Chris Paul Calls Jake from State Farm but He Doesn’t AnswerLeigh Chadwick
Chris Paul thinks it’s lonely being Chris Paul. Sometimes Chris Paul gets so lonely he dresses up as Cliff Paul and goes to Whole Foods to see if anyone will recognize him, but no one ever does. Chris Paul doesn’t understand why no one answers their phone when he calls anymore. Not Melo. Not Melo’s hoodie. Not even Jake from State Farm. When he tries calling LeBron, it doesn’t even ring. It just goes straight to voicemail. Occasionally, Dwyane Wade picks up, but he’s always too busy filming that gameshow with the cube that talks, or he’s too busy spending time with his wife. Chris Paul can’t remember Dwyane Wade’s wife’s name, though he knows she’s a famous actress, and that he used to have a thing for her when he saw her in Bring It On. Or maybe it was Bad Boys II. Or maybe it was both. Whenever Chris Paul sees her, he’s always surprised how she looks the same, like the last twenty years never happened, which makes Chris Paul thinks about the harshness of decades and if only his body worked the same as hers. The gravity of age can be a mean motherfucker is something he would tell someone if they picked up their phone. Chris Paul walks into his study and stands in front of his trophy case. He doesn’t understand why he bought a trophy case. Its emptiness deflates him. He wishes he was back at Wake Forest. He wishes he could do it all over again. He wishes he could grow five inches. Chris Paul hums Skee-Lo, but he won’t rap the words. He goes into the bathroom and looks at himself in the mirror. The gravity of age can be a mean motherfucker. He whispers the words to himself. Every year it’s another piece of him that threatens to let go—another injury, another promise of what’s still yet to come. This year it’s the soreness in his right arm. Before his right arm it was the sore left knee and the sore left foot and the sore left groin and the sore left knee again. Before the injury to his right arm, Chris Paul thought the left side of him was haunted. Now, he thinks it’s all of him that’s haunted.