Vol. 1, No. 4: Shammgod Unbound photo

Alabama Basketball Fans Drown Their Sorrows In Arby’s If They Lose, But Minnesota Timberwolves Fans Get a Free Arby’s French Dip Sandwich if They Hit 12 Three-Pointers Brian Oliu

(for Fluff)

Because there are two sides to every sandwich and I grew up knowing something about loving losers—last second shots clanging off the back iron if we even let the game get that close. Most days it was a quick dap up while the clock was still running, the refs allowing for an extra shuffle of feet because it was time to go home and the game has been out of hand for a minute.

There is pride in seeing the end of things—not needing to beat the traffic because you’re going to get stuck in it anyway; that there’s always a train stopped on the tracks, or worse—one that crawls along just slow enough to let you know that it is moving at a pace you can do nothing about. Me, I’ve stepped up and over the crushed ballast while I checked the box scores to see just how off our off night was; to check in on the west coast road trip with its late tip and its potential for a parlay.

 

A confession: I’ve never drowned my sorrows in a five-point loss that was never that close, and I’ve never celebrated a hot night from beyond the arc in the same way that I’ve never wanted to fly that close to the sun—that there is some duality in this world; light from night, here and then not here that scares me to dare put my finger on it. I am scared to know about winning because I must know about loss—the duality of doorways, of how souls and bodies are separate, that we can lose loudness but gain quietness the same way we lose a person but gain a legend, and how I’d trade a thousand myths to get back the voice telling them.

Today, I learned that another word for the track on a railroad is “the permanent way,” and the word for railroad ties is “sleepers,” and these are things I wish I did not know because they make me not want to go home, ticket folded in quarters after another close one—that in another world I live somewhere else. Instead, I am here, shuffling home in the dark. But soon, the bridge behind the floor that will always bear your name will be built. I am here, caught in the middle before whatever satellite or angel lights up my pocket. I see the Wolves are only down three and we’ve got the ball. The order is ready. The Tide is still dancing even with the loss and you are still dancing. We are so empty, yet we dance for the nights you kept us full.