Journal entry, Tuesday, March 6. After a convincing Sunday win against Miami, the Lakers have embarked on a three-day road runner. They lose to Detroit, a .350 team, in overtime. A strange week is underway.
Wednesday night, I’m sitting on the floor with my back against the wall, tethered by a cord. My cell battery exhausts itself frequently. The old dog is whining, there are voices outside, the dog wants to be a friend. I am guesting on a podcast, a box score scrolls on my laptop, awkwardly far away. I set the cell down, crane over to stare at strange configurations that make no sense. I return to my sitting position. The sequence repeats endlessly, like an analog tape loop. After leading by 21, the Lakers lose to the Wizards who have now improved to 9 & 29.
The winds have been gusting in Austin, howling against the limestone walls. I try to write but it keeps unraveling. Last Sunday’s win was impressive, I wanted to create a Wild Bunch analogy, I thought, whatever happens, this old team is going to empty its clip. Maybe it did already. I give up and go to sleep.
A day later, I am no closer to understanding. It was only a game but somehow felt connected to a larger rip in the universe. The scrolling numbers looked like a stock market crash and I had tried expressing it on the phone but couldn’t find the context. The game could have been a metaphor for the entire screwed up season but we went back to talking about Denver and Portland. We had already discussed the Lakers.
A couple of years ago, my ex pawned her cats off on me. I have been less than grateful ever since. Tonight, one of them begins exhibiting symptoms of urinary tract infection.
Friday. I take the cat to the animal hospital. Various tests ensue. Dietary supplements and medicines are prescribed. I will not be buying that new TV. An afternoon of new Pau Gasol rumors are followed by a three-point win against the Timberwolves. Late in the game, Ricky Rubio tries drawing a charge against the masked Mamba. Rubio goes down with an ACL tear, the memo from Kahn may not have been received. It’s been that kind of season.
Saturday, the wind has brought torrential downpours. The cat does not seem to be showing signs of improvement, alternately licking his nether regions and urinating on my bed.
The mini-road trip is over, thankfully. The only consistency for this season’s Lakers has been the their resolute inconsistency. The trade deadline is just days away. The strangeness will continue until then, and it will continue afterward. I have read no shortage of statistical explanations. And then there are theories voiced by players and others connected with the team. Put together, they create a house divided by an organization out of touch, a coach in over his head, a lack of ball movement, too few and too many minutes, selfishness and the most lopsided home/road record in the league. And somehow, the team is still in 4th place in the west.
The cat has thankfully, managed to fall asleep. The dog wants to go for a walk in the rain. He decided to chew a hole in his tail last night and is now in a particularly good mood. I take him out, he wanders aimlessly per usual, and pauses to stare at nothing. I reset him into motion by whistling. He does his business and we return inside. There are now loud clicking sounds coming from inside the walls. I don’t even want to know.