The last hand of the night, my partner and I bid 6-spades with 25 high-card points and off the Ace and Jack of trumps. I haul the little slam home and am feeling pretty good about it because (a) it's always nice to bid and make a slam (b) no one else bid slam on the board, so it was a clear top (c) the rest of the evening was quite awful -- we barely scratched even though I was partnered with one of the best players in the club.
Anyway, I'm rerunning that one bright spot of the evening in my head and I realize that I could have made the slam even if the heart-queen was not a doubleton. "Play a small heart," I'm thinking to myself, "and ruff, then head back to dummy through a club, and then all the hearts are good."
Needless to say, on the actual hand, my play was not quite as elegant. I was merely lucky the cards broke in my favor. I could have played that hand better, as I could have nearly every one of the other hands tonight. It was one of those nights.
The heroine in one of the books I'm reading (How to buy a love of reading, by Tanya Egan Gibson) calls this "aftermemory". The author helpfully defines this as: (a) a time when you have better words to say (b) a present that doesn't move too fast to grasp [what's going on] (c) a dream of making things happen (d) what maybe might have been.
It's a lovely word: "aftermemory". Describes my reaction to a bad evening of bridge to a T. Except that in my aftermemory, I still turn out to be a bit of a klutz.