In the middle of February, I had just accepted an offer to leave behind my 9-to-5 gig and join BDL full-time, which was one of the most exciting things I’d ever done. At the same time, Real-Ass Actual Life had become extraordinarily difficult — just before I got the paperwork from Yahoo!, my wife’s father went into the hospital with what we’d later learn was (and I hope I’m getting this right) fairly advanced
non-cirrhotic liver disease non-alcoholic cirrhosis of the liver. (My fact-checker just got home.) Five months later, he’s had a life-saving transplant and is well on his way back to full health, but at the time, it was an immensely jarring diagnosis that led to several months of sleepwalking days, sleepless nights, multiple hospitalizations, multiple stints of my mother-in-law staying with us in Brooklyn so she could be closer to the hospital and, generally, a giant amount of stress.
And I was only getting a sliver of it; my wife, a social worker, would spend her days trying to help sick people maintain housing and find resources, and then take the 6 over to the hospital to help her sick father maintain patience and find strength, and her worried mother maintain sanity and find balance. And then she’d come home to me, all jittery about the upcoming job change, and watch me get all eager about the future. It couldn’t have been easy.
For Valentine’s Day, she just wanted something … else. She wanted to get out, get dinner, get drinks and — for a second, at least — get away. She wanted a night without thinking about any of the things that you can never help thinking about, but, I mean, you have to try.
Weirdly — and I swear I am not rewriting history here — she asked me if we could go somewhere to watch the Knicks game. She wanted to just sit down, eat food, drink drinks and watch Jeremy Lin play, and see if maybe something amazing would happen.
And, well, you know.
We watched Jeremy Lin score 12 of his 27 points in the fourth quarter, including that game-sealing triple over Jose Calderon, from smack-dab in the middle of Woodwork. We were surrounded on all sides by screaming observers stunned nonverbal by what they were watching, a shouting and ecstatic horde who’d showed up because they wanted to believe and were rewarded for searching. The sound was all-encompassing in that little bar; I’ll never forget the seemingly ceaseless notes of shock and joy. Sara exhaled that night for the first time in weeks.
Every Knicks fan has his or her own reason to thank Jeremy Lin for that magical February. That’s mine.
Thanks, Jeremy. Best of luck in Houston.