By Barry Targan
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Extra resources for Kingdoms
New places did not stop me as they had earlier. All my new places by now were new. That second day, Wednesday, I walked down the rise from the housing project further into the city, keeping to Lincoln Avenue like a thread raveling out behind me so that I would know my way back. In fifteen long blocks I came to a schoolyard where boys were playing, throwing a basketball up against the wall to where a hoop should be, but there was none. They passed off, drove hard for the basket, hooked or leaped up for arching one-handers and scored or did not score by measurements or agreements of their own.
He leans heavily on the horn of the truck, beats on it a fierce tattoo; even as we drive after it, the sound sweeps wailing past us, away. The sound sweeps across the Page 3 desert, blows through the sage, snaps the tumbleweed off at its fragile axil stem to send it rolling in the current. The horn blares across the desert across to the sharp Tetons. The ruminating elk pause, the twitching voles. What is coming on the wind? What does the brazen clarion foretell? Caught in the scarps and canyons of the Tetons, the horn rebounds and amplifies itself, shattering the last ice-sheathed aspen in the deepest sunless dells and then roars starward.
I watched carefully for nearly an hour, coming closer, until I was noticed. " the tallest boy asked me. " "I don't know how," I said. " "It's easy," he said. " He pushed the ball at me very hard and it bounced painfully off of my fingers. I picked the ball up. "Shoot," he commanded. I lofted the ball as best I could to where the basket should have been. "Terrific," he shouted. "Great shot. " So we began. But with or without a true hoop, I could not play with them. They were too large and fast for me, but more: they were playing a different game, different even from the imaginary game I had watched.