He knows a lot.
He has that mechanical brain. He knows strategy. He knows numbers. He knows technique. He knows how to win tournaments at a game most of us wouldn’t be able to wrap our head around. He’s smart like that. He thinks deeper than most of us. And I thought I was deep. Nah. His mind wanders to places most of us will never reach. He knows things before things happen. He’s pretty brilliant and I’m not biased. I just observe.
He knows how to hold his own. He knows how to survive. After all, the world of professional poker isn’t entirely tied to the perceived notion of big dollars and live tournaments for the world to watch. Gambling has a dark side, but doesn’t every part of life? Interestingly enough, he will teach you that you don’t gamble to win and you don’t gamble to lose, rather you gamble to live. And as we all know, living isn’t always easy.
He finds his pillars in those hard times though. His anchors. He treads on no matter how heavily and securely the chips weigh his pockets down or how painfully absent their presence really is. He once told me, “Start the business. What’s the worst that could happen? You’ll lose some money.” For most, that very worst — losing money — is the end of the game or the reason they will never sit at the table and let the game begin. Be it the game of life or the game of poker. He knows differently than that. He sits front and center. He shows up at the poker table and in life. Or at the table of life because that’s what it really is. He knows that fear will hold him back so that’s a card he doesn’t play. He knows the value in risk. He knows the beauty in risk. He makes me want to take 10,000 more risks before I die so I too can say I lived.
He knows the value in losing it all. He knows how to ration a foot long sub sandwich for days and weather the dark night. He knows how to take home the title. He knows how to root for the underdog and take care of people more than he’s expected to. Like I said, he knows how to live, not win or lose, but live. He gets it. He doesn’t live trapped in the safety bubble most humans crave. He lives for the sake of living.
But within all that beauty he holds, there are a few things he doesn’t quite know.
He doesn’t know just how much he makes my little world go round and round. He doesn’t know how the sound of his voice, even when it’s testy and grumpy, lights me up. He doesn’t know that 20 people can call and text me in a day but the only one that I’m truly hoping for is his. He doesn’t know how the only place in the world I want to be is next to him. He doesn’t know that he could play 5 million more hands and as long as he’s playing those hands next to me, all is right in my world. He doesn’t know that he could spin the globe with his index finger in hopes that it lands on a faraway land and I would go where he goes, no question. He doesn’t know that his distaste for roots doesn’t mean he has to fly alone, I’d be his co-bird. Maybe even his ride or die. I like him like that.
He doesn’t know that no matter how much we disagree, or no matter how much stress from the world gets to us, he is the only person I ever wanted to stay in my life until no more sand runs through my hour-glass. He doesn’t know how badly I was praying and hoping to see his face again. He doesn’t know how much I imagine a life with him. He doesn’t know how much I want to be his best friend, his girl. He doesn’t know that he never has to change for me. That exactly who he is…is exactly who I want. He just doesn’t know how unmatched he is to me.