When I was in high school I had a key to my school’s gym.
So sometimes, on weekends when school was closed, I’d go there and shoot baskets. Alone in the long reverb.
I could do that for hours. Finding with a sueded ball a rhythm between hands and floor, finding an arced path to the basket, running back and forth, end to end, laying the ball softly off the glass. Discovering angles. All by myself.
I never invited any of my friends; they never knew a coach had slipped me the key along with a conspiratorial smile. I understood he considered me responsible and that if anything turned up missing or vandalized it would redound to me. And so I shot by myself on Saturday mornings, when most of my friends were still in bed.
The coach probably assumed I’d open up the gym to others, he just wanted