The tag line for my twitter profile is “I have 140 channels in my brain.” There is a lot going on in there.
I’ve decided, in the poetry channel of my brain, or maybe it’s a haiku channel, that I’m going to take the haiku posts to 100. I’m at 98. Why stop at 100? I’m not sure. Haiku is a stream in the poetry channel and that’s what the stream is murmuring to me.
In the countdown-to-the-end-of-my-job channel, I’m very aware that I have 17 days of work left. Seventeen is my favorite number, because it’s attractive (that sloping 7 pointing back towards the 1) it’s a prime number (I love prime numbers though I can’t explain why) and mostly because 17 was John Havlicek’s shirt number when he played for the Celtics during my childhood. My father was, and still is, an avid Celtics fan, and I grew up watching them play. Havlicek was handsome and brilliant and captivated me. I was twelve on April 15, 1965 when I got to listen live to one of the most famous play-by-play calls in NBA history, when Celtics broadcaster Johnny Most exclaimed “Havlicek steals it! Havlicek stole the ball!” after Havlicek intercepted an inbound pass to clinch the Eastern Conference Championship against the Philadelphia 76ers.
I have since moved in and out of being a sports fan of various sorts, and since Eric died, have been out of that zone. The sports channels are more or less dormant. But I’ve always hung on to number 17, and can still remember the thrill of a stolen basketball, a clutch play, an over-the-top excited sports announcer’s voice rumbling out of the radio, perfect awareness of a perfect moment. Humming in channel 17.