Good Game

An illustrated short story Good Game I wrote and editioned for a collaborative workshop in 2019.

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“He had a lot of things going for himself. But still, I wasn’t sure.
My mother always said that you only truly know someone if you’ve played a hand of cards with them. And that’s why, for our third date, I invited him to Dino’s to play canasta.
To my delight, he accepted.
The next day we sat down with two large glasses of Spezi, a piece of plum cake to share and a French deck.
He peeled the two sets of cards from the foil and straightened them up with a decisive thump on the table. Then he neatly arranged the two stacks next to each other and fanned them together in perfect symmetry. He expertly moved his fingers through the stacks so that the cards looked like they danced in mid-air.
I watched, enchanted, while sucking fizzy Spezi through a red straw.
This was a good start.
He handed me the deck, I cut, he dealt.”

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“What can I say, he was a joy to play canasta with. He was focused without being boring, confident without being risky, patient without being hesitant. He was gracious in winning and in losing. And he let me have most of the cake. My mother would give him full marks.
By the time we kissed goodbye, one, two, three on the cheek, I had made up my mind.
On the way home, I wondered how I would break it to him that I wouldn’t be able to see him again, but he never called.”

All text & pictures © Antonia Glücksman