Basketball

Basketball Court
Basketball Court (Photo credit: xcode)

I went to the local park with one of my younger friends – a tyke still in middle school – to engage in a session of basketball wherein he’d teach me the tricks of the trade he’s considered a professional at. Despite his best efforts, I didn’t learn much – at least not about basketball itself.

I did learn about the incredible social ritual known as just going to the park and playing basketball with complete strangers. I spend so much time thinking about the right way to approach people, what to say to them, how to carry yourself, what excuses you can come up with – and here was my friend and tutoring pupil, defying all of my preconceived notions about “casual encounters” by simply coming up to complete strangers of any age and soliciting their time, physical effort and desire to engage in a simple game involving a rubber sphere.

It was mind-blowing! To think that as we grow up, social interactions became so much more methodical and potentially awkward to the point that many feel they’re not even worth it anymore! But it’s nice to see that more practical human beings like my basketball pro pupil are keeping things as real as can be.

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Loose Cannon

Man Asleep on Bench
Man Asleep on Bench (Photo credit: derajfast)

I’m the kind of person that throws caution to the wind in instances where the opposite is the case. Not to an extreme – I haven’t been accomplice to a murder or serious theft or anything; but rather, I’ve behaved quite complacently in situations that would otherwise rattle my sense of normalcy.

When one of my friends wanted to go out to a late night event with no way of getting back home, I figured we could just take the public bus in the morning and get back that way. When I wanted to do the same a few months later, and the same circumstances were in place, I did exactly the same thing and ended up sleeping on a bench most of the evening.

When I had a job interview way down south and no ride or bus over there, I traveled aboard my 80s touring bicycle down the busway, suit and tie and all. When a less than noble evening affair with my male friend and two attractive females reached a boiling point, I went for it, void of any hesitation.

Sleep on a bench
Sleep on a bench (Photo credit: Matti Mattila)

Sometimes I reflect on this atittude that I have towards new, potentially dangerous, potentially immoral experiences – yet all perfectly legal – and I think to myself whether I’m a loose cannon or not. At least one acquaintance has told me I’m freaking crazy, but I like to think of such an outlook on life not as crazy, but as a way to arrive at the main prerequisite of my future career – journalism.

Because you see, open-mindedness is synonymous with the craft. I figure, if reporters in the industry have to witness and talk about truly disturbing things like hard-working employees getting laid off, innocent people being murdered, and corrupt political regimes ruining the lives of many – I should be able to handle sleeping on a bench in the middle of the night.

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