Basketball stands for war or battle. That's why I think about the players' personalities, in my foxhole or squad. Danny and Ben are fast and smart. Dan especially can pass making him master and commander. To defeat them as we did is very satisfying. Ben's five year old son is intelligent but distant. Disdains to answer my question Why are you you? But I'm not here to catalogue the men's personalities. I like them. But each of us has moved on many times, when _______ suddenly died the games went on with hardly a mention and his name has since been forgotten.
But even this, absolute mortality of not just our bodies but our names and souls is not what I came to talk about. Yesterday, between games, I asked Joe how Molly his daughter likes the high school. He mounted an impassioned defense of reading as the indispensable skill when I suggested math, the scientific method and history are essential too. Also between games Bob diffidently asked why my kids are bald. I was moved by the care he took to satisfy his curiosity, concerned the subject might be difficult. He's a political science teacher so I took the opportunity to ask What ails the republic? Of course I answered myself wanting mostly to hear myself talk about Iraq and how empire is self-correcting. For once I was amusing I thought, treating the subject with a light touch heretofore lacking.
But none of this is what I came to say. A new guy, very big and strong, a bulldozer under the boards with a good outside shot if needed got into a dispute with the other Bob who likes to tell people what to do sometimes, about an offensive foul Bob called which we almost never do. The new guy said If you can't take it don't play under the boards which is what I say when I'm ****** and don't give a ****. Bob said You've been pushing and shoving me all day. I said He doesn't want to be pushed and shoved which got a wry smile out of Danny as I put the ball in play.