I’d just turned out the light when I saw the light on my phone was blinking. It was a message from Jess:
“What are you doing? Want to play pool with me, Liz, and Julio?”
I was warm and comfortable in bed. It was almost midnight. I checked the time the message was sent and saw it was sent only two minutes ago. Should I go? Or should I sleep off my lunch and the handful of stouts and porters I’d already drank?
I got dressed and messaged Jess.
They were in a club called The Basement which was underneath another club called The Graveyard. I’d made a point of bringing my passport with me as proof of age as I’d previously been denied a beer when trying to use my driver’s license. The bouncer, a man wider than the doorframe and with an unapproachable demeanour, squinted hard at my passport before letting me in. I bought a beer then went over to the pool table where Jess was lining up a shot.
She scuffed the cue ball sending it off to the side. Julio smiled then took the cue and ended the game.
We played doubles; Jess and Liz Vs Julio and me. It was a close game that we won by default. Julio disappeared and Liz got talking to Jess’s sister. I played against Jess. After a couple of beers I was in that “sweet spot” where my judgement was unclouded. I could make bank shots, carom shots, and sometimes even jump shots. I won but thought at one point I’d been hustled when Jess began making a comeback.
We drove home after first stopping off at Cinnaholic. A custom cinnamon roll restaurant where customers are able to pick any combination of icing and toppings.
I chose peanut butter icing with cookie dough on top.
Fresh and warm out of the oven, the icing melted into the cinnamon roll, the cookie dough becoming gooey and amalgamated. As a late night snack, it was perfect and was a sugar-filled hug that helped me to crash into bed immediately.