Just a cute vignette I started about the decline of a hoop head.
| Ever since Jones had started playing basketball around the age of ten, he'd been addicted to the game. He'd gotten a basketball hoop out back, a set of weights, and when he wasn't using one or the other he would be thinking or talking about the sport. At the age of fifteen he played his first game of pick-up ball, and he decided that he didn't want to go to school anymore. He started doubling and tripling his free weights, and supplementing entire meals with protein shakes. He simply didn't understand how going to school helped him play basketball better. He wanted to be in the NBA, but not if they made him go to college, he was beyond that. Jones found many other pick up games during the following weeks and months. He started to bulk up, his nickname on the courts was bruiser. He hit his growth spurt at sixteen and nearly grew two feet over night. He started to get pimples on his face, he was hanging out with more and more girl fans; who were not only fans because he could win any game he was invited too, but also fans of his looks. Before he knew it he had a posse, a group of people that would find out where he was playing in advance, and be at his games. Some of them even started betting on him, of course it was always even odds, because only a few people would bet against him. People started getting more vicious on the court, and fouling him hard, and saying it was not basketball, it was street ball, and he should call his own fouls. This made the pick up games even more exciting. One night, he was playing against particularly violent opponents when he was shoved off the court, with the ball still in his hands, right into bench. He hit his head, and broke his leg, and everybody ran off not wanting to be responsible for this. He lay in a pool of his own blood until the morning, when the joggers came out, and had called the authorities. He was unconscious. He was transported to the nearest hospital, by ambulance; and from the first look at him, the doctors knew they had their work cut out for them. After all the surgeries were complete, after his mother had been crying over his still body, finally, he woke up. He was told he may never play ball again, he was told he might never stand again, but sure enough he did. When he left the hospital, the doctor had provided him a bottle of 6 morphine pills. He went to his mom's house, so that she could look after him. He sat on the couch, and she helped him move into his bedroom, when he got tired. His muscles kept twitching, his bones hurt, he wanted to throw up but he was unable. He crawled to the bathroom around midnight and got himself on his feet by holding onto the sink. He opened the medicine cabinet behind the mirror, he took one of his pills, and shoved the rest into his pocket, refilling the bottle with aspirin in case his mom checked, he went back to his bedroom, and laid down. After what seemed like forever, his bones hurt, and his muscles made him almost cry out loud, and the sun was coming up, and he took the pills in his pocket, realizing he may not have more for later, but the pain was so much, anything else wouldn't help. He finally fell asleep, and he had bad dreams, he would be chasing something in his dreams something he could never catch. Finally he woke up at ten, with a tray of food on his lap, and his mother rubbing his arm. She asked him if he wanted one of his pills, and he told her he did. She told him that 'somehow' the pills had gotten replaced with aspirin. She asked him if he knew anything about this. He denied, he cried, and he lied. She told him to think it over carefully, because she did not think she could get anymore, and those were supposed to last a week. She mercifully left his bedroom, and he picked the coffee cup off the tray on his lap, and he took a sip. His mouth was dry. He fell asleep again, and this time had a very strange dream; a rabbit, like from the twilight zone was the fixture of his dream this time. He was chasing this rabbit through psychedelic tunnels of color, he awoke again, and saw his mother in his room. He threw up a little bit. She said, I was wondering, now if you had the time to think of where the pills went. He denied, and lied again. She told him that it was her business because she absolutely refused to help a drug addict. He picked the croissant up from the tray and dipped it in the soup, and took a bite. He decided if she was going to try to strong arm him, he would use a similar tactic. He told her that if she took all those pills on one of her weird ambien trips, that didn't make him a drug addict. She went into the bathroom, locked the door, and turned the sink on, and started crying; Jones was the only one who knew that she took ambien, and he would use that against her. Eventually she stopped crying. She stood up, left the bathroom, and saw Jones was sleeping again. She told him to wake up and get out of her house. He complained he couldn't walk, she said he better start contemplating crawling then. She whacked him with a broom. He tried to get dressed, for this she allowed him five minutes, before going back into his bedroom, and whacking him with the broom, chanting, get out, get out. He got out. He didn't have his cell phone or his wallet, or his keys...or anything else for that matter. For a while he just sat on the steps leading up to her building. He sat until nightfall. He might've sat there longer, but with the sun vanishing from the sky, it was getting cold. He ripped a couple of branches from a tree, and used them as crutches to help him walk. He walked a couple of blocks to the grocery store, and everything in his body hurt. He managed to get himself an electric cart, and went up and down ever isle for about an hour and a half. Finally a store employee approached him, and asked him if he wouldn't have a word with the manager. She lead him to the office, and he got out of the cart carefully, and the manager helped him to a seat. The manager sat next to him, in a similar chair, not in front of him in the leather chair. He asked if it had been a long night, and Jones agreed. He asked Jones if he knew a place where he could stay, and he said no. The manager being a pillar of the local economy had known that the homeless shelter had run out of funds three months ago and closed up shop. Instead, recognizing that Jones had heart, he decided to invite him to stay with him. Jones agreed. He set up a couple of blankets on the floor in the living room and he and his girlfriend had stayed up as long as possible providing for every need that Jones had needed. Finally around two in the morning, both of them went into the bedroom, shutting the TV and all the lights in the living room off. Jones lay in the dark for what seemed like hours, but was probably only fifteen minutes, and his body cramped up, and his bones hurt, and he could not get the store managers girlfriend off his mind. He wished they had left the TV on, but they hadn't. Finally he started to doze when he heard the alarm clock in the bedroom go off, and heard the shower start, he propped himself up to sitting against the couch. He didn't realize he was starting to get black bags under his eyes. A few minutes later the manager had emerged, in a towel, went to the refrigerator and took a long sip from the pitcher containing orange juice. The manager then went into the living room and turned on the TV. He was welcoming and friendly to Jones, and Jones had mirrored this behavior. He told him, that he would return from work at six, and if he should need something he should ask Miranda. He agreed. The manager left, and he heard Miranda in the next room, singing to herself as she got dressed and ready. He sat against the couch wondering what he should do today; the demons in his head from the pills told him he needed to rob the family, and go out looking for more pills. But he felt bad, these people had taken him in; he closed his eyes, trying to remember how cute Miranda was last night in her pajamas. Using the wall he got to his feet, and turned the handle of the bedroom. Miranda was looking at her face in the mirror, and humming along with the radio. He cleared his throat. She looked at him, stood up grabbing the letter opener from the desk and held it to his throat. She said, I don't know what you're doing in here creep, I don't know what you mean to do; but I saw that look in your eyes last night. The look that indicates an unquenchable thirst. Don't think I won't cut you, asshole. Now I want you to leave, or I will shove this entire blade in the side of your throat.