Page 22 - To Family with Love
P. 22

was no jack of all trades, was such a joke, yet in belote it was an honor, because that is the high card. That’s a true general officer, maybe even a non-commissioned officer, or whatever the chief in belote is called.
I also remember wandering around the apartment not know- ing what to do, and then autumn would come and my ma would start roasting chestnuts right away, all of which would give in to the fire, because it’s better to bend than break, and I would catch my old man carelessly relaxing and persuade him to dock and drop the anchor at the card table. Outside, the wind was whistling and the leaves were flying, but our apartment and souls were filled with warmth and joy. Dad didn’t play Old Maid and I didn’t know how to play belote, because my hands were too small for so many cards, so we would usually play schnapps. As soon as the chestnuts were roasted, and the whole skyscraper was alerted by smoke and smell to what we had done, we would deal a hand to my ma as well. I would cheat here and there, so I would call twenty with the Queen of Hearts and King of Diamonds, or vice versa, or I would try my hand with the King and Jack of the same color, and my old man would pretend not to see, while my ma really had no clue, so she would have to shuffle again and again, and there was no turning a blind eye since the rules of card games are strict and cruel.
− Reshuffle mom, reshuffle, you didn’t go by the color!
The one who loses, shuffles, and that’s it. Afterwards, my old man and I, without any remorse, would fart contentedly and very enthusiastically using chestnuts as fuel, because on the one hand, we were the winners, and winners can do as they please, and on the other, we had already warned the skyscraper with the smoke and the smell of roasted chestnuts, thus preparing them for everything.
But no one warned or prepared us for this damn war.
Then, I would crawl into bed in the evening, and my folks would compete over which one of them would wish me a better

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