Following in the recent trend of other people's writing and in the spirit of looking back, I discovered these comments about nostalgia in Vicky Coren's excellent poker memoir, 'For Richer or Poorer'.
"I think nostalgia is a primal emotion, like fear and anger and (maybe) love. It just seems otherwise , because it has a long name and is tricky to define out loud. So you might mistake it for one of those fiddly , sophisticated feelings like schadenfreude or low self-esteem. but nostalgia is simple, basic, instinctive and it was always there. You can see it in the face of a zoo monkey that once lived in the wild. Or even one that never did. It still knows that it has lost something."
Poker is something of a bittersweet pleasure for me at the moment. My lack of money means that I am playing far more than usual, and I am bonding with my poker friends more than usual. I have a regular Sunday night and Thursday night game, and have just had to turn down an invitation to a £10 rebuy event at a friend's in Attleborough (I really would have loved to go, live play is where it's at, after all, but I can't face the multitude problems of trying to find a new house, inevitable late night and ridiculous amounts of cigarette smoke all at once just now.) I am getting unlucky and playing badly, though I am doing enough not to lose money - I am just finding it hard to gain, which is frustrating in itself.
Despite enjoying my poker a lot, I am feeling a slight sadness at my own shortcomings at this time. My weekends should regularly consist of more than football scores and the odd push/pull dynamic at a loose 1c/2c table on Pokerstars. In less than two weeks, I will be 31 years old. In modern parlance, this is no excuse to stop acting like a teenager. Plenty of people I know do not own houses, do not have massively successful jobs or relationships. But unlike some, I have no excuse. I have the time, the intellect and a modicum of social awareness - I am simply too lazy to push myself for that better job, unwilling to spend those spare hours learning new things or going down the gym to work off that spare tyre. I am not a lonely man. I have learnt to enjoy my own company, have purposely chosen that this year should see no big celebration. Even so, I expect that I will have a busy week and getting to the pub, cinema and restaurants will require a bare minimum of browbeating. But I should be doing more, and it irritates me that I am still writing this instead.