This afternoon I went out to play some basketball. The park where I normally play was deserted except for three young kids, ranging from 6-11. Wanting a more serious game, I almost turned and went to the park a block away. But since I try to go to this park regularly to develop relationships, I stopped in to shoot around for awhile. The kids were all kids I knew, and they challenged me to a game of knockout. I never say no to a game of knockout.
Once they got tired I headed over to the other park, and eventually ended up in a game of everyman (21). The players here were older and much better, although still apparently unaccustomed to someone actually playing defense. There was no one here I had played with before, leading to the following exchange:
“From across the park, I thought you were fifteen.”
“Yeah, but then I got closer and you look like you’re fifty. How old are you anyway?”
I’m twenty eight.
“Whoa, twenty eight!”
I have no idea how to take this. I can’t quite grasp if they were amazed that I was that old and out on the court with younger guys, or that I was that young despite my celebrated gray hair. I don’t really look like I’m fifteen or fifty (again, despite the gray hair).