It all started out just fine…
I got a text from my buddy saying that the courts opened up again at Fort Greene Park (downtown Brooklyn). I texted him back and said dope.
Let’s do 2PM.
I had to move the car at noon here in Bushwick and the street-side sweeping ended at 1PM in Fort Greene. So, I figured I’d take a break from work around noon, drive over to Fort Greene, and take my choice of spot right before 1PM. It was a perfect plan.
I do just that and park right next to the courts, but I still had to get ready at my buddy’s apartment so I walk over there and realize I left my racket in the car halfway to the apartment. Fuck it, I’ve gone too far. I’ll put my stuff down and go back out and get it, I think to myself.
I arrive, put my briefcase down, then say:
“I left my racket in the car.”
“I guess I’ll go get it.”
So, I go back to the car to grab my racket. I shoulda just grabbed that damn thing before. Anyway, the moment arrives when we get to the court. Court 2, even though we signed up for court 1. We’re rebels.
The wind is ripe and the sun feels rejuvenating… for about thirty minutes. Then my ears freeze up so I wrap a long sleeve shirt around my head to cover my sweaty lobes. Looks like I’m wearing a turban, my friend says. Straight Sikh.
I finish up strong… and by strong, I mean I’m blasting the ball full speed straight into the net, and sometimes, over the net.
I hop in my car and drive back to Bushwick, about twenty to thirty minutes away, though the neighborhood is only a few miles from where I am.
First stop is LA Burrito, the burrito joint on my girlfriend’s block. I order a chorizo burrito then head to Your Way, the cafe a block over. That’s when things get spinny; it feels like I’m about to tip over or something.
So, I pack up my briefcase and head back to the apartment. My girlfriend is doing school work with her friend, so generally I feel kinda odd just hanging out in her room while they do work in the living room. I like to not disturb the process, but I fumble up the stairs and into her apartment and spook them from their work.
“Oh my, didn’t know you were in town!” Her friend says.
“Yup, I’m here. I’m exhausted. Gonna shower.”
I gather clean clothes and head to the bathroom to shower, then get out, then it starts.
I walk into the lamp on my way back to the room.
“You drunk or something?” My girlfriend asks. Her friend doesn’t look up from the computer. I must look like a moron.
“No, I’m just… dizzy. Really dizzy.”
I lay on the bed and try to close my eyes, but then the room really swirls outa place. I have no idea what’s going on. All I want to do is finish the Biggie and Tupac show, Unsolved, but I can’t see the TV. I can’t make the room stop spinning.
Eventually I fall asleep for a bit then open my eyes and the room is moving faster than ever. What’s going on? Am I dying? For such a “carefree spirit” I’m quite the hypochondriac.
Daryl (my girlfriend) orders Pho.
“I got us pho.”
The pho arrives. I eat that shit up mad quick-like.
“You were hungry.”
I’m a dizzy beast. The room slows down after the chicken pho. I have work to do. I try to look at my notebook but shit goes sideways when I do that.
“Babe, don’t work now.”
“Gotta work though.”
“Well, not now you don’t. Drink the ginger ale.”
Why are people always drinking ginger ale when they don’t feel well? Isn’t it just goddam soda? That’s what I was thinking. But I didn’t say that. Wait–yes I did.
“Why? Why should I drink ginger ale?”
“You need sugar.”
“Is that true?”
“Yes,” she affirms. I take a chance and believe her and drink that shit down.
“You wanna watch Avatar?” she asks.
I realize the entire movie is a giant political meme about indigenous peoples’ quest to keep their land. I agree, but then think how the world has always been full of greedy tribes trying to conquer one another.
Then I think all this tribalism is terrible, even the “good” kinds. Can’t we all just come together on one thing? I think it should be travel. We should all travel more, then we’d all realize that people are more alike than we think.
Do we all have to separate ourselves with something all the fucking time? Political parties, lifestyles, race, religion, radical cowboys, angry liberals, CNN, Fox, NPR, young, old, wealthy, not wealthy… It drives me nuts.
We all fuck around on Instagram all day: that’s who we are. Our parents drive us nuts and make us happy. We bicker then make up then have sex with our partners. We eat, feel, shit, sleep; We’re all the goddam same.
The moral of this story is don’t play tennis in the cold, apparently ginger ale is good for you, Avatar is right, and everyone should stop trying to be so damn different all the time: we’re not.