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The Basement

So my man Marc decided to get the boys together for a Sunday afternoon. There’s football on two different screens, beer, an array of liquor and all kinds of snacks I’d never eat at home w my current diet. But I dig in anyway, starting w KFC and Sunkist.

It’s been years since I’ve sat in the place that was out clubhouse, and so much has changed. But most of the real changes have been in me.

We’ve gone from boys to men in different places. While I bounced from city to city they were all here, within these cedars walls watching games and playing Spades while their kids grew and the hood changed. I was the super talented creative kid that had been on TV shows but they always cracked on me. I used to think it was because I was deficient in some way. I was shaky about anything social. I didn’t understand that most of it was love, a Black male rite of passage. But my time out in the world had definitely changed the game.

So as I sat w four of them (along w some new faces) and the deck of cards hit the table, I partnered w Marc, the best player I knew, and despite one slip up we wiped the floor with Al and his partner. And it occurred to me that I’d learned a lot out there. And I brought it all back home where it now seems like I belong more than ever. He’s had the same book in his bathroom for 25 years.