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The Littlest Hustler


At the NikeID store.  

“Man, I don’t even have a house. You know how NBA politics are. I’m going to Europe,” Miles joked.

“You should go to Israel,” said Alex. “They bless basketballs there. Baruch ata Adonai, Elohenu melech ha’olam, boray peri ha swish. Swish! Swish!”

Miles and his friends slapped their knees. “Yo, this is the funniest kid ever.”

An entourage began to form. Miles, his friends, their friends. They followed Alex as he chatted up a group of models and the party promoter who brought them, and then back to the gourmet buffet, and then over to the espresso bar.

“You are so cute,” said the espresso girl, as Alex ordered his third decaf cappuccino. “Oh, I just want to marry him.” When she looked back over at Alex, she blushed. “That little shit, he’s blowing me kisses.”

Alex and his newfound posse were the last to leave the party. When he finally made his way to the parking lot, he was trailing two (stolen) potted plants—daffodils for his mom, fresh basil for the next morning’s omelette—four gift bags full of swag, and one NBA player and six of his friends. On the way out, he saw David Blaine drive by in his Bentley. “Hey, David,” Alex shouted. “Don’t bend my quarter!”

It was too early to call it quits, and Dune, the nightclub, was suggested as a next stop. “I don’t know if Al can get in,” one person said. Alex was offended. “If I can get into Bungalow 8, I can get into Doooone.”

By the time we arrived at the club, the line at the door was twenty deep. The beefy bouncer looked at Alex and shook his head. No way. Alex found a back door and knocked. Nothing. He found another door and knocked again, putting his ear close to listen. Nothing. Finally, Alex conceded defeat. “That club sucked anyway,” he said as he got back in the car. It was 1:30 in the morning. He rolled down the windows and turned up the music, as if ready for more. Then he fell dead asleep. Curled up in the passenger seat, he looked, for the first time that night, like a kid.


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