this is the ninth volume of poolSynergy. welcome back, and thanks for reading this post.
the topic for volume IX is “what’s your story”.
for the main page of volume IX, visit the link below. it contains a list of all the posts on this month’s topic.
also, visit the link below for a complete list of poolSynergy’s monthly topics.
below is my post for this month. enjoy.
basically, this month’s topic asks the contributors to talk a bit about themselves. not really my habit to give a personal account, but i’ll write one just the same, in the name of amusing the two readers of this blog.
my intro to pool, and the subsequent spiraling into degenerateness, can all be blamed on “machine gun” lou butera.
when i was young, some tv station decided to show an exhibition of the machine gun doing his trick shot routines. that’s all it took. watching those balls rolled around the table and obediently went into pockets must have triggered something in my brain, because i made a promise to myself then that i would one day play pool. i think i was seven or eight at the time. i’ve no idea who the “machine gun” was, what he did, or his age at the time. i just remembered mr. gun rapidly firing 15 balls into the same corner pocket, each shot only taking him a second to execute. he did some other shots that i don’t remember, but my playing pool is entirely his fault.
to this day, i had no idea what attracted me to this game, or why i made that promise that day after watching a few minutes of some guy playing pool on tv.
a few years after that fateful day, i played pool once when i was further along in elementary school (fifth grade, i think), and only for half an hour. no clue what i was doing, but i enjoyed the very brief time i had at the table. i didn’t play anymore pool until much, much later.
fast forward to my senior year of high school. i was going somewhere with my family, and by chance we went past by a pool hall. that was the first time i ever saw an actual place with pool tables in the neighborhood. having a need to finish high school, i put that place in my mind and made plans to return after graduation. after getting my diploma, i enrolled in a local jc and embarked on my full-time, non-stop, completely crazed binge of pool. i guess this was my period of shame, since i was technically enrolled in school, but spent my actual time at the pool hall. i played, oh i played. i don’t remember the time i actually attended classes, since most of that time was used to hone my skill with a cue. it was sheer madness, but what delicious madness.
that was my start into the dark side of pool. been playing ever since.
why does this game interest me? i don’t know, except to say that this is one of the few games that combine deep logic with complete chaos. no matter how good you get, you can never completely master the game, which is to say that whoever picks up this hobby is doomed from the start. perhaps my brain is trying to reconcile this fact that i keep playing. or maybe it just feels good when i whack that cueball around with my cue. could be a therapeutic thing, don’t have a clue. at this point in time, i’ve given up on why i enjoy the game and just enjoy it. yeah, it’s mental laziness, but i just don’t see the point of driving myself crazy trying to understand something incomprehensible.
maybe one day i’ll understand why i play. until then, i’ll keep playing. it might come to me. pondering right now.