Zelenyi was glad to get out of his dark, cold
cell. But he could not acquaint his mind with the
fact of prisoners actually playing poker, and for money, too.
Blankets were spread over a table. Old cards cut into
various designs served as chips. It was not real —
prisoners walking about and mingling with each other. All the
action was somewhere behind the eyes, in naïve 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 bootless predicament.
Paraphrases from the novels Prison Will Make You Cry by Chester B. Himes and Falling Man by Don DeLillo.