Bokolis will talk a little shit from time to time. I'm out there playing sports at (almost as) high levels (as my youth) when most people my age are getting busy dying. Along the way, I impart wisdom to my teammates, all of whom are younger and most much younger.
There are times when people ask me why I'm so fast in my old age. My response is usually that it's because I was super-fast in my younger age and this is what's left. I've also heard that, for a guy that doesn't walk all that comfortably, I sure run well. I tell them that's what the slow-roll is about.
When they bemoan their aches and pains, I needle them with the standard what're ya gonna do when you're my age! But, I always tell them to stay in shape for as long as you can, because you will enjoy playing that much more if you can still- as opposed to standing around, telling your teammates what to do while being too run down to do it yourself- do it after you wise up.
The banter and such tangible role-modeling is one thing, but I've been more and more cognizant that people are watching how I comport myself, how I move. You can call it checking me out, observing, whatevs. I don't know whether to be flattered or impressed, bemused or put off that people would consider Bokolis in choosing how to pattern themselves. For all my shit-talking and gray hair, I don't consider myself all grown up.
Not only that, I operate under the assumption that people are as oblivious of Bokolis as I am of them. I ain't tryna win no popularity contests. As it applied to sports, which was my operating currency in my youth...
Since I had no use for coaches or coaching for that matter, I reconciled early on that I was WAAAY to narcissistic and self-centered, self-absorbed, self-everything to be fucking with team sports. I had no designs on professional or even the high school team. My goal, whether it was baseball, football, basketball, handball, whatever, was to be that cat that could walk on and go toe-to-toe with the best guy on the team and, для меня, do it for me (never mind that they actually had Drago say Для тебя, for you...fudging the language was part of the propaganda- we now know that Stallone was the one on steroids and that Russians are flighty and soulless people; Rocky never would've won them over because they wouldn't have given two shits either way).
That kind of shit: benching what the football players benched, matching their 40-times, dunking at 5'9" (mainly because I couldn't palm the ball, I didn't do it more than a handful of times), shutting down the city champ soccer team in gym class (strangely, they were the only lot, coach too, that gave me real flak for it). Sort of like a playground legend- well, compared to THESE guys- I was better than good, but knew I wasn't THAT good (to be fair, there were guys that were better than I was and got the better of it against me, just not many). These guys didn't know they weren't that good and thought their varsity letters gave them status (it kind of did), so, in true turn-the-hottest-rapper-into-a-beer-vendor style, I thought it my place to check them.
Y'all should've seen what I did to the two best guys on my high school's handball team...playing them one on two, no less. They thought they were so cool because they played with the little (paddle) ball. Mayn, I learned my handball (and basketball) in the hood. Plus, I'm ambidextrous and each hand has unique shot-making ability. After I ran through each of them individually, to 21, I left the two of them on six or something.
At some point, I absorbed the idea that, for all my ability and attitude, I didn't want to wind up like Samuel L. Jackson's character in Fresh, so scared of success, being wracked by bitterness culminating with a boast of put them on the clock and I'll take out all those muthafuckas that reads more like a lamentation of lost opportunity.
And now...(smiley face) I'm the captain whenever I'm on the field. Maybe that's just how it goes.