It all began in the back room of the "Bean", a bar/ cafe in Heidelberg. Must have been the late '60s,early 70', I think. I was with B. at that time, who didn't know at that time she was going to be my daughter's mother. I worked as a locksmith back then, actually still worked, with paychecks and insurance and stuff, although my boss chewed my ass out more often than not those days since I used to run late, if I came to work at all.
However. There was a billiard in the back room of the Bean. Everybody played pool, save me. I found it boring. The others, though, they couldn't leave me alone about it. So, to escape their nagging, I took up a cue one day and made my first game. I played against Micha, a regular there, who also pimped his girlfriend in occasion. Micha set up, cracked, pocketed two balls and then leaned on his cue with a smirk. "Your turn, kid."
I was actually quite skinny back then, and I had still to make my last spurt of growth, but I hated it if anybody took me up on that. So I cleared my balls from the table, and while I was at it, his balls, too.
Micha's jaw hit the floor, and the others weren't much better.
"That was beginner's luck," Micha said. He knew I hadn't ever played before.
"It wasn't;" I said. After all, the balls had to follow the laws of physics, hadn't they? So it was simply a matter of logic, and not luck, to clear that table. I didn't think of it as very special; as I said, dull to the point of boring.
"You bet it was," Micha said. I grinned at him. "How much, then?"
I walked home that day with a pocket full of money I hadn't needed to work for, my mind spinning almost as fast as the balls had on the tarpet.
That's how it all began.