Cue stick perfectly aligned to the center of the striker. Momentary pause. Slight blur of the striker as the eye focuses on the ball to be hit. Execution. Thud. The ball falls into the pocket. Satisfaction. Good day.
Time to celebrate with an Erdinger Hausser.
Damn, those German guys really outdid themselves by making such fine beer out of wheat.
It was routine. Start a game of pool by 5pm. Win at least 3 games by the time it’s 6:30pm. Keep playing until you have won yourself at least as much as yesterday by betting on each game. Keep raising the stakes. By the time the pub is drowning in smoke and inebriation, it’s time to retire and blow some of your winnings on some fine German beer. The dark type; the type that makes your mouth taste so bitter that you have to let some air into it before some kind of chain reaction goes down in there. Why that type? Because you’re harder than the other blokes around here . By this time, it’s usually 10pm (apart from that one time when you hit on a guy’s girl and started a brawl. That lasted long).
Pool is simple. You have a stick and a couple of balls. Use the stick to hit the balls into the pockets. That’s it. No shilly-shally, just hit that white ball onto the colored balls and get them all in. Can’t get simpler than that. That’s why he liked pool. The game isn’t about your skills but about how simple you can make it, at least this was true in his case.
He liked it at this time of the night. The combination of the high from the beers and money that he had won, the dim yellow lights bouncing off the mercurial form of the cigarette smoke, the people chatting shit that they probably wouldn’t remember the next morning. He loved it, even though things were getting a little hazy by now.
Why did he keep coming back to this place?
He looked around him. There was nothing special about this place. It looked like shit. There was plaster peeling off from the wall behind him. The wooden bar counter was very visibly chipped in one area. One of the fans was swinging as if to imply that it would fall off the ceiling and decapitate somebody if it was not turned off. The atmosphere painted a bright picture of decadence with the dullest colors that one could think off. I’m thinking like a very dull brown.
Maybe he liked to come here because of the decadent ambience.
I guess some part of him felt comforted by the fact that he could find an atmosphere that was more decadent than he was on the inside. It gave him hope.