>The Poolshark

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Pool is a game of precision and force. I wish I were a poolshark with a fedora who walked into bars with a pool cue in a leather strap hung over my shoulder. And I lay down a dollar in quarters on the side of the table and say “Who’s got next?”

The break is important. You gotta throw your shoulder into it. Sure the rack matters, but a weak break won’t sink nothin’. So when I walk into the Wreck Room, with the fugly hipsters sitting at the bar donning their biking caps with flipped brims and Chrome backpacks with scribbled-in notebooks hanging out, I hang my coat, walk to the unused pool table, and roll the two cues to see which is straighter and will shoot better.

I hold the pool cue vertically so it stands on the floor. I walk around the table when my partner makes a shot, so he can have a clear view. And after I make mine I circle the crooked green felt confidently and know which ball I’m going to shoot. The orange five ball in the corner pocket and it sure ain’t a straight line. So I line up off center, ease the cue back and forth back and forth through my curled forefinger and thumb hole, and knock it…

In?

Published by Daniel Ryan Adler

Daniel was born in Brooklyn, NY, and has lived in Portland, Oregon. He studied literature and philosophy at NYU and creative writing at Edinburgh University. He is finishing an MFA in Fiction at University of South Carolina.

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