Charlier Cut

This past week I've been learning the Charlier Cut, a one-handed bit of playing-card flourish. Today after I failed at it using Pokemon cards, a friend showed me a different one-handed cut she knew, whose origins and name she couldn't recall. I struggled with it, trying to remember the placements of the fingers she'd so rapidly and dextrously deployed, the pattern of twists and reverses. The cards kept scattering on my lap or springing in all directions across the table

An hour passed, and as I was busy talking to someone else the cards were there in my hand, rolling back and forth, and I realized that I'd executed a host of perfect cuts, one after another, semi-consciously and most importantly without looking or thinking — just letting the shape of the cards, the natural motions of my hands and gravity handle the rest. Stop thinking and let it flow.

If I looked at what I was doing, plop the cards were on the floor. So I walked around Vallco mall, letting my mind worry about navigation and shopper-avoidance while my thumb pushed the top half of the deck around, down, around down, around, down....

When I got home I broke out a pack of Kems — too slippery. Fancy-pants cards are not needed here. A $1.19 Long's Drug deck worked great. And now the Charlier: pinch, drop, push, snap, pinch, drop, push, snap... and as long as I didn't look, I could execute it over and again. I can be so cool, if I can just stop being so self-conscous about it. Stop analyzing, stop feeling like I' a spectator of my own actions.

The obvious metaphors for my return to single life keep hovering over my mind, mocking me from just out of reach. Stop thinking about it, let fingers and gravity do their natural work. Bwaaaahahahaha

I hate the obvious metaphors.

October 29, 2005



The Troubles


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