This puts me in mind of a recent locker chamber conversation. Steve Blake threw his towel to the ground after an exasperating defeat and uttered a cri de cœur: “If we just had a big man in the middle!”
“Yeah,” said Brandon Roy, “and if we had some cheese, we could have some ham-and-cheese sandwiches.”
“If we had some ham,” rejoined Travis Outlaw with a sad laugh.
“Ah, but I have some very fine ham, my friends!” I exclaimed. I then explained to them the charms of Jose Calderon’s angel pigs. But either my mates spoke in an idiom or they can not understand pork's potential for uncanny deliciousness.
But now my mates and I are in a new circumstance. With Marcus Camby’s arrival, we have plugged the "big man" gap, and are now up to the requisite quota for tattoos of Chinese characters. But with both Steve Blake and Travis Outlaw now gone, this old Mallorcan folk tale repeats in my mind:Three fast friends find themselves stranded on a Mediterranean island when a bottle washes up on the shore. One of the men uncorks the bottle, a genie appears and offers each a wish.
The first man wishes he were in Madrid. The genie snaps his fingers, and the man instantly disappears.
The second man wishes he were in Barcelona for a vacation, and at a snap of the genie’s fingers, he too vanishes.
The third man, now alone on the island, looks around and says, “I wish my friends were back.”