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Tiny. Torn-up, sleepy. Trembling. That ash-grey kitten. And it depends on how you see yourself! Technically this is still me drawing comics. Still fighting it! Lozenges, the gum, keep from smoking, drawing board, the same four walls, pacing, more distraction, then stretched out, book on my chest, eyes closed. But now it’s dribbling drills, basketball . . . Because I’ve seen that footwork, magic, seen her come up with it on her own. But the question is, how does she see it? She’s ten now. And not really magic, more like music. C’mon Zhanna—Wave step. In and out dribble. Retreat. Retreat. There’s also a part of this that’s me, coming up with books, from youtube, new drills, every week, almost, or maybe even actually, like torture. Pump fake, wave step. Or yesterday, working out, ball slipping, going up on her forearm, which I hate, can’t stand it, I snatch the ball, I’m yelling too much, and she’s crying, now I’m trying to dial it back, so I switch gears, the BS thing about ballhandling being like music. Not that it’s not. Music, or torture. You push through. Find the answers. Ok, here. Zhanna. Do it again . . .
Tuesday, 5:26 am. No sun yet. Going to the gym. Weaving beside puddles, piles of dogshit. Wave step. Block away from the subway. What I can only think to describe as a kind of, spectral light, as that kitten, yawning, caked with dirt, steps from weeds onto the sidewalk.
“Kitten. Look at it.” I say, stepping over, I can hear the train.
“Like one or two years old, right?”
“Maybe a month or two, Zhanna. Let’s go.”
“Cats grow up fast.”
“They have to, right?”
“Gotta be little soldiers.”
“Little, fluffy soldiers.”
“Hm. Yeah . . .”