This summer wasn't all that exciting. I was glad to be at home, take a break from work/school/
frustrating social life, but as soon as I got there uneventfulness stretched out before me far into the horizon-- not even until August, until September. Four months away.
But in the midst of the hot humid days of watching little kids, helping dad through shoulder surgery, going to bed far too late and facebook stalking far too much (oh, and screaming for M Phelps, which was quite heartracingly fun), I did something else.
This summer, I wrote a book.
Every time I tell people this-- and it hasn't been often-- I preface it with, "this will sound crazy," or "I know it's silly..."
Because it's about-- guess what?-- basketball.
Amusing, right? A bit obssessed, are we, Clairey? Even six months on down the road? All righty then. *ruffle my hair, chuckle a bit and shake your head, go on your merry way*
But really, I don't want to preface it like that. I am actually damn proud of it and satisfied with it, because it helped me to prove to myself that I am a writer. Because it really happened, all of it. And I wrote it down in my own way.
Because it's about basketball and it's so not about basketball.
Basketball started it, sure; this team was the catalyst for my writing, why I wanted to write something, the spark that our run ignited-- the history, the anticipation, the 4-and-6 to 25-and-7, and being there for every single wonderful, terrifying bit of it-- ever since it started, it's always been too big not to write about. And I'd already written about it a bunch.
But this somehow became more. Because as I kept writing, adding, looking back, I realized I was writing my life. I realized-- this is me and you and you and you and and us and what makes that place down south sweet North Caroline something that the reporters think is cutesy and mayberryesque but really is something that gives me deep joy even when I'm thousands of miles, oceans, time zones away from you.
This is I said this and you said that and we laughed about it and I went to class and stayed up late and damn it I wish I had a ticket and teeny tiny drops of divine intervention and singing songs and guttural screams and twelve boys down there on a football-field-turned-basketball-court huddled together and a newfound family that huddles above to watch and words speeches and bonds forming breaking stinging swelling smiles (wide grins actually, that give me shivers) endings and beginnings and re-beginnings and middles sentences and exclamations that could only come from real mouths. This is your name and my name and real places and faces and two hundred fifty pages of something that actually happened to a twenty-year-old girl who wins sometimes and loses others (those hurt worst, I miss you, come back please), who always seems to feel a lot of things at once and so bursts her long I-quit-piano-but-I-still-write fingers into cyberspace keyboard ink smudgy jelly black ink ink that makes real more real and less real all at once.
And she apparently disregards commas a lot too.
Tonight marks the end of my long what's next? long summer. And this summer I wrote a book.