Hey you. Yeah, you. You wanna know something? It don’t pay to think too much. No, really. Okay maybe I should rephrase that. It don’t pay to over think things. You just end up spinning your wheels, and when you do that you can miss something important.
Missing something important is a crossroad sorta deal. Remember that. If you come to a crossroad and take the wrong direction, well, it’s better that you did it because you made a conscious choice and not because you missed that opportunity and the choice got made for you. You dig?
So what am I on about? I thought you’d never ask. It’s just that I got myself into a little jam by doing exactly what I’m warning you not to do. Missing an opportunity to choose, that is to say.
Right now I’m just killing time while I wait to see if the same is going to happen to me. It all hinges on the text message I managed to get off before my phone got confiscated. See I knew I was in a tight spot, it comes with the territory. I’m a gambler. A gambler can’t afford to not be sharp. However, sometimes shit happens.
Maybe I should explain. I was sitting in on a game of Texas Holdem’ and I might have accidentally not been playing by the rules. As in, you’re not supposed to have any aces up your sleeve. You can guess what happened. Like I said, shit happens. But hey, I’m a sharp guy more often than not.
I knew the guy across from me was getting suspicious so I took a piss break and texted my buddy Artie from the john. Sure enough, when I got back I was getting the hairy eyeball all around. I played it straight from there on out but you could cut the tension in the room with a dull knife.
Next thing I know the guys on either side of me each grab my arms and hold me while another guy searches me. Not my finest hour. Can you believe they didn’t buy it when I told them I had no idea where those aces came from?
So now here I am face down on the floor with a gun to the back of my head while they all argue about what to do with me, and it’s all because I missed that crossroad. The one where I should have decided whether to make a break for it when I came out of the bathroom.
Greed makes you blind. See, my money was still on the table and since I was up real big I didn’t consider my options when I should have. I was too busy creating plan B to make a choice on plan A. That choice got made for me and here I am face down on the floor.
So why am I explaining all of this instead of freaking out at the thought of my skull getting ventilated? Because, as I told you, I’m a gambler. I’m betting on Artie. Artie is my main man.
Paydirt! The lights just went out. I jump up quick smart and grab the gun from the schmuck that had it at the back of my head and swing the butt to where I think his head is. A satisfying thud lets me know I’ve hit the mark. Amidst all the swearing and shouting I make it to the door and out into the hall just as a bullet whizzes past my ear.
I get down to the street and there’s the car, the passenger door open wide and beckoning. I dive in and Artie peels out just as they come tumbling through the door. I get myself situated in the seat and lean over and give Artie a big kiss on the cheek.
“Damn, Joe, knock that shit off. You gone homo on me?”
“Artie, I love you man. Thanks for finding the fuse box in time. That was close.”
He glances over and then shakes his head. “Aces up the sleeve again?”
“Whatdya gonna do?”
He shakes his head again. “Let’s go get a steak.”