Ginobili vs. Dracula, Chapter 34

In which Stakes are High.

Tony Parker spent all but every hour in Eva's room. For most of the day, it was a lively scene. His mother and two brothers flew in from Paris. Eva's parents were on the road from Corpus moments after he called. Tim brought cards and poker chips. He called games and dealt from 10 am to 4 pm. Manu or Pop dropped in every afternoon for coffee or a glass of wine. Malik Rose sent plates of sandwiches every noon. David brought Hot Donuts and Tacos every morning and insisted on leading them in a prayer. They all joined hands. How could they refuse the kind giant?

Nights, alone at Eva's side, neither the iPod nor Twitter felt right. He left his wifey's well worn tape of Like Water for Chocolate repeating on the VHS and read the book that Michael Finley left for him. Every other page Tony would look up to check that the IV still dripped and Eva's chest still rose and fell with breath.

Once a day, Eva's mother would relieve Tony's vigil. He would drive home for a quick work-out, a shower and a change of clothes.  He drove deliberately, one mph below the limit, and played his music loud: De La Soul, Stakes is High.

* * * * *

Get up, Los Angeles, shout at the top of your lungs, scream as loud as you can and enjoy this as much as possible.

This sentiment from Vincent Bonsignore of the LA Times read like the embarrassed rousing of a teetotaler at a toga party.

For endless nights, every able man, woman and child from Santa Clarita to Orange County stood with head tilted back, screaming. They began with a stab of sound as purple and gold confetti rained from the roof of Staples. Game 7: Celtics 79, Lakers 83.

The scream faded when dawn climbed over the Mojave. The weakest lost consciousness. The stronger slept standing, moaning with the rhythm of an erotic dream.

Each evening, as the sun buried itself in the distant Pacific, the living screamed again, louder. The strongest lungs made up for the volume lost when neighbors departed.

Monday there would be a parade.

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