#30: I'm Sensing A Theme
“You're not sure if it's because you've been kissing for so long that you are starting to worry that your tongue might fall off or because the last time you kissed anyone for so long that you started to worry your tongue might fall off, you were a teenager, and —”
— “Same Difference,” Clare Fisher, Hobart.
A cyclist was doing angry laps between Belle Isle and the roads that lined the James River in Richmond, Virginia earlier this afternoon. He said something in a gruff tone to a man who was attempting to jog with his cloud of a husky across the walkway bridge that connected the island and the shore, and seemed to be throwing something of a performative fit as he did the cyclist equivalent of pacing in front of a springtime wedding setting itself up at the Tredegar Iron Works under the lightest blanket of welcoming springtime weather. A few passing young folks noticed this right away and began referring to him as “Mr. Tour de France.”
It’s okay to recognize the humility in a day. I don’t know why you need to hear this, let alone why you need to hear this from me — maybe you know the cyclist? Maybe you can print this up and pass it along to him, running along side with the pages in hand, shouting, ‘Wait! Wait! Someone online is telling you to chill!’ — but it’s okay to treat the breadth of life with a nod of respect.
This doesn’t mean, ‘Don’t be ambitious.’ This doesn’t mean, ‘Don’t try.’
But — and forgive the sports analogy — but could you imagine Gregg Poppovich — the coach of the San Antonio Spurs and the winningest NBA coach of all time — berating his players in public during his eventual last home game for losing the same way Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski did? (If Dejounte Murray is still on the Spurs by the time Pop retires, I doubt Murray will allow the team to lose, but that’s another matter.)
After playing nearly 30 games by the time Duke lost to UNC at the beginning of March, what leadership benefit is there in telling people something that they already know? Knuckleheads showed us that Ty Lue shows the Clippers film after a win and focuses on the positive after a loss. (‘Congrats on winning. Here’s how you can keep getting better.’) When things were going seriously wrong for the Boston Celtics, Ime Udoka picked a specific problem worthy of emphasis and flagged it, i.e., calling for calm and for players to emphasize calm to others during rough patches of a game.
Coach K just got on the mic and declared the game as a whole “unacceptable.” A cyclist saw people enjoying a nice day and tried to snit his way out of it by fiat. They might have both known that they’d temporarily lost control at the cosmic level of things, but what was denying that fact proving, if anything?
"Dinners help us have a better understanding of each individual person, which brings us closer to each other — and, on the court, understand each other better," former Spurs guard Danny Green says. On the road, whenever possible, the Spurs tend to stay over and fly out the next morning. "So we can have that time together," former San Antonio center Pau Gasol says. "I haven't been a part of that anywhere else. And players know the importance of it as well -- and how important it is to Pop." — via.
“She runs with a coin—heads, go left—the outside smooth from her thumbnail filing down the reeded edge. Tails, turn right. When she gets home, she washes the city from her hands—tails, take the stairs—but the nickel clings to her palm—heads, left fork—so she goes to work smelling like money. Tails, right. She thinks money must smell like sex. Heads, take the bridge.” — “The Venice Algorithm,” Kinneson Lalor, HAD
New literature in translation: March 2022 (Powell’s) / The State of the African Poetry Book Fund (WLT) / New Short Story Collections (NYT) / A Reading List on Modern Ireland (Longreads) / “Your family lives in a narrow two-bedroom bungalow two blocks from the Raritan Bay.” (“The Wet Side,” Jerilynn Aquino, Gulf Coast) / “The station is below the level of the street, in a cutting made through the sandstone bedrock.” (“Circuit,” Vanessa Berry, Sydney Review of Books) / “Violet stepped out of the noodle shop and remembered to check that they had included the chili sauce she’d requested.” (“Pioneers,” Maya Perez, American Short Fiction) / On John Prine, Ferrante’s Feminisms, and Paterson (The Paris Review) / Remembrance Of Bookstores
Above: Belle Isle, via the writer.