One weekend last year my two brothers came to Memphis for a weekend trip. We did a lot of fun things like eat at some of my favorite restaurants, play disc golf, watch some funny movies, and eat some more, but it was what we did on Saturday night that really strengthened the bond between myself and my little brother Landon, who is six years younger than me. Logan, Landon, and myself went to the Grizzlies game. I don’t remember who they were playing but I know they lost that game. I think they lost every game that Landon went to last year, so maybe he’s a bad luck charm but that’s a discussion for another time. Me, being the perpetually frightened human being that I am, wanted to wait outside the Fedex Forum for the game to start before entering, because as I’ve talked about before, during the lineup introductions there are several explosions, meant to hype up the crowd, but leave me sitting in my seat, with my hands covering my ears, cowering in fear.
When I expressed my trepidation at being anywhere near the loud noise to my brothers, Landon quickly took my side and decided to wait outside with me, and that is when I learned that I’m not alone in my fear. Landon can’t stand loud noises either, so I’m not sure whether or not both of us are crazy, but regardless, at least I am not the only one in my family. Once the lights lifted in the arena and there were no more loud booms on the horizon, we entered the arena and took our seats in the upper deck. For as long as I can remember I’ve been afraid of heights, but I try to push my fear aside when I go to sporting events, so that I can spend less money on tickets by getting seats that are pretty high up. I’m generally okay as long as I don’t look up, because when I do so, I get very dizzy and feel like I’m going to fall, so I focus all my attention on the court below me, and try as hard as I can not to look towards the ceiling.
There comes a time at every Grizzlies game where they drop t-shirts into the crowd from the top of the stadium, and this night was no exception. The shirts attached to miniature parachutes started raining down from the ceiling while most people in the stadium looked up in hopes of getting a prize. I sat looking straight ahead, hoping that one of the shirts wasn’t careening towards me to hit me in my unsuspecting head. Landon wasn’t into it either. I kept goading him to look up, but just like me he couldn’t bring himself to do it, something in our genetic makeup that prevents us from being normal human beings at a basketball game. It was this night that I realized that we share a special bond, brought together by our mutual fear of things that don’t seem to bother other people. It’s nice to know that I’m not alone.