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  • Gerald Tindal

Day 25: KT's pool hall


KT,


Yesterday was a long day; every day’s a long day. But it ended in a special way. Alone. I sat in your pool hall long into the evening and found solace even though it would have been so much better to be with you looking down the cue to create chaos on the table. For you, the cue had aim; not so much for me. But I never viewed the purpose of any game of pool no matter the name as making shots or cleaning the table. Pool was just a sideways conversation. A way to say something that deflected off people like the balls off each other. The comments strayed in and out: Challenging and irrelevant but rarely targeted with purpose. Brief, not long and extended. Temporal and pivotal. Controlled chaos like the balls.


I sat alone and watched the walls grow with all the stuff of a pool hall as we built out and filled in your pool hall. The center light fixed early in its development, defining dead center. Beautiful paneling of light brown coastal pine. A clock with a beer sign. A beer sign. Another beer sign. A dart board. The American flag. Shelves with everything needed to chalk the cue or switch to ping pong. A small refrigerator. Random stuff that ends up in garages because life moved on and who knows when its needed so don’t throw it away but move it to second string status as a backup. The fact that a kegerator was placed at the head of the table reflected your development from a fifth grader when we moved the table in, to our recent days of making beer out back in your forest yard.


I looked out: The evening settled dark with the house lights on and a view of the living room. I watched your mom come and go with others, family and friends, in the house. Beautiful movement with people. The golden glow of lights in the living room. Quiet movement back and forth. Sitting down. Getting up. A quiet, silent movie of life somewhere else, outside the pool hall.


I looked down and admired the carpet: Dark green as it had to be in honoring the Ducks. The seam so fit that it defied logic in the way it was formed with a story of legend. Years ago, when laying the carpet I remember us trying to correct the non-parallel seam with overlap and underlap. Over a matter of 20 feet, on one side of the table the carpet was inches over and on the other side of the table the carpet was inches under. Four people and one table with hundreds of pounds separating us from a solution of perfect seam. You were so crazy quiet bright in solving the problem: three of us on different corners with you in the middle of the carpet but obviously standing on the very carpet we were trying to move but if we did it just right and on the count of three – 1, 2, 3 – you would move from a squat position with the table in your grip and jump so that we could snatch grab the carpet and make the seams match and be parallel which worked perfectly so that I now want to write a very, very long sentence that doesn’t end with a period


This crazy logic of strength and reason, a huge dollop of hope because so what, it’s better than just standing around talking, this wonderful joy of trying something, anything to make the day different. KT: That’s you.


Today is from ground zero with but one to your celebration. Still unreal. Same hurt. Same grief. More incessant crying. Mourning that turns to afternoon.


We love you so, so much.


Dad


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