gaining weight, part 6 (the end)


gaining weight

This post brought to you by Cue Times Billiard News. Cue Times is the only billiard publication to ask permission to reproduce my articles in their publication. All the others just ripped my sh#t off without asking. Because of their support, I am encouraged (guilted?) to write posts that are slightly more insightful than usual. Without them, this blog would have devolved into a repository for cat image macros and random recipes.

Disclaimer: Due to holiday frazzlement, this story/post/visit-to-the-heart-of-darkness will be broken up into parts. You may not actually gain any insight from this story/post/visit-to-the-heart-of-darkness — the insight gained could very well be all mine, and I’m not in the habit of sharing.


…continued from yesterday (“gaining weight, part 5”)…


Press PLAY! and zoom back to where we were, in bar, with me asking for weight…


…and hearing that name brought back the old fear and refreshed the pain I had been dragged through.

I thought about how much I had fought, first to prove I was not a nutcase because I took a bus to a tournament, then to prove my worth as a player, then to live with my persecution, and finally for my life. The psychological trauma and the physical damage to my body was nothing more than a game to everyone else and I was nothing more than a ball to be kicked for their amusement. A long-forgotten reflex stirred and I felt myself preparing to argue.

I was always losing ground in this fight. It was tug-of-war against the world — they pulled on one side and I dug in my heels on the other and resisted. I was forever pulling knowing I could not win…


“Kwik-E-Mart?” I heard myself say, smooth as can be. “Oh, she beats me every time. I can’t win. Go ahead — ask anyone.”


…so I let go.

The Player abruptly stopped hitting balls and looked at me. Then he looked around the room. Some people traded glances. Some looked like they were slightly confused. I stood very still, my face absolutely neutral. There were people there who would have been too glad to knock my action, but no one negated my claim. The Player considered for a moment, then made a counteroffer. I made another counteroffer. He agreed.

As I put my cue together, I reflected that I was taking a gamble on a gamble. I gambled that the pool community had gone on so long telling me I was a sh#t player compared to Kwik-E-Mart that no one actually knew how I played. All they had heard or been told was that I was a terrible player with no stroke and no heart. I might not know how I played — but, neither did they.

I won hill-hill.

The Player was so surprised at the outcome he made an appointment on the spot to play the same game in a few days at a different location. He told me to bring plenty of cash. We would play until someone was busted.


Life was so good, and it could only get better…


cheap merchandise at high prices


the more you know

I used that line for two more years before it lost its effectiveness in getting me weight.

Today, Kwik-E-Mart is an excellent player. She has access to more resources and funding than I do. I would not be able to beat her playing pool without weight (four games on the wire to seven). C’est la vie. The world turns on.


I usually name the people who truly piss me off on this blog but Kwik-E-Mart has a pseudonym for a few reasons:

  • As far as I know, she has never treated anyone else badly. I believe I was the wrong person, with the wrong personality, in the wrong place, at the wrong time.
  • Every cloud has a stainless steel lining. Kwik-E-Mart made me who I am today. She threw me in the fire and made me fireproof.
  • She introduced me to “polite” social warfare. I was not aware of this kind of mean-girl faux-modesty passive-aggressive subversive giggling-geisha secret-guerrilla cupcake-grenade bullsh#t before — but, boy oh boy, do I know about it now.
  • She once started a blog. She told me to start a blog so she could link hers to mine. I didn’t want to. I said no one would want to read about our boring lives. She insisted. She said I didn’t have to write anything, she just wanted to have more readers (or the appearance of more readers?). So I did. And here is my blog.


You now have a more complete idea of where my Don’t-Give-A-F#ckery and intolerance for idiocy comes from. It’s been noted that I am extremely guarded and I don’t make friends easily. Now you know why.

I do not seek validation from others because doing so puts my self-worth and happiness under the control of others and sometimes, those others are assholic morons. The one thing that truly got hammered through my thick skull after this ordeal was:

You can’t make people like you and it’s okay if they don’t.

People come and go throughout your life, but one thing is certain: you’ll always have to live with you. If you’re cool with who you are, you’ll have less reason to be unhappy.


Giving up the need for validation is a difficult thing, especially for women pool players. Women face a lot of pressure from society and mass media to be the prettiest, the most popular, the thinnest, the curviest, etc. As women pool players, we face additional pressure to be all that and we must possess world-championship-level billiard skills as well. I mean, do we give a sh#t about who’s the hottest male pool player (okay, there aren’t very many)? Not really. We just give a sh#t how the dudes play.


F#ck that.

