I need me a new basketball. And a basketball net. I don’t need a hoop, though. I have one. It’s bolted to the ancient roof of our garage, the one with the doors that pull open like the entrance to the grand dining room in an old movie.
The doors have little windows getting ready to be broken again.
I can’t wait to stand on our new ladder and hook a new net on the old hoop. I can’t wait to have a new basketball that is clean and just crammed with air, one that bounces with a touch. I can pretend I am careful and cagey, a strategic shooter. The bounce of a basketball is one of Earth’s perfect sounds.
When my boys were teenagers, the three of us played our own version of HORSE. In HORSE, one person makes a shot and then the other people have to make the same shot. The person who doesn’t make the shot gets a letter, like H or O or R. My sons would have wild shots, one would do impossible lay-ups, the other mile-long shots from the next door neighbor’s driveway.
I had only one shot. It was my money shot. I could always make this shot. It was (I just asked my husband for the official description) a ‘short range jump shot.’ The problem was that my sons could also always make this shot. So my superiority was short-lived. No one suffered a letter on account of not making my money shot. Chump change as it was.
I have decided, at the age of 66, that I don’t shoot nearly enough hoops. Nor do I have a sufficient number of hoop dreams. This needs to change.
I need to back the cars up out of the way, apologize to the wee garage windows girding themselves for assault, and get to bouncing my ball and making my shot.
I’ll play HORSE with myself and never lose.