Part Two: On Being The Best And Still Not Succeeding
I found my Junior High diary.
This is what's in it:
Here's a story about a boy named Ryan and the game he loved.
In May of Nineteen Hundred and Ninety-Four, Ryan Dowler opened his last present. It was the 18th, his 12th birthday. He wasn't surprised, he had been anticipating and expecting this final gift.
But when he opened this gift, he opened the game of basketball. He opened an escape from his problems, a getaway from the modern world. He had opened his cherished dreams. His finest memoirs. From this day on, two sounds kept him going, "Bam, Swish," like the tick of a clock. Off the backboard and through the net. The backboard was the key to Ryan's game. Well, that and his growing ["fury to win" is crossed out] enthusiasium in the game.
He attended two basketball camps that summer. That combined with watching his favorite superstars battle it out on the courts of the NBA, Ryan learned and later perfected strategic basketball. Ryan never played to win, excluding those occasional friendly bets, he played to play. Ryan wasn't one for aggressive play, but he could block.
He played and played, "Bam, Swish", "Bam, Swish," until the glorious day came. 7th Grade B-ball tryouts.
Ryan showed up ready for basketball.
But his schoolmates weren't playing basketball.
They were playing "who-can-grab-the-ball-first-under-any-circumstances-and-throw-it-toward-the-goal-the-fastest." Surrounded in a whirlpool of fouling and illegal procedure, he stands there confused. These cheating slackers were stealing away his game. They were stealing away his basketball. Yes, basketball was his. He and every other honest player are the one's who own the game. By stealing his game, they were stealing his confidence, his hopes, his dreams.
That day Ryan went home, but today he didn't lace up, he didn't escape or get away. He sat down, turned on the television and sulked in his problems. He didn't watch a basketball game that night. In his eyes it was the game that had betrayed him.
The End. Goodnight.