foosball at the pub
& i say i call next & they look at me a little like really, u? but they say sure sure sure & then it’s me & three guys & they ask are u any good & i say yeah i’m pretty good & they think really, u? & i don’t respond. we start the game & i tell my partner i’m gonna boss u around and he looks at me like he doesn’t know how to feel so i tell him it’s okay just do as i say & the positions aren’t forward/D but sub/dom & he learns his place & starts to like being told what to do. it’s obvious who’s any good after the second point & it’s me & the older guy & we catch each other’s eye & it’s not sexy but it’s raw like sex & his eyes say i see you & mine say i see you too. the game is over & it’s the older guy & he says one v one one v one & it’s me v him & guys crowd around & some girls too & they know it’ll be a good game because it’s two good players. i hand him the ball because it’s his quarters & it’s game on & my cheek-length bangs fall in my eyes like sweat but i’m not sweating because i’m keeping my cool even if my heart’s in my mouth even if there’s ten people watching even if i know i’ll lose & it’s three balls later but i’ve scored one too & we lock eyes & we both smile & it’s not i wanna fuck but it’s i wanna win. i take a breath and some gulps of free beer & i press the ball against the hole’s slick wall & it’s between my midfielders & back & forth & back & forth & it’s to my forward & it’s a trick shot in the goal. he looks at me & i know it’s over because now it’s tied up & now i could win but i’ve lost my cool & it’s a heat in my cheeks & my heart’s on my sleeve & it’s getting in the way, so he takes the rest & it ends him to me & he’s won & he’s happy but he sees me, like really sees me, & it’s a handshake over the table & it’s good game good game.
Lisa Muschinski can be found drinking tea/beer (depending on the time of day) and writes for Boulder Magazine while also managing the social media of a local tea company. Her words are found or upcoming in FlashFlood, Fahmidan Journal, A Thin Slice of Anxiety, Bear Creek Gazette, Dollar Store Magazine, and elsewhere. Check out her website (www.lisamuschinski.com) and Twitter (@lisamuschinski) for more.
You can tip Lisa on Venmo: @Lisa-Muschinski