Tuesday, March 06, 2007
The Awvee Storey continues...
In a basement apartment in Richmond, Awvee Storey sits on a wooden fruit crate, his back leaning against the dirty wall. He is wearing a sleeveless white T and plain boxers. A pair of flip-flops lies a few feet to the side. He stares placidly across the room at a a massive rotating sculpture of Gilbert Arenas's head, cast from frosted glass and lit from within with a diffuse, bright light, like the sun as it rises on a winter day. The features are rendered imprecisely in glass, but Storey has laid strips of bacon cooked just to the point at which the fat becomes translucent on the sphere, in a way that renders an uncanny level of detail. It is the Gilsphere that we last saw at Arenas' 25th birthday party.
Despite the bitter winter tang of the day, the air inside is humid and close, and Awvee is sweating a bit. He drinks from a tumbler that he had set down on the crate. The drink - Vitamin Water and grain alcohol, with a couple drops of orange extract for flavor - is called a Hibachi, but Storey has given up on getting the local bartender to make it. The sphere is steady. He had to lay his initiates off after the incident (though he brought them back special for the gig at Love). To compensate, he has refined his technique, layering his bacon and adjusting the wattage of the Gilsphere to extend the delicious moment of translucency for hours.
Storey takes another sip of the Hibachi and remembers the incident that has driven all incidents since: the thing in Miami. Since when does the superstar stand up for the NBDL player? He still can't get over it. Everything happening that day was bullshit, and Gil walked right into it trying to pull him out.
The bacon turns so slowly that the very imperceptibility of the process has become magnetic. Awvee's eyes lock from across the room on a strip of bacon that forms the upper part of Gil's ear. It will be the next to go, in a few minutes. Still leaning back, he tracks it with the avid attention and confidence of a predator toying with game.
Awvee and the Gilsphere had some rough weeks, true, right after 'Twan got injured and the local 7-Eleven stopped carrying Hormel Black Label. (What better bacon to fulfill a destiny begun during Miami Beach Week than the Black Label?) But while the Gilsphere had been shaky for the last week, it had stayed intact, and Awvee had seen how Gil became bold, driving and dishing, shooting with his customary calculated recklessness. At a perfect moment, when everything glowed so powerfully that the dingy room had filled with light and Awvee could barely see the 20-inch TV/VCR combo in the corner, Gil had leaned into two Golden State defenders and turned back time, to 0.1 seconds on the clock.
That was when Awvee knew his labors had not been in vain.
He ponders this for a moment before getting up to remove the one bacon strip. It is then that his cell phone, laid on top of the TV/VCR, beeps. Awvee removes the strip, gets a new one from the fridge, replaces it with atomic exactitude, and checks the display on the phone.
Connie again. What does she want? No message, so it can wait.
Awvee settles in again. Beads of water collect on the glass and running down its side. He sips and watches, aware of everything in the room and yet feeling nothing specific about it. There are no more distractions. All can thrive here. All there is to hope for is that it can continue.
--posted by intern Rex Immensae Majestatis Chapman