Time is short: A vignette of my time in high school

The fluorescent lights flicker carelessly as a smooth spring breeze carries a stray leaf across the otherwise desolate concrete. Five high school friends saunter nonchalantly to the court, balls and sneakers in tow. They don’t have much time left together before they go their separate ways, so a sense of sentimentality and time lost sets the mood for the evening.

Samuel “Alley Cat” Ambrosy breaks away from the pack and throws down a thunderous dunk to begin the game. The creak of the rusty breakaway rim rings across the park, sounding as if this was the last place on Earth. John Sulentic composes his team and pats his chest once, as if to say, “I’ve got this.”

The game is soon finished, and in five minutes, neither side remembers who won. They keep running up and down the court like one continuous wave sweeping over a beach. They move fluidly, without concern for tomorrow or even the present. This is their escape.

At the end of the night, the score never matters. Who had the most points is not discussed. The game, the camaraderie, and the exhaustion leave the group speechless. The warm, thick air is almost tangible as they unlace their beat-up Nikes that they once used in organized games. The buzzer has since sounded on that time in their lives, but a new chapter looms in the not-so-distant future.

And so this group old friends did as they have done so many times before: spend a night running, fighting, and yelling as if they have all the time in the world. Only now, time is short.