Dean desperately wanted to get out of that Hell’s Angels club house. He could feel Glen bearing in on him the whole afternoon. Dean tapped into his yoga and focused on his breathing. It helped calm him down and maintain the image of cool.
In his mind, Dean was panicking, running for the door. In his reality, he sat, playing poker with five men, including Glen who had been shadowing him since the darts game. Win or lose, he didn’t care. Dean was too busy trying to remember all the nuances that made up his dead twin, Dwayne. All the tastes, the smoking, the swearing, beliefs, (goddamn it, I believe in God, Dean reminded himself,) the love of art and Dali, all surreal images now swirling in his head.
“Your call Dwayne,” said Shawn, to his right. Shawn was currently dealer.
Dean looked at his hand then looked at the river of cards. He held two twos and he saw a third two swimming in the river. Three of a kind, he thought he’d go for it.
“I raise fifty,” Dean tossed in a fifty dollar chip.
“I’ll see your fifty and raise you a hundred,” Chet sat on the couch across from Dean. They were the only two still playing this hand.
Dean looked at the river and saw no chance of a surprise straight or flush. None of the five cards in the river matched, so, he figured Chet was bluffing. Also, he’d caught Chet on a bluff before.
“Alright, I’ll see your hundred and raise you two hundred.” Dean knew his brother had been one to take risks. He was playing the game more like his brother than himself. The regular Dean would be playing far more conservatively.
“I’ll see your two hundred. What do you got, Dwayne?” Chet tossed in his chips and waited for the big reveal.
“Three twos,” Dean tipped his cards.
“Shit! Pair of aces!”
Dean raked in the pot with the palm of his hand while Glen, who sat watching him to his immediate left spoke up.
“You won on three twos? You bet on twos? You? I’ve never seen you bet on two, man!”
“I won, didn’t I?” Dean winked and immediately regretted it. Dwayne would never wink at another guy.
“What are you winking at me for? Are you gay now? Is that it? You got sick and gay?”
“You just shut the fuck up over there and mind your little stack of chips. If you look at my stack, you’ll see it’s much bigger.”
That shut Glen up and got a laugh out of the table.
“Nice one, Dwayne!” Shawn pounded him on the back with one hand, while sliding the cards over to him to deal.
Dean had forgotten about the dealing part when he’d agreed to play poker. Dwayne had been a magician with cards, while Dean was merely an average handler of cards. Dean hoped the boys weren’t looking for a show. He took the cards and shuffled them four times, neatly, efficiently, bounced them three times against the table, then shuffled them four more times before handing out five hands of cards. No mistakes, but done with none of Dwayne’s trademark flare for presentation. No one commented. Five men sat reading their cards, keeping their thoughts to themselves.