November 25, 2002
We were frozen. Eyes outward. Downward onto the basketball court below. We didn't say anything. I mean, what could we say?
"WHAT?! WHAT!? FUCKING BITCHES!! PUSSIES! FUCKING FAGGOTS! WHAT?!
Wait...let me go back a little. So we get to the Staples Center at 7pm. Rick and I. We left North Hollywood at 6:30. 101 to the 110. Off at 8th. Past the $3 lot. Past the $10 lot. A right hand turn into the hotel parking lot. A short walk to the Staples Center. Breezing past the scalpers, vendors and homeless, we get inside and make our way up, up, up into our seats. Getting over the vertigo-inducing steps, we work our way back down, down, down to get hot dogs and nachos. We go back up to our seats and the game begins. Clippers VS Kings. The game starts off slow. Both teams look anemic. I'm cheering for the Clippers, not because I'm a Clippers fan, but because, after nearly ten years of being a Knicks fan, it's nice to watch a game where I don't really give a shit (My many years of heartbreak with the Knicks offering me nothing but headache and acid reflux).
About 5 minutes into the first quarter four guys move into the seats behind us. I can tell it's going to be bad. They're drunk. They're all in their late teens/early twenties. And they're...
"WHAT?! WHAT?! BITCHES!! FUCKING PUSSIES! FUCK THE "CLIP" SHOW!! FUCKING FAGGOTS!!!
For the next ten minutes the game was a blur. All I could think about were reasons I shouldn't say something. If I said anything I knew they would turn on Rick and I, ensuring that at least one of us, the "frat" boys, Rick, or myself, would end up falling down those goddamned stairs.
The Kings score a basket...
"WHAT! WHAT! BITCHES! PUSSIES!! "CLIP" SHOW ARE FUCKING BITCHES!!!
Zhizhi Wang (the Clippers' new Chinese Center) takes the court...
"CHINK-A-CHONG CHONG CHINAMAN"
They laugh, their battered brain cells struggling to come up with new ways to say the same thing. I was waiting for the asshole behind me to say something directly to me, to Rick, to someone in the crowd, but no, it was all into the abyss.
"WHAT! BITCHES!!! WHAT!" "SAC-TOWN" RULES. FAGGOTS!!!
Unable to hold back, I look over my shoulder and I see him. 21 years old. Kings jersey. "Kings" crown on his head. Glazed look in his eyes. Looking at him I saw every guy he gay bashed, every girl he date-raped, every classmate he terrified. In his semi-wiry frame I saw a composite of everything I truly fucking hate in this world. Then, everything stopped.
In a quick burst I slam my fist into a nose. A splattering of blood, bone and cartilage explode across his face. His eyes fill with tears. He stumbles back, trying to make sense of what just happened. I jump up and drive my foot down on his head. His skull opens, pressed against the concrete of the steps. His friends, stunned, do nothing as I pick him up. I look into his bloodied, tear-filled eyes and I see fear. I see a pleading. I see regret. I see him fall to his death as I throw him over the fucking third deck railing and watch as he's impaled on the spectators below.
I shook it off and turned back around, the violence still fresh in me. And then...I relaxed. I watched the game.
"FUCKING PUSSIES!! WHAT!! WHAT!! BITCHES!!!"
The Clippers lost. After the game, Rick and I walked back to my car. We talked about what we "should" have done "this" and what we "would" have done "that." We got in my car. Figueroa to the 110. 110 to the 101. I dropped Rick off and started to drive back home and all I could think was one thing. Maybe it's time for someone to drop a nuke and give the cockroaches a crack at the top of the food chain.