Point of View: Unstrung

I marvel at the profane, embattled creature I was the other day on the tennis court

Sitting in the lotus position, inhaling the Universe — and nothing else, mind — I marvel at the profane, embattled creature I was the other day on the tennis court.

A spectator said steps should be taken, that a letter to the editor of The East Hampton Star should be written, citing in detail how unsportsmanlike its sports editor was, and added that he knew they wouldn’t print it. My wife, Mary, who was sitting nearby, said, “Yes, they will.”

“No, they won’t,” he said.

“It’s The Star’s policy,” she said, “to print every letter it receives exclusively, except those judged to be an invasion of privacy, libelous, or obscene.”

“I would deserve it,” I told her later. “I’m a wretch, normally well-spoken on the outside, but with an unconscious that is a cess­pool of demons on the inside.”

“Do you feel that way all the time?” 

“No, no. It’s just that I can’t put a lid on the id when I’m playing tennis. . . . Did you see when I got stuck in the fence?”

“No, I missed that.”

“I’d gone back for a lob and got it back, but in doing so my right foot became wedged between the base of the fence and the cement edge of the court. I was desperate. The Monty Python knight would have cut the foot off and rejoined the battle. In extremis, I would butt the ball with my head.”

Mary agreed that Tom, Leif Hope’s friend, was right when he recommended that I clear my mind during the changeovers, that I take full advantage of the allotted 90 seconds, visualizing a geode, a halved amethyst with glowing crystals in side, for the first 30, concentrating on my breathing for the next 30, and focusing on my game plan for the remaining 30.”

“And did it work? Did you clear your mind?”

“So well that I forgot what my game plan was, other than to get the ball back. I drank the electrolytic elixir too, but it didn’t save me in the end.”

“Well, you and Gary played hard. So did they. You all gave it your best — it was a good match, it wasn’t boring.”

“I fear the total solar eclipse may top it. Meanwhile, where can I buy a geode?”