I’m sorry to disrupt our daughter’s birthday party like this, but I have something to say: I’m okay with you taking custody of the kids. You can have the house, the dog, the car, and half of my income, but all I am asking for is this one Foosball table, for the love of God. There’s no comparison to the joy I feel twirling its knobs.
For the last decade, the highlight of every day has been dropping that miniature ball onto that emerald green field.
Since you kicked me out of our house, I have been sleeping at a motel without the loving comfort of my table. There is a dingy dive bar with a pool table nearby, but it's just not the same; pool sticks and billiard balls can’t fill this void in my heart. I even drank a pitcher of Coors Light to try to convince my drunk self that the pool table was a Foosball table, but I ended up being hospitalized with a black eye. At the hospital, I snuck downstairs, stole their Foosball table from the first floor, and moved it up to my room on the twentieth floor. They kicked me out.
I can’t sleep. I can’t eat. I can’t even watch soccer. All I think about is my Foosball table.
I know this is what tore us apart. I know how many times I forgot to pick Sally up from school because I was trying to find the ball. I know that I pawned our wedding rings to repair the table’s broken leg. I know that I missed our daughter Emma’s wedding and your mother’s funeral because I got distracted by hotel-lobby Foosball tables. I know that our sex life has been dead because you got tired of my Foosball-foreplay. I know that I got fired from my job for hauling the table to the office every day.
I can handle your anger towards me. I can handle the kids’ anger towards me, but I can’t handle not playing Foosball. When you took a bat to the Foosball table, I had no choice, but to chuck our family portrait out the second-floor window into the pool. I’m sorry. I know it was wrong, but family portraits are replaceable. My Foosball table isn’t. I will get you all the family portraits you could ever want, but please do not touch my precious table.
I know you’re thinking, “why don’t you just get another Foosball table?” Over the last week, I have tried hundreds of different Foosball tables at dozens of different Dick Sporting Goods, Walmarts, and Big 5s. In my desperation, I have even gone to open houses and yard sales to literally scout out Foosball tables. Like Prince Charming on his quest to find Cinderella, I have blindly ordered countless Foosball tables on Amazon with next day delivery to no avail. Yesterday, I even crashed someone’s barbecue and broke into their house to try their perfect-looking Foosball table. It didn't feel the same. I even spent thousands of dollars to hire a carpenter, who custom-made a hand-crafted Foosball table based off of ours. He modeled the design on my many, many photos of my table, but something felt off.
Please, I am begging you to let me hold those knobs in my hands. I want to hear the sound of that little soccer ball dropping onto the table and smell the rich wood. Let me run my fingers along the clear varnish. I need to press my fingertips to the plastic black and white scoreboard and feel the individually numbered stoppers slide along their metal rod.
I need it. My table needs me. I can feel the dust bunnies collecting in its compartments. No one can remove that dust the way I can. No one can rival the level of care and attention to detail I provide my table with. I feel purposeless without it, and I know it feels the same way without me.
Our marriage counselor is wrong about me being “addicted.” She just doesn’t understand. She hasn’t played on my Foosball table. So what if she thinks it’s weird that I play Foosball alone at three in the morning? So what if she claims my Foosball playing isn’t going anywhere? I intend on winning the International Foosball Tournament once I figure out how to comfortably play on other tables. Right now, you and the kids are simply not supporting my dream.
Before you file that restraining order, all I am asking for is my Foosball table back.
Wait, is that my table in the trash can? Oh god, why? Baby, I’ll save you! Shh, save your strength. I'll get you all the specialists in the world. I will make you whole again. And you will make me whole again, too.