February 6th, 2012
So it’s been a frustrating weekend. Houdini wouldn’t let me go to Mickey’s all weekend. Usually it understands that I need to pay my bills, and weekends are the busiest days. I personally think it’s all the red head’s fault. Houdini is probably jealous.
Speaking of jealous, Alice called tonight. She wanted to call and complain about Ken again. Apparently he got drunk and called her up telling her he loved her. He even said he might still be with her if she wasn’t such a bitch. It was strange because she was crying. In all my life I’ve never heard or seen her cry. Anyways, the tenderness only lasted a minute and then she was back to the same old Alice. On to the rest of the night.
Houdini let me go to Mickey’s tonight, and the red head wasn’t there this time. I was hanging out with Tom and Jim and making up for the weekend’s lack of income. Nothing exceptional, the usual dockworkers coming in after a shift, enjoying a few beers, getting just a little too drunk, and then losing their money to me. Then about 10:15 some punk dressed in biker gear came into the bar.
Normally I don’t take notice of people who come in, but this guy was unique. He had a swagger of a tough guy about him, and three mohawks. I cringe to think of how much hair product he goes through in a month.
He surveys the bar as if he owns the place, and then see’s me there looking at him. (It was like a train wreck, I couldn’t stop staring). He comes up to me and says what are you lookin’ at.
I’m not easily intimidated, and so I return his stare and reply “Your mohawks”. I think Tom was about to piss himself.
The guy said “You got balls kid, I like that. The name’s Liquid and I’m looking for a game, can you play?”
I asked Houdini if I should play him and it said “My reply is no”.
When I tried to decline, Liquid said “I like you right now, don’t mess this up. Don’t let an 8-ball mess up a friendship. Whats your name?”
To which I replied “8-ball, my friends call me Eight.” Liquid seemed to think that was funny, but he insisted I play anyways.
And so I played him a round. Due to habit I let him narrowly beat me. By the end of the game I knew everything about him, how he tended to hit the ball harder than it needed to be played, how he had a tendency to be just a little left of pocket and his stroke was slightly uneven. Don’t get me wrong, he knew how to play and he wasn’t a slouch, but he was an easy read.
So then Liquid fell into the trap. “That was a close game, but the better man won!” he gloated.
When I offered to play the beer round he declined, saying he’d rather just play for money. So I asked him how much per ball. He declared that he’d pay for $5 a ball.
So I played him keeping it close the whole time. It came down to the 8 Ball. It was my shot, and I could have made it without a doubt, but instead I put it on the pocket just a little too soft.
“Eight ball right pocket, hope ya got your money ready”. Liquid smirked and gloated as he called the shot.
Just as I had calculated, he indeed did make the eight, but following shortly after was the cue ball. I didn’t gloat, only offered my hand and said good game.
Liquid insisted on another game, his face flush with frustration. Exactly where I wanted him.
“I can’t, I have a test tomorrow and I have to get home to study,” I stated.
“Come on, don’t leave me like that,” Liquid said. “Lets go double or nothing.”
I continued packing my gear. “I don’t want to take any more of your money tonight,” I replied.
Liquid said, “I’ll make a deal with ya. I can’t go down a loser. I made some bank back in San Francisco. How about you play me one more game. If you win I’ll pay 100$ a ball, if I win, you pay me double what I lost last game.”
I smelled a shark and so I went to the jukebox to speak with Houdini. I asked Houdini if I would win again. It replied, “Outlook good.” I selected some Pantera “Walk” and walked back to Liquid.
“Sure,” I responded as my music replaced the neo-screamo crap some kid had put on beforehand. The classics are always best.
I let Liquid have the break, and he sent the balls flying around the table, sinking the nine and the seven. The eight nearly went in, but hit the rail. He sunk the one three and six before hiding it behind the four. He smirked thinking he had me.
I took a view of the table and realized that if I could just get out of the spot he had left me in I could run the table. I put a hard right English on the ball and curved it around the four knocking my eleven in the corner. From there I ran the table watching Liquid’s face slowly drop from a smirk into a scowl.
He paid up and then demanded another game. As per the last two games I declined, however, he would not take no for an answer and seemed to get more irate as I beat him worse and worse. He got this gleam in his eye that looked like he was about to erupt and slammed his fist down on the table when that red head showed up.
She placed her hand on Liquid’s shoulder and said, “calm down now Sheriff.” I was confused, this guy didn’t have a badge and definitely didn’t look like any sheriff I had ever seen. Even more confusing his demeanor instantly calmed down. From a boiling rage he went to a nearly depressive calmness.
He almost looked frightened at her, as if he was touched by the swamp thing or something. I thought this was a shock because she was stunning. Her red hair framed her slightly pale face perfectly, her lips were perfect and her body was just right. She looked a lot like that chick off Dr. Who, no, not River. Amy Pond, yeah, kinda like her. He said something like “Damn kook” and walked out.
I looked at my savior and said, “Thanks.”
She said, “You certainly are the smartest idiot I have ever seen. What were you thinking pissing him off?”
I asked, “I wasn’t trying to, he just wouldn’t let me leave.”
She said, “Well you got lucky kid. I noticed you the other night playing pool. I was hoping to run into you again.”
I asked, “Why?”
She said, “Why else would a beautiful red head come in a pool hall and run into a guy like you?”
“Because I’m well medicated?” I said. Tom said he was going to try that next time a hot girl talks to him. I don’t think it will work for him, but I will laugh at him all the same when he does.
She laughed, and I kept her laughing until the hall closed at three in the morning. Anyways I got her number and her name. It’s Joan Clementine. I asked Houdini if I had a future with her and it said “Better not tell you now”. Houdini is such a pain in the butt sometimes.
Anyways I have got to get to bed. I have a test and it’s nearly 4 am. That sun is going to look awful bright tomorrow.