I got a deck of cards for Christmas.
They looked like regular, standard issue playing cards at first glance.
I could smell cheesy, salty trans fat snacks of Frito-Lay and taste the heavily poured whiskey sours that were light on the sour.
I heard the laughter of card table sarcasm and beating hearts because you really wanted to win but had to play it cool.
I felt dizzy, maybe it was remembering all those whiskey sours in all those other card games but I was intoxicated by just staring at this green deck of cards on my tiny West Elm princess desk under a window sill overlooking scruffy old Woodruff Street in Brooklyn.
I turned the pack over and realized I was made. It wasn’t an ordinary deck of cards. It was a chore.
‘Pick up a language’ with cards.
I was instantly transported to a tiny wooden desk with a jumble of different colors of gum stuck to its underbelly. Illegible words meticulously carved with abandon like a tiny wooden graffiti wall for elves. I felt a tightening in my chest and started to sweat, feeling the eyes of a one Senora Eileen Greenberg staring at me, waiting for me to say ‘I am studying Spanish’ in Spanish. The whole class stared at me in annoyance and disregard.
I burned that deck of cards later that night with a weak whiskey sour and keto paleo gluten-free vegan crisps.