No wonder nobody's heard of him. Look how tiny he is.
I think this is how they filmed the hobbits for Lord of the Rings.

“Seriously?” I say. “John Havlicek? One of the greatest Celtics of all time? One of the greatest basketball players of all time?”

Bandana waves a dismissive hand at me and looks at Tooth. “See? I told you I wouldn’t identify with this,” Bandana says.

“Oh, come on,” I say. “This is basic history. Next you’re going to tell me you’ve never heard of Bob Cousy.”

They’re all staring, blank faces.

“Are you people kidding me?” I say.

Greatest basketball picture ever? Forget the lighting, the contortion of Cousy's body and about that his moves are causing his opponents to set picks on each other.

“Listen, Doug,” Tooth says. “Just try to stay on point.”

“Aren’t my obsessions exactly on point?” I say.

“Look,” Bandana says. “If you can keep the Celtics lore to a minimum, I’ll stop trying to imagine you’re a Bulls fan. We got a deal?”

Resentfully, I nod.

“Look at that,” Tooth says with a smile. “Progress.” He looks at his watch. “And that makes this a perfect time to end this meeting. Thanks everybody.”

Immediately, Blackberries and cell phones reappear, and the rest of the guys return to their isolated digital worlds.

Except for one.

In the hallway, Patch walks shoulder-to-shoulder with me.

“Doug, question,” he says.


“Do you think I can do that?”

“Do what?”

“Make a hologram of your wife like that. That was awesome. It was like the Matrix.”

“Dude, let it go,” I say.

“Why would you mind?” Patch says. “It’s not even really her. She was a – what’d he say?”

“A phantasm,” I say.

“Yeah,” Patch says. “When you touched her, could you feel anything? Or is it like the movie Ghost? Because it looked like she moved when you touched her.”

I stop in the middle of the hallway and stare Patch down.

“Look, she’s the product of collective whimsy,” I say. “You saw her, so therefore you must possess some whimsy…or libido, or something. So I’m sure you can work up enough imagination to make it happen again.” I press a finger into his doughy chest. “But use someone else’s wife, will ya?”

He nods again, and we continue down the hall and exit the school. In the middle of the parking lot is my bed, and Shannon sleeping in it. Her nightgown is tighter and smaller.

I look to Patch.

“Could you please wait to get home before you do it?” I say.

He nods in silent shame, and we part ways.


Travelling: Intro / Book Jacket, Chapter 1: Cribbagegate, Chapter 2: Two e-mails, Chapter 3: Pattern, Chapter 4: Shattered, Chapter 5: Hilarious Pee, Chapter 6: Suicide, Chapter 7/8: Coaching High school, Shark attacks and appetizers, Chapter 9: June, Chapter 10: 18 and oh no, Chapter 11: DNA, Chapter 12: Peanut Butter Sandwiches, Chapter 13: Tom Brady and the McGuffin, Chapter 14: Game 1, Chapter 15: Who the H is John Havlicek?, Chapters 16 - 17

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Blogger AnacondaHL said...
The nightgown phantasm plotline is the greatest addition to this.

Related: Cuckold has got to be the stupidest sounding term ever, compared to the generic-ness of the concept it describes.

Blogger chris said...
Nightgown phantasm: another phrase to describe Inflatable Ben Wallace playing man-to-man.

Anonymous Tree said...
That Havlicek picture is disarming ... he looks like he's 5'5", tops.

Blogger Evil Ted said...
5'5"? He looks 4 feet tall...forced perspective is a powerful thing - when I stand next to Bawful, I look like I'm only 5'8", when in fact I am 6'7".

Blogger Will said...
There's a flip side to forced perspective- Wilt Chamberlain is 20' tall.