I’m not playing for your approval or to your standards. I don’t care if you like me or not. If you piss me off, trust me, I will let you know. (However, if I like you enough and you still need my kidney, I’ll gift wrap it for you — and maybe cook you something tasty.) Tailoring my image or actions to suit someone else’s idea of how I should be is not an option.


I know it’s trite, but: be yourself. I had to go to the edge of sanity and mortality to understand the value of that advice but, hopefully, you will not.



The permanent link to all posts in this series
That dude that came up to me at the tournament and dissed me in front of my friend? I knocked him out of a men’s pro qualifier. He didn’t come into the pool room (where he practically lived) for so long people started to get worried. When he returned, he initially refused to gamble citing that since he lost to a girl, he must not be able to play worth a sh#t. Warm fuzzies and happy holidays.

be yourself -- you'll be happier if you do

23 Replies to “gaining weight, part 6 (the end)”

  1. I know you and I have had some good conversations and some disagreements. One thing I must say is no matter what people say your game has improved and you are a threat to win any match you play.
    If everyone had to go through something like this things would probably get real ugly real fast. The fact that you survived and moved forward show just how much heart you do have.

  2. You know where I stand on your game. I’ve bet on you and I expect to do it again. I like the cut of your jib!

    Nice work.

    Next time I’m on the Left Coast, beer, food, and table time is on me. I’ll need some weight. 🙂

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

    B in VA

  3. woah…you ARE good!

    “Today, Kwik-E-Mart is an excellent player. She has access to more resources and funding than I do. I would not be able to beat her playing pool without weight (four games on the wire to seven). C’est la vie. The world turns on.”

      1. oh, ok.

        what about this part :

        “I believe I was the wrong person, with the wrong personality, in the wrong place, at the wrong time.”

        Are you asking the reader to resist making character judgements about kwick-e-bitch because the whole thing was merely a product of circumstance?

        :confuse face:

        1. Kwik-E-mart has no quarrel with the rest of you, only me. I will never forgive her for what she has done but I know she will never be punished for what she did to me — there is simply no law, civil or criminal, that could address what amounts to a case of extremely severe bullying (seriously, wtf — are we still in junior high?!). She did more that I did not put down here because those incidents were only tangentially related to pool. I do believe circumstances may have contributed to her actions, but in the end, she did take those actions herself. So, to me, she is a monster. A nicely wrapped monster with a sweet exterior and a bow on top, but a monster nevertheless. However, she treats people differently (we all do). If you are a man, I assure you, she would be very pleasant to you and thus, you would have no reason to dislike her at all.

          There have been several instances this year of high school kids, especially girls, taking their own lives because of bullying. I would never have understood how one could do such a thing had I not gone through it myself.

          I do not believe Kwik-E-Mart would do all that bullying again simply because the only way she could have gotten away scot-free with what she did to me and no one the wiser, is if I had died.

  4. DAM YOU ARE FREAKING GOOD AT THIS WRITING SH#T!!!! You had me going for a min. or two, I was about to tell you to stay away from any open windows or firearms. Hope to see you at Derby City.

    1. Likely won’t be at Derby City next year, but if I do eventually go (as I should), I will let you know. 🙂

  5. Really enjoyed gaining weight and in my minds eye.You are an incredible and very talented person. Been reading your blogs for a very long time. Had to reply this time. Best wishes and regards, Kennyratt

    1. Do you like pina coladas? Getting caught in the rain? Hahaha, just kidding.

      But if you’re good with no BS, then yes… we’d probably get along.

  6. Who doesn’t like those things?! However, I do like yoga and have maybe 3/4 of a brain….damn…

    Haha, Thanks for all the great posts!

  7. Great story. Kwik-e is indeed a bully and had power but you dealt with it well, I love how you acknowledge her pool skills even while describing that she is a monster of a person, It shows your integrity.

    1. It’s taken many years, but I believe I have become sufficiently objective about the matter. We all treat people differently for our own reasons. I was merely unlucky to be her target. I was lucky to survive, and for that, I am thankful every day. If I were gone, who would stir all the shit in the pool world? 😉

  8. A bit late commenting, but I’m still reading and still enjoying. This is the stuff I really like. Thanks for sharing and happy holidays.

    This series earns a solid third place behind my all time favorite of “the best kind of sandwich” and my second place winner courtesy of Jessica “Asia” Cycak, aka “hairdildo”.

    1. I’ve noticed the stories that explain my super-massive black hole of a heart are better received than even my coverage of events. Fascinating…

      You have now read 2 out of the 3 major events that shaped my pool playing philosophy (barring any additional life-threatening/changing events). Maybe I’ll write about the last one next year.


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