Sometimes the best shot you have is just trying not to scratch

Sometimes the best shot you have is just trying not to scratch

Sometimes your best shot is to just not fuck anything else up and hope for a better shot next time.

Since I’ve been single for most of the last year I’ve gotten into the habit of heading to the pool hall across the street from my apartment when I’m feeling bored or lonely. I’ve never really been much good at pool and figure I might as well get better at something rather than just staying at home and being passive.

A little background

For those of you not familiar with the rules of pool, typically when it’s your turn your goal is to get one of the balls into one of the pockets. Pretty simple, really. It feels awesome when you’re on a roll and sinking ball after ball. A scratch is a foul in pool, a there’s a penalty for scratching. No one likes penalties. This isn’t uncommon necessarily, and I’m sure it would happen less if I was any good at the game.


The other day when it was my turn I took my usual careful analyzing look at the table and tried to quickly mentally calculate my possible move. This time though I noticed that with the way that the balls were laid out, the best shot that I could possibly take was just to try my best to avoid a scratch.  But in any case, this time I really noticed it. There was a bit of fire in my belly because I was losing and really wanted a chance to catch up and make something happen, which added to the frustration of not having a “good” shot. After a quick breath though, I let it go and thought “what can you do?” Sometimes you just don’t have a way to get ahead at this particular moment no matter what you do.

The cutting insight that made the completely unexciting everyday life event seem meaningful and therefor somehow important

It might be a bit heretical in a day and age when seeking the positive and opportunity in everything is celebrated,  but I was comforted to be reminded that sometimes all you can do is take a shot where your only goal is to not to be worse off than you are already. You still take your best shot though.

In the end I lost the game, but – whatever lol.