The Gambler

♠♦Did I ever tell you that I’m a legend on Melrose? Well I am and let me tell you how it happened…

In my early twenties I worked at a coffee house on Melrose Ave. It was a pretty famous spot and a lot of people came there. (this is world renowned Melrose Ave in LA)
There were these rich jewish men in their fifties and sixties who would come almost every day and sit at the same table drinking espresso, smoking cigars and they would play this really intense card game- they would even bet money-
I mean, they were into it big time.

Anyway, one day business was slower than usual- and a member of their group didn’t show up- and they couldn’t find anyone else -and they really needed another person because this card game was played in partners -and don’t ask me the name of the game because I never even paid attention when they told me-

So, in a final act of desperation they asked me to fill in and be partners with the guy whose partner was missing. They of course, did not bet money that day since I was playing. People don’t know me. I show them what they want to see. So since I was flirty and energetic and wore see through dresses to work they thought I was an airhead- (I used to play men like that in order to not intimidate them and to get my way) and I didn’t know my dresses were see through- I’m just a free spirit…but my friend whose also a guy told me one day that -that was the reason my boss would tell me to go clean the glass doors as the sun would shine through- even when they weren’t dirty -and him and his friends would sit there watching me and smiling…
I was like, “God, these guys are really into clean windows…”

Yes. I’ve been exploiting and exposing myself for years…

Now, back to the story of how I became a legend on Melrose. So they got me a chair and I sat down- and my brainy, stern jewish partner explained the game to me. I was listening but he didn’t think so because as he explained it I was talking and laughing with my friend who was nearby- totally ignoring the depth of the stick up his ass and how much it must hurt…finally in total frustration he just shrugged his shoulders and gave up- just hoping I got the gist enough to fake it-

And the game began. It was so intense. They sat there just staring at their cards- frowning and scowling and looking up every once in awhile giving each other menacing glances…grunting as they would touch a card then change their mind…and this was so f’ing boring I would just talk to my friend and joke and make fun of these men- (I can get away with a lot sometimes) these guys took forever to take their turn what was I supposed to do? Sit there fondling my cards and grunting too?

And one of the rules of the game was that whatever move I made on my turn effected my partner too and yet he wasn’t allowed to say anything to me- and so my turn would come and it seemed I wasn’t paying attention at all -and I would just carelessly throw a card down – and sometimes the card I would pick to throw down would almost give my partner a heart attack- he would yell, “No!” and grab his head…and hit his head on the table over and over again groaning…

because to him, my move was sure to make us lose -of course, I was way ahead in my mind about how this game would play out and I knew in the future that the hand I played now would only make sense in the end- because I’m not linear-and I could smell their fear and read their eyes- I knew the cards they were holding-
it was so easy…

and the opposing team would laugh and make fun of my partner that he was stuck with the airhead girl -apparently these men took great pride in their game playing skills and serious expertise and were well known around LA- It wasn’t just a game to them…

and so the game went on and I did my thing- talking, laughing, throwing down crazy cards- my poor partner was an emotional wreck because of my seemingly foolish and reckless card playing…

too bad he didn’t know that actually I was totally in control-not only was I playing the cards, I was playing them too! I’m a player! It was fun. Lighten up guys, it’s only a game!

You see, none of them knew that I win every game I play -and why I’m not uptight about winning is because I don’t give a fuck if I lose either. I really don’t. But the fact is, I just know how to play the game- whatever game it is- and I always win…it’s true.

So, long story short- we won. (because of me)
And my partner saw my genius only after the fact (it was a complex card game) and they all said, “it was blind luck” but I could see their awe…I see everything all the time…

it must hurt to be showed up by a 22 year old in a see through dress huh guys?- you uptight male chauvinist perverts!) – and don’t get me wrong, I love men…even the tight ones.

So, they were so perplexed and freaked out by me that they came back and made me play the next day- again, I won. And they kept making me play with them pretty much every day- and their rich jewish friends would come and laugh and make fun of them for losing to an airhead in a see through dress- and because I cared so little and they cared so much…it made them all look even more pitiful- they just couldn’t defeat me- It’s hurts. I know and I feel bad. I really do!

And so they all started wanting to partner up with the airhead girl -because everyone was betting by this time and making good money off of me (I never even thought I should bet on me too!) – and since they were super rich -my boss kissed their asses and gave them anything they wanted -which was me- and so I would only have to play cards with them everyday instead of work- we would change partners every time we played and I would talk and laugh and throw down the card with no second thought at all-and they would all just study me with with concentrated amazement and total confusion.

This went on for some time until I quit to become a stripper…remember, I’m a gambler. I know the cards I’m holding…

And I completely forgot all about the card game days until not long ago, my friend emailed me and told me she went back to the coffee house on Melrose and after all these years -they were all still there playing the game as stiff and as stuffy as ever…and they asked her about me and why I haven’t come back to play…
She said that my boss told her that I’m literally a Legend on Melrose and that they always talk about me and tell newcomers the story about the airhead girl who wore see through dresses and never lost a game.

She said, “They still can’t figure you out Michelle…”

Of course they can’t! I just laughed and laughed…

this story is 100% true btw

Do you want to know my strategy?
My strategy is….

I WON. BEFORE I WIN. AND SO I ALWAYS DO.

And, they were afraid because they had something to lose. And I wasn’t, because I didn’t…and I still don’t.

Life is as easy as that.
We came. We laughed. And we won.
Sharada Devi

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