Archive | October, 2013

Happy Birthday Ad- Rock

31 Oct

Damaged goods

24 Oct

A Soft Landing

21 Oct

I took it as a sign when I stumbled across an old High Times article on Bill Spaceman Lee. He talked about his days living in Montreal and playing for the Expos. Let’s just say there was a lot of talk about Marijuana, Buckwheat pancakes, hashish, and LSD.
After reading the article, the question of the day had shifted from “will I drop?” to “What time I will drop?”

There were plans to play pickup ball later and I was not sure how much it would affect my game.
The more I thought about it the better it the more that voice inside me said yes.

As much as I was concerned about my neurons firing appropriately enough to play ball, I did not want to be up all night tripping. If I waited until after the game, then I would be dropping at close to 10 o’clock. Much too late to truly enjoy a trip….better to take it while there was still daylight.

Down the hatch and off we went at 4:30.

By 6:00 I was running down the street happily bouncing a ball towards Veterans Park on Ohio street.

This was at the peak of my pickup activity this summer. When I moved into town I was playing at least 4 times a week. My free time was slowly dwindling however, and finances were becoming a higher priority than fun. This was going to be my last day off for a while (I was working two jobs), what better day to take the time to tune out?

The community building was initially my default place to play but now Veteran’s park was becoming a hot spot (one of the great things about Lawrence is the abundance of places to play–every other house seems to have a goal and net installed in their driveway).Dosed up and dressed up, I was ready to shoot.

It was hot and muggy, and I was dripping in sweat when I met my buddy E at the courts. I thought about giving him a heads up about my condition but decided against it at the last minute. I just started shooting like I normally did, only concentrating slightly harder this particular night.

Someone invited us to run in a 5 on 5 game. He and I were put on the team that had lost 2 players. We had a decent squad. Me and E were lanky and kinda mobile. We had a 65 young lady who we put in the post (she was a really good passer). We had a tall guy to get rebounds, we also had little point guard who could handle the rock.

I started to get goosebumps as we were lining up to tip off. It all hit me at once.
I was playing pickup ball in the basketball mecca of Lawrence, Ks. I’d finally moved here.

I could not believe I was living in the same town that Nick Collison, Julian Wright, Brandon Rush, Paul Pierce, Danny Manning, Kirk Hinrich, Jacque Vaughn, Keith Langford lived in and played.

I couldn’t believe how focused I was. I chose to guard their point guard. “I got Caron Butler” He wasn’t happy about that comparison. He scowled at me as his buddy with a Big Daddy Kane flat-top started laughing.

I immediately tried to post up mini “Tough juice” and get some easy buckets. I short armed my first shot but made the next 3 buckets.

I played hard, played well at times, sloppy at others. I found myself feeling the flow of the game and moving very efficiently and economically. I did not bite on any pump fakes and had quite a few times where I would see a play develop before it actually happened. Sometimes I was the only one who saw it, resulting in an errant pass, but it had played out in my mind. I made some blocks (which got me pretty hype I must admit), threw the ball to imaginary cutters, felt defenders on me that were not there. But it was fun.

I over communicated with my teammates. I talked junk with the opposing team. I gave kudos when it was deserved
“Good shot.”

“Why is this Wayne Brady, Bill Cosby looking mutha—-er smiling so much?”

“Because My And1mixtape name is Mr. Positive. Nothing but good things happen when I’m on the court–no no. It’s because my name is Mr. Positive–because my game is so nice–no no! It’s because I’m Mr. Positive and my plus/minus ratio is off the charts” I nerded out on this analogy just long enough to give mini “tough juice” an open 3 pointer that he banked in for the game winning points.

Fuck. I smiled. ” Good shit bro.” I gave him dap. He just scowled. I went to grab and shirt and get some water.

Bro was not happy.

Bro was not happy.

My heart was racing. I was juiced. How had I not ever done this before? Basketball on acid totally made sense to me now. Of all the sports, this would be the one to be on while tripping.

I was happy at how well I’d developed my game since the days I’d first started playing ball on a regular basis back in my early 20’s. I’d gone from guarding the worst person on the court (white guy, girl, kid with disabilities)to learning how the importance of moving without the ball, setting screens to get teammates open, and the importance of good outlet passes and boxing out on rebounds. I’d even become better at handling the rock and creating my own shot.

I went home to shower, smoked a little dope to take the edge off, and started a painting while I listened to some Wild Nothing. I even shot a flirty text to a lady friend I’d been trying to get to know.

I fell asleep smiling that night, dreaming in white light and fireworks. Sometimes there is no better feeling than knowing you know you’ve made the right choice.


Summer of 2009

14 Oct

I remember the festivals that summer,
the music, my jokes, her friends, our laughter
her whiskey,my steaks
her dresses,my feelings, her garden, our salads,
our sun,her sand, our shower
my mouth, her touch, our kiss
her legs, her ass.

Their traffic,their skyline,their strike
our heat, his death, our surprises
our elation, my yearning,my guilt
our chats, her calls, my emails
her doubts,my phone bills
our mixes,her letters
our promises, those lightening storms
our freakouts.

My lies,
her ambiguity
our impatience,
my embarrassment
our indignation
her games
my disappointment.

Her scorn
My anger
Our relief
turned to apathy.
Our forgiveness
and my growth.

Thank you Terris.

~Edward Austin Robertson