I know why you're here now, in this lonely corner, before you even tell me. You want to know what happened to us, how something so great could be at the same time so grotesque. You want to know about the true Generation of Miracles; about our days at Teikō and how we came to separate. And you know what? I'll tell you, before I get too confused and realize that I should keep to myself.

We were addicts.

We loved what we were doing; it have us a rush- a 'high', if you will. We did it again, and again, and again, until eventually it just wasn't enough. Our drive to win surpassed pure competitive spirit and crossed the No Man's Land of obsessive into something much more sinister with captain leading the way. We needed to go harder, deeper, faster- we crushed the other teams to dust and that dust burned in the eyes of our need to succeed.

To find our next buzz in a world that was becoming so boring.

A world that we were slowly detaching from.

I know that now.

My friends have helped me realize that.

We were all sick inside, secretly, and I think that is what drew us all together when you took away all the superficial details. We were different –maybe you'd call us 'special'- and that set us into a dark, dark place with only one contradictory road. We went higher and higher as we spiralled down.

I saw my best friend lose himself in what we were doing. At one point, I thought he would kill himself if we didn't start getting our highs again and, as much as I tried to help him, I was powerless. The shadow grows weaker, you know, when the light disappears, and I think that is what happened. As did our friends, but they weren't my concern.

Oh, that must be callous to you. Trust me, I was a sympathetic person in there, and I needed to look out for more important people. My light was fading, dimming, the bulb in the lamp was going out, and it filled me with fear. It still does, when I think deep about it at night; without light, shadows disappear.

I don't want to disappear.

If you had been there to witness it –our degeneration, the hatred- you wouldn't judge me. I did what I needed to in order to keep what was precious to me, and I don't deny it was cruel. I abandoned people who needed me the most, and I think none of us will ever be the same. One still tries to hide scissor scars, another has to be constantly eating, and I don't doubt that the modelling was because of that one time.

And those eyes... I can never atone for that. Not when he was such an obstacle- such a danger.

I got out, and I got my light away from Him. That's all I could do, really, what with being so unremarkable, but my team tells me that what I did was right. Our captain wasn't well –I've told them that none of us were, but I can see it in their eyes that they can never understand what the Generation of Miracles really was.

We were addicts. Basket-cases, pop stars, weaklings.

Like a house of cards, the Generation of Miracles stood as a tall and proud achievement all over Japan, constantly destroying the achievements of anyone else with an iron fist. And, like a house of cards, we were so quick to fold –unstable to the end, just a pretty thing to look at- and come crashing down on the carcasses of the teams we'd devoured. Lions, a card house, addicts.

Horrifying, awe-inspiring, entertaining, self-destructing demons that kill and burn and-



I'm sorry. I got out of hand.

That is the truth about us, the 'Generation of Miracles'. In truth, we were no more than a teepee. Strong together and solid. Take out a piece or break a piece, and the whole thing splits up.

And that we did.

I've grown since them –grown stronger, grown healthier, grown smaller- with this new team of mine. They temper me –I fell humbled sometimes- and I fear the day I could ever come to hate basketball again like I did in that place.

I've turned my back on their ways and rules.

This is the basketball I play.