D I A R Y
of a

P O O L    S H O O T E R

The Adventures of FastMikie
in search of Truth and Beauty in the art of pocket billiards.




Sunday, January 28, 2007

Saturday Night at the Pool Hall




El Maestro and I are shooting 9 ball for a few hours,
when some young movie star looking guy
starts talking with Tony
and all of a sudden I've got a match.
Race to 7 games in 9-ball.

This ain't no beauty contest,
so I've got nothing to worry about.

With the flip of a coin, I break,
and after several turnovers,
I win the first game.
That feels good.

And then it begins...
He wins the next game,
because I scratch on the nine.
And he wins the next game,
because I leave the nine in the jaws.
And then he wins the next game,
because I have no idea why,
by now I'm almost in a coma.
It's 3-1 his favor.

My spirit is unfocused.
My energy is low.
My mind is unclear.
My mojo ain't happenin'.

I was sluggish from a big Mexican meal.

I felt like Rocky Balboa,
on the ropes,
taking a heavy beating.

It just won't stop.
He hammers me again.
It's 4-1.

And again!
It's 5-1.

Lesser men would have already given up.
By this time they would simply be pushing balls,
waiting for the end.

We have all seen pros on TV,
when the score is real lopsided,
against them,
they almost sit lopsided, slumped,
in a pose of submission,
a picture of undeniable defeat.

El Maestro taught me to
show no fear,
no emotion,
and certainly not submission.

El Maestro also taught me
to make adjustments.

I would just have to
increase my focus,
increase my energy,
dominate the table,
and shoot like I know I can.

Where does it come from
to be able to recover from such
great deficit?
Is it possible?

Fast Mikie,
again,
digs deep,
and speaks:
"Ok, PJ, that's enough of a spot."

Fast Mikie wins the next 6 games in a row.
And wins the match, 7-5.

When I finally got to the hill ahead of him,
6-5,
the pressure was enormous,
my body heat escalated off the charts,
my mouth got sandpaper dry.
I have not yet learned to control my physiology
but I am studying El Maestro
who has great powers in this area.


The last shot I had to go 3 rails
fully around the table for
short side position on the nine
which was frozen to the short rail.
Of course, you already know it worked,
but when I was down on the shot,
knowing I needed this to be a sweet shot
for six games in a row, and the match,
and a major-league comeback victory...
well, the stress was extreme.

It's all about the glory,
I suppose.
Mortals aspire to heroic deeds.

One thing I have learned
is that heroic achievements never occur
if one has given up.
It is the man who persists unrelentingly
who wins.

Heroic deeds require dire circumstances.
Like, maybe, being down 5-1 in a pool match?
Did I allow myself to get so beaten,
so that I could enhance
The Legend of Fast Mikie?

It would seem unlikely, but
Brinksmanship
is a game I play with myself.

I'm naturally lazy,
I resist doing anything at all
unless it is absolutely necessary,
and then, when I do something,
I want it to have the greatest possible reward.

That's when I focus like a junkyard dog.
I can persist like a mofo.
Persistence is my secret weapon.
In itself, persistence requires no talent.
Just put your head down and keep going.
"Never, never, never give up."
(Winston Churchill, during WWII)

It was a good night at the pool hall.

(blog top)


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1 Comments:

Anonymous Samm said...

Nice comeback, Mikie. It's about the performance, not the glory.

p.s. Your background sound scared the poop outta me!

Monday, January 29, 2007 11:57:00 PM  

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