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…