Hidden Charges

March 25, 2005 in Uncategorized

since it is march and since i have nothing better to do with my easter break than to watch basketball and drink beer, and rescue mark phillip’s blog from mark phillip (or at least occupy it until he gets back), it would seem that i have basketball on the brain. and so that is why i am going to regale you with basketball stories of my youth. you know those tales told to young cagers of those giants of the game such as dr. james naismith and the great george milan. men who shaped the game that we all know and love and who we all wanted to be when we grew up. unless we were girls. i can’t remember how many times i drifted off to the dream court with visions the 13-11 thrillers that were the high octane offensive dandies of the day while visions of peach baskets danced in my head.
when i was old enough i went out for my junior high school basketball team. back then my frame bore no resemblance to the short, dumpy, balding, beer keg of a man that i have become (though, lucky for me, i’ve been told there are those who are drawn to the beer keg body type). no, back then i was a tall, lanky scrapper with lightning quick reflexes and a beautiful flowing mane of hair that, when slicked back to a rileyesque helmet-quaff, provided me with the aerodynamics that allowed me to slice through opposing defenses with such velocity and panache that i was able to experience a thrill that must be akin to what a marlin must feel when he’s cutting through the water at near supersonic speed, scoring lay-ups at will and soaring high above the rim to pull down rebound after rebound over undermatched and over-hyped mako and tiger sharks.
because of this ichtheologic like skill there was no question as to what my standing on the team would be. naturally, i assumed the role of starting forward with my usual grace and humility. as such, it fell upon me to be the team leader- the older brother figure who could provide encouragement and support when a player of lesser ability committed a major game breaking gaffe. many’s the evening that i sat up with my fellow teammates consoling them after an errant pass or a blown lay-up while consuming copious amounts of funyuns and ya-hoo. that is, while THEY consumed copious amounts of funyuns and ya-hoo in a self-abusive downward spiral toward basketbal oblivion. but little did i know that my role as alpha forward-healer, confidant, spiritual adviser- would ultimately be my undoing.
you never would have guessed that my down-fall would be so swift and sudden. as a matter of fact it probably wouln’t have happened at all had i just been having a bad game. but, as i was simply not capable of having a bad game at that time my fall from grace left an unsettlingly nasty stain on the sidewalk of my life. as a matter of fact, on the night in question, i was having a particularly dominant performance. 6 minutes into the game i had already scored seven points, dished out 2 assits, pulled down 5 rebounds and even had a blocked shot. in the words of julio francisco franco at guernica, i was “en fuego.” despite my obvious unstoppableness at the high post and the low post and the outpost, our point gaurd inexpicably called a “clear out.” for the un-initiated, a “clear-out” is when everyone on the offense clears out of the middle of the lane to draw the defense to one side of the basket, allowing the man with the ball (usually a guard) an opportunity to beat his defender one-on-one on the other. it was a play that we hardy ever ran and which was totally unnessary given how thoroughly i was beating my man every time i touched the ball. needless to say, the unexpected nature of this caught me completely off guard (so to speak) and i “cleared-out” to the wrong side of the basket. a harmless mistake. could’ve happened to anyone. but the very next time down the floor as i was establishing my position two feet from the basket the little wanker did it again! stunned, i moved out of the way of my ball hogging point guard just in time to watch the rest of my teammates moving in the other direction. as soon as we got the ball back the coach called a timeout and made a great show of sitting me on the bench and bellowing for all within a 5 mile radius of the gymnasium to hear, that due to my inability to remember my left from my right i would be spending the rest of the evening riding the pine. me! the heart and soul of the team. me! the double double guy. me. the heartiest tree in the junior high forest was being chopped down to make way for the bush leaguers so anxious to take my place. i was crestfallen. i sat down on that bench and i cried great big crocodile tears. for the entire second half i just sat rocking back and forth trying unsuccessfully to console myself. here i was, the emotional leader of the team, falling apart at the seams. the irony was delicious in a nauseating kind of way. i had been the big brother figure for so many others but there was no big brother there to pull me through in my time of despair. i went home that night a broken man. i cracked open the bottle for the first time. as i would so many times in my life, i let the sickly sweet lactid slide past my esophagus and into my brain, quenching the fire of shame and igniting a life long love affair with a libation that i would come to know as the chocolate lady.
i quit the team the very next day and, like so many basketball players with broken dreams before me, auditioned for a part in an opera. against all odds i got the lead role and that christmas i let my soaring soprano carry the adams state college presentation of “amahl and the night visitors” to much critical acclaim and moderate box office success. it didn’t get me off the funyuns but it was a huge first step in the healing process which i hope to have successfully completed somwhere in my mid to late 40s.

5 Comments to Hidden Charges

  1. i’m not gonna read this. i’m sorry adam. i have some kind of block against sports right now. it’s not you, it’s me. really, it’s me. so, let’s just be friends, okay? i’ll call you.

  2. rlo on 28 March 2005
  3. Where’s Mark? I miss Mark.

  4. Tiffany on 29 March 2005
  5. Wow. Well it turns out that if I don’t write the post, it doesn’t send me my usual email telling me there’s a new comment. I guess even my blog software has forgotten about me.
    Yes, I’m still alive. No, I haven’t gotten a car or job, but I did agree to take over someone’s lease today. Progress.
    So kiddies, while Adam is crashing on my couch that is my blog, let’s all be big kids and put our listening caps on. I like his stories. They’re long and meaty. Enjoy it while you can, cause my two line masterpieces will be back before ya know it.

  6. Mark on 30 March 2005
  7. I, for one, love Adam.
    Doesn’t mean I don’t love Mark. But really Mark– you live at my house now. I can talk to you any old time.

  8. beth on 30 March 2005
  9. Adam kicks ass. Long live Adam! Down with Mark… wait… no, that’s not really what I meant… what I meant was that Adam’s blogs are really funny and Mark’s are… um… wait… not that’s not quite what I meant either… crap… there’s no way out now… must say something nice about Mark…. Mark… I can honestly say that I was always proud that you weren’t a short man.

  10. Shad Reynolds on 30 March 2005

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