And then it happened. The heroes of my favorite books became real. Sounds like a hallucination, but it’s not. Sounds like some misfit who recoils into misanthropy and cheap motels, blinking red neon lights and prostitutes and TV dinners with that lonely scrape of fork to aluminum, me and my fictional hero in the Green Gables; Anne and I; a 25 cent vibrating bed paradise, but it’s not.
The book is “The In Your Face Basketball Book.” Ain’t no penguin classic. Won’t find it taught in schools. No hipster in a cafe spewing bad poetry will be reading it, but the book remains the greatest most influential book in my life. The wisdom and humor and poetic fast break thrusts not to mention vagabond basketball jones map tales and of course, the pictures…am I gushing? Well slam bam thank you Queen Esther and Quincy Jones!!!
I mentioned the book the other day and Glen Slater of Tall Tales and True Stories commented that HE WAS IN THE BOOK. That shit just doesn’t happen. I don’t trust people who say coincidence and I don’t trust people who wear sandals. Too relaxed. Makes me uptight, but then this? Someone I sort of know in my favorite book? I got Pentacostal shaking thru my veins. I believe in Maimonides all over again!
The clerk at Wax Stacks records on Milwaukee’s East Side used to tell me in his cocaine nasal accent. “I don’t buy shit. I only sell it.” That’s the story of capitalism, no? All this bullshit marketing and self promotion and how many god damn kinds of toothpaste do we really need? But then Glen and The In Your Face Basketball book. Jesus Chrysler. I believe again. Pass the chulunt.
Glen didn’t remember what page, just a few clues; in North Carolina, in a pick up basketball game. I raced to my shelf and finger rifled thru the book and there it was page 160, a cool looking dude dribbling a basketball with no shirt wearing a necklace, free flowing hair. unmistakable court general aka Danny Ainge in the fierce with handles and hops and instincts to run the point. Mo Cheeks….I took a picture of the picture and posted it.
Glen revealed the under belly reality behind the photo; the clumsiness on the pick up court; the photographer turning nothing into something, but who cares. This was big. That was Glen in the flesh, in my favorite book. That shit just doesn’t happen.
It was time. It was bloody time to face my fear of shirtless and camera shy. There are 1o dollar toothless prostitutes in my neighborhood offering blow jobs. I always decline politely, but maybe I’ll ask them to snap a photo of me. They wouldn’t judge me for being sickly skinnny like I had just escaped Auschwitz and maybe I have. I’m lucky to have a real friend in this life.
We went to Cap Saint. Jacque yesterday. Sounds like a fancy exotic place, but it’s just a dirty beach; north west corner of Montreal Island; a green brown looking lake, Lake of 2 mountains, more than good enough; minimal algae or whatever rubbing up our legs. Seagull lifeguards atop busted trees, lots of ladies in religious scarves, kids in the water, barbecues in the bushes and way too many carpenter ants, but not in the water.
That’s the real electric water; sprawls all the way to the Great Lakes west and St. Lawrence river east to the atlantic ocean. The big water. You can feel it. Energizes you. I swam out to the rope; not too deep; did some makeshift Kung Fu splashing. Get down brother.
Picture one…pose of triumph. Picture two….pose of Aushwitz horror. I feel vain and stupid, but a hell of a lot freer ; kicking those Nazis off my back and outta my mind.
Easier to cope with Brewers sucking up to Jake Peavy and his stupid 2,000 k milestone. The Brewers fell for a second consecutive night to Giants…3-1
The Brewers are 73-62 and fading, but not really. Cardinals are still a game out of first and they’ll be in Milwaukee next week. Time to get naked and splash and fight and kick the Cardinals ass; once and for all.
Brewers lose, but that was a hell of an enjoyable day yesterday. One of my favorites in recent memory, Glen inside that book. Still shaking. That shit just doesn’t happen very often.
You can see some downtown Montreal in the background in picture three. This is after the swim and the electricity. That’s an authentic 59FIFTY New Era Expos cap on my head and me posing as Eddie Van Halen. Get down brother.