Ah, summers, and drinks before dinner on the patio. Except if it isn’t someone using a leaf blower, or a weed whacker, or a lawn mower, or roofers with staple guns, or someone riding up and down the block on his male-menopause straight-pipe Harley, or using the time before dinner to cut some pavers with a diamond-blade saw, it’s dribbling.
--Do I look deaf?
--Honey, deaf people don’t look deaf.
--Of course I hear it. Dribbling, shouting. He’s out there alone, but still practicing his court shout. Having just girls was not all bad.
--Which is it, do you think? When an adolescent boy’s voice changes, is that when he gets his first basketball, or is he given the basketball with the onset of puberty? To bring about the change of voice? You know, like forcing blooms in a hothouse.
--They’re loud, no question. I remember practicing my backhand against the garage door. I’m sure that had something to do with dad’s first coronary. And our neighbor ending up in detox.
--It’s been so nice out here this summer. I guess we shouldn’t complain.
--I remember going to visit him—my dad. They had him in what was called an oxygen tent. A clear plastic pup tent over his upper body. He wasn’t allowed to do anything, and I shaved him. In retrospect, I think it was a kind of coming-of-age experience.
--That’s very touching. I wish I could have watched you shave your father.
--This must be payback for Harvey, the neighbor. I heard him making jokes last weekend about Michigan losing the game. The kid’s parents are both U of M grads.
--So, now, the parents will pay their son to practice basketball after dark and before sunrise. Any time Harvey’s on his patio, the parents will bribe the kid to stop playing video games and go outside with the basketball
--It could get ugly.
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