Blake Griffin has just dunked the basketball through the goal with his left hand like both the ball and the rim called him a bad name and it has sent shockwaves throughout the Bradley Center. Hearts that were once dead have now been jolted to life. One of those now beating hearts is two seats to my right. The heart belongs to an older gentleman. If there is any justice in this world, then someone somewhere refers to him openly as Triple O-G. He’s here by himself.
At the beginning of the game a younger dude in a puffy Oakland Raiders jacket who looked like he was straight out of the Black Hole had walked up to him and asked, “You couldn’t talk her into coming tonight?”
Triple O-G shook his head and smiled.
“Nah, she stayed at the house,” he said, “Wanted to watch her shows.”
Her loss, Triple O-G, because you appear to be the man.
He’s wearing some blue-gray corduroys and a navy blue sweater (Again, I can’t overstate how pro-sweater the whole of Milwaukee appears to be). He’s got on a driving cap like the kind you see Tony Romo wearing in press conferences every so often, and when the ball is in play he doesn’t say a word. He’s involved. Focused like if he takes his eyes off the court the whole world will crumble. Deep into it. Not the way children are, leaning up in their chair, sitting on the edge of their seat, bouncing their knees and popping their knuckles. No. He’s leaned back. Sunk into the chair. Giving himself room. All smooth like.
He’s having a nice time, though. Whenever Sir and Miz Pleated Jeans or the dynamic Doron hating duo say something absurd, he just lets it roll and laughs to himself. They’re quiet laughs. Ones where he closes his eyes and leans into himself and smiles and purses his lips. He’s subtle about everything…almost completely still…till Griffin dunks a second time. And dear everything did he dunk a second time.
Griffin spins off Luc Richard Mbah a Greatest Name Ever Moute on the right block, goes underneath the goal, rises up. descends from on high, and wrecks the Milwaukee rim like he’s the Cable Guy, putting three different Bucks in a poster.
It’s violent and alarming to everyone in the arena. Like we all got hit in the head by a basketball out of nowhere ala Waldo Faldo in the opening credits of Family Matters. B and I lean out of our respective chairs and I squeeze her knee. “Wow” is all my feeble personality can muster. Triple O-G agrees. He lets out a “ooooo” and puts a fist over his mouth like he’s protecting the world from a cough. I look over at him and we make eye contact. He shakes his head and I shake mine.
“That boy,” he says.
Real recognize real.
He disappears for a bit after that. I think for a minute that he’s died happy and ascended on to heaven. Then he reappears with some Dippin’ Dots in his hand. Just a small order, he has nothing to prove. Vanilla with Oreo chunks. This man should run nations.
I get up and go to the restroom at one point and apologize for causing him to have to stand up. He pats me on the back.
“No problem, young fella,” he says.
I hope he gets everything he ever wants.
Part 4 comes tomorrow. Happy Wednesday, everyone.