All Washed Up?

It's 70 minutes past happy hour in this smoky Guangdong snooker hall, and the lonely have congregated to shoot another night away. Every night at seven a downcast man claims a table for himself to rack and break and pocket balls in meditative solitude until closing time. Occasionally, he glances over at the yellow-haired man who nightly commands a table next to him. Tonight, the magical geometry of ball to pocket is off, so the Chinese man diverts himself by ambling toward the equally lonely-looking foreigner. "Hello," he says in his best English. "I...

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