To Whom It May Concern:
My apologies for the lack of a blog post of any sort last week. I have been going through a bit of a personal crisis since the beginning of the month, and it's been taking all my focus, making impossible to write. If I hadn't had the Terror's obituary and tribute story already done when the crisis arose those wouldn't have seen the light of day either.
This week I have a short little story, and it's late as well, but this is my first effort at getting my head back in the writing game - even a little.
Thank you for your patience.
Okay, here's the story...
Last week, Handsome and I were playing a little basketball. We'd been playing a little while when it happened.
Handsome checked the ball back to me and it was in play. Handsome was right on me, guarding me with the ferocity of a violent mugging - in other words, he was fouling me egregiously. I got him to stop the fouling, then started dribbling the ball. I tried a few fancy tricks - dribbling behind my back, between my legs, throwing down some flash moves to dazzle the boy before I made my drive toward the basket. I sent the ball between my legs one more time, then made a break for it. I took three steps before I realized I no longer had the ball.
Handsome cleared the ball and drove toward the hoop himself. He took a shot that tinged off the rim and I snagged the rebound. I dribbled out past the foul line to clear the ball, then headed back in toward the basket. I skipped all the fun stuff and just made a straight drive, dribbling up the line, trying to speed past the boy and get to the rim. I was more than half-way there when a hand flashed out, slapping the ball from beneath my palm to bounce out of bounds.
Since he had knocked it out of bounds, I went to the foul line and Handsome checked the ball back to me and into play. I skipped the fancy ball moves, put my back to him and tried to muscle my way past him. He did a little "creative defending" - pretty much wrapping his arms about me and trying to wrestle me down. I threw him off, gave him a second to get his balance, then made a quick left-right body fake, trying to catch him off-step to get around him and to the basket. The ball hit the court in a quick rhythm as I stepped toward the hoop... but once again, I wasn't the one doing the bouncing. Handsome was calmly moving toward the foul line to clear the ball (though I hadn't made a shot, so he didn't need to clear the ball), dribbling a little stiffly but with growing confidence.
I stood there watching him, and I started to laugh.
Humility is knowing a nine-year-old boy can just take the ball from you whenever he wants - and there's nothing you can do about it.
Talk to you later!