But Filthy McNasty is my claim to fame.
Folks call me that ’cause my game’s
so downright dirty, it’ll put you to shame.
dwell on with satisfaction
Remember the greats, my dad likes to
I balled with Magic and the Goat.
small very thin pancake
Your dad's old school, like an ol' Chevette.
You’re fresh and new, like a red Corvette.
Your game so sweet, it’s a
spur on or encourage especially by cheers and shouts
See, when I play ball,
I’m on fire.
When I shoot,
high status importance owing to marked superiority
is a MYTHical MANchild
Of rather dubious
send away from a place of residence, as for punishment
On the way to the game
banished to the back seat with JB, who only stops playing with my locks when I slap him across his bald head with my jockstrap.
I want to go to Duke, he
flaunts Carolina Blue.
exceedingly or unbelievably great
JB’s the second most
phenomenal baller on our team.
snicker but it’s not funny to him, especially when I take off from center court, my hair like wings,
each lock lifting me higher and HIGHER
like a 747 ZOOM ZOOM!
mimicking the mannerisms of someone else
Coach calls us in,
does his Phil Jackson
arouse or excite feelings and passions
ignites the spirit, brings teams together, he says.
harass with persistent criticism or carping
JB likes to
taunt and trash talk during games like Dad used to do when he played.
like better; value more highly
When I walk onto the court I
prefer silence so I can
Watch React Surprise.
enclose in a place of worship
If my hair were a tree I’d climb it.
I’d kneel down beneath and
I’d treat it like gold and then mine it.
so celebrated as to having taken on the nature of a myth
Even though I used to be one of those nerdy sixth-graders, even though I love my hair the way Dad loves Krispy Kreme, even though I don’t want us to lose the game, odds are this is one of JB’s
legendary bets I’ll win
emit a loud, unpleasant kind of laughing
In the locker room
after the game,
cackles like a crow.
an event resulting in great loss and misfortune
He opens the scissors, grabs my hair to slash a strand.
I don’t hear my golden lock hit the floor, but I do hear the sound of
calamity when Vondie hollers,
exceptionally bad or displeasing
As in: The HUGE bald patch
on the side
of my head
lacking any definite plan or order or purpose
He brings back three packages
of duck sauce and a cup of wonton soup
and hands them all to me.
Dad pauses, and Mom looks at JB.
random, she says.
I am not
a mathematician— a + b
seldom equals c.
express opposition through action or words
Let’s do this, he says.
resist, ready to take the purple hat box and jet,
but I guess the mystery is just too much.
hang over, as of something threatening, dark, or menacing
The hip-hop soundtrack blasts. The bass booms.
playfully vexing, especially by ridicule
There’s music and
mocking, teasing nonstop, but when the play begins all the talk ceases.
attractiveness that interests or pleases or stimulates
Having great physical beauty and
an elaborate and systematic plan of action
Coach reads to us from The Art of War:
strategy is not about planning, he says.
It’s about quick responses to changing conditions.
in an uncontrolled manner
Dad takes us to the Rec to practice shooting free throws with one hand while he stands two feet in front of us,
frantically in our faces.
someone who pursues a study or sport as a pastime
I challenge them:
It won’t be so funny when we shut you
amateurs down, will it?
belief about the future
expectations of you are determined by their limitations of life.
the quality of affording easy familiarity and sociability
In this moment I forget about the test and the note
until JB hits me in the head with his No. 2.
camaraderie and imbecile I tap her beige bare shoulder with the note.
socially or conventionally correct; refined or virtuous
Since I can’t seem to make a
decent man out of you perhaps the Air Force or Marines can.
the body excluding the head and neck and limbs
He’s standing in front of the class, a dummy laid out on the floor,
torso cut in half.
a proud stiff pompous gait
As in: Isn’t it ironic that showoff JB, with all his
swagger, is too shy to talk
to Miss Sweet Tea,
so he gives me the phone?
a person's brother or sister
Was that your brother?
Yep, that was Josh. I’m JB.
I know who you are, silly—I called you.
Uh, right. You have any
rich and superior in quality
Didn’t your dad play in the NBA?
No, he played in Italy.
But still, he made a lot of money, right?
It’s not like we’re
keep or maintain in unaltered condition
I have a reputation to
findings of a jury on issues submitted to it for decision
So, what's the
walk in a proud, confident way
Only today I wait
at our table in the back
for twenty-five minutes, texting Vondie
(home sick), eating a fruit cup (alone), before I see
into the cafeteria with Miss Sweet Tea holding his precious hand.
think intently and at length, as for spiritual purposes
But instead of drills and sprints, we sit on our butts, make weird sounds —
Ohmmmmmmmm Ohmmmmmmmm and
short hairs growing on a man's face when he has not shaved
The main reason I can't sleep
is not because
of the game tomorrow tonight, is not because
stubble on my head feels
like bugs are break dancing on it,
is not even because I’m worried about Dad.
confirm the truth of
At 5:48 the cop smiles after
verifying Dad’s identity on Google, and says, You “Da Man”!