Josh Hart opened his eyes to find himself in a place he didn’t recognize. He was lying on his back, and above him rose marble columns which didn’t seem to support a roof of any kind; if there was a roof up there, it was obscured by slowly undulating clouds of the purest white. He looked down at his body and saw that he was naked as the day he was born.
He tried to remember what he had been doing before he got to this weird place, but found the task difficult. The shimmering mist all around him dazzled his eyes and made it difficult to think. Finally, he decided that the last thing he remembered was showering in the locker room after the game. However, the nature of this place, or how he had arrived here, was made no clearer by this memory.
Picking himself up off his feet, Josh looked around for any signs or clues as to where he was. He seemed to be in a sort of long hall; two rows of columns extended forever in both directions, framing a similarly endless series of high-arched windows. There was no furniture save for the occasional bench or ornate fountain emerging from the thick clouds that comprised the floor. There was no sun or other apparent source of light, but everything was very bright. Overall, the impression was that of a very vivid, very placid, very beautiful dream.
“Welcome, my friend,” said a voice from behind him.
Josh turned around to find an unfamiliar man addressing him. The man was clad in a white tunic tied with a golden length of rope, and was holding out another robe in offering to Josh. Taking the robe and pulling his arms through the flowing sleeves, all he could ask was, “who are you?”
The man smiled. “I am Carlos Delfino.”
The name rung a faint bell for Josh. He remembered that Carlos had played a few years in the NBA, but for which teams, he couldn’t recall. In any case, knowing the identity of this man brought him no closer to understanding where he was. “Where am I?”
“Why, young Josh, you have been transported to the Hall of the Thirty-Point Scorers.” Carlos said the name of the place as if Josh was expected to know what it was, but Josh was just as confused as before, and his face must have clearly displayed his confusion, because Carlos quickly continued, “All NBA players who score thirty points in a single game are granted access to the Hall, which is a place of unparalleled peace and tranquility.”
“So, what, is this like another dimension or what?” Josh asked.
Carlos frowned as if he had never even considered the question. “I don’t believe so, no. It just is. The Hall is itself, and nothing else.” He began to walk, so Josh followed alongside, Carlos’ answers only generating more questions.
“If everybody who’s ever scored thirty can be here, why is it so empty?” Josh asked, taking note of another empty bench, an ornate marble fixture furnished with soft-looking, tasseled pillows.
“You may meet others on your visits, though it is unlikely, given the infinite nature of the Hall. As for me, I am the appointed steward of the Hall, so it is my duty to greet all newcomers.” Suddenly, Carlos began to walk faster, and Josh fell behind despite his best efforts to keep up.
“Wait!” Josh called out to Carlos’ receding figure, which was disappearing into the haze. “How do I leave?”
“Don’t worry about that!” Carlos said faintly. “The Hall will take care of you.” And then he was gone.
Unsure of what to do next, Josh found a bench and sat down on it. Faced with the pervasive beauty of the Hall, his frustrated confusion soon gave way to an all-encompassing contentment. Soon, his question of how to leave seemed naive. Why would one ever want to leave a place as grand as this? He reclined on the bench and, lulled by the delicate splashing of a nearby fountain, fell into a peaceful sleep.