Storytime with Erik: My Lack of Game

Chris and I have used the podcast at least a couple of times to discuss my lack of game; specifically the lack of game of the 16 year-old version of me. If/when someone invents a time machine, I plan to go back in time and punch that kid in the face. He deserved it.

The same way that Patrick Beverly deserves to be punched in the face.

The same way that President Trump deserves to not ever have been President Trump.

And the same way that Mahershala Ali deserves to win my inaugural “Erik’s Favorite Person in Hollywood Award”, because he seems mad cool. He’d be the homie.

Anyway, while 16 year-old me had no game, I still had significantly more game than I did as a middle schooler. Seventh grade is when I really honed my ability to curve myself.

Here’s the story:

As is the case with most middle school kids, I was on a constant quest to find my own steez. I experimented with my style, I experimented with my hair, I experimented with the slang I used.

Those braids. That vest. Ugh.

And I failed.


I failed at all of it.

But there were a group of girls, who in the eighth grade, saw my inner Billy Dee through my outer Tim Duncan. Despite having hair similar to Kenn Michael in The Parent’Hood and off-brand clothes that my mom bought at the Old Paris Flea Market, seventh grade me got some play.

First, let me be clear: These weren’t just any eighth grade girls. To me, at the time, these were the baddest girls that eighth grade had ever made. That made them the baddest girls ever created. Just the sight of them turned me into a puddle of nervous fear, shyness and Drakkar Noir.

Once at a basketball game at school, I went with some friends down to the vending machine. One of the bad girls saw me and stopped to say, “You know you cute, right?”

I was shook. SHOOK, I tell you, SHOOK.

So I smiled so broadly my face still hurts, shrugged and walked away.

I. Walked. Away.

Another time two of the other bad girls were riding my bus after school. When I got to my stop, I walked past them to make my exit. One of them asked for my number. I giggled and continued to exit the bus. Again, I walked away.

So it was in middle school that I learned the horrible practice of curving myself that lasted well into college. It was birthed there.

You’d think that I would have learned my lesson earlier. I didn’t. Further making the point that someone needs to build a time machine so that I can go back in time and assault 16 year-old me. That kid was doing it wrong and refused to learn from past failures.