About five years ago I was hanging out early at The Point After. I was at the pool table but there was nobody to play against. Fiending to play I looked around but nobody even looked interested. I walked up to one guy who was sitting by himself at the bar. “Hey man, you wanna play pool?” I’m feeling a tad bit guilty as I ask this because I figure he’s a pool n00b and I’ll smoke him for my own amusement.

“Yeah, I’ll play some.”


“I can play this game” the guy says matter of factly. He’s a thirtyish thin Mexican dude who’s kind of light. He might get mistaken for Italian.

“Yeah, I can play this game too” I respond.

What the hell did I go and say that for? This guy plays and he plays and he plays. He’s making shots I’ve never seen before. A blur of games go by and I’m basically a spectator except I’m paying for the games. I’m getting my ass whooped and this guy looks like a pro. Finally I say no mas.

The guy tells me his name is Houston and it turns out he is actually the cousin of the dude who married my ex-wife. Not only that but he’s living in the same house with his cousin and my ex! Whoda thunk that? Small world and he is an all right guy and about the best pool player I’ve ever seen. “You need to play this one cat named Rever” I say. “I would like to see how you do against him.” Then, as if on cue, Rever walks in. The Ponytail of Doom challenges the table, they even make a wager, and I sit back and watch. Where’s the popcorn?

He beats Rever. He beats him again. And again. And again. Finally Rever gets tired of losing money so he stops playing. Houston then starts showing me some trick shots. Usually when a pool hustler starts showing you trick shots they mess up once or twice before making the shot. Not this guy. He’s pulling out all the stops and making the trick shots on his first try. I tell this motherfucker he’s good. He says “I used to play in the national tournaments. At one point I was ranked 14th in the country in the youth bracket.” I kick myself. I can play this game too my ass!

About three years ago my ex wife’s husband and this Houston cat both go to prison on a federal drug dealing charge. They cop pleas and get about five years apiece. I figure I’ll see Houston again when he gets out and maybe he’ll hustle pool. I like to watch a good pool hustle.

Yesterday I’m on the phone with my ex. Offhand she says “Remember Eddie’s cousin Houston?”

“The pool player, yeah I like that guy. What about him?”

“He’s dead.”

“No he’s not dead!” (Vehemence might make it not true)

“Yes he is. He died in prison. Cirrhosis of the liver. They gave him an operation but they took out the wrong thing or something. Just thought I’d let you know he died.”

I throw down the phone and jump down to my knees raising my fists to the sky. “NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!” Ok, I didn’t really do that, but it came as a shock anyway. Fuck.

So tell the Ponytail of Doom he’s never going to make his money back.

11 Responses to “Shock”

  1. Phelps says:

    Oh man, a Mexican guy named Houston? That is priceless! If I was a Mexican guy named Houston, I would have “remember San Jacento” tatooed across my chest like those battleship tats.

    That’s as funny as the guy I knew who had a niece named Dakota Cheyenne.

  2. Mexigogue says:

    Yeah. His name was Houston and the mufucka from Grand Rapids, born and raised. WTF???

  3. Cosmic Siren says:

    Was your ex still married to Eddie when he was convicted?

  4. Mexigogue says:

    Yeah. Long story short I don’t think he was dealing anymore. He was actually working construction whereas before he didn’t have a legit job. Somebody got busted and copped a plea agreeing to testify against old boy about a drug deal that had happened years earlier. Came back to haunt him.

  5. Cosmic Siren says:

    That sucks. You try to clean up your life and the old crowd gets your ass busted.

  6. Mexigogue says:

    I know. That’s why I always said if I turn to a life of crime I’m going solo. I don’t want nobody snitching me out.

  7. HMT says:

    that’s how it always is in life..

    The master FINDS the apprentice, not the other way around..

  8. Is she still married to that guy?

  9. Mexigogue says:

    Yeah. He’s supposed to get out like in January.

  10. Ain’t that sweet she stuck by her man. If my old lady went up the river on drug charges I would be out of there. So you are going to let your kids live with a convicted felon? Dude you gotta pull some legal crap on that one

  11. Phelps says:

    Guy is right. That is a hell of a cause for reconsideration. Although I don’t know how the coughDHDcough enters into that.