Nick Young Has Come Unstuck in Time

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All this happened, more or less, when Nick Young failed to pay attention. The basketball parts, if anything, were sort of awesome. He did shoot the basketball. And so on, until time ran out or he no longer shot the basketball. You see, Nick Young had come—or rather has come—unstuck in time.


He closes his eyes. When he opens them, he is on a beach with Iggy Azaela. She talks about things. He grows bored. His eyelids grow heavy. When he opens them, he is somewhere else.

He opens his eyes. He is dribbling down a basketball court. A man—wait, is that Kobe Bryant?—yells something at Nick. He can’t tell what the man is yelling. He’s new here. Or the man is new here. Nick doesn’t know. Nick spins. Nick shoots the ball. And so it goes.

He walks through a door in a year and comes out a door in another year. Who keeps track of years? Anyway, he’s in another city. He sees the Washington Monument, or some monument. He giggles. He giggles twice. He chants lines from a popular song in the future: “I pray my dick get big as the Eiffel Tower, so I can fuck the world for seventy-two hours.” What’s seventy-two hours? Who cares? What’s the Eiffel Tower? Nick doesn’t know. Maybe it’s the Washington Monument. Maybe he’s the first basketball player on Mars. He closes his eyes.

Nick Young wakes in a wet sleeping bag. He tries to open his eyes, but he can’t. He might have pinkeye. He might have pinkeye in both eyes. But did he contract it in the past or the future? He notices his limbs are in the fetal position. He kicks. He kicks like a motherfucker. He remembers a play from high school about a man who plucks out his eyes. That shit was gross. Time travel is gross. Nick wants to cry, but he’s underwater.

Nick wakes on the eve of Donald Trump’s presidency, but is the Donald on the verge of his first Inaugural or his second? Nick doesn’t know. These are Earthling matters. And Nick has not felt at home amongst Earthlings in quite some time. And so on.

People are cracking jokes, but Nick’s not laughing. “Yo, I didn’t even hear the punchline to be honest. Like I wasn’t here.” They tell him he was. But he wasn’t. And so it goes. And so he tells them a joke. And no one laughs. He says, “where’s Kobe?” They tell him this is Philadelphia and that Kobe won’t be in town for another two days. Nick says, “That’s weird. Did I tell you the one about my dick?” And so it goes.

He opens his eyes and finds himself on another planet. The creatures tell him what they’re called. Nick may or may not have heard them correctly. “Say what? Trumpadorians.” They tell him about how they pity Earthlings. He responds, “Me too.” They tell him about how they can see in four dimensions. Nicks tells them, “Me too.” One of them says something about death, but Nick doesn’t hear it. He sticks his fingers in his ears and says, “Lalalalalalalallalalalala-I CAN’T HEAR YOU!”

Nick Young could not sleep when he woke up from whatever time he’d recently been living in. He had a hunch the next day in this time might be important, but he didn’t know why. He texted Byron Scott, for he had woken up in the time of texting. B-Scott . . . what is tomorrow??? He wanted to add an emoji, but this was in the time before people spoke with just pictures. “Man,” he said, “I must be in Coach K times.”

Nick felt like he was being displayed in a zoo, but it was just a basketball court. The ball landed in his hands. He had little time to react. He had no idea where on the court he was. He shot the ball. He did not see whether the ball torched the net or not. He raised his hands anyway, saluted the crowd from some city in the universe, and celebrated off the assumption he had scored. And so it goes. And why not? And Poo-tee-weet!

Bryan Harvey tweets @LawnChairBoys.

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