Like a sparrow lassoed and pulled from the sky, the sun was long ago dragged to the ground, leaving us to wander aimlessly in the dark, haunted by the ghosts of a dream that once passed so close.
So tantalizingly near that we allowed our hopes to feed our plans, our route of adulation through the streets … streets that have gradually traded crowds standing shoulder to shoulder for an increasingly sparse few loitering in indifference where winds shift endlessly among the now open spaces and flicker the fragile flame still lingering in the hearts of even fewer.
That dream once scratched the walls of reality, searching for a crease to flow through. Just when that skin was finally pierced and a ray of warming light allowed to trickle in, a rage of spiraling reds and blacks devoured the sight, pouring a nightmare in the space between our minds and eyes, bleeding the truth from perceived promises swallowed before they could fully escape the lips.
It's in this space we now tread.
Again and again we've fought to find our way out of this increasingly familiar stain. We've built 82-piece stages, cast our hopes upon them and found our muscle memory adopting to a design that fields no escape from the dark, but delivers a quiet numbness and an increasingly deep pool of doubt … where more and more come to swim, to embrace the heat in memories of tortures passed, to drown far from the reward of achieving a golden state, to have their ragged frame tattered by a handful of hornet stings, to float listlessly on their backs and stare a mile high into the nothingness corralled above, to remember the Alamo where their optimism made its final stand … to accept the next failure as a mere inevitability.
Raining down from beyond our own walls, spilling from the ceiling of our enduring nightmare comes the reinforcement of our doubts … comes an outsiders storm to further bury the light still breathing deep within us, to fill our pool until it becomes a pond, a lake and eventually an ocean chaining the horizon in all directions.
It reminds us of the stages crumbling behind us. Tells us what burns in our core is a flame to cradle another day, to give sustenance in another time, that this 11th straight stage is born to share the fate of the 10 preceding it.
Still, beneath this often suffocating beast our hopes continue to find that next breath, to clutch at every passing blade in the hopes of severing the rope holding that sparrow of a sun to the ground where it struggles feverishly to claim a perch high above … to bath this world in light, to reward our hopes, no matter how faint they've become, and to remind us all of why we're still here when we could have escaped this nightmare at anytime by simply turning away.
And so we wait with our hearts wrapped a little deeper, our vulnerability a little more protected and our doubts a little easier to suppress thanks to a 2-0 lead by the Dallas Mavericks, a team they said they "wanted'' …
We wait. We hope. We also want.