Last week, in this very space, I complimented my mind. Now I have a bone — most likely in my right arm — with which to pick it.
For over 20 years, I played in a weekly pick-up basketball game in a North Berkeley park. The game broke up in the late ’90s, and I hadn’t even picked up a ball since I’d quit playing a few years before that.
In 2013, a guy from the game moved back to Berkeley from Israel, where he’d been living, and arranged a reunion. We’d meet once each winter in a hofbrau and once each summer at the park. Those who felt able to played; the rest shot around or sat. I sat. Until two days ago, when I stepped onto the court.
I eyed the basket. I cocked my elbow and snapped my wrist. The ball plopped to earth, as if shot, midway between my pointed fingers and the basket. It did that again. And again. Eventually, I managed to semi-regularly hit the rim. Its underside.
What is going on here? My ability to toss a crumpled sheet of paper into a trash can is as good as its ever been. What particular nerve endings have quit on me?
I do not expect an answer, but for those of you who have read this far, here is a link to an article I wrote following the first of these reunions.