“It looks like you’re my new poker nemesis”, he says to me, sitting down beside me on the bench in the courtyard. “You’ve knocked me out of the tournament 2 weeks in a row now.” I smile at him; my dad is one of those parents who have the strangest ways of expressing pride. He’s right though that I’ve been playing well, I’ve placed in the top 3 in 3 out of the 4 times I’ve played. The game is a fairly casual one that takes place in the clubhouse of his trailer park, but most of the players are much older than I am. I feel a little bad when it’s apparent that they’re ashamed to have lost to me, a novice player, and youngin at that. “There’s no way for them to know that I’m just really smart” I say, “and that you’ve been playing cards since you were born” he adds. Beyond the small talk we get down to how things really are. Dad and I are close and are very similar people. Most days I’m certain that no one understands either of us the way we understand each other. He tells me about the stress and financial insecurity prevalent in his home, I tell him my boyfriend may be leaving me to be alone. “Times are hard” he says and all I can do is nod.