San Antonio in March. 74 degrees and sunny. They say it’s a dry heat. They don’t tell you how dry.
Chapstick’s worthless. Water, a godsend. What’s a man to do? A real man. Stay dusty all day? No thanks.
Not me, Amar’e Stoudemire. Seen way too much cracked skin to let that happen. Seen far too many good men go through that to let it happen to me.
Not over my chapped body.
“Hey, BD,” he yelled. “You got any lotion?”
“If I did, it’d be yours,” Baron Davis said.
Great. My lotion guy, tapped out. No salves, no balms, no cremes. Nothing. Not a drop of moisturizer on this man, this guy who’s been there through thick and thin, dry skin and quenched.
Not today though. Today he’s empty, a useless empty bottle never again soothing to the touch. Thanks for nothing, Baron. If that’s even your real name.
Someone has to have something. Someone in this godforsaken locker room has to have that sweet, silky nectar. Doesn’t matter from where, doesn’t matter how it got here.
All that matters is that it’s here.
“Naw, kid,” Landry Fields said. “Sorry.”
Kid? Really? First time I needed lotion, Landry Fields was a gleam in his father’s eyes. Now this Stanford intellectual’s calling me “kid?” No sir.
This is my team. This my locker room. This is my time for lotion. If this Cardinal creep thinks he’s getting off easy, he’s wrong. Way wrong. You don’t call a man “kid” when he needs lotion. Not on my watch. He can wait till later.
Snap out of it, Amar’e. It’s just lotion. Landry didn’t mean anything by it. It’s just the skin that’s got you irritated. Calm down and get your hands wet. Things will be fine.
But what if there is no lotion — then what? Can’t guarantee anything with skin like this. If Landry got me that bothered for nothing, what’s to say the next guy doesn’t get popped?
No. Not thinking about that. Not going to worry about that when there’s more important things to take care of. Lotion. Now.
Jeremy? Nah, he never has it. Don’t even think he needs it. Jared? Yeah, right. Novak? Hah. Sure.
Who are you? What is in your hand? It can’t be…
A Knicks official finally found him some lotion in a hotel-sized vial.
“Let’s go,” he said, and he was gone, out the door, to the bus, a winning player badly in need of a winning streak.
Sweet, soft satisfaction. At last. Like manna from Heaven. Low-viscosity manna. Thank you, lotion angel.
Winning streaks can wait. Tonight, we moisturize.