The Beauty Of Pool - Gold For Your Soul
I have been playing pool since.....
I was 4 years old. Billiards was one of the first things that I ever loved. My childhood was a little hectic, and the pool table always seem to fit right into my comfort zone. I did, however, have the good fortune of having a mother who worked at a pool hall. She would take me with her to work most days, but even when there was discord in the poolroom, it never involved me. Anytime something was happening there, it was easier to ignore than the chaos at home. There was refuge for me in this place. I found myself drawn to the rush I felt from the little successes created with each swing of the cue. There was always a release of adrenaline into my humble frame, and the memory of the power that surged through my body in those moments has always provided me with a reminder that I am somebody. The tight and smooth cloth felt wonderful every time my fingertips were placed onto it to bridge my cue. The silky texture caressed my palms and fingers even though I was holding onto them for dear life. For me, this was Heaven on Earth.
As I grew up
there were long periods of time when I was separated from my love. Once I turned six, the pool hall shut down and we moved. Many years passed before I was able to play on a regular basis again. It wasn't until I moved away to live with my father at age 11 that I was able to return to the table. As it happens, my "Old Man" and I didn't have much in common. One of the few precious things that I have carried with me from the short time I lived with him was playing together, like a father and son should. Pool was our thing. It makes me cry to this day. He is dead now, and these are probably the happiest memories that I have of us together. With him, I found acceptance in that smoky room, one that I was not familiar with.
As a teen
pool became scarce again. My life at home was miserable, and I spent most of my time chasing girls, roller skating, and playing basketball. It wasn't until I was 17 that I found myself, working at a pizza place that had a pool room. The guys there played pool for money. And, they were good, real good. The men there had a control and accuracy that I had never seen before. As I sat there watching them, my eyes opened to how extraordinary this game can be. Both of the guys struggled for mental dominance of the other, doing so using the gentlest of strokes to glide the cue ball across the felt. Each shot moved gracefully into the next, and they never seemed to miss. It was amazing. My heart sang with joy after seeing such a display. Later on, I tried to learn what I could from them, taking any opportunity to pick their brains anytime they would let me. And, then I began to compete with them. Most of the regulars beat me badly at first, but not for long.....
As an adult
I have become a well known competitor in every venue that I have played in. My accolades include recently beating 9 time world champion Earl Strickland in a handicapped 9-ball tournament, getting spotted the 7&8. I have won amateur tournaments all over the East coast, and cashed in a few semi-pro events. I am not a hustler, never have been. I have a reputation as a gentleman player who mostly plays in billiards tournaments. If you see me playing, you will usually find me playing the best person in the poolroom. Even with that being so, my travels have taken me on some wild adventures. If you enjoyed this hub, or would like to hear more pool stories, I welcome you to leave feedback saying so or share this link with a friend. Otherwise, thank you for reading my hub.
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