Two nights ago, I was at a bar in Brooklyn. Me, the bartender, my friend and a man were the only people in the room.
I was playing pool with my friend, Peter, and the drunken man walks over.
Now, Peter and I aren't the best players at pool but we could manage getting the balls in the pockets.
The man walks up to both of us, grunting. Peter walks away to avoid any confrontation.
I stayed to see what he had to say.
"I was watchin' you kids play pool and I noticed you both forgot something. A secret. Do you want to know this secret?" The man remarked.
Feeling a bit skeptical but still curious I answered "Yes."
He said to me,
"You see, you gotta trick the other player! So you want to hit the four ball in the left corner pocket, right? Your opponent sees that."
The four ball was what I was aiming for. I was impressed so far.
"Now, why must you hit the four ball?" He said.
I was confused.
"Do you want to hit the four ball?" He asked.
"Yes, I do. It’s an easy shot." I said
"So your opponent is also eying the four ball. What if you hit the 6 ball? What makes you think you shouldn’t hit the 6 ball? Then you should hit the 6 ball to the right corner pocket." speaking softly as if he was finally revealing his secret.
"Right. Ok. Yes." I murmured back.
"Now think about it. Will you think about?" he said.
"Yes. Yes I will." I said.
I didn’t get it.
He then busted out in laughter like some wise man on a mountain top. The wise-man-on-the-mountain-top was drunk; giving me tips on how to trick an opponent at pool. The six ball was neither a harder shot nor an easier one compared to the four ball. It was just another shot to take. I couldn’t figure it out. The wise-man-on-the-mountain-top spoke in riddles. The wise-man-on-the-mountain-top was still laughing. I kept nodding my head yes. I felt like he wanted a response so I gave him nods. The wise-man-on-the-mountain-top stopped laughing and looked at me very intensely. He stood there looking into my eyes. I didn’t know what to do.
“Look at me! Look into my eyes. I want to find the truth, so look into my eyes.” He demanded.
I was hesitant to look at first, but surely he wouldn’t harm me. So I gazed into his eyes.
After a good minute (which felt like an hour) the bartender, Judy, yelled from across the room, “Hey, leave him alone, Chip.”
She walked up to me later that night and said, “Listen honey, don’t listen to him. He’s on vacation.”