When the clouds descend in a gummy fog, a deep gray funk that seeps from my pores, keeps the curtains drawn and the pantries lean, I lay in bed and submit to the screen. Mixtape prescription. Number forty in serotonin green and gold attacking the rim again and again and again. A buoyant crush of ferocious joy to remind us such an approach to life is even possible. Coast-to-coast tomahawks. Reverse double-pumps. Put-backs, baby-cradles, the soaring oop to Gary Payton’s alley. Each punctuated with some version of the artist’s signature: a roar or a shimmy or a crouch and a point and a stare down, none of it mean-spirited, all of it saying, Shit, I didn’t see it coming either. And the haze parts for a moment or two because to see the Reign Man bring the thunder down on someone else’s head, to see the posterized body beneath the hoop in a crumpled heap of regret and shame, is to know that we do not suffer alone.
Brendan Gillen is a writer in Brooklyn, NY. His work appears, or will appear, in Wigleaf, Taco Bell Quarterly, HAD, X-R-A-Y and elsewhere. You can find him at bgillen.com and on Twitter/IG @beegillen.