After six weeks of pain, pleasure and pangs of loneliness, Lee Davy ends his World Series of Poker journey and heads back to the UK to get reacquainted with grey clouds.
He scrubs his cock hard.
I can see the soapsuds lathering over his swimming trunks. He doesn’t take his eyes off me. Perhaps he is a poker player? I use my new trick. I stare at the tip of his nose. He turns his back on me, grabs a handful of liquid soap and starts scratching his hairy ass.
I close my eyes to meditate. I can hear the gardener blowing leaves in the distance. I can hear the runner in the gym releasing her daily orgasmic squeal. I drift some more. There is a hulk of a man. He gets behind her, grabs her ponytail and yanks hard, she squeals some more, then he pulls down his too-tight speedos and…wait…I see ginger pubes.
I can’t do this.
I open my eyes, the cock scrubber is gone, and I am all alone. A hummingbird floats in front of me. It looks effortless. All that work. It’s such a beautiful sight. I am going to miss this place.
“I find the interviewer’s writing style to deeply annoying.”
A very prominent person in the poker industry wrote that about me the other day. I would like to tell you that it didn’t hurt. That would be a lie. I don’t take criticism very well. I’m a railwayman masquerading as a writer. Like a plagiaristic plastic toy. Stick a small flame of failing anywhere near me and I start to melt.
I’m reliably informed that the best way to write is to think of one person and then write for them. That one person is me. As long as I like what I write then the rest of the cool cats can do one.
I actually believe my writing has gotten increasingly better during the summer. I thank James Altucher for that. It was a tip that I think will make me an even better writer in the years to come. He told me to read before I write. I have this system now where I wake up, go to the gym, meditate, swim, and then read four chapters from four different books: fiction, non-fiction, alcohol-related and a business book.
As I read I note down certain words and phrases that inspire me. I fit them into my abstract puzzle, and when I sit back and read the final product there seems to be more depth. I still don’t know too much about verbs and nouns, and James Obst wanted to fire me for placing too many commas in his recent interview, but I am sure that can be remedied with an online course or two.
Take the word apocryphal for example. I would never normally use that word. But what a beautiful word. I had to look up its meaning and realized that it’s a word that can be used to sum me up. A railwayman who pretends he is a good writer, a doubtful authenticity that many widely circulate as being true. There are fans, and there are people who pull the plug out and watch you die of heat exhaustion.
I am writing this from LA. I am sat in my in-laws garden looking at a skull containing the most beautiful looking flower. It looks out of place. It doesn’t belong in this garden. I feel like that skull sometimes. I want a group hug but don’t know which group to hug. I worry about my wallet leaving my back pocket.
This has been my best year at the WSOP. I played in six events, made three Day 2’s and cashed twice. I loved playing, and I loved writing, but I didn’t love the Rio. I don’t like the energy. I spent more time alone in my condo – reading and writing. Two of the loneliest pursuits that I can imagine. I put my headphones on and the world disappears. The only company I have is my piles. The constant itch reminding me that I am not alone.
I have also been pleased with my interviews this year. They have been fewer, but the ones I have done have had more depth. My style is now well-known. The people with the secrets keep their distance, and the open books walk towards me and let me read.
It rained a lot this week. I took it as a sign that the UK wanted me back. The sun had become my best friend. Each time I felt his rays on my back, I tingled like the touch of a vibrator getting a new battery. But the tip-tap of the rain hitting the table on my balcony reminded me of home. They say home is where the heart is. Fuck that. My heart is under the sun, but home is where my son is, and in the next four hours I will climb aboard that big jet plane, hope and pray I am not sat next to a hipster, fundamentalist or terrorist and watch movies until my neck hurts. I may not be a writer, but I am a father.
I wanted to say so much. The list was very long. But I kept thinking about the guy who said my writing was so annoying. Like a golfer getting fluffed on the tee, it put me off my swing.
I hope you enjoyed the WSOP diaries. I tried to make it as interesting as I could. Only the fly on my condo wall could tell you how difficult that was. The life of the writer is like hunger, an irritant speaking out from a chasm of emptiness. There is only one thing that keeps me screaming, and that’s the hope that there is someone on the other end actually reading.