Playbook Parable: Manu Ginobili/Tim Duncan Side Pick and Roll

“Can I tell you something?”

“Yeah. Of course.”

She stares at me. Not a harsh, stabbing stare of anger or accusation, she just wants to make sure I’m paying attention. How could I not? Every time she fixes those hazel tractor beams on me, I’m paralyzed. The world around me—the soft breeze, the gnarled wooden dock we’re sitting on, the still lake that’s slowly freezing our naked feet—melts. The only thing left, the only thing that matters, is her.

She bites her lip. She always does that when she’s trying to find the exact words.

“I used to think you were so fucking boring.”

The words leave her in a hurry, as if they’ve been trying to escape for years and she’s only now granting their release. An eternal moment passes. She breaks her stare, and the world returns. Now she’s looking down at her feet. She always does that when she thinks she’s upset me.

“Boring?” I ask, not upset, just surprised.

“Just… you drank water when everyone else was taking shots.” She stops. She swears silently; that wasn’t what she wanted to say. “We were young, we did stupid stuff. We drank and smoked and hooked up and had sex, the stuff you’re supposed to do when you’re young. But you never did. You were old even when you were young.”

“And that’s bad?”

“No. I never said it was bad. Honestly, it’s what made you great. You were reliable, dependable. You were always there and you could always be counted on. But it also made you so damn boring.”

A silence surrounds us. I’m still staring where her eyes held me.

“Well, if I’m boring you, maybe I should go.” I put my hands on the aged wood, about to push myself up. I’m faking, of course, and she knows that.

“Shut up,” she says with a smile, kicking water onto my shorts. “I said ‘used to.’ I’m older, now. Being stupid and wild and out of control isn’t fun anymore. But you’ve changed too. I’ve never seen you more active, or laugh harder, or, fuck, just enjoy life as much as you do. You’re older, but I think, maybe, you’re also younger.”

“Maybe we’ve both changed.”

The stare returns, and once again the world fades.

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Ed. note: Inspiration for this post/series comes from the terrific music blog Said The Gramophone


Jordan White

Jordan White loves basketball, loves writing and loves writing about basketball. He marvels at every Ricky Rubio pass and cries after every Brandon Roy highlight. He grew up in Kansas, where, contrary to popular belief, there is running water, electricity, and no singing munchkins. Follow him on Twitter: @JordanSWhite