Magazine, website & books written by teens since 1989

Spades

I.
4 players, in teams of 2. Face your partner, sit down and get comfortable (you’re going to be here a while, maybe all night, or at least for the next 3 out of five), no table talk. Deal rapidly; never begin with yourself. Find that 2 of clubs! I personally either like to get rid of a suit or play a Jack, if I also have the King. Play all your aces now, except leave the Ace of Spades and all spades up your sleeve until needed. Please arrange your sets geometrically. Don’t you dare renege. But all manner of banter and gloating is heartily encouraged. Never give up. This is the kind of racket my friends and I run, and we keep a tight operation. Glory is staked like a fresh vegetable garden here.

II.
My Spades partner and I work like popcorn and apple juice—we’re the unexpectedly perfect combination. Everyone in our circle bases their friendships on how well they play Spades together, and so far it hasn’t failed. When we’re at complementary perfection we are almost telepathic, and I have a plan spurred by the sense of harmony in my blood. I set the schemes in motion, you have the experience. I see that gleam in your eye, the way you stare at your hand rubbing your chin, the cogs turning in your brain as I figure out the decision you’ll make before you make it. I have a hard time of it when your mind roams a little too far, when we lose and you are up and out suddenly. How sudden you are. But when we win you jump up and exclaim just as suddenly, throw a high-five with both hands. You didn’t trust me, just like the last time, you didn’t believe I had a plan, but see? We make a great team, and you can’t stop saying it.

III.
“Stay absolutely as long as you can, it’s your last night,” I whined, but demanded.
“I’ll see what I can do. I really am tired, though,” your response from your chair.
If you tried to play from the chair, I wouldn’t have let it fly.
“Oh, come on, it’s only 2. Who needs training?” I wheedled convincingly.
But when you did leave me there, on the sticky paneled floor with the heat and the one room of light in the night full of people and remnants of food and office supplies, closing that door that never shuts properly, I wished I tried harder. It was all so familiar, but I missed that space and those dusty, grimy cards beside me already. Because I was out a partner, and nothing ever matters so much with a replacement. Because I didn’t know quite what you’d shut the door on, or when I’d get to partake in the game of champions again.



Post a Comment

Be the first to comment on this article!

Site Feedback