You can’t be a pool-playing dilletante. Well, you can but there’s nothing more depressing than realizing that you’re no better at the game now than you were at 17 or 18. That happened to me the other night. There’s only one way to play pool and that’s like a would-be Eddie Felson, like Jimi Hendrix and his guitar, like nothing else matters…every day, full concentration, serious, devotional. I used to be half decent at pool in high school. Not consistently but every now and then I would hit the balls just so. When you make a tricky shot there’s nothing like it (I used to improve after a couple of beers), and when you blow a shot it’s awful. Especially the easy ones. All my life I’ve wanted to be good enough to shoot a cross-corner like the one that Paul Newman shoots in The Hustler [below]. I’ve never come close to being that good. I know what mediocre is. I was a lousy drummer and a fourth-rate trumpet player so don’t tell me.