Hungry For Greatness Vs. Cooking Up Greatnesss

“I am Plato to Biggie’s Socrates.” – Jay-Z

 I see the time slowing down even though I am in this tornado of things occurring. I can’t help but feel the time caressing this experience I am having with my last semester here on campus. I can see all those old buildings just pumping out knowledge and I can taste hints of what has yet to come. Like I can smell something being cooked in the kitchen.

 The food idiom of the post is to be “toast.” Which means to be in serious trouble. I got a e-mail from one of my advisor saying that I was set to graduate and that I only needed to pass the classes I’m taking now. Easier said than done. No pressure, which is never the case. The pressure is what makes things interesting. It’s what makes you who you are. How do you deal with pressure?

So close to the end and there is still a chance I might still have to re-take classes. I’m trying to let that not happen but there’s still a chance. And things just get rough and I know that I will finish. I’m ready for it all even though there are doubts about the future. That doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy it or experience it. The last days on campus are among us and I am running around like a chicken with his head cut off. I like the challenges I come across from day to day and I can’t help but feel like I’m departing from the University. Which I am but I guess I still just want to hang out and soak up the last of those college juices. Empty.

It’s been a difficult time with the semester mainly commuting from the Rez to Tucson and then backs to the Rez on certain days. As much I as like being a college kid thriving on my youthfulness. I also like being in the Village near friends and family. Missing out on dinners at home when they’re still sitting at the table. At least I think they do. Its like I miss out on things that are discussed or don’t taste things tasted. I know it sounds silly but I do get some sense of being grounded when sitting at the table with family making chit chat or talking about the day. I miss out on those things happening while I am too experiencing something totally different.


Although when I do get to come home which is usually when I have time to catch a shuttle that takes me back to the Rez. I been riding that shuttle for about a year and it scoops us at up at the Laos Center bus station on the south side of Tucson. I need to be able to be there by three o’ cock and if I get there with time to spare and haven’t had any lunch. I make a quick trip right across the street. They have a Sonoran hotdog stand and they are just a slices of delicious  treats wrapped in beacon. Topped with tomatoes, onions, mayo, mustard, and whatever else that makes those dogs melt my soul. So good. And so when the day is good and I know I can make it home that Sonoran dog just makes the day even sweeter.

 There are few people that run the stand and they all do good work. This Tuesday on my way home I decide to visit my favorite stand. The main guy that is usually working is there this day. Miguel is always inviting and knows how I like my Sonoran dog. No jalapeno sauce and no chili. I’ll buy a soda if they have one I like. Usually already have water so we have a routine or repotire. A pit stop in my journey if you will. Miguel is a cool dude and always has interesting things to share. But this time we somehow started talking about basketball and how the Lakers got beat by the Spurs in the playoff opener.

 It was a question even I was wondering about? These Lakers with such an odd season would they even make an appearance in the playoffs this year? Miguel informs me that the Lakers did make the playoffs and apparently they’re playing San Antonio. But Kobe is out with an injury.

 I think Miguel is a Lakers fan. I would say the sport of basketball just always interests me and its hard for me to talk basketball and not talk about the Lakers. I don’t have a favorite team but Lakers are just epic. Hate them or love them. They do have some great players that have wore that bright yellow jersey and that have brought back rings back to the dynasty. So they are the talk for a reason.

 I always remember as kid watching the NBA playoffs with my grandma. Back in the 90’s when it was Jordan the player everybody talked about. Mainly that he was awesome but me being a rebel I always rooted for the teams that Jordan was facing. And you know I can truly say that Jordan has ruined so many games for me. He’s such an artistic player. Like you were watching him work and deliver a message. So charismatic in everything he did.

 Even though I was rooting against him. I still idolized his game and swag. That’s how it goes when greatness is among you. You still can’t help but be appreciative for what a person brings to the game. I mean there are good players, but there is a difference between a great player and a good player. Not only are great players consistent but they seem to have this self determining façade like they’re almost playing against them self. And the game is secondary because they have the will to challenge themselves and do something that will change the way we see the game.

 And when it was one of those games. A nail bitter. I remember one year they were playing the Utah Jazz. Karl Malone and John Stockton were doing their thang and when it came down to last seconds. The game is about to end and there was a slim chance they could score or even win. The game that has you standing because you are so nervous to see what’s going to happen when the clock stars running. When everything is on the line. Who do you call to?

 Can you imagine the chaos? The stadium filled with fans screaming. People watching all over the world the Bulls and Jazz getting down. You have an opposing team that is capable of beating you this time. Loss is apart of the game. And some of those fans are people that want you to fail. All the boos also and all that pressure on just that one moment.

 I know we all wanted Jordan to have the ball. Even if you were against him you still wanted to see if he could do it. And I think what made it so intriquing was that even though we all wanted Jordan with the ball we all very much knew that Jordan wanted that ball too. And that is why he was great. With all that noise and pressure you could never see fear in Jordan. He just accepted that role for his team. He was that go-to guy when things got hectic. The one who gets things done.

 In this day in age I would say it is Kobe that represents that kind of player. And that is why the Lakers are the talk of the town when it comes to basketball. Because Kobe is great and he represent the Lakers proudly. Kobe and Jordan get compared to each other all the time. Who’s better? And as Jordan retired Kobe became Kobe but in an odd way he took on the Jordan façade that Jordan portrayed during the prime of his career. Kobe is the go-to guy now. He’s the Jordan of his time but I can’t help but see this passing of the torch sentiment as a punishment of time. Like I know we get old but sometimes it just a thing that makes you wonder. How would things be if these guys got to play each other in a championship series? Best of seven. It’s also bittersweet because I am a fan of basketball first and it is always interesting to see these upcoming players that are destined to play great basketball. But are they worthy of being compared to Jordan or Kobe? Like anyone could be that person Kobe hands the torch to. That’s a debate probably happening somewhere in the world right now.

I eat my Sonoran Dog. Which is excellent. No mustard on the jeans which means success in my book. Thank Miguel and catch him on the flip side. As we say because I still have some time in the semester to treat myself to a Sonoran dog. So Miguel knows I’ll be back. Going to be riding that shuttle home another day probably. You know the topics of conversation vary with Miguel. We can talk about pretty much anything from going out drinking with friends and having a good time even after the bars close. The way a girl can be so attractive and gorgeous that all you can do is just stare in awe. Even though he is working and I am just waiting for the shuttle to arrive. There is still that need and want to have a meaningful conversation on both ends. I try to be like that with everybody. But when I come to get a Sonoran dog after a long day on campus discussing concepts of tribal soverginity. It’s still nice to have these talks about basketball and just be entertained by someone else’s feelings toward the sport or the Lakers. It is just a goodtime overall.

The food saying “toast” can also mean when a person makes a speech or a grand gesture at a fancy event. Maybe when you have a lot of people you know and you have something important to say or tell them. Although a lot of people fear public speaking like more than dying I think. So either way you are toast.

“You can’t move forward until you look back.”

Cornel West           



Author: storiesfrommystomach

I am from a Village called South Komelik on the Tohono O'odham Nation. I enjoy poetry and philosophy. Hope you enjoy the blog! :)

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