Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Love And Basketball
My alarm sings, James Brown horns blasting. I manage to open an eye but not two.
My bedroom is dark. The Funkmasters have entered my head, my heart - listen, never say no to those guys. Another jolt from the finest rhythm section ever assembled, one, two, three I said "Get Up!" "Get Up!" "Get Up!" "Get Up!" "Get Up!"
You know how ninjas are all quiet, black mask, stealth, the whisper of an unknown breeze? I am the opposite at 6:08am on a Monday. My family should be awake once I take my first uneven step, listing to the port side, banging shins on bed frames, unspoken expletive unable to escape my dry, cracked lips. I'm not intoxicated. I just can't see the sun, warming others on far away shores. It's Oregon in January. The sun is always warming others on far away shores. Lucky.
In the bathroom, I wash away my weekend, trying to get pure and failing. This is the first time I can begin to imagine why in the world I'm awake. It's got to be for some kind of reason, something real, something good, something true.
Shorts, t-shirt, jersey, black socks pulled high for maximum power. The fog clears, the fog returns. Keys. Student ID. Driver's license. Door open, shut, radio, defrost. I like to catch up on my sports scores while everyone else slumbers.
Please don't be angry but I drive unknowing, unseeing, unspeaking. I am aware like a carton of milk, maybe 2% but not whole. I park the car and the light at the intersection just ahead is green, yellow, red. Why? I am the only one driving in this entire green and yellow city. Door open again, cold assaulting my pencil legs, and my mouth forms an O. My second eye just opened - that seems important.
To the end of the block with short steps, passed on the left hand side by two women jogging. I take a roger, enter the glass doors, then again just to be redundant. Through the gate, to the left. I'm here for something real, something good, something true. Basketball. Love.
84 or so law students, 12 teams, 1 hoop dream. Sat on the bench in high school. Sat in the stands in high school. Played in high school. Played in college, you know, a cup of coffee in D3, dreams destroyed. Redemption is at hand but nobody can dunk. Or really jump. But passion like you've never seen - matador, roses, and one dead bull.
It's the first day of the season, spring semester version. In the first game, I go for 3 points and 4 air balls. In the second game, I go for 2 points and one blocked shot. I didn't block the shot. Reverse it.
My team is named after a phrase in a famous Supreme Court decision. How clever. Unique. Next year I'm naming my team Arguendo. That's so much better. Pure gold, padre. That's how all the teams are. Stocked full. The finest collection of brain wattage west of the 'ippi River.
I love the LBA. If loving the LBA is wrong, I don't want to be right. If you're not with us, you're against us or something about how we have not yet begun to fight.
There's no need for you to tryout, no need to catch the attention of the varsity coach with your darryl-dawkins-rim-shattering-two-handed-reverse-DUNK. Have fun, play hard, call ridiculous phantom fouls when you miss that point-blank uncontested drive to the rack.
I know it's been awhile. The morning is quite beautiful. Join us.