the devil, whoever the fuck you are. You’re going down. I go all in. The cards fall, my eyes widen, and I win. It’s a huge pot. Just then, another text message. This time, from someone else. I look down to my phone and then look back up the table. The guy beside me smiles and says ‘looks like you’re back in the game’. I give him a stare, a smirk, and think to myself, yeah, I guess I am.