A Weekend in Trinidad, Part 2

Before we dive back into our story, I offer a health update. I had a scan this week and met with the Doctor to discuss it. I've had some bouts with pain lately, so I was nervous about what the scan might reveal. The good news is that the tumor has shrunk a bit. The bad news is that the pain may be caused by my duodenal stent. If this is the case, things become complicated. From a big picture standpoint, the Doctor said in January that he was hoping to get me through Spring. After this latest scan, we think we've bought a few more months. As I've mentioned before, however, I don't spend a ton of time thinking in those terms- I'm just doing what I can while I can.

While that bastard tumor will probably get me in the end, it appears that I've bought myself some time and I fully intended to take advantage it. I'm halfway through my Spring bucket list, and I'll probably realize the remainder of those events. I'm in the process of drafting a new list, and I'll be sure to share it when it's complete (and if you have any ideas for something cool to do or see before I check out, please don't hesitate to suggest them).

We now return to our tale. If you missed the first part of the story, you'll want to go here to get caught up. With no further ado, let's return to our story…

Having overcoming my confusion between Trinidad and Trinidad, I was able to settle down and put up a solid first game of the tournament. Afterwards, we had a brief team meeting, boarded the bus and headed off to the hotel. Walking into the hotel, I felt like a cowboy in a western movie walking through the swinging doors of a rowdy saloon. Boisterous teenagers from across Colorado and New Mexico were bouncing around the lobby in various stages of undress, headed to or from the numerous hot tubs and pools. I have a vague recollection of kids swinging from balconies and chandeliers. We dropped our bags off in our room and reconvened for a team meal. We scarfed our food down in hopes of finishing in time to join the revelry, but curfew came quickly. We were relegated to our rooms and a night’s sleep.

Saturday morning brought more basketball. After the confusion of the day before, I had regained my focus (as much as a fifteen year old can focus).  The details are lost in the mists of time, but I had a hell of a game. I don’t think I had enough assists or blocks for a triple double, but I dropped forty-something points and had double-digit rebounds. As proud as I was of my performance, at that moment I was less interested in basketball than I was going back to the hotel to see and be seen.

This picture isn't from the tourney, but is from that year.
It was the first time I ever played against a 7-footer (32).
Unlike my mates, I wasn't afraid of him...although he
had a perm, and that was mildly frightening.
 When we got back, we were delighted to find that it was no less hopping than it was the night before. Being the stud that had just dropped arguably the most impressive performance of the tournament, I was keen to parade myself around in front of my peers. The problem was that I was shy, introverted, and lacked social skills. Lack of game notwithstanding, my teammates and I donned our swimwear and quickly made our way down to the hot tubs. We were lucky enough to squeeze into a spot in a tub with some cheerleaders from a school near Denver.

We spent the next few hours chatting up the girls and humblebragging about our basketball abilities. Over the course of the afternoon I ended up spending a lot of time talking to a cheerleader named Mah-rya. She was cute as could be, and seemed to be interested in what I had to say. Eventually, we were forced to abandon our determined (yet feeble) attempts to impress the girls in order to attend a team meeting and dinner. I summoned the courage to ask Mah-rya for her phone number and pledged to call her later that night once we got back to our rooms (of course, later in life I would strictly adhere to a two day minimum technique).

Those were the longest and most boring meetings in the history of long, boring meetings. When we finally finished, I streaked to the room to call Mah-rya. We chatted for a bit, then decided it would be a good idea to sneak out and meet one another. So, in violation of curfew and good sense, I bid my roomies goodbye and crept down the hallway to the back stairs and outside.

As I made my way toward the picnic table where we agreed to meet, I was as nervous as I had ever been. I was literally shaking- in part because it’s cold in Colorado, and partly in anticipation of what might happen with the random girl I just met. The details are hazy, but I remember awkward small talk (I was much better on the phone), and awkward hugging (she's short and I’m tall). I eventually overcame my shivering and shyness and shared what was, given the circumstances, a very nice kiss. Afterward, we shared a slightly less awkward hug, then gave in to time and the cold and took separate paths back to our rooms. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the story of my first kiss.

I was on top of the world, I had a couple of studly displays of basketball under my belt, was virtual lock for all-tournament honors, and was high on the adrenaline of my first kiss. It was now well after curfew, and I set about carefully sneaking my way back to the room. Unfortunately, the dumb-ass, fifteen-year-old version of myself forgot to prop open the door to the back stairs and had locked myself out. As a consequence, I was forced to take a more direct route. The massive main lobby, full of lingering adults, now stood between me and the successful completion of my illicit foray. I took a deep breath, hoped for the best, and started stepping. The drama was short-lived, the first person I made eye contact with was Brillhart. He gave me some kind of look, just to let me know. I gave him some kind of look, because I was busted. I knew I messed up and I knew there would be fallout, but I didn't care. (We all know that the motto of the fifteen-year-old is "I don't care".)  Had I known what was in store, however, I may have have adopted a different stance.

Next week, consequences and repercussions…

The soundtrack of this portion of the story, consists of a couple of  tunes that were in heavy rotation during my first romantic foray: this classic by Levert, and an 80’s staple by Taylor Dane.

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