Sunday, June 20, 2010

Mein skabf.

First 30 seconds of the first game, the rock is dished out to a wild-card point guard and I'm faced with the menial task of keeping him and the ball on the outskirts of our heavily guarded tarmac real estate. I'd been watching him warm-up. He was small, wearing a beanie cap and Asian. Anyone that has ever played basketball knows that small Asian players are extremely diligent when it comes to on-court intimidation techniques. Crossovers, pump fakes and spins are used in excess as a means of lulling their defense into a false sense of athletic inability so they can safely drive, only to get swatted or pass the ball to a more vertically-abled player.

I knew what he was up to, so I applied the white-on-rice defense in order to counter his technique. He went left, I went left, he went right, I pre-determined a fake and went left again. He wasn't expecting this and drove straight into my left leg. It was an odd manuevre that saw both of us lose our respective footing and my right knee coming into direct contact with the gritty concrete court with the same motion of a hammer missing a nail. The scores for the game may have been tied, but the play-off between my knee and the concrete stood at one nil in favor of the concrete. Almost instantaneously, what seemed like litres of blood began making it's way from the cut to my fresh white socks. My primary concern was no longer disinfecting the cut, but saving those fresh whites by any means necessary. I blood-ruled to the sidelines and fashioned a temporary bandage out of the seam of my polyester-mesh shorts and little else.

Over the coming weeks the wound slowly healed itself as platelets and blood cells weaved a rustic brown shield over the cut. The depth of the cut ranged between 'probably need stitches' to 'can't be bothered getting stitches' so this particular clot took longer than usual to reach it's defensive peak, which was a new experience for me considering I generally heal quicker than most (I'm no medical expert but I think it's scientific title is 'Wolverine Syndrome' and I've had it since birth). As this wondrous, man-made tapestry manifested below my right knee i came to appreciate the cut as it blossomed into a beautiful, sizeable scab. I'd had plenty of scabs before but due to the circumstances and the uncertainty of how long we'd have together it became somewhat of an extension of my leg, and I came to love it like I would any of my other limbs.

The scab and I did everything together. We ate, played video games, slept and partied together, his presence constantly reinstated by the sharp pain he'd produce any time I knelt on him or moved my right leg in general. Love hurts and I was willing to suffer if only to prolong the healing process and subsequently, our time together. I even introduced him to my girlfriend and my most esteemed peers as a sign of respect and to show him that he was more important to me than every scab before him. I know he felt the same by the way he'd tickle my knee. The temptation to pick, play with or scratch never crossed my mind and not once did I cover him with any pharmaceutical bandaging or disinfectants. I was proud of my scab and how well I was taking care of him.

Everything changed this morning though. I'd just collected my routine morning coffee from the cafe around the corner and was commandeering my skateboard through the usually smooth back alleys of my route to the train station when an unfamiliar entity came into contact with my front wheels. Some genius had left a hose running across a driveway DIRECTLY AFTER A SPEED BUMP. It was as if someone had been watching my journey for weeks and found the most strategically beneficial location for a trap and was possibly watching from a nearby gum tree, cackling to themselves as the urethane supporting my person came to an unplanned stop. Normally, any other hindrance could be avoided with a quick step off the board but this time was extra special, being a Monday morning and all. As I was launched from my vehicle, flashbacks of my scab's short life played through my mind in HD and for about two seconds, I was at peace with the circumstances currently surrounding me. I hit the ground knee first, slid for half a metre and I didn't even consider the fact that i'd just paid for a coffee which was now a 3/4 tarmachiatto. My focus immediately shifted to a sharp pain below my right knee, the exact spot where an old friend once resided. The familiar feeling of cold blood crawling down my shin confirmed what I feared most.

The scab was gone. My knee was fucked again.

It hurt me to know that something i had cared for so meticulously over such a long period could be destroyed in a matter of seconds through the careless actions of another. It was like my first Tamagotchi. I fed it, played with it and woke up at the most ungodly of hours to clean up it's accidents for several months. All it took was one sleepover and I had to come home the next morning to a digital devastation that no 10 year old should ever have to endure. This morning was no different. As I sat on the train in my blood stained jeans i came to the realization that life is not a right, it's a sacred privilege. I vowed to live life to the fullest from that point on, it's what he would've wanted.

While the sun had set on one scab, a new scab would soon appear under a new dawn. As I mourned a brief smile touched my face and i remembered that while scabs may come and go, a scar lasts forever and whenever i gaze down to my right knee, I'll always be reminded of that one time I totally owned an Asian point guard.

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