• Vol. 09
  • Chapter 06
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a reflection :: on hoops & happenstance

the red team arrived first. a full five minutes before the first of the opposition. all teams assigned. all colors taken. the red jerseys took to the court with an energy that rivaled the heat of the afternoon sky. blazing. hot. streaks. a small family of crows scattered. along with a stray cat. striped. everyone ready.looking.eager for (a) game. daily specials chalked & tallied.
three for a dollar & a game of hoops.
1: 100% beef hot dog (boiled) & orange crush
2: soft pretzel (salted) & diet peach tea
3: red swedish fish (fresh) & pink lemonade
ready. set. throw.
the hoop on the right lacked a net. the hoop on the left simply lacked. all systems hacked. all participants tracked. each a reflection of each other & the red clay court. boiled. salted. fresh.
the whistle blew. a small piece of plastic on a long red cord. all shades clashed. a man with an oversized middle & an undersized sense of lung capacity exhaled. leaves scatted. a baby wailed. the shrill sound prompted blackbirds in a nearby oak to flee.
most souls regained composure & regrouped within minutes. all creatures of habit. & happenstance. behaviors more a reflection of past practice than pretense.
game on.
by the second quarter all comrades had returned & adopted characteristic spaces. amidst traces & tracks a critical mass of charades & camaraderie crafted community.


a reflection :: on hoops & happenstance

the red clay court at the corner of broad & main. a few paces from the f train. a sea of soles (high & low tops) nestled between high & low tide. a sanctuary for bird & man. all hoops happening.
for the duration (hot dogs cut in quarters. pretzels unrolled. swedish fish divided). a baby slept in a stroller & a toddler munched popcorn. both buttered. one of sunscreen. the other of oil. freshly brewed tea cooled over ice. red seas absorbed both shock & sweat.
the perimeter played of horseshoes (red & black). shuffleboard (crimson & gray). & seesaws (full of creaks & always off balance). planks & flanks. crickets, cracker jack boxes, & mr. softee drippings. rainbow sprinkles on ants. denim pants on fences. guys & gals consumed books under metal bleachers. a small mouse sneezed pollen. spectators played games of solitaire. youngsters took on chutes & ladders. older lads flicked marbles. white high-tops pounded red clay. rubber balls converted arches to three-point swishes.
eventually, the sun set on the opposing hoops & over the red clay. cracks revealed. no longer concealed. all souls ready for the affair to end. ultimately, the red team tied the blue. the umpire raised both arms and stepped off the court. a full five minutes after the last of the opposition. an unlaced sneaker kissed an unsecured bottle of red gatorade and a puddle formed.
teams & tempers regrouped. backs bent. knees knocked. all eyes on the pool of red. all eyes seeking someone.something.sustenance.
1. 2. 3. ready. set. throw. all hoops heavy. of happenstance.