“So, what’s your sign?” the man asked her as he signaled for another drink.
The barman walked in front of the mirror that read ‘Three Little Pigs’ down to where Marie was trapped. “Will that be another gin and Kool-Aid?” he asked the guy.
“Yeah,” the guy said, “but can I get lemon-lime flavor this time instead of red, and maybe another glass of wine for the lovely lady?”
“We only got red Kool-Aid.”
“OK, that’ll be fine.”
Kenny, the bartender, looked at Marie and raised his eyebrows, as if to say ‘are you really going to let this clown buy you a drink?’
“Oh, oh – no thanks,” Marie said politely to the man, “I’ve got to go; big card game tonight; can’t be late.”
“Ahhh,” said the man, “I thought you looked a little like a poker player. I’m a poker player too. If you got room at the table, I’d be interested.” He looked at her expectantly, waiting for some sign of encouragement. She was a hottie and she had actually spoken politely to him; actually said something besides ‘get lost, ass-wipe.’ Good looking girls called him ass-wipe all the time. He wasn’t sure exactly why – he didn’t think it was a term of endearment.
“Sorry, Dick,” she said.
“That’s Richard,” he interjected.
“Oh, sorry Richard but the game’s full. Anyway, we play table stakes and the stakes are usually pretty high. Maybe next time, OK? Bring your money!”
“OK, see you around then,” Richard said hopefully as she finished her wine and set a ten spot on the bar. She knocked on the wooden surface and when Kenny turned his head she pointed at the tenner, stood, nodded and headed for the door.
Fifteen minutes later Marie was standing in her bedroom looking in the closet. She started changing her clothes. Over her bra and panties she pulled a wifebeater, and board shorts. On top of that Jeans and a t-shirt which she quickly covered with a blue plaid flannel shirt and sweatpants, two pair of socks and her big clodhopper boots finished off her change of attire.
She headed for the living room, but came back and grabbed a ball cap that she tugged down low over her eyes. This time, she paused to look in the mirror by the door. She snapped her fingers and pointed at her reflection. I’m gonna win tonight, she thought then she strutted out to the living room.
Marie poured herself a glass of red wine and took a seat on the couch. She picked up a new deck of cards, shuffled and dealt a hand of solitaire.
Marie played solitaire; not poker, as that loser in the bar had assumed. But Marie didn’t just play solitaire. Oh no, Marie played strip solitaire, a game she had learned from her first real boyfriend, Eddie Mercer. Eddie loved to watch her play. She wasn’t sure why, because she very seldom won. She figured Eddie must’ve really sucked at the game because he always told her how good she was at it.
Tonight though, well tonight felt different, tonight felt good. She was layered up and she was going to win. She thought about how good it would feel to pull a shirt back over her head or tug a sock back on her foot.
Didn’t work out that way though.
After about half an hour and two glasses of wine, Marie moved to the floor. Her cap was gone, lost in the first hand. Her boots and socks were tossed cavalierly next to the coffee table with her sweatpants neatly folded and stacked on top of them.
An hour after that, Marie took stock of her situation. She was pretty drunk and in dire straits; but had enough to play one more hand. She wished Eddie was here – he’d be cheering her on. The cards weren’t looking good and she knew she wasn’t going to win tonight. Finally she turned the ace of spades and stood up to remove her panties.
“Shit,” she said out loud, kicking her knickers across the room. “This game is tough to win.”