Guys Being Dudes: Balling

Guys Being Dudes: Balling


He cupped his hands around his mouth and yelled across the concrete court as Forrest chunked up the basketball from Steph Curry territory with zero technique. The ball slammed against the backboard, never even touching the rim. This is what their pick-up games had started to look like over the past couple of years; everyone was losing their athletic edge, but refused to give up their glory days.

The ball bounced and rolled toward half-court. As he waited for someone else to go retrieve it, he adjusted his gold and blue Durant jersey and wandered over to the benches to check his phone.

“Hey, man. Game’s not over. Get back out here,” called Logan, just as he was picking up his phone off the bench. There were two missed calls from Dad, which was weird. He started to swipe and open his locked phone, when he got smacked in the side by a pass, knocking the breath out of him.

“What the fuck Logan? I’m coming,” he yelled, as he clutched his side and tossed his phone into the hand-me-down Tumi duffel his dad had given him last year. He and his dad had always maintained a close relationship. All throughout high school, he had let him fly under the radar, protecting him from the impending wrath of his well-meaning mother. On one occasion, his dad had found two joints in the glovebox of his truck. Instead of telling his mom, his dad had very casually mentioned over dinner that he had gone into his son’s truck glovebox, replaced his insurance card, and “cleaned it out a bit.”

He broke out into a cold sweat as he realized the implications of his father’s statement. Making eye contact, his father had taken another bite of ribeye and given him a slight smirk. He was a dumbass, but he was off the hook. It was weird that his dad was calling in the middle of the week, but he pushed the thought to the back of his mind as he jogged back out onto the court.

The guys were at the local park, known for attractive female joggers and pop-up yoga classes. The court was well-kept and barely used. There was a slight breeze in the early evening, but the sun still peeked through the leaves of the surrounding trees.

They started another game of three-on-three, mostly just dicking around and trying to foul one another. They came out to play tonight in honor of the start of the NBA draft. All of the guys followed their own teams religiously, a sentiment that was reflected by the myriad of team jerseys running up and down the court.

As the sun crept down behind the trees, they all meandered over to the bench to hang out, chug a Gatorade, and check their phones.

“Let’s go to B-Dubs. I’m starving,” he said, as he grabbed his bag.

“Yeah, dude. I’m down,” Kyle said over his shoulder as he changed shoes.

“First round’s on you!” he replied with a grin.

Murmurs of affirmation came from around the group as they all headed toward their respective vehicles. He tossed his bag into the backseat and stepped up onto the sideboard, head hanging out above the door. “Last one there is buying!” he called out into the parking lot. A few “fuck you’s” rang out through the dusk as he chuckled to himself and dropped down behind the wheel.

As he pulled out of the parking lot, the Bluetooth in his truck picked up an incoming call. The robotic voice chimed over the speakers.

“Call from…Dad.”

With an inquisitive look on his face, he pressed the accept button on the touch-screen.

“Hello…?” he asked incredulously into the cab of the truck.

Without missing a beat, his father’s deep and commanding voice filled the space.

“You dropped $2000 dollars on a trip to Mexico, huh?”

As the blood drained out of his face, he slumped down into the leather seat. This was not going to end well.

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Texas native and Alabama grad with a Drake problem. Going to law school, but don't tell my future employers you saw me here.

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