I jolt awake and I am sweating like Ostertag. It pours from me as Russ poured in points on Raymond Felton.
I am in a cave and the fire is going and the walls are screaming at me. The only thing louder in my mind and memory is Loud City.
I think I am in Nebraska, but I cannot be sure.
I sit up and wrap the blue tarp around me in hopes that I can get warm. I know that I cannot. I am not Vinnie Johnson.
I think on the season and what it might have been. I was planning on telling Mike Tirico that no one actually calls it Oak City. It is Oklahoma City or it is OKC. There is nothing else. Alas, he is gone and unable to hear my plea. So is Hubie. For this I truly ache.
I stand and walk to the mouth of the cave. God has removed the clouds for tonight. The stars number so many and shine so bright it is as if there is a Rock ‘N Jock basketball game in the sky.
I see the past now.
There goes a N’SYNC era Justin Timberlake. Look at that hair.
And there, running without thought or worry of what will happen to his career, is Dean Cain. It’s a bird, it’s a plane…
Ahhh. I miss laughter.
I fear I am losing it. I am stuck in the past because I cannot envision a future wherein things are better than they were before the event.
My dream tonight was a memory. I was back in Lawrence and in Phog-Allen and we were playing Texas and I was dominating. TJ Ford’s antics were not enough. I ended the game with 24 points and 23 rebounds and a standing ovation from Dick Vitale.
The ovations do not come anymore.
A breeze enters the cave. The pages of my moleskin flop back and forth like Manu and Tony and a chill runs throughout me.
I hear the howl of the wolves from down the mountain. I injured the pack leader two nights ago. He barreled into me, charging, and I did what I do. He cannot use his front right paw now. That championship is as sweet as one from the Northwest Division.
Those are no more now, though. The world and the league and all those in it are gone and it is me and the wolves and the wind. This cave cannot be home for long.
They know I am here.
They will be coming with all the fury of Raymond Felton chasing a cheeseburger. Oh, Diary. Forgive my unnecessary resentment, but I did not like him.
I press on towards the water in hopes that I might find life. Or, better still, love. How I want a woman. Is Rachel McAdams still alive?
My iPod has battery now. I found a working outlet in a 7-Eleven a few sunsets ago. I do not know how electricity still exists in certain places, I only thank God that it does. The prophet Ross eggs me on.
Sometimes sixteen bars ain’t enough.
I don’t know that I have sixteen days if I do not find food soon.
I miss Carl’s Jr. The Western Bacon Cheeseburger. It roared. I miss The Wedge and Ted’s Cafe Escondido and Victoria’s and Mexico Joe’s and all the rest.
I miss Hideaway Pizza. The Little Kahuna was my all.
There has been one great lift that has happened in these recent days. I came upon a house. Small and wooden and, I thought, barren. I searched the house and found nothing. Room after room, clean and dirty all at once. My hope left me…then I saw the chest.
A small toy chest. A teddy bear on the front of it. It holds a red balloon in its hand. The chest is locked. I kick at the padlock. It does not give. I ready my Red Wings for another go. I lift my leg and bring it down with all the force of one of Serge’s dunks and the lock gives and breaks and the chest springs open like Kevin after one of my down screens. I look down into the chest and it is a haven of the past. I see a Talk Boy and a Walkman and a Yack Back and Gack and a DVD of the first Season of Salute Your Shorts and a poster of Summer Sanders (I kept that and it hangs on the wall of this cave as I write) and…
My eyes stop. I see a jersey. I see the familiar turquoise. I see the number 50. I lift the uniform from the chest and rub my hand over the word “Vancouver”. I turn the jersey over to look at the back.
A lump hits my throat and my nostrils flare and my eyes fill up with tears and I see his name.
It is my hero.
I am full of joy and I hurry and put the jersey on. This is my Christmas.
If it is my destiny to survive, I will find the Smithsonian and place my Bryant Reeves jersey within its walls. That is where it belongs.
I must go now. The sun rises and it paints the sky pink and I must start moving before the wolves do.
I think of Sir Rozay once more. His chorus siren, Nicki Minaj, tells me I am the boss and I agree and I am stronger for it.
I must do what he does: Still runnin’ the streets cause everyday I’m hustlin’.
The day has begun. I close these pages and sit down my pen.
Time to hustle.
*Nick Collison didn’t write this or have any involvement in it. He’s a cool dude who tweeted that this was creative. Don’t want him to get in trouble for a silly tumblr write up. Collison is awesome and you’re awesome for reading it. If you liked Part 2 and want to read Part 1, you can do that right here : http://drawllin.tumblr.com/post/33760702696/nickcollisonapocalypse