Ball Busters - Preface

For the past twenty or so years, I've been working on a story. I am a not a great writer, but I've always been told I am a great story teller. This is not meant to be War and Peace, and you will find mistakes (if you're grammar police, I appreciate your lessons, email me) and lets just put it out there to start, grammar is not my friend.  For all of this, I am sorry and hope you can look past my amateur-hour writing skills and love the story, because that is my goal. I invite you all to join the ride.  

What you need to know. 

  1. Its a pool story, but it isn't just a pool story.  It's a story that takes place in a pool world. It builds slow for a reason. Most of this was based on some sort of my life. I have a sister I'm very close with but we are not twins. In some cases, multiple real people were merged together to make one character, some characters are changed and their story's could be mixed through many. Some are made up as stereo types from actual real life friends (the British team we play at league), and there are real events here you may have been present for and there are made up events, to offer artistic flair. 
  2. This is technically 'R Rated'.  We are all pool hall junkies on some level here and I am nobody to hide from my past. You cannot be shocked when two shooters take a break from a 3h run, go into a bathroom at 2am and come out with post nasal drip. Its real to this world. I am telling the story and no story is all pretty. We smoked a butt load of marijuana. Let me emphasize with enormous emphasis... we smoked a LOT of marijuana.  If this offends you, you will not enjoy this story. Pot in this story is a character like cold is a character in the movie Fargo.
  3. Every character in this story loves every other character, even if it seems like we don't. This may be interpreted as odd if only perceived by reading 1,000 words. We were a group of 30-40 close family members from every inch of the globe. Few things are as global and this is also a character in this experience. We were usually identified by our most obvious feature because there were so many of us, and in this world you needed to better identify people. On the table, we do not see race, or religion, or political beliefs. We see logic, and lines, and physics...
    My favorite part about billiards is, it doesn't matter at all who you are. I've seen videos of billiards on every continent. I've been beaten by a 13 year old and a 90 year old. I've been beaten by someone with one eye, one arm and no legs, different people, wouldn't that be a tough story... It doesn't matter if the two people speak the same language, they speak pool. We are a community, and have since learned many lessons about how to treat people. I have worked for the Holocaust Memorial Museum who teaches you that teasing negative tropes are as bad. But removing that isn't removing the hate here. Its removing the love. And, I completely agree with USHMM's stance now, it has changed my opinion. In the mid to late 90s, with Archie Bunker, or South Park, it wasn't a promoted hate, it was a way of dealing with each others differences through an acceptance of others differences, which we thought was the point all along. If your thin skinned, you may not like that, I'm sorry before you read it.  If you are the type of person that could find the humor in a twisted way of acceptance, buckle up.
    We teased the fat kid for being fat. We teased the Jewish kid for being Jewish. We literally teased the handicapped person for being handicapped, and honestly, the handicapped kid teased the Jewish kid and the other handicapped kid, no different. If you email me saying that that was offensive, you didn't live in that time and place. This is teasing out of love for each other, not to put each other down. This was our love. It was in a time where calling the obviously Long Island Jewish boy 'Jewboy', or 'Mike the Russian', 'One-Eyed Chuck', or 'Pete the Serb' or 'RedRob' was simply more normal to us than calling him Matt or Mike or Chuck or Pete or Rob. We teased to be wrong and funny, not to be mean or to hate. It was acceptance. I am famous for being a large ogre. I am an absurdly huge man, 6'6", 300 pounds. During a softball game vs the rival pool hall I lined a double. Huffed to 2nd base, barely... I notice the other teams player laughing, he nods over to my team laughing their asses off. Out of the group, someone shouts, "LIKE A GAZELLE!!!"  I don't run often, and realized how that would look if I was on the bench. I'd be piling on too. The game stopped, both teams unable to play. My nickname (to the point my sister only used it even in family affairs for over ten years) was "Stealth".  This also became 'Stealth-boy' or 'Stuff'.  We all had other names. We all laughed at our differences, it was our commonality. If I offend you, I apologize. I struggled if I should remove it, but removing it removes the love. We busted balls, all the time. It is just a representation of the community at the time and true to the characters personalities, never in a negative way.  
  4. The music... Since the beginning, I felt that this should be a movie. I've been building the story for so long, it is all but done. I shelved the idea because if I'm not a writer, I'm never going to make a movie.  Streaming television provides a way to share my story in a better vehicle. I see this as a visual more than a read. With that, I ask you to take the adventure along with me.  At the start of each chapter, which will hopefully be planned as one episode of a streaming single season, I will list licensed songs that I hear as themes to each chapter. It helps you find the proper mood. Its easier for me to tell you what to queue up and then, when you see the icon, you know when to hit play. Many times, its the song on the car speakers or the sound in the poolhall, or the song I hear in my head as I'm trying to find my specific mood, or maybe the song in the chapter follows a similar plot in that story wrapped around a lesson or something.
  5. Last, this story is about a group of four very close friends. It is seen through a series of flashbacks that tell the story about how they find each other, get into trouble, have the best summer of their lives, fall in love, tease all the friends, who are the center of a very large group but core to each other, within the world of a single pool hall, called 'Ball Busters'.  
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