Monday, December 13, 2010

Visual Essay: Losing my love for Basketball

At the top of the street where I lived were two basketball courts. When I was twelve, I used to play on those courts all the time with a bunch of late teen early twenty something’s. Like many youngens, I followed the leader for the most part. They cursed, I cursed, they spit, I spit. I drew the line at smoking, though I still wanted to look cool so I “smoked” candy cigarettes that I bought from the store. The store I am talking about was located not to far away from the basketball courts, acting as the focal point in the whole trailer park. If you needed milk, and didn’t want to run into town, you just went to the store right here in the park. It seemed really fancy to live in a trailer park that had a store, basketball courts and even a swimming pool but I was spoiled and didn’t care. Anyway, every once in a while we would go up to the store, and buy Sprites, water, or candy and continue on to playing more basketball.

The rule of the house I lived in was that I had to be at home when the streetlights turned on, so a lot of times I left in the middle of a game to go home. The older kids would continue on playing until it got to dark to play. One summer night, I heard loud sirens and people yelling outside. My parents got me out of bed so we could see what all the fuss was about. The store had caught on fire. My first thought was “where am I going to get candy cigarettes at now?” Later the next day, the fire department determined that the cause of the fire was from a lit cigarette butt thrown in a trash can that caused the flame. I got angry, and somehow made the connection that the older kids I hung out with were the cause of this. They were the ones that destroyed a good thing that everyone enjoyed. I stopped playing basketball that summer, picked up skateboarding and started listening to Black Flag.

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