Tommy Tomlinson on Work, Uncertainty, and Turning 50.

Tommy Tomlinson

Tomorrow I turn 50. I’m fairly sure at this point that my dream of playing in the NBA will not be realized. I think the rock-star dream might be gone, too — I never advanced beyond the blistering guitar solos I played on the tennis racket in my bedroom. (Van Halen, if you can rig a Wilson T2000, I can fill in for Eddie as needed.)

It’s natural, I guess, that I’m drawn more lately to people who built careers that last. Tim Duncan is my favorite athlete because he has been so good for so long with so little drama. Bruce Springsteen gives everything he’s got for three hours a night until his black shirt (and it is always a black shirt) is soaked with sweat. The great magician Ricky Jay spends hours alone, shuffling cards, until it seems as if he can move them with his mind. This…

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