I think, in the end, I was just expecting too much from the tournament.
Last year, I was in the middle of all this drama. I was still reeling from LaptopGirl leaving. I was in a bit of an emotional blender with MixedSignalGirl. I had all this shit going on with my life, but for a week, while I was at the tournament, I was happy.
All of my problems were reduced to making a shot, and getting position to make the next shot. I got to be a pool player for a while instead of some fucked up guy. I was in charge.
This year, I guess I was hoping for the same type of catharsis. A chance to step back from everything else that's going on and just be me again.
Didn't happen. And a part of me knew that it wouldn't happen before I even got there on Friday. That's why I hadn't felt like I'd been looking forward to the tournament as much as I had in the past. That's why I hadn't been practicing nearly as much as I should have.
I was, deep down, actually dreading the thing. Because I knew that it wasn't going to be enough, not this year.
Last year, pool was enough to distract me from my problems, but this year there was a different challenge. Pulling me out of this funk, this fucking drifting state that I've been in for months - this turned out to be too much to hope for. Even for this, the one thing that I've always looked forward to more than any other for the past several years.
A part of me knew all this going in, but it wasn't until Friday at around noon that the rest of me knew.
I was there, and I was miserable, and I had nothing but more misery ahead of me for the next three or four days. I was not going to be cured, or distracted. Not this time. And then the realization of that caused me to become even more miserable.
I'm glad that I lost my first match. I'm glad that I didn't exercise my buy-back option.
I said in my pool 'blog:
...people are going to believe whatever they want, but this is the truth.
Losing that match was not the problem, it was only a symptom. Losing that match did not cause me to leave and come home, it allowed me to do so.