Where do you think?Right here, where I've always been.
Wow, you were reading a book!
You know, I was reading this book-
We walked over to the courts behind the high school. Two old hoops with chain nets. We just shot lazy jumpers for a few minutes. We didn't talk. Didn't need to talk. We were basketball twins. Of course, Rowdy got hot, hit fifteen or twenty in a row, and I rebounded and kept passing the ball to him Then I got hot, hit twenty-one in a row, and Rowdy rebounded for me.You want to go one-on-one? Rowdy asked.Yeah.
I'm not nomadic. Hardly anybody on this rez is nomadic. Except for you.You're the nomadic one.
You could come to Reardan with me.You already asked me that once.Yeah, but I asked you a long time ago. Before everything happened. Before we knew stuff. So I'm asking you again. Come to Reardan with me.Rowdy breathed deeply. For a second, I thought he was going to cry. Really. I expectedhim to cry. But he didn't.
Will we still know each other when we're old men?
Ah, man. Stop crying.
So, anyway, he said. I was reading this book about old-time Indians, about how we used to be nomadic. Yeah, I said.So I looked up nomadic in the dictionary, and it means people who move around, who keep moving, in search of food and water and grazing land.That sounds about right.Well, the thing is, I don't think Indians are nomadic anymore. Most Indians, anyway.
Rowdy didn't cry. But I did. You're an old-time nomad, Rowdy said. You're going to keep moving all over the world in search of food and water and grazing land. That's pretty cool. I could barely talk. Thank you, I said. Yeah, Rowdy said. Just make sure you send me post cards. From everywhere, I said.
No, I'm serious. I always knew you were going to leave. I always knew you were going to leave usbehind and travel the world. I had this dream about you a few months ago. You were standing on theGreat Wall of China. You looked happy. And I was happy for you.
I would always love Rowdy. And I would always miss him, too. Just as I would always love and miss my grandmother, my big sister, and Eugene.Just as I would always love and miss my reservation and my tribe.I hoped and prayed that they would someday forgive me for leaving them. I hoped and prayed that I would someday forgive myself for leaving them.
Who knows anything? Now quit your blubbering, and play ball.
I wiped my tears away, dribbled once, twice, and pulled up for a jumper.Rowdy and I played one-on-one for hours. We played until dark. We played until the streetlights lit up the court. We played until the bats swooped down at our heads. We played until the moon was huge and golden and perfect in the dark sky. We didn't keep score.