Thursday, May 23

A Portrait

He doesn’t like the idea of folding. Somehow, it means that he has lost, even though to continue on means risking more and more. Its possible it has something to do with pride. Not willing to admit that he has failed, or that his efforts weren’t good enough. It means admitting that you made bad choices early on, that you were ignorant, that you were unprepared.

He feels like life is like that sometimes, like a poker game I mean. Each round having to decide if those he plays with are telling the truth, having to hide his true feelings, to guard himself constantly. As each person makes his or her move, he must determine if they are lying or telling the truth. He looks at each mannerism, hoping for a telling movement. Each round he plays, he risks a part of himself. He plays his cards defensively or aggressively, depending on what kind of person he is and how good he is feeling. There is always so much at stake. You see, life never plays for peanuts, that is… unless you like peanuts.

With each hand he is faced with the decision. Should I fold? If he cuts now, he may have better fortune next time, but there is an uncertainty. How much can he trust what he has observed? How much weight is he willing to put on what he thinks he knows about his playmates? How confident is he? How proud?

He hates to fold. Always his heart tells him that he should keep going. This could be the time! It whispers, incessantly. Don’t throw away all you’ve put into this. Because starting over is hard. Emotionally hard. Accepting failures is difficult. The truth then comes out. You see, it isn’t perhaps the failure that bears so heavily on him, it isn’t perhaps the pride, as much as it is his laziness. He is almost willing to accept total defeat on the first try than go through the many repetitions of smaller defeats, learning from each one till he finally wins.

The key word is "finally". It means there will be lots of failures before winning. And it ehoes in his mind. That’s why he hates to fold. Oh, his pride doesn’t like it either, but its the work he fears most. And it is a fear, a deep and abiding one. So he rarely gives up. He’ll keep on with the same place, the same people, the same life, each day telling himself that its still possible to win, that there’s still hope. Hope that his one hand won’t ruin him, that it turn into a winner.

And he may be right. I mean, the game isn’t over… is it?


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