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P&T Knicktion Submission #3: "Summer Whine"

About a month ago, I opened a contest in which P&T friends could submit works of Knicktion to be read, judged, and voted upon by the P&T community. The submissions are in and will be posted daily (sometimes twice daily) for your pleasure. Voting and prizes and stuff will take place once all the entries have been posted. By request, I won't reveal the identities of our submitters until the end (or whenever the authors feel it is appropriate). Well, except for our first submission. Sorry, YuckFou.

A few notes on the pool of submissions as a whole: Some are long, some are short. Some are prose, some are poetry, some are floetry. All were acceptable. None of the submissions have been in any way edited by me (although I'll probably have to play with some formatting), but in some instances, I sent the submission back to its composer for a bit of proofreading. No matter what, please be respectful in the comments. But you knew that

Previously: "Twas The Night of the Big Game", "When Crazy Cocks Attack"

Take the jump for submission #3.

Summer Whine

The room is dim around the edges, there's probably nothing to see. Just the walls. A big old building. Two tables sloppily fitted with plastic tablecloths like horrible pock-laden skin. Coffee and hot water for tea. Milk on the edge. Small bowed pretzels stepping over one another like quicksand inside a waxy turquoise bowl. Chalky cookies arranged in semi-concentric circles.

There's a circle in the center. A small group of people all looking glum, not entirely staring at the floor. Occasionally twitching to be intrigued by something they see in the darkened periphery. 'Still standing' they appear to figure with their collective of grimaces.

-Hi my name is Vincent.

-Hi Vincent.

-And well... I'm a complainer. It uh, started- simply. I was pretty low down. And just got mixed up with the trees. You know at first I just took a tiny little hit, it was nothing really. I don't even remember if I got hit! I just went back up the floor, and grumbled. It was no big deal really. And you know before you know it- you're huffing in the paint, and you're pretty high and you feel good and things are looking up and somebody gets bumped and they bump you and like you're just flailing everywhere. just everywhere, and you're whining, at that point. Right there. And you know- everybody notices. you don't notice, but everybody notices. Its like you can't even control it sometimes, you just have to complain. even now! I mean its really something! I feel like I'm doing it right now?! I try- I try... to play the game. And just... i dunno... compete. But I find myself just, like, I can't play the game at a high level, right, if like I'm not pissing and moaning. And taking all the fun out of it, and ruining the purity of a game. And it messes with everybody's continuity; because I need to make a point. You know? Like, if everybody would do that though, if eveyrbody would complain, at every turn, then I'd be king! You know? But...

Vincent looked at himself with disbelief. At what he'd become. At what he amounts to. His eyes were fixed on a floor that he could not see. Heat visibly rushed over him, and his eyes bulged. His mouth contorted with bitterness.

-Its like- just the other day. Where was i? I don't even remember, man. midcourt maybe?? And i see this guy just totally trip over his own foot. Just like, totally stumble. And I turn to the ref, and I'm just like 'Yo! Did you see that!?' like he was pushed. Its like i'm trying to make a case all the time. and eventually they stop listening to you. And the sidelines close in on you, and your family looks at you sorta weird. After the game you go home, and its tough to get that adrenaline out of your system just right away, so you tell your wife, your kids. And they just don't get it! And, but, I remember too, the ref though- turns to me and she's all stern and just, 'Just play, Vincent! I can control the game.' and I'm like, 'Control'?? Control, right? And then later I got called for traveling! Where, like. I beat my guy and then had to step around the next defender, and so i hop-stepped! And I go up, and i got a lay-up. And they're over here, three refs blowing whistles! And they call a travel on me! And I'm kinda fuming now, and I say 'you're crazy there's no way thats a travel, I got fouled!' And you know how it is. I'm going up and down the court a few times and I'm sulking and stomping around. When I get the ball I gotta hold it for a little while longer than I need to, you know.

Stopping quickly to change direction, Vincent looks up, he's lost control again. He's not ready for this stage.

-But, you know- I know. I know I do it. And the first step on the road to recovery is to just admit it. Let it out, and hopefuly make the necessary changes, and keep at it. Thanks for letting me share, everyone.

-Man, fuck you!