A year ago, I finally won a tournament. A week later, I fucked up at another tournament but, no matter—327 days remained in the year. My eyes were bright, my heart was full, and my tournament list was prepaid. I left work in March one day laughing along with my coworkers about this week-long stay-at-home-whatever-bullshit and never came back.
Pool halls closed. Pool halls closed, closed. Not everywhere, but enough to be noticed, in the way you can lose a finger and live but lose one finger after another and you become sincerely conscious of increasing limitations.
Pool tournaments carried on. Not officially, anywhere near me, but in places. Some advertised and dared health departments to start shit—and some health departments did. But, if the money was right, you said sorry, you said sorry like you meant it, you paid the fine, and then you did it again. Other tournaments eschewed the flashing lights (lights, lights, lights), going to ground in garages, basements, spare rooms, and yes, even back in closed pool halls. So did action, and it seemed so much more glamorous with added risk. Streamers basked as unwilling captive audiences decided they could at least choose what captivated their minds, if not their bodies.
At my work, people fell one by one and survivors herded in to fill the space. Work was all there was. One asked about my “pool thing” and how was it going? I said, super-fake and cheerful-like, it was just on pause. It was just on pause, and when things were back to (super-fake and cheerful-like) normality, I would press PLAY and go back on the road.
I am still at home.
I have offers to play and practice, but I have no time and even less skill. I think I miss it. I am not sure. Days and nights flow together, bright and dark swirling like mixing paint approaching an inevitable and uniform banality.
Only illness has ever stopped me from playing pool. First my own, and now the world’s. I had some control over my recovery and returned to making joyously bad decisions in three months. This recovery will take as long as it takes.
I hear of people playing tournaments and action and it does nothing. I used to do these things and, in the past, to hear about them would spark something and fire up an incredible engine that would send me across the country in any number of questionably safe but highly economical transportation methods for a tournament or pare down my nutritional requirements to primordial levels to scrape together a stake.
I am not on pause; I am in a coma.
The world moves on and I do not feel I am missing out. Should I wake, I might begin where I left off. But I might never wake, and then the life I had before will be only a dream.
I don’t know what I’m up to these days
guess I might be back to writing stuffs
also, don’t plagiarize, ya dingus