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Entry date: 3-4-2023 - Clever Title (and Mary) - Letters to My Friends

Dear Friends,

I realize this morning that I am running out of clever titles for the daily installment. I wasn't even going to have a daily installment this year, but I can't seem to stop. This is the compulsive thing kicking in again. I am a man of routine, I suppose.

Grumpy was the word of the evening last night. By the time I got home, I was whipped. The students were pretty good on Friday and we had a good day with lots of learning, but still. It was not enough to recharge me from the previous few days of craziness. I was not the nicest guy to my family last night and I regret it. I will do better today. Rainbows will shoot out of my ass.

It's going to be easy to get used do watching Kevin Durant on the Suns. These first two samples have been pretty enjoyable and it is evident how he will make everyone a bit better because of his presence. The other guys just have to step up and, most importantly, realize that they may have to sacrifice a bit of their game for the good of the whole. I hope Deandre Ayton realizes that he's the man, even when he doesn't score. If he rebounds and defends and makes the other team's big men work on both ends, he's doing his job.

Devin Booker, as my buddy Eric pointed out in a text last night, may just average over 30 points a game for the rest of the season. He's going to have a lot of open looks. Even Chris Paul shook off his shooting funk and buried some threes as the Suns put their foot down on the Bulls last night. It was fun to watch. Dallas tomorrow...the Suns owe those bastards.

Initially, I typed "We" instead of the Suns in that last sentence. I have been changing the way I think about sports teams over the last few years and have realized that internalizing their success and failure is detrimental to my own outlook on life. I am not the Suns. I root for the Suns. I have never been on the team, so I cannot honestly say "We owe Dallas a whooping." I hope they kick the living shit of the stupid Mavericks, but that victory would have only a small, momentary impact on my life.

It's a dumb notion, probably, but as I care less and less about most sports, I identify less and less with any team identity. I have felt similarly in life about different musical groups, too. I have felt like they were mine or, somehow, I was part of what they were doing. The only thing I can do is buy a ticket when they come, buy the records, open the show, or write about them.

Being a fan of something is weird thing. Speaking of fans....


"Your place or mine?"

Mary looked up to see Connie in the door way of her office. It took a second to register, but Mary realized Connie was asking about their usual Friday night decompression session.

"Let's do your place," Mary said. "I need a break from my house."

Connie laughed at this.

"The bill for the porch getting you down, friend?"

Mary wanted to say, 'No, that's not it. I am scared of the fan,' but instead, she just shrugged her shoulders and said, "I guess so."

"Do you want to grab that bottle of Pinot we started last week and head over after work?" Connie asked.

"It's gone," Mary said flatly.

"Sheesh, Mar. Must've been some week. I'll stop at Total Wine on the way home then and stock up. Sounds like we have a lot to talk about."

Mary realized that Connie was picking up on more than she wanted to share, but it might e nice to talk through the weirdness of the last couple of days.

"Maybe grab some whiskey, too," Mary said.

"You better bring your PJ's, then. Can't have the second banana getting a DUI right before Spring Break."

Mary liked it when Connie called her the second banana. It was an in-joke between the two of them that went back to a conversation they had years before. Connie was the first person Mary had told about going for her Masters in Educational Leadership.

"Here's to the next second banana," Connie had said and two years later, she became one when the assistant principal job came open at their school. Over the years, the nickname had evolved into things like "B2", "Banana-fo-fana", and "Banarama" (after the 80s girl band they both loved).

After work, Mary ran home to change her clothes and pack an overnight bag. She was definitely going to get drunk, but it remained to be seen whether or not she would let Connie know about the spiders. She wasn't sure she could face it yet.

As Mary walked through her kitchen, she noticed that the garbage was about to overflow. She had been avoiding the backyard since the spider incident, but now needed to run the trash out to the can in the alley. Could she walk outside without looking at the fan?

She wasn't sure. With trepidation, she reached for the door handle.

(to be continued)


See you tomorrow.

Even though this pic is not in focus, I still like it. Mark and I in Illinois about ten years ago.

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