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So most Saturday mornings I play basketball at a nearby outdoor court. I’ve been doing this for about three years, and it’s something I genuinely look forward to. The runs feature an eclectic buffet of players—a bunch of local high school kids, a couple of men in their 60s, some dudes in their 30s who, clearly, were once prep standouts, a few stoners, a guy who sweats like a faucet, another guy whose elbows are sharper than knives. We all know each other by first names and, sometimes, profession. Eric works in a sunglass factory. Kermit is a federal agent. Mark is retired. X just graduated high school.

Anyhow, it’s the best, and earlier today I was about to start my second game when the guy I was guarding approached, smiled, patted by stomach and said, “What’s going on there?”

Argh.

I have a gut. A small gut. But a gut nonetheless. It’s been there for, oh, 15 years—and it just won’t go away. The wife says it’s because of how I stand. Shit posture. But I disagree. It’s a gut. I hate it.

But … nobody wants to hear they have a gut. I grinned, said, “Hey, I’m 47.” And it’s true—I’m 47. Weight sticks at this age. It blows, but it’s true.

Still, I don’t want you to tell me about it.

Especially on the court.

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