Tuesday, October 20, 2015

[SPORTS] CHRIS PALMER'S INTERVIEW WITH LAMAR ODOM






The sweet brown liquid swirls hypnotically in the bottom of the glass. An intoxicating lava lamp of 80-proof goodness. No less than a swig remains. But this man doesn’t swig. He sips, preferring to let the spirit linger on his tongue, appreciating both its full body and complex palate.

The ambient hum of the dark room soothes. Our waitress is young and beautiful and attentive. This is as cozy as you can be in public. Vegas feels safe on a Tuesday night in August.

There are stares, of course, but he feels more insulated than anything.

We are at the back of the restaurant. The dim luminescence of the room and rhythmic flicker from the solitary candle on the table—an unexpected mashup of accidentally good lighting—frame his glowing face.

He stares at his phone. A text comes from Khloe. He replies then apologizes. Tucks his phone away.

We order another round.

“Where do you call home now?” I ask.

“My heart,” he says. “Wherever my heart is and I can have peace of mind. Life can seem nomadic because I don’t know if I’m embracing it or running from it. I can go anywhere, but I don’t know where I want to be.”

“I’m searching,” he says. “I’m searching, but I don’t know for what. I can’t see what I’m looking for. I just, like, reach out and hope I grab something. But I don’t know what it will be because I don’t know what I’m searching for.”

“Happiness?” I ask.

“More than that,” he replies. “But that would be real nice.”

“What do you think about on a daily basis?” I ask, lobbing up a question he’s free to take in any direction.

“I think about a lot,” he says as he strips the spicy chicken from its wooden skewer. “I think all the time—about everything. My kids, my wife. But mostly I think about the mind. My mind. There’s so much going on. So many thoughts. I think about this life. About me. Who I could be. Who I was. Who I am. Who am I?”

“Who are you?” I ask.

“I’m a dying breed,” he says. “There are no more Lamar Odoms. I’m the last one.”

I believe him. He swigs his drink.

The last of his kind.

I close my eyes in the back of an Uber. The sun drenches this Los Angeles highway disguised as a parking lot. It’s late August, and I’m heading to Bob Hope Airport in Burbank. I’m going to Las Vegas. And of course I’m late.

For months I have been chasing Lamar Odom. It has been a trail littered with disconnected phone numbers, unanswered emails and people who don’t talk to him anymore. I used to refer to him as “The Ghost” because he’s notoriously the hardest human being I know to get hold of. In the early 2000s, I would leave him voice mails. When I saw him days later, he would always sheepishly apologize for not getting back.

We’d make plans to do an interview or hangout, and I’d always say, “Don’t forget about me now.”

“Never,” he’d always reply.-Read the Rest here Lamar Odom


- CM

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