The poker games were at Ben’s place, where the poker

table was.  There were six players, the regulars, Wednesday nights,

the business writer, the adman, the mortgage broker and so

on, men rolling their shoulders, hoisting their balls, ready to

sit and play, game-faced, testing the forces that govern events.

They played each hand in a glazed frenzy.  All the

action was somewhere behind the eyes, in naive expectation and

calculated deceit.  Each man tried to entrap the others and

fix limits to his own false dreams. Poker was funneled

essence, the clear and intimate extract of their daytime initiatives.


Paraphrases from the novel Falling Man by Don DeLillo.