Ball meets concrete: cracked, uneven, bleached from heat and exposure. Echo. He remembers years ago, after the hard rains, trying to dribble through patches of debris blown onto the court.

Sky’s the same. Blue heat, cloudless—-always been like that above what drove him out here alone in the first place.

Looking off-court, he surveys The Vehicle—-his roving funhouse, logging highway miles.

No nets on the rims now. He lifts the ball, shoots. Spalding rolls off his middle finger into the habitual follow-through, nearly perfect. He remembers the boy, squared up, obedient to form, listening to echoes at dusk.

—Sharon Rousseau

Sharon Rousseau writes from both city and country New York. She sometimes forgets that she used to practice jump shots on outdoor courts from late afternoon until dusk.

Excerpt from piece published in The Rambler magazine, July/August 2008