Shook

January 12, 2011
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“Eyo white boy, pass that rock right quick!” the pencil thin six foot smokestack blurted out. Rebound number eleven, the Dennis Rodman of the City Basketball League, but what to do once you had it in your clutch, I’d tremble with nervousness the moment the smallest molecule of my fingertips grazed the surface of the basketball. In a neurotic rush, I submitted to Angelo’s command and dished the rock his way, though it never made contact with his twig thin pendulum arms. A savage in purple claimed possession of the ball, immediately commencing a dangerous rampage towards me. His retina emitted signals which bounced towards my legs, plastering them to the ground.

Knee in mid-air...
Old Spice armpit...
Gym lights.

“And one!” erupted from the stands. A tsunami of guilt and defeat flooded my conscious, which replayed the previous ten seconds in a myriad of different and more successful outcomes, all beginning with the eleventh rebound and all excluding my pass to Angelo. It was that glare, the bloodshot ganja stare so isolate in its own dimension yet absolutely soul piercing. That same glare that hovered over me in 150’s halls, at Skillman, even at f***in’ BK. Suddenly, as if played from a pre-World War II era projector, a twisted, veiny mountain range emerged out of the haze of artificial light. CLUNK. The atmosphere instantaneously swerved into a light scarlet which began to blend in a psychotropic melee of purples and reds, leaving my left cheek looking like a hippie’s attempt to tie-dye in the peak of his high. Sure, he had just subjected himself to eternal laps throughout practice but it was worth what he got in return. A personal ball fetcher subjected to endless box-outs in the paint and elbows in the face all to retrieve and anxiously bolt the ball back to his master. It was another warning shot, an H Bomb dropped into the ocean bordering the threatened country, leaving its citizens unharmed yet its sea-dwelling livelihood utterly decimated. The rest of my season, and face, were in the fingertips of puppeteer Angelo. As I got up gingerly, nimble blood drops pranced from the reopened gash under my lip. Picasso was fine tuning Guernica. At the end of the play, no foul was given; you don’t get a penalty for decking your own teammate.





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