I lost any remaining religion left in me long ago.
I suppose that happened in Bexley, where I also lost a business, a home and a squeeze: several squeezes.
I’m not sure I ever want to go back to Bexley; not sure I’d be welcome. Actually, maybe I am sure of the latter: too many fists waiting for me; maybe some knives and guns too. They say that life begins at forty: mine began at 42 (appropriately) and ended shortly thereafter. Now it’s starting again though.
Even before this latest chapter began, there were many preceding it: I fucked up before; many times. One of the more recent ones was when my ex rescued me from my old flat and we subsequently moved in together. I was in arrears on the rent and bills, had a collection of CCJs which anyone would be proud of (or not); I was in debt with the business I ran too: to the extent of about £35 grand. One particular supplier very kindly offered to break my legs if I didn’t pay him. That was motivation enough to clear out my poker bankroll.
I had about £6000 in the bank (the minimum you need really to play £1 and £2 blinds cash games at a casino). I was making £200 a day on average, running the business during the day and going to The Empire in Leicester Square in the evening to play poker.
The way you get your legs broken in these situations is that you’re forced back onto a flight of stairs; then you get your knees stamped on, so that your legs bend in a way that they shouldn’t. My legs were worth three grand each I figured. I figured that without the use of them, I’d not be able to get to the casino anyway.
It’s getting quite good this, isn’t it? You really couldn’t make it up, which is why if all this comes together I’ve been advised to publish it as a work of fiction.
I’m nothing if not frank. I’m Steve.