Alright darlings, there is nothing more sexy and dangerous than spending a sticky midnight on a rusted steel Longliner Pilot, West of Marathon and South of Pigeon. Less than a hundred miles from Havana, it's just me, my partner and the other two, Cash and Denny. It's another night of Spades. As with every play, the ante gets raised $100. We've been doing this long enough that tonight's spoil is worth almost $1,400. I may not believe in luck, but I won't play Spades, and certainly, not with these guys, unless I'm wearing my no-heat Burma ruby ring.
For the past two hours, rocking back and forth, the quiet silence between us--interrupted only by the sounds of cards shuffling and the slick cadence of cards hitting the table--seems to be playing tricks on me. The smell of diesel mingled with the salt of the ocean adds to the layer of ease and tranquility of the night. I can feel myself of the verge of lighting a clove, for good luck, yet feel this close to passing out.
Eight cards left. I've got a 10 of Diamonds and a 5 of Spades. Denny takes the book and leads with a 6 of Diamonds. I flip my diamond, Cash reveals a 4 and gives me a look. With nothing to say, I just glance at my partner. He throws down a Jack and takes the book.
Perhaps if this was Dominoes, a drowsy night would be acceptable; but this was a game of Spades. From the way I see it, if my partner can muscle through, and support my nil, this will be our third take in a row. Relief won't come till the next four cards are played. To be this close and bag only one book, this is a dream!
He leads with a 3 of Diamonds and I could just kill him. If you know the game then you can understand my dismay and desire to throw him overboard. Denny throws a 9 of Clubs and I drop my Spade. How he did it, I don't know, but with a punishing grip, Cash's ambidextrous mouth gripped the dangling cigarette, while at the same time a garbled, masculine wretch finagled its way from behind his lips. All he had left to play was a 6 of Spades.
Pretending not to care I swung a shot glass over to Denny. I didn't say a word. I didn't have to; I was $700 richer.