I bought a new racket the other day and dubbed it Wonder Boy, and told the young guy who strung it, at 44 pounds, that I’d never lose again.
That was two losses ago. Amend that then to “Once it’s broken in, I’ll never lose again.” Reality is so boring — when it’s not horrific or beautiful, that is.
Meanwhile, the struggle against entropy continues; I have not stopped thinking about tomorrow, when I am to play, on the grass, I hope, at 10:30, with Al, Kaitlin, and a player to be named later. You don’t want to let the ball hit the ground when you’re on grass. Serve and volley, serve and volley. Perfectly suited to my game. Like mad dogs and Englishmen we’ll be out in the noonday sun, though it’s really heaven to be playing in the lengthening shadows and golden light of a summer’s day.
Once (going against type) I was praised by the leader of a Silva Mind Control seminar for saying, in answer to a question, that having “a good game” was what one really wanted from an athletic contest, forget the winning or the losing.
At that particular moment (one of those rare ones in which I’ve consciously tried to raise my consciousness) I believed that. But once the day was done, I went out and did not do likewise. I have an abused racket with a compound fracture on display in my office to prove it, which is why I went to Tennis East the other day to buy a new one.
Blake would say I’m still in the single vision stage, unable to see beyond my nose, a slave to Selfhood, though I’m trying, I’m trying, and find I’m taking a certain delight in encouraging others — my wife among them — who took up tennis much later than I and whose improvement has been palpable.
Just the other day I gave my squash racket to a young woman, a great lacrosse player, who I think may grow to love squash as well.
That game, I told her, had passed me by.
I don’t want to pass, however, before I’ve learned to play this one.