We were shooting a game of straight pool and I came to a moment where there was a shot which required me to lean so far over the pool table as to make properly holding the stick virtually impossible. I reached down and picked up a bridge (we used to call it a granny stick back in the old days) and set it on the table. A bridge is basically a stick with a metal hand on it that creates an extension of your arm. Doctor Robert said, "No no no no no, you dumbass."
"What?" I replied.
"Put that away. You're not using a bridge for this shot."
"You don't need it. Just shoot the shot with one hand."
He had told me many times how to perfect my shots, how to hone the craft of precision. Now suddenly, he asked me to throw all that advice away and go for something wacky. "One handed? That's not gonna' be in line with the advice you've given me. Why would I go for a one-handed shot when I could use the bridge and get stability?"
Doctor Robert looked at me with a quizzical eye and simply said, "For fun."
Fun. Fun. That had honestly never occurred to me.
"Tom, it's play pool. We're playing. It's a game, man. Now shoot the stupid shot."
Sometimes we forget life is a game. We forget to have fun, or that life can even be fun. Hell, it should be fun. I reached out with the stick over the green of the table, wobbled and wavered a bit, took aim, and popped the cue into the nine. The nine dropped in the pocket. I felt a sense of satisfaction. I knew I had stepped across another hurdle in both my pool game and my life.
"Good shot," said Doctor Robert. "But you should have used the stinkin' bridge."