Monday, July 03, 2006

A Little Excerpt

Here's a little intro to a short story I started writing. I wrote this and a few pages more a while ago, and have yet to touch it since.


The sound of a car horn blared through his partially opened window and pounded on his brain as he groggily woke from his sleep. Jesus Christ, he thought to himself. He tried to lift his body out of bed, but failed miserably and crashed back down onto his plush mattress. He squirmed, running his hands and legs through his warm sheets, which provided a welcome contrast to the crisp air around him. He jumped up to go slam the window shut, and jumped just as fast back into bed, trying to avoid the cold, hardwood surface beneath him. He had done it without even as much as opening his eyes. He lay there and took his time to rest, relinquishing in the fact that there was no rush to get up. A lot of guys in their mid-20s loved sleeping, but Jason saw it more as a sport. Many people he knew thought that the amount of sleep he got was unhealthy, and would tell him that he should be out doing other stuff instead of sleeping all day. Many people he knew, however, were unaware of his profession. He didn’t have to get up for work anymore. The days of traditional working were long behind him now; it had almost been an entire year since he’d had a legitimate job, and he was happier than he’d ever been. He could barely open his eyes, but he was able to read the numbers on the clock next to his bed. 7:05. PM. The memories of obeying alarm clocks and rushing to work were annoying to him, so he stayed tucked in bed for a little bit more, thanks, simply, to the fact that he could.

Outside the sun was barely visible over the horizon beyond the city, and the sunlight barely showed through the crowded buildings of Manhattan Island. The street lights were just turning on, and most cars had their headlights illuminated already. Some businesses were closing for the day while the numerous bars and clubs were preparing for the usually long night ahead. The tall buildings in the business sector had gone dark, but a few still had scattered lights on, due to the busy workers who had deadlines to meet. A few blocks away from those high-rise structures was Jason’s apartment building, right in the middle of 46th St. It was 10 stories high, and had recently been repainted a dark green color. Inside the building the smell of multiple dinners roamed down the halls. It seemed to create a fusion of smells, the collection of which seeped into room 617. The aromas danced across the living room and into the bedroom where Jason was sleeping. His stomach growled, and, as lazy and as tired as he was, he knew there was no way he could fall back to sleep, no matter how hard he tried. He swung his legs over the side of the bed in a swift motion and sat upright on the edge of the bed.

What the hell are people thinkin’ wakin’ me up at seven. Inconsiderate bastards. He grumbled to himself as he lumbered over to the bathroom disregarding the clothes on the floor from the previous day. Splashing cold water on his face brought him to full consciousness and his eyes were now open. He stared at the mirror for a second. He observed his short blonde hair, which started to turn brownish during the winter season for some reason. He had broad shoulders and a medium-sized torso. His muscle definition showed through a decent amount for someone who sat a card table all night and slept all day. He didn’t work out and barely exercised, and he hadn’t been eating healthy either. But if he had internal health problems, you wouldn’t know it by looking at him from the outside. He stood at a modest six-foot tall, and was a handsome guy. Most women, his age or not, were almost always immediately attracted to him. Jason was a simple guy, though, and hated the idea of bothering with restrictive girlfriends. If he had ever met a woman who was free-willed and easy going, he hadn’t remembered it. Oh well, one day.

He snapped out of his trance and grabbed a towel to wipe off his wet face. After slipping into some sweat pants he made his way to the kitchen and swung open the refrigerator door. Ketchup, cheese slices, orange juice, Mountain Dew, and Red Bull. Mostly empty, as usual; he’d have to grab some food before he went to the Chesterfield. He snatched a Red Bull and opened it up as he walked back to his bathroom, where he took a shower.
Ten minutes later he got dressed, slipped on some shoes, threw on a baseball cap, put on his heavy coat, and hastily took off towards the door. It never got old for him, the feeling of excitement. Playing cards had always psyched him up in a way that nothing else did, and even after playing professionally for almost a year now he still felt the same way about it. As he was about to step into the hallway he doubled back to the kitchen. He grabbed a wad of twenty- and hundred-dollar bills off of the kitchen counter, peeling nine hundred dollars from it. He pocketed the rest of the wad and threw the nine hundred bucks back on the countertop to leave behind for the previous night’s profits. He would add it to his bankroll stash when he got back from tonight’s session. But for now there was no time to waste; it was Friday night!

As Jason was locking his door, his neighbor from the room across his was just coming home. She was a young woman with a petite figure and long brown hair. At the moment it had been in a ponytail, and her bangs were hanging over one side of her face. She was wearing fashionably ripped light-toned jeans, as did many women her age, and a grey, woven sweatshirt. She had a scarf around her neck and was wearing a long, black coat over it all.

“Hey Jason,” she said.

“Hey Steph. How are ya’?” he replied, without turning around from his lock.

“Same ol’ me. You?”

“Same,” Jason stated with a smile as he turned to go down the hallway. “Good night,” he was already headed towards the elevator.

“K. See ya …” Stephanie curiously watched him as he scurried off down the hall. She often wondered what he did, as a living, as a hobby. No one in the adjacent rooms seemed to know Jay’s occupation. He was always very nice, but he had never talked to anyone about his personal life. Oh well. She thought nothing more of it as she retired into her room for the night.

Jason exited the building on W 46th St. and started down the street. He stopped at a little Chinese food place he’d grown to love. He ordered some food and sat at a table near the window facing the street. As he stared out towards the street, he was thinking about tonight’s game, and about how Jim Berr was going to be there. He’d originally picked up the nickname Bear because of the similarity of his name to the word. Irony had it that he was also a grizzly guy, standing well over six feet and dawning a full beard. But despite both his name and his appearance, Jay usually referred to Jim as a fish, since he was usually the live one at the table, and Jay could count on him for many “donations.”

Bear had his own construction company, and usually came pretty heavily loaded on Fridays. His business had picked up after the September 11th attacks, and since he had more money than he was used to having, he consistently tried to play limits he probably shouldn’t have been playing. He rarely played optimum strategy, and rarely won. However, when he was lucky on some nights, he was extremely lucky. He could win thousands of dollars in one night, as opposed to the thousands he usually lost. After all, the forgotten percentages had to catch up sometime, right? His spotted successes at the 20-40 had kept him coming back to that game, and throughout Jay’s playing time at the Chesterfield so far it had kept Jay’s bankroll pretty steadily supplied.

Jason realized that he wasn’t even hungry. He tossed his food in the trash can and took off towards his “office,” in which building resided his old office as well.

From here Chapter 1 starts off explaining his life before his switch to professional poker player. I already have some more of the later story written, when he gets to the Chesterfield. It takes place around the time when Mike McDermott (yes I know, flame away if you want) gets busted at Teddy's place, and he's at KGB's when it happens. Then it intertwines with Mike again later in the story, but in no way is supposed to be part of the Rounders story.

Tell me what you think. Tell me what you like and what you think is stupid. I want to see my comment box full of fellow bloggers and anonymous comments. I know you guys from CT are out there reading......

1 comment:

TreMomey said...

Hey buddy..

I really like the story a lot.

A great story is one that is easily visualized by the reader with strong characters. I like the very descriptive style of the story.

The main character is a good draw for me personally bc he sounds very similar to me and many other poker players I know.

I think my only advice is to try to stay away from anything really corny poker wise. So far so good man.. if you want to you can e-mail me whatever you have done so far and I'll give you my input.