Most of my friends met their significant others in college, at a party, at the gym, or through mutual friends. They tell cute stories about how they decided to become a couple… and the rest is history. Every year on Valentine’s Day they regurgitate the same sappy story over and over.
I don’t have that type of story because essentially, BS won me in a poker game.
It was the 4th of July and my boyfriend at the time was having us ditch the celebratory parties for an illegal poker tournament in an abandoned warehouse at a downtown boat storage facility. It felt like it was 150 degrees in there with only one box fan hooked up to a generator. It was stale smelling, dirty, and not the 4th of July festivities I had imagined. That was until Bulgingsnake walked in.
I had been to a bunch of my ex’s poker nights but I had never seen BS at any of them before so I was pretty caught off guard when this incredibly handsome guy walked in. I secretly wondered at first if he was a cop and we were all going to be busted for gambling and trespassing. He didn’t really fit the bill for degenerate, gambler like the other greasy men at these things.
Anyway… BS sat next to the tournament organizer for a few minutes, having a private conversation before he sat at the table across from my guy at the time.
After many hands of poker.. seemingly endless from my point of view… the morale in the place started to change. Everyone was irritable and overly serious. To be honest, I had no idea how much money was on the line but I guess it was enough to keep everyone on the edge of their seats. My boyfriend was always the big shot at these events, but he was quiet and stone faced. Clearly he wasn’t doing well.
One by one, guys were tapping out.. leaving the game with only regrets, but staying to watch the outcome regardless of the stifling heat.
BS hadn’t said a word outside of “check” and “raise” in hours and the tension was beginning to get to my ex who was sitting next to a dwindling stack of chips.
We hadn’t known then that BS was a legendary underground poker player in TN… we just saw this Ralph Lauren model type sitting there with Aviator sunglasses on and a white T-shirt. His presence was unnerving in a sexual tension kind of way…. which I think my ex picked up on too.
The warehouse was silent during the would-be final hand between BS and my ex. You could hear the droplets of water hitting the cement floor from who knows which leak in the aluminum roof. BS said, “raise you” the second time and his voice nearly echoed, ricocheting through the rickety warehouse we were sitting in. Now much later, almost 9 p.m., the place was barely lit, every bit as dramatic as the situation at hand.
My ex, frustrated and ego-deflated, said back to BS’ raise, “I have nothing left,” angrily. BS took his glasses off for the first time all night and pointed at me, then said, “her.” I could hear light gasps and I thought for sure my boyfriend would be appalled at the idea. ….but he didn’t. He truly thought BS was bluffing so he chuckled as he replied, “yeah, fine. What do you have?”
BS tossed his cards right in front of my ex. I couldn’t see what they were before my ex stood up and flipped the table. ….thats when the fight started.
Before I could gather up my stuff they were already outside beating the shit out of each other. I heard a loud bang and dropped my stuff and chased after them thinking some idiot brought a gun. Luckily it was just the start of the fireworks over the bay.
I tried yelling for them to stop but my pleas were falling on deafened ears. Between the thudding sounds of fists hitting skin, the scuffling of gravel and the fireworks I could hardly hear as someone started yelling that they saw police lights headed our way.
Everyone began to scatter, my ex finally let go of BS who now had a busted lip that was bleeding onto his white shirt. My ex yelled at me to get in the car but I was so overwhelmed I couldnt move. BS, who apparently ran back into the warehouse to get his aviators also grabbed my stuff and grabbed me by the arm signaling for us to run in the opposite direction down near the docks.
My ex didn’t spare a second, worried — I’m assuming — about the flashing blue and red lights that were getting closer. He yelled, “fuck you then” as the gravel flew when his tire spun.
BS and I sat on a docked yacht at the storage place nextdoor and watched the grand finale of the fireworks show waiting out the police before heading back to my place.
He had me the moment he walked into that game. Fast forward a few years and he’s the awesome dad/gamer/fisherman that we all know and love today. …but hey, I guess family will do that to a guy.
How did you meet your significant other?