Watching basketball today -- middle-schoolers --
my nephew -- at this age they are so much an elongation
of bone with barely enough skin to cover.
So unformed, still, with their grown-man stances
and aggressive ball-bouncing and shouldering-aside
of opposing teammates, with the occasional ultra-graceful
pass or free-shot. The only place to sit was courtside,
or rather, nearly inside the court,
and there were a few moments when the players & ball
thundered towards us, shoes squeaking, barely managing
not to plow us down. I felt so vulnerable
sitting so close, so much flesh & living-matter.
The game even smelled differently, in close range.
(Well, you can imagine.)
The nephew scored 15 points, and I sent him home
with a big box of no-bake cookies, a belated birthday gift
owed since last December.