"You figure it out," my father said.
When I was in college and still thought I had something going for me athletically, I would go alone to a suburban park to practice my jump shot. There I once met a small black kid who told me he was 16, but he looked to be no older than nine or 10. He had the struggling grace of a teenager, but he wasn't more than 4½ feet tall. He was shooting baskets, smoothly using all his strength to get the ball to reach the hoop and saying "Wham!" when the ball rattled in the chain nets. He said his name was Wes, and we played some halfhearted one-on-one.
Some bigger guys arrived, a few of them as tall as I was, and they slapped palms with Wes, calling him by name or "Honey." We chose sides and played an energetic, amiable game. They called me Big Man because I have long arms and blocked some shots. When the game was over, Wes tapped me on the arm.
"Hey, Big Man," he said. "You only got three fingers."
I was uncomfortable. "Yeah," I said "I know."
"Did you amputate 'em?"
"No, I was born that way."
"Damn!" he said.
A tall boy shouted, "Come at me, Wes. Drive to the hoop." Wes took off, dribbled between his legs and had his shot blocked, and the two boys laughed.
"You see that dude, Tony?" I heard Wes say. "He only got three fingers, and he's still out here playing."