Doubleday, E. Lynn Harris, Guest Contributor, Kingett Reads

Kingett reads Basketball Jones Chapter 3

In chapter three of Basketball Jones I witness a scene that makes me want to hug AJ forever and then some, while realizing many aspects about this kind of relationship. Intrigued? It’s time for Kingett to read Basketball Jones.

Some people assume that if you have more money you have a lot more choices in life. They assume that since you have the ability to buy anything that you want to buy, you have all the freedom in the world. They have that kind of freedom, yes, but there’s a kind of freedom that rich people will never be able to have. Life choices.

The reason I say that they will never be able to have the same life choices as middle class people such as I, is because everything is dictated on a very linear path. Growing up very poor in a small town in Saint Augustine, FL, where I had to wear the same shoes for three years, left me with an endless possibility for growth. It was all about my will. My will alone dictated the kind of connections that I could make and where I was going to go in life because I had to develop a solid plan, based off of choices, in order to get to where I wanted to be.

I don’t believe that people who are rich have that kind of freedom, and I don’t think that they will ever experience what that’s like. Why? Because rich people don’t have a set plan to get better at their lives in order to do better and obtain more security, so they don’t have the choice as to what sort of connections to make and where those connections will take them. They have a linear path. If you’re rich, these are the things that you should do, and these are the people who you have to be around just because it’s a good image, among other things. They are obligated to use their fancy items and keep connections even though they may not want to.

I realize that there are exceptions, such as J. K Rowling riding the bus, and I do realize that this doesn’t apply to all rich people. I know some rich people, and some even shop at thrift stores and then assemble the furniture in their mansions, but all the same, they are yanked down a linear path of money. They have to go to fancy five star restaurants because they have the kind of money to do that. Since they have the money to go to those kinds of places, that’s what they should do and that’s where they should go eat because they can. If they can, they automatically should. It would be weird if they ate at McDonalds for example.

AJ has a much-dictated life because Drey has all the money. This chapter isn’t very long either because all it tells me is that there’s a new trainer who shows up at AJ’s mansion to train him, because Drey believes that AJ is getting fat, or he’d like AJ to look a certain way and be a certain kind of build.

I figured Dray had tried to be helpful and hired me a trainer. It wasn’t unlike him to do things like this without telling me, so I guessed I could trust this guy. I hadn’t heard from Dray in about four days but this was typical of the ways he let me know he was thinking about me. He also did stuff like this to show that he was in charge, even though I was three years older.

AJ can’t do anything that he wishes and this spells out that Drey doesn’t even love AJ for who he is. Is this a good way to foster an ongoing relationship? I believe not, but I can see the love behind the action. Drey wants AJ to be his best, but I don’t believe that this is out of love. I believe that Drey did this just to have AJ look a certain way and then the love is an after effect. This makes me want to hug AJ.

The two work out together, and carry on a conversation about football. The trainer’s name is Cisco and the only reason that I am dropping his name is because I’m sure he will play a big part in the narrative.

The chapter consists of them working out together and that’s literally it.

I want to expound on my relationship mantra and then make some predictions.

Do I believe AJ knows that he’s very much limited? I’m sure AJ knows that he isn’t as free as other gay men, but AJ definitely has a secure haven that other men would crawl to be in. The only reason that I wouldn’t take this kind of relationship with Drey is because everything has to be kept hush-hush. That means everything would have to be buried inside. If I’m dating a star athlete, I’d want to cheer with him at the games. I’d want to celebrate winnings and display my love and affection for this man to him and the people who just happen to be with us – friends, family, etc. I’d want to openly support him and do everything I could to let people know of my support.

Because AJ can’t support Drey I’m sure he feels trapped in some way. He’s blind to these feelings now, but I am sure that they will become very clear later on. He can’t even express love for Drey, and I don’t mean the gestures. I mean words, loyalty, and the like, because Drey has to keep up the straight image.

This will be Dray’s huge conflict in the story. Now that I’m examining this a bit more closely, I’m certain that AJ actually will bring about the drama because he will be secretly jealous of some of these other men who just have an abundance of freedom that he will only have if he leaves Drey. He’s able to help others, such as his family with money, though, so I don’t think he will want to do that, but I believe that AJ will have a huge inner conflict struggle. I would if it were me.

I’m intrigued to see how this will play out. I don’t know why Drey doesn’t even apologize to AJ for making AJ live this kind of life. I don’t think Drey is very smart either, so I’m sure that he isn’t even looking at a fraction of the dynamic I’m looking at. Drey just seems to be out for sex even though AJ helped him in college.

Then again, maybe this massive security is a big thank you to AJ, and Drey feels that this is the thank you that AJ deserves, and he doesn’t have to talk about the hurtful lifestyle. Then again, I believe I’m giving Drey way too much credit.

Will AJ get tired of this lifestyle? Does Drey even understand the good and the bad about this kinda relationship? Leave your thoughts and stay tuned for chapter four next week!


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