A recent letter from a reader in response to an article by Jennifer Matiran in the 04/04/05 issue of Poker Player Newspaper.
I recently have had a bad stretch of luck in my life. In November, I was the victim of what is called "Corporate Reorganization." Right around the same time, my fiancee' and mother of my child decided that she could no longer be in a relationship with me. I looked for work in my field (marketing communications - I, too, am a writer) in the area which I live. It turns out the market had dried up in the region. This lead me to start looking for work outside my local market. However, I'm coming up short there as well.
My relationship with my ex had become a healthy one. We both love each other very much and while she felt we couldn't be together, it didn't stop her from wanting all of my time and it didn't keep us out of each other's beds. Like a fool in love, and not wanting to let go, I yielded to her wishes. Our love grew stronger everyday. Until this week.
She went out on Friday night with some friends to celebrate another friend's promotion at work. She met another man, and before the sun came up, she found herself in his car with him...making out. He left two hideous hickeys on her neck. She was apologetic. But just the sight of those disgusting marks on her neck made me sick to my stomach.
She didn't know if she would ever see the guy again because she knew that to get involved with someone would mean losing her best friend. However, given the fact she was still sleeping in my bed and telling me she loved me, I couldn't help but feel betrayed. With that in mind, I severed any friendly ties with her. You see, while I know I have to let her go and do what she feels she has to do, I can't be her friend while she's doing it. I felt lied to. I have never felt this kind of pain in a loss. I am in my 30s, and even though I was married in my early 20s, I had never been in love. I have had women cheat on me by sleeping with other men. I've even had a woman cheat on me by sleeping with another woman. She didn't even sleep with this guy, yet the fact that she shared intimacy with someone else cut me just as deep as if she had.
As of this morning (three days later) I haven't eaten much and I haven't slept well. I still haven't found a job and have been living off my severence (which is running low), my unemployment (which is a paltry sum), and my poker winnings (which have been modest).
I decided this weekend that the best course of action for me was to move completely away from the corporate world. I am pressing the card rooms at local casinos right now to give me an audition as a poker dealer. Somehow I think there is some relief in working at a place where I can "leave it at the office" once I go home for the night. It also would give me the opportunity to keep building a bankroll with discretionary income and give me a chance to play more often. Like most, my goal is become a full time professional. But my second goal in life - which may be why I find this stuff easy to say to you - is to write a screenplay. I've always made money writing advertising copy, commercial scripts and press releases. But I've always felt like somewhat of a whore for doing it. I want to do it for me, on my terms. And eventually, when I've completed something, would like to share it with the world.
Which once again, brings me to this morning.
I was waiting for a small tournament at a local casino to start. After I registered, I was left with about an hour to be left alone with my thoughts. It wasn't pretty. The entire weekend replayed in my mind so much so that I had to leave the room for fear I was going to cry. When I returned to the room, I picked up the April 4, issue of Poker Player. That's when I read your article. You began to describe spring and the rebirth of all living things around you. And then you began to speak of all the things you wished for your readers.
I know you are speaking to your many readers, but I felt at that moment like, for a change, someone was talking TO me and not AT me. And that's when it happened. I had to get up, walk back to the parking lot, sit in my car for 15 minutes...and cry.
It's strange how something so inspiring can come from the most unlikely of places. Lord knows that I didn't expect to find any inspiration there. But there was your column and your wishes. I know it was your intention to wish the everyone the best of everything, especially in this season of renewal, but the word used in your musing was "YOU." And it spoke to me.
Although it's hard to let go of recent events, and it's extremely hard to let go of someone you love SO much, your words are helping to give me the strength to do so. So I will press on. I will continue to follow my heart and work toward my goals (my ex was never as supportive of the path I would like to choose). But most importantly, I will no longer spend 58 minutes living in the past or even living in the future. I will appreciate what I do have. I will appreciate the miracles of now since they will never happen again. I will enjoy my sons and watching their softball and baseball games. I will enjoy my daughters childish giggles. I will enjoy my oldest son's generous heart. I will enjoy my one-year-old son and the way he tries to whistle back at me and breaks out in laughter when I whistle at him. I will enjoy the miracle of his smile and his druel-filled kisses as he says, "ahhhhhh." I will let my heart fill with joy everytime he mutters the word "Da-Da." I will enjoy it all.
Thank you so much for those words and their impeccable timing. And in the future, I wish you a "Life full of Royal Flushes."
-[name withheld on request]