Finally, 5 PM inches closer. I stop the labor of moving bricks and pavers, wash up, gather various items: phone, wallet, sneakers, tennis raquet, key and water bottle. I end up arriving at the court 15 minutes late. Brian is there, he's got a basket filled with balls and he is working on his serve. We run some drills for 30 minutes and then begin playing.
The first game, I serve. Brian misses at least 10 breakpoint opportunities before he finally converts. I had a few game points during this stretch but was uable to put the ball away. The rest of the set went by like a nasty beating. Some how, I managed to win one game. I naively thought my little bit of playing with Devin would give me an edge. My brother plays a game where he does not hit many unforced errors. He patiently returns almost everything you hit at him. Covers the court well. I crumbled against him like a wall made of stale cookies.
I have some crazy intense emotions that like to show themselves when I am competing. Especially against brother Bri. At some point the court next to ours filled up with 8 people. 4 of them are 3 to 4 year olds. So, here I am, getting destroyed on the court by my little brother. My typical response to this is to yell. It just kills me to lose so badly. All my pent up frustrations come out. But with the little kids around, I try to restrain myself. On top of it all, my concentration is compromised and I begin to make more and more unforced errors. Soon, Brian's kids appear on the seen. They are outside the fence and keep saying "Daddy, Daddy..." Bri goes over and talks to them. He's up 3-0 or 4-0 in the second set. I'm feeling all coiled, kind of overwhelmed. I just want to yell and release the dense toxic vibration that is burning in my brains. All kinds of things start annoying me. Basically, its all these kids.
I say to Bri: "I can't throw a decent tantrum with all these kids around." I am joking but Bri just looks at me quizically and tilts his head to the side.
Brian's game is on. I wonder how many days a week he's playing. He finishes talking with Vivi and then easily finishes me off: 6-0. After some hemming and hawing about the playpen atmosphere, we decide to play a third set. At some point the quantity of balls rolling over from the other court increases to one per point. They're all toddlers now. "Hey guys, can you keep the balls over there?"
Bri: "That's it, we're done."
I say "sorry." Grab my gear, walk off the courts and drive back to Liz's.
After cooling off a little bit, I realize that I have to choose where to vent my toxic payload. Writing all this down shows me just how ridiculous I can be. Wow, I wonder what I was thinking? I can write a book called: "How to Turn Paradise into Hell"
As part of the experiment, I think I may just let out some primal screaming while driving to my next match. If you see me driving by, screaming my head off, pay no mind, do not worry, just some experimental therapy.