Pool Cue Boy
‘I considered the boy’s confounded face and, upon realising what he meant, released the cue from my hold.’
Kim and I visited a bar to play pool, but there were no cues left. On one of two tables, a group of children were using them, and the remaining ones in the holder were missing a tip.
‘I’ll get us a beer while we wait,’ I said.
At the bar, a man with a goatee took the order. As he poured the pints, I paid and said, ‘Hey, are there more pool cues?’
‘Other than what is out there? No,’ he said.
‘There are only two.’
He shrugged and slid over the drinks.
Back at the tables, we sat on a worn couch with fluff that poked out of tiny holes watching the kids finish.
‘They’re awful,’ I said. I meant the kids’ pool skills.
Kim turned to me and frowned.
‘Westy, they’re just kids,’ she said.
The beers were empty by the time the children finally finished, and I lept up to secure those cues. I put a coin in the slot, lined up the balls and broke. Then out of nowhere, a boy appeared next to me. I looked at him, nodded, and returned my attention to the pool table, at which point he grabbed my stick.
‘Oi,’ I said.
The boy tugged on it.
‘We’re playing here,’ I said, pulling the cue into my chest.
‘One cue per table,’ he said.
I considered the boy’s confounded face and, upon realising what he meant, released the cue from my hold.
He pranced to the neighbouring table where more children were.
‘What was that about?’ Kim said, giving me her stick.
‘One cue per table,’ I said.
‘Oh, why didn’t we think of that?’ she said as I hit the white ball. It missed everything and bounced out, onto the gravel pathway, down the hill.
‘Oi, what did you do that for.’
I downed the rest of my beer and shrugged. Then those children, who had another white ball, came rushing over.