During the lockout I wrote black and white journal entries and vowed to find a new narrative if the season ever came to be. It’s come and nearly slipped away and I never did find a theme. There are only eight games left, beginning with a trip to San Antonio – the league’s schedule makers in their infinite wisdom, shoved all three meetings between the Lakers and Spurs, into the tail end of the season.
My dad would stand in front of an abstract painting and explain to me, about looking from one corner to the next in a clockwise motion, and ending in the middle. He described small square portals as doors through which the viewer can enter the work. He still paints in series, finding change in a common subject.
With the freedom of distortion, I use elements of the visual world not only as an appreciation of that world, but also as vehicles to express inner feelings that are emotional, psychological and abstract.
I forced my fingers to type, and worked until it was finished, the night before Easter. And as traffic arrived, I deleted the post. Something about the brightly colored marshmallow peeps against a black background bothered me. Plus lazy wiki references, and too easy endings. I saved the scraps for leftovers.
I’m never going to be immersed in new metrics, or an online matrix with clusters and rooms and tens of thousands spontaneously spinning something that accelerates faster beyond me. It is not my world and shouldn’t be, stubborn though I am. I stare at the screen, and backspace.
The comptroller pursed his lips and zippered his case. He wouldn’t be asking me to join his pony riders. And they filled their bags with words and wheeled away laughing, fixing up the dawn.
The game against the Spurs looms closer. I decide to give myself a quick deadline, and send 750 words to a friend at Pounding the Rock. Sometimes you just need to take a little trip.
Up to the Forum in Charlie Cole’s ancient Volvo station wagon during high school, and later, moving to L.A., and punk bands and you could be anybody and dig the Lakers. And adulthood and parenthood - left to right on the radio dial with Chick Hearn , driving home from work. The first Phil Jackson years in Los Angeles – incense pots and rings.
The Lakers come to town having won one in a row. The Spurs had won 11 before Monday’s night game in Utah. Coach Pop declined to send his big three, explaining, “it’s a no-brainer.” Popvich has always reminded me of a badass Bill Murray.
I once had the opportunity to see Abel Gance’s restored silent classic, Napoleon, filmed in triptych, and shown at the Shrine with Carmine Coppola conducting. It was a monumental achievement and had a profound effect on me. They put cameras on wires and sent them across a canyon, in 1927! If I could ever figure out how to blog in triptych I’d be on it like white on rice.
I began this confessional with a title homage to an obscure biscuit chucker from the Ukraine. At least then, there were gossamer thin connections – now all that’s left is Kobe. The latest reports are that he won’t play in San Antonio, missing his third game in a row due to a inflamed tendon in his left shin. Will Popovich sit his starters again, in front of a home town crowd?
Nobody knows how far this team can go in the playoffs. You may think the answer is on your map, but it is not on your map. Or your pie charts. The Lakers don’t have the discipline of the Spurs, or the Thunder’s overall brilliance. They exist somewhere in the gaps with the playoffs looming. They’re strong though, they’ve developed a nasty streak. Their switch is on but it’s not always connected.
The season was too compressed, drifting ever faster across lanes of converging traffic. I'm not even sure how we got here. Can writing a blog ever feel like going to lunch with an old girlfriend?
"So, what have you been up to?"
"Not much. Work blows."
The waiter comes and we stare at our menus - up and down ballgames, management rants, new faces. Am I still searching for Slava? Roadrunner once, roadrunner twice...