My peripherals blur and warp as I stare relentlessly into his eyes across the table. I search his face for clues. A subtle twitch of the bottom eye lid, two fast blinks, glancing down and then back up at me, dilating of pupils, the slight squint. It’s almost his turn and his eyes widen, like the time he remembered he had left the oven on. He eyes look down at what has been played and back at his hand. The slight purse of lips. Like he does in that moment immediately after someone has said something hilarious but he hasn’t laughed yet. He glances back at me, arches his left eye brow and scratches his beard a little. Is that his third cup of coffee manifesting? Or is he holding trumps? I have the jack of hearts, I think, bringing it to the front of my skull, and I push, push, push. Push the message out of my body, attempting to grow flashy neon signs out of my head like antlers that read jack of hearts! right here! i’ve got it! with blinking red arrows that point back to my head. How do I metaphorically yell it at him, stand up and dance, gallop around the table with the card in between my teeth, point to it, slap it against his forehead, dress up as the jack of hearts and give him two thumbs up? How do I do this, without the the opposing team seeing me, hearing me, catching on? I lock his eyes into mine, and repeat, jack of hearts jack of hearts jack of hearts.
He plays a low card and I win that hand for us. I knew you had the jack, he says.