Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Advantage Ram

Every summer New Haven hosts the Pilot Pen tennis tournament, over at the Local Ivy League University tennis stadium, drawing pro players of subtle enough reputation that I have no idea who they are. My friend Kate from work -- one of my seeming few friends from work who hasn't quit since the beginning of the summer -- and I went over last night for a couple of matches, obtaining Triple-A-discounted tickets and watching a mellow dusk fall over a half-full crowd. Yes, when you start thinking that coastal Connecticut is maxing out on mild upper-middle-class summer entertainment, you can always go watch tennis.

We went in without checking what the matches would be beforehand. The women's match played first could have just as well been conducted by correspondence, with the tall and imposing Danish player Caroline Wozniacki easily dispatching an overmatched Roumanian opponent in consecutive 6–0 sets. (Interviewed afterwards, Wozniacki gushed that she "just played some great tennis today.") The men's match was better pitched, squaring off the Americans Mardy Fish and Rajeev Ram. Fish I saw play at Pilot Pen last year, in the finals match, which he lost to a possibly Albanian kid whose name and exact national origin elude me now; Fish seems to be the local favorite, judging by crowd response then and now. The first couple of sets went to deuce, with the serves more punishing and the exchanges more impressive: so, Game On.

I decided early in the first set that there was an astrological significance in play here, for me personally: I was born on the cusp of Pisces and Aries, and here the only tennis match I will watch live in 2009 features closely matched opponents named "Fish" and "Ram." The obvious and sensible deduction is that the match constituted a manifest allegory of two halves of my personality, or destiny, if you will, settling matters once and for all. Would my imaginative, sensitive, compassionate side emerge dominant behind the crushing serves of Fish? Or would my competitive, headstrong, forward-forging nature break out thanks to the long-armed reach and court coverage