Confessions of a Poker Writer: The Elephant Rider

TAGs: Confessions of a Poker Writer, Poker Writer Confessions

Lee Davy continues his confessions series by offering up some advice on what to do when you find yourself staring at a blank white screen with nothing but sawdust in your mind.

When he told me he regularly visited Thailand, I conjured up an image of him having sex with a lady boy. I took an instant dislike to him. He had a cocky look about him, he was too comfortable and when he told me that he likes to ride on the back of elephants through the Thai jungle…well I needed an IV drop inserted into my arm.

Confessions of a Poker Writer: The Elephant RiderThat reminds me.

I am an inventor who never invents anything. I once had an idea to create a company that sold different flavored IV drips: strawberry shortcake IV, pho IV and a roast dinner IV. Then I realized that they would never be able to taste them. I guess that type of thing has to pass the lip test. If I had lips I would smile. They are too skinny, like a latte.

I digress.

The Elephant Rider also told me that he stroked a tiger in Thailand.

“How did that happen?”

“It was chained to a fence. It had a muzzle on it.”

I am currently reading a book about the Amur tiger in Siberia. It’s the world’s largest cat; the ultimate predator. And the Elephant Rider stroked one that was muzzled. I look deep into his iris. It’s as black as a coalmine. I send a signal he doesn’t receive.

“Do you like to ride elephants?” He asked.

It’s a question I know I shouldn’t answer.

But I did.

“I wanted to, but then I spent time at an elephant sanctuary and saw the violence inflicted on these majestic animals. Thailand is preparing these animals for the theatre of death, and I didn’t want to do my part in getting them to the stage.”

I didn’t really say that, but it sounds way cooler than what I really said, which was, “I don’t think that’s a good thing to do because the animals are treated poorly.”

And then it came.

The shrug that tells me that he thinks I am a hippy.

A harpist plays a tune in the corner.

The Elephant Rider and I met in the steam room at my local gym.

Why am I telling you this?

I am led to believe that there are people in this world that write for a living but don’t really write very much. They struggle to find things to write about. They don’t know where to start, how to end and what to put in the middle. So they go to their Smeg fridge crack open a cold one, sit in front of the computer screen and stare.

My head teacher once called me a hobo. To be honest, I didn’t really know what a hobo was at the time. At first I thought it was a JR Tolkien type creature, and then I remembered the TV show The Littlest Hobo and so I assumed she was calling me a dog.

She called me a hobo moments after I held my hands up and admitted that it was I who had the deck of bestiality playing cards and had been leaving them around the school like a cock-a-doodle terrorist. She looked me up and down with disgust dripping from her fangs. I was wearing grey moccasins, grey trousers and a grey shirt. I looked like an Indian rain dance.

“You are a hobo, Lee Davy.” She said with such derision I thought she was going to melt into the floor.

I told my Mum.

“She called you a homo?” She shouted.

She wasn’t happy.

I used to think I was ugly. My face was covered in scar tissue from fights with acne. It looked like the surface of the moon – albeit covered in pizza topping. I hated spots. When I moved in with my first wife I would turn the lights out before I took my clothes off, and climb into bed, because I didn’t want her to see the spots on my shoulders. I never got a suntan because I refused to go topless when on the beach.

How can people not know what to write about?

Get out. Meet people. I meet people in my steam room. It’s a game I play called “Meet and Greet in the Steam Room.” I have to force myself to talk to the person who is in there with me. You learn so much. You thin slice people, you think you have them sussed, and they go and surprise you. Take the Elephant Rider, for example, I started to like him after a while. There was no need for the IV after all.

If you don’t like to get out and meet people then that’s fine. Enter your palace and find the rooms containing all of the memories. Drag them out by their hair and spread them over the page like honey. It doesn’t matter how deranged your thoughts are, pull them out and give them a good shake. You will be surprised how many little gems fall out.

Writing should be fun. It shouldn’t be as tough as eating that beef my mother told my dad he should have cooked in the slow cooker. Turn it into a game. Read a lot and write down all the strange and wonderful words you normally wouldn’t use, and figure out a way of injecting them into the poison.

Here is a sentence for you.

You can steal it if you want.

The chill of a hole left in the glass after a bullet has raced through it.

I like that line.

I was sitting in the cinema watching a movie trailer for the new James Bond flick Spectre. I saw this very thing happen when a bullet went through the c and I quickly noted it down on my iPhone, later to be transferred to a scrap piece of paper that lays next to my laptop, and now it’s been used in this piece of blather.

Think a lot.

Read a lot.

Meet a lot.

Greet a lot.

But most important of all.

Write a lot.

Write down the things that pop in your head. Don’t be afraid of the big bad wolf. He isn’t there anyway. He’s lying in a bed of orchids waiting for a little girl to come skipping into his mouth so he can gobble her up. That is, unless he goes to Thailand on holiday, in which case, he will probably be tied to a fence and muzzled.


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