Banners yellow, glorious, golden,
On its roof did float and flow;
(This — all this — was in the olden
Time long ago)
And every gentle air that dallied,
In that sweet day,
Along the ramparts plumed and pallid,
A winged odor went away.
- The Fall of the House of Usher, Edgar Allen Poe
Quoth the Jordan…
At the All-Star game this past weekend, Michael Jordan encouraged Klay Thompson and The Warriors to break the 96 Bull’s 72 win record. Some have called this good sportsmanship; a warrior past his prime bestowing his blessing upon the next generation. LOL! Michael Jordan is no Obi Wan Kenobi. He doesn’t see the next Jedi, nod, and accept that the cycle has moved on. “Here’s your light saber. You be the hero now.” NO WAY! Michael Jordan is THE EMPEROR! He will never die. His power will never wane.
That’s not entirely true, but it’s certainly how MJ sees himself.
There’s no way he was playing the part of kindly samurai. Nope. This was a calculated act of psychological warfare. That “blessing” has wormed its way into Klay’s ears. It echoes in his brain and rattles around his skull. A little piece of Michael Jordan lives in Klay Thompson now, and it will drive him mad. It might go a little something like this.
FROM THE DIARY OF KLAY THOMPSON
~ 2/14/16 ~
WOW! Michael Jordan is rooting for us! We’re really doing something great. This whole team, well more like a family, is dedicated and the world wants to see what we can do in a race against history. That wasn’t even the highlight of the weekend! My brother Steph and I were in the finals of the three point contests, and I won! I don’t think anyone is surprised anymore, but it’s always nice to show off what we’re capable of. I’m glad we had the contest before I met MJ his handshake was REALLY firm. That’s all for tonight. It’s time for the party, and Coach Kerr says I shouldn’t journal about those, just in case someone learns about something they shouldn’t. I think I’ll wear a blue tie.
~ 2/16/16 ~
Today’s the last day off before games start again. I’d better get a nice deep sleep tonight. I’ve had a tough time coming down off that All-Star high. I keep thinking about talking to MJ. It’s really exciting when something like that happens. Sometimes my hand still hurts from when he squeezed it. I think he was just over excited, but if this thing doesn’t go away, tomorrow’s game might be a real struggle, especially if I don’t take a nice long trip to dreamland. I’m rewatching Bones. Bones and Booth remind me of Steph and me. Bones is really efficient and precise, like me. Booth is all style and energy like Steph. We make a good team, so do they! If there are more seasons of Bones than Warriors’ losses, then we break the record! That’s an easy way for me to remember how many games we have to win. My hand’s hurting again. I think I’ll call it a night. I got a sleeping cap from Kobe Bryant at All-Star. He said to throw it away when I’m ready to transcend the astral plane and find greatness in my waking life. I like to wear it to bed.
~ 2/17/16 ~
THAT WAS A CLOSE ONE! Dame and CJ got hot, but thanks to a lockdown 4th quarter from Iggy and Harry (only I get to call him that, and only in my journal), plus some big rebounds from Festus, we pulled away. It was a weird night. I didn’t have a great game, but that happens. Just gotta get back on the horse. What really sticks out is after the game. I kept thinking I was hearing Michael Jordan whenever someone talked to me. I was so sure he was there, but everyone said he wasn’t. I followed the security head to his car, just to ask for the tapes. I guess I scared him, because he flipped me over and slammed me on the pavement. I’m not upset. It was an honest mistake, but I will miss a few days. Who would have thought a guy with glasses and a K records tattoo would be so strong. At least I’ll have extra time to journal. Maybe I can listen to the new Animal Collective. I never get the aux cord on the bus.
~ 2/22/16 ~
Sorry it’s been so long. I feel bad for not writing, but I thought it might help. I’ve read that if you write a dream journal you remember your dreams better, so I figured if I stop writing down all the weird stuff that’s been going on it might not stick out so much. It worked for a few days, but then this morning happened. The bruises from the incident in Portland had mostly healed up and I was ready to practice again. I went into my shoe closet, and picked up a pair of Jordans. I swear I could hear his voice. Put them down and it stopped. Picked them up again and he was back! I settled on some Adidas joints and hit the court. At first I was feeling great. The shot was falling. Steph was smiling. Andrew even did that thing he does when he’s happy. He folds up an origami crane and then makes you eat it. It’s a lot of work, so I can appreciate it. Even if it is a little strange. After practice, Coach Kerr mentioned the record and I got a nose bleed. Leandro and I drove back to our neighborhood, but he made me walk the last few blocks, because I just kept dripping blood on his upholstery. Apparently zebra print seat covers don’t come cheap. Who knew?
~ 2/25/16 ~
I can’t sleep. Every time I close my eyes I see Michael Jordan. My hand vibrates like he’s still holding it. His words rattle around my head no matter where I go. I try to play ball and relax, but it just makes it worse. The new Animal Collective helps. It’s really good. Nice for them to get back to basics with the smaller combination. Everyone else is listening to Life of Pablo, but I guess I don’t get Kanye. ANYWAY I’m kept awake at night by visions of MJ smiling like a shark. I took all of the Jordan posters off my wall, and threw away all of my Jordan brand gear. My nose has been bleeding since the last entry. I can’t hear out of my left ear; the one he whispered in. I don’t know if it will ever stop. I don’t think any record is worth this.
~ 2/29/16 ~
LEAP DAY! It’s my favorite day, because you only get a few in your life. You’ve got to make the most of it. To celebrate I took the blankets off my windows and switched the earplugs so I can almost hear the Animal Collective I’ve been playing on a loop for four days. I haven’t seen the rest of the team in days. They call, but I don’t answer. What could I tell them? They’re winning. They? I mean we. We’re winning, but I’m falling apart. I don’t know how much longer I can last. This life is beating me down. He’s inside of me. He waits to poke and prod until I’m vulnerable, but today I’m taking my life back. I’m wearing my lucky socks, and the Hanes that remind me of Falcor from The Never-ending Story. They carry me around through anything. That’s my favorite movie. Maybe I’ll watch that today. It always makes me feel better. I’ll have to keep the blindfold off for a long time, but I’m feeling brave.
~ 3/3/16 ~
WOW! I feel so much better. Obviously, it’s a mixed feeling. I left everyone behind when I got on this fishing boat, but it’s amazing here. No one knows who I am, and no one cares where I’m from. There are no records to break here. The pain is gone. The bleeding stopped. I sent my retirement papers to the league. I was supposed to wait for confirmation from Mr. Silver, but I couldn’t wait. I should have sent Steph a letter. He could have explained it to everyone else, but I don’t want them to know, really. I like the mystery. I bet Andrew is wondering if I really did become a superhero like I told him I would. Draymond is probably stepping up in my absence, he always does. I just hope someone else will step up to help him with his puzzles. He wouldn’t let me touch the pieces, but I think the cheering really helped. I shouldn’t think about that now though. It’s over. I’m on to a new part of my life. I’m a fisherman now.
My name is Tom Klayson.
I’m from nowhere. I’ve never been anywhere.
Who is Michael Jordan?
~ 8/9/16 ~
Today was a very strange day. Some very tall men, some even bigger than me, approached me at the wharf today. They wanted me to come back to them, but I didn’t know who they were. They kept calling me Klay, which I guess is almost my name, but they must have had me confused with someone else. The smallest one, skinny with a nice smile, seemed a little familiar. I thought about going to get a drink with them, but then he mentioned breaking some record and looking forward to next year. I had a sudden wave of nausea and a nosebleed, then passed out. When I woke up they were gone. They seemed really nice. They left a ring with one of the other fisherman, a big silver one. When I touched it, I felt darkness.
It’s somewhere at the bottom of the ocean now.