Sunday, May 26, 2019

Malilong: Drought

The Other Side

AND the drought continues.

No, I am not talking about the onset of the dry season that is already bleeding the faucets in many a household dry, which I will discuss later. I am referring to the painful failure of the Los Angeles Lakers to make it to the NBA playoffs again this season.

I know. The team has still 15 games left in its schedule, but unless a miracle happens or disaster strikes at least three of the four teams currently on top of my team in the Western Conference, it is almost certain that I will again be half-heartedly cheering for a half-loved team as I have done year after sorrowful year since 2013. Lebron James said as much: their playoff odds are slim although they will try to finish strong.

Oh yes, the aforesaid Lebron James. I was on my way to Japan when the news that LBJ had signed a four-year-contract with the NBA’s most storied franchise broke. When I switched my phone back from Airplane mode as soon as we landed at the Osaka airport, the first text that greeted me was the one from former Freeman editor and publisher Jerry Tundag. Will you still hate Lebron now that he’s in your team, he asked impishly. Bong Wenceslao, our former SunStar opinion editor, was just as naughty, tagging me on Facebook. I should be celebrating now, he said.

These colleagues know that I am a Laker fanatic and how I hated Lebron and his arrogance on the court when he was on the other team, two other teams actually. He was just so good and he was beating the now retired Kobe Bryant and company with revolting regularity.

And now he was on my team. Of course, I was happy and of course, I did not hate him or find his on-court demeanor arrogant anymore. He was our savior, just what the doctor ordered for a long-suffering LA fan.

Except that I have forgotten that basketball is a team game, that it is five on five, not one on one, much less one on five. LA showed signs of revival early, stringing wins enough to place them fourth in their conference. And then the unspeakable happened: Lebron got injured, the Lakers disintegrated and this Laker fanatic is devastated.

I assure everyone that it is not in the same emotional state that I write about the other drought, the one that the waterworks company has advised us to brace for because it could mean, as it always had, waterless days. Two friends who live in Sambag 2 have told me that water has begun to disappear from their faucets and since our old house is in Sambag 1 (there is no new house, by the way), you can understand my growing sense of worry, if not desolation.

The drought, unlike Lebron’s injury, is predictable, a certainty just slightly lower than death or taxes. We also know the time of the year that it is visited on us. And so I ask: could the waterworks company have braced for it themselves instead of asking us to brace in their behalf?

Lebron has been accused of recruiting other players to help him bail LA out of the hole. In other words, he’s trying to address one drought. Who will take care of the other?


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