the homecourt advantage.


he called me at about 11:30. "i'm here," he said. "okay," i said, "i'll come down." i walked downstairs, and found him sitting outside next to his black bike. "nice bike," i said, "where'd you get it?" "off craigslist," he said. "do you mind if i just go to my friend's place and change clothes?" "no," he said, "not at all." we started walking toward the cafeteria. i passed by a law student named kate, and we said hello to each other. "it must be nice working on campus, surrounded by all these cute girls." "yeah, it's not bad," i said.

"so, what's the deal with you and what's-her-name?" he asked. i told him her name. "we're just friends," i said. he looked disappointed. we passed some undergrads. "i'm just gonna run upstairs and change. i'll be quick." "i'll just stay with my bike," he said. i went upstairs and changed into a shirt and shorts. then i came back down. "you were like superman in there." it took me a while to realize that he was referring to clark kent changing into his superman outfit in the telephone booth.

"we can play at the gym, but i don't know if i can get you in." "have you been in there before?" he asked. "yeah, but not with a guest. there might be a fee. if there's a fee, i can drive us up to the central district." he agreed. we got to the connolly center. i handed over my staff i.d. and said that i had a guest with me. "that's fine," the asian girl said, "you'll just have to fill out these two forms, and it'll be five dollars." five dollars? to play basketball at a gym? i told her we just wanted to play basketball, and that we'd go someplace else. i felt cheap, but it didn't matter.

"well, if you want, you can leave your bike here, and i can drive us to judkins park." "you think i should just leave the bike here?" "yeah," i said, "it's as safe a place as any." he locked up his bike, and we started walking. we came to a school that had a stretch of field north of it, a park where homeless people slept. "there's a hoop," i said. we cut through the homeless people park and unloaded our gear on a cement stoop. i shot the basketball first. it hit the rim with a loud clang. i shot again. clang. clang, clang. "must have some loose bolts," he said.

we shot around, and then we played some one-on-one. i don't have very good one-on-one skills, so i would mostly shoot from the outside. he had better skills. we talked about intramural sports, work, march madness pools, girls, and books. we played a game of horse, and out of pure dumb luck, i won. "you have the homecourt advantage," he said. "next time, we'll play at genessee." i agreed. "this is great," i said, "a long leisurely lunch, some exercise and sun." "that's how life should be," he said, "everyone should get enough time off to exercise, have lunch, and enjoy the sun."

i agreed with him some more.

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