Dear Journal, today is Saturday, January 14, 2012. This is the first entry of a New Year that is decidedly not new at this stage. Can I hide behind time like a curtain? Can I use other storylines and forums as an excuse? I push my own thoughts to the back of a shelf, along with overdue bills and wrinkled packets of sugar. Things we collect in our pockets. I could make more excuses and probably will. It’s another perfect day.
This morning saw a calamity of events including a car that should not have been parked uphill, allowing gasoline to settle to the end of the tank not connected to the hose. There was a walk to the gas station and back, and a coffee maker incident – grounds and coffee overflowing the counter to the floor. I mopped with paper towels and a sponge, put the coffee maker into the sink. I boiled water, and cleverly fit a filter over the edges of a solitary cup. I secured the filter with thumb and finger and carefully poured. The process was proceeding nicely. I grew bold and removed the securing fingers. The filter and coffee plopped into the cup. I washed and fixed my coffee maker and made a pot and with headache falling away, took the dog outside. The sun was up, and life was good at this moment.
Words that characterize my written views on basketball; crossword, guise, pretense, simulacrum. But I love the sport, and this journal has been tolerated. The season is 21 days old. Kobe’s wrist ligaments were torn early on and he has continued fiercely - currently the league’s scoring leader. Other Lakers have suffered other injuries and cannot play - do not blame them, comparisons to Kobe will only rob you of reason - he is a thief in the night, he is an assassin, and as Zach Harper so aptly put it, a vampire. After a bumpy start, the Lakers are 2nd in the west, clawing their way back through ugly, disjointed games. Those who happily predicted their demise are now gnashing teeth and doubling down on some confluence of events that will send the team’s fortunes off the tracks. Thank you, we will gladly take your money.
The Lakers play the kids down the hall tonight. The Clippers won the lottery with the CP3 trade. I won’t belabor the stain of Stern - been there, done that. With a starting lineup that boasts Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan, Caron Butler, Chauncey Billups, and Chris Paul, the eternally snake-bitten Clips are winning more than they’re losing - it is a season full of promise, high expectations and at last, grudging respect from the media. Actually, it’s not grudging at all. It’s bright lights, big city and the secret hope for a train wreck because that’s how it goes. Digital memes, not so different from news ink and dimes. Lakers versus Clippers, the perfect storm for second-guessers.
The view from above the city revealed odd patterns, played out as if through time-stop photography. The dusk turned to dawn and to night again, halogen trails on freeways. The lives of people involved in some convergent story.
Three months ago, at yet another failed juncture of lockout negotiations, I wrote about people who serve beer and take tickets and mend bodies and live to throw down monster jams. I wondered how long the scars would last. We’re three weeks into a compressed and chaotic schedule now, colliders and intersections. The work stoppage seems further away than I thought it would. Black and white has become technicolor once again. The sun is up, the sky is blue. Dear Journal, it's a brand new day.