He moves around the table – motioning for me to follow – so that the triangle’s point is looking straight at him and it at him.
“You rest the cue on your fingers like this, then pull back and let the stick glide forward through the ball.”
SMACK goes the white ball into the rest of them. Both a stripe and a solid pocket themselves. A splendid sight that I can’t help but smile at.
“I’ll rack em’ again so that you can give it a go.”
He wrangles all the stray balls back into the triangle while I plop the two pocketed balls into the two empty spaces.
“Ready?” he asks.
“I think so.”
I set up the white ball at the exact place my uncle had it, resting the cue on my fingers, pull back and hit the table with the tip of the cue stick. The end goes into my guts and I have the wind knocked out of me. No satisfying smack, just gasping for air and staring at a hole that my stick made in the perfect green felt. I still can’t breathe but the tears are already running down my cheeks.
I drop the stick on the table and make some sort of dramatic flailing motion so that my uncle can’t see me wipe the tears away.
I mumbled, “sorry,” and ran upstairs with my uncle behind me saying that it isn’t a big deal and that I should give it another go.