What Pegman Saw : The Moses Rickson Poker Club



We’d sit out the back of the casino after our shift, packing crate as a makeshift table,  three plastic chairs Moses had rescued from a skip because he was ‘too damn old to sit on the kerb.’ We’d smoke, pass a bottle of pétrole, stagger home at dawn and sleep till it was time to do it all again.

The poker club was Moses’ idea. He thought it was funny, watching rich fools lose thousands of francs all night, then going out back by the steaming dumpsters, playing cards for matches by torchlight. We’d shiver under blankets in the dry season and in the rainy season, we’d string up a plastic sheet, listen to the drains gulp down the rats.

Tonight is the last time the poker club will meet. We’ll smoke, laugh, drink too much home brew and toast the empty chair where Moses once sat his skinny behind.


Written for What Pegman Saw, the writing prompt that uses Google Street View as its starting point. This week, we visit Kinshasa, Congo. See here to join in.

I haven’t posted for two weeks, the longest gap since I started blogging over three years ago. Work and family issues have taken up too much of my time to commit to being here, so sorry for my absence, dear blogging friends.


Pétrole is the slang name for Lotoko, a home brewed moonshine commonly made in Congo from maize, plantain or cassava. It can be up to 50% proof.