Let’s race!

You want to race? I’m always racing, people, groups of people, I can’t help it. I’m just so competitive. Like one time I was playing basketball and these guys on the other side of the court challenged me and my friends to a game of basketball. Like I said, very competitive, which, when we’re talking about basketball anyway, all of the competitiveness in the world wasn’t going to help. We got crushed. It was humiliating. And not really entirely my fault, anyway, not totally, Frank missed the majority of his shots, when he wasn’t getting blocked.

But even though basketball in this case happened to be a race to twenty-one points, yes, I’m talking about a race, race. Right after the game, and maybe I should have cooled down a little bit, maybe I should have just taken that high-five from the other team’s big guy because, yeah, I guess it was gracious at the time, but I couldn’t. “Let’s race!” I started getting in their faces.

And not the big guy, although, he did surprise me, how quick and light on his feet he was for a big man. And it was like that Sandra Bullock football movie, the big guy was like, hey man, I actually don’t like being called big guy. And I was like, sure thing big man. But I was just trying to get in his head. Again, I probably shouldn’t have discounted him entirely, making fun of him for accepting the challenge in the first place. Because like I said, he was pretty quick.

Not quick enough, because he didn’t win. But let’s be honest, he was never really in the running, pun totally intended, like running, get it? No, it was the little guy with the crew cut who looked like he might be the fastest. “What are you talking about race? Who’s got the next game?”

I got right in this kid’s face, like you’re not going to accept? Fine, I’ve got to make you accept. I threw the ball over the tall fence on the other side of the park, and while he was busy being all, “What the hell man?” I was like, “Come on, what are you scared? You little baby? You little scardey cat? Buck-buck buckaw!”

It worked, he took the bait, although it was a little dramatic, the way he ripped his shirt off, easy there Turbo, it’s entirely possible to run a race without taking your shirt off. But, whatever, if his intended effect was to intimidate me by showing off how ripped he was, like totally in shape, very cut, then yeah, I’ll admit it, it was slightly unnerving, I was caught just a little off guard, like shit, I had better win this race, like how did he get those bumpy muscles under his ribs so well defined? He’s got to be doing something besides cardio. I hope he’s not a runner.

“So what are we doing, like laps around the park? Four? Five?” It was the big guy asking the questions, and I was like, “Take it easy big man. This is between me and Turbo over here.” I was actually calling him Turbo all game, like trying to get in his head, but I don’t know, my whole smack-talking game, one, it’s much more effective when my team is solidly in the lead, and two, it just wasn’t really on that day, I don’t think it’s ever really on. But we’re never getting pummeled that badly, and I guess that was my lesson to learn, on shutting my mouth with the amateur smack-talk when I’m getting destroyed by this team of semi-pro guys, just all really built, like not everybody as built as Turbo, but man, all really pretty cut.

“Go!” and that was it. Turbo wasn’t a runner, it turned out, so you know, I stayed with him for the first three laps, just to make sure he wasn’t saving anything for the end, and then on that last lap I took off. Like I got so far ahead at one point I even turned around, started running backwards, I was like, “Is that all you’ve got Turbo? Ha!”

And yeah, that was all Turbo had. But the big guy, I think I mentioned already, he gave me a little scare, he definitely saved a little something for the end, and so I had to abandon my smack-talk, which sucked, because this was exactly the type of blowout that would’ve made even my talk sound like it was smack, like smacking. Smacking talk? No. You see what I mean?

I won, barely, and I was way too out of breath by the time I crossed the finish line to do any sort of a convincing gloat. “Whatever man,” Turbo was being a sore loser, “Just go and get my ball.” And I was like, “What? Loser gets the ball.” And he was like, “Says who? You threw it!”

But I refused. And he didn’t really have a choice, he had to hop the fence, a big one, like two stories tall maybe. On the other side it was just trash, just like a weird space between the neighboring building. And he jumped down and tiptoed around all the garbage to his ball, he was like, “Fuck man! It landed on a piece of glass!”

Yeah, that kind of sucked, it was all deflated. But he was behind a fence, so what was he going to do? I had like a good minute, minute and a half head start, and by the time he made it back to this side, I was gone.

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