Many years ago, on a sunny summer day, I was on a train heading south from San Francisco to Santa Cruz. It was the only time I was ever on a train in California. Outside of San Francisco the train went along the Pacific Ocean for a stretch, before heading slightly inland for the bulk of the trip. A kid was alone on a basketball court, dribbling the ball against the gigantic blue sky. I watched him, waiting for him to shoot. He was about at the foul line, bouncing the basketball, taking his time like an Elmore Leonard character.
Dribbling the ball, he backed further from the basket, he was now at the top of the key. A tunnel was coming up and I badly wanted to see the kid take the shot. As the train speeded toward the opening of the tunnel he sent the ball toward the basket in a high arch. The ball swished through the net a split second before the darkness hit. It was like a perfectly cut scene in a movie. I remember that great feeling of satisfaction, as I smiled in that long tunnel, with the thought that I’d just experienced a perfect moment.