Tuesday’s my Friday nigh...

Dublin Core


Tuesday’s my Friday nigh...


Jeff Sharlet








POINT (-8092802.672742640 5372495.755905820)

Text Item Type Metadata


“Tuesday’s my Friday night, I got lots to do. I don’t got time for no interview.” But store’s empty—Ludlow, Vermont, late shift—so he talks anyway. Late shift’s 3-11, Paul’s been at it 10 years. “I sleep til, oh shit, probably noon. Then I wake up and I play poker.” Counter work’s just spending money. Used to be Paul made more playing online. “’More’ means, I dunno, 30.” He tries to toss off the number. “I did that five years in a row,” he can’t help adding. Customer comes in, little ropy guy with a big black mustache, paint-speckled. “This year?” Paul tells me. “Seventeen.” He swipes his hand; 17, that’s all. He shakes his head. What went wrong? Same thing always. “Government,” Paul says. “Yep,” says the painter. “Feds,” says Paul. They cracked down. “After Moneymaker”—Chris Moneymaker, the first champion to qualify online—“whole internet was full of donkeys.” Donkeys? “You know, dummies.” You can’t cheat in online poker, but you can find the losers. That’s no crime. “I think some guys were doing laundry,” says Paul. “I wasn’t! I paid my taxes! I paid 17 on 30 one year.” That seems like some rough accounting. “I thought so, too,” he says. He doesn’t know what happened. Making it’s not the problem, he says, it’s keeping it. “Yep,” says the painter. “Can I take your picture?” I ask the painter. “I’m under the radar,” he says. “C’mon, Gooch,” says Paul. “You don’t got no warrants right now.” “Keeping it that way,” says Gooch. He tells me I can take pictures of his work; gives me directions to three houses. “How about this guy?” Paul says to me. A Ludlow cop’s just walked in. High and tight with a bristle ’stache. Shakes his head when I ask. “I didn’t get this far in life by letting anyone take my picture,” cop says. “I’m a journalist,” I say. Cop laughs, turns away to inspect the Red Bull. Maybe he spooked Paul. “I don’t got time for no interview,” Paul says. “I don’t need nobody knowing about my game.” I nod at the cop. “Oh shit, he plays poker, too.” Paul cracks a grin. He doesn’t have to say it: Just look at that donkey. // #nightshift #poker #working #donkeys #vermont #journalism #reportage #truestories #probablytruestories #picturesandwords





Jeff Sharlet, “Tuesday’s my Friday nigh...,” The InstaEssay Archive, accessed February 16, 2019, http://instaessayarchive.org/items/show/2637.