Thursday, December 22, 2011

Rec Center Pick Up

I ran on the treadmill Tuesday and got a mean look from a stranger playing basketball. He was big with big muscles and an enormous floppy head. I didn't like him the moment I saw him, but not for his size. Rather, I didn't like him for the way he was manipulating players on both teams, intimidating them and pushing them around.

And he was not a good player. And he called fouls every time he touched the ball.

After my treadmill run, I stood and watched the game for awhile. I wished that I was nineteen, because he would not have intimidated me, and he would not have stopped me, but I'm thirty-four and slow and can hardly touch the rim . . . it's hard to be old.

I don't know why I caught a dirty look from this guy, except the ball came out of bounds, and I didn't touch it -- not my job -- and maybe he thought I owed him that much for all the iron he'd pumped. The meanface didn't touch me while I was standing there. I raised my eyebrows and kept my face still and gave him the dumbest look, I'm sure, he's seen for a while. As if to say, "Whatever, dude," and he knew what I was saying.

The meanface didn't touch me then, but, damn, it's been haunting me since. Why do I suffer this fool like he's got anything for me? He's barely running a court at a rec center in Athens, Ohio. He wouldn't have got scraped off the sidelines at Miller Sybly fifteen years ago. And why does that matter to me?

Ah, hell, I'm bound up in this.


  1. I often get embarrassed by how long I let a meanface like that stay with me. I'll chastise myself for not standing up to people who didn't actually do anything outside of my imagination. I'm kinda relieved that it isn't just me.

  2. It's nice to hear you say that, J. In truth, I never know whether I've left the meanface on too long or not long enought . . . I'm caught somewhere between When Would Jesus Just Fucking Drop It(WWJJFDI) and something about Clint Eastwood -- dude wears his meanface in his sleep.

    I've heard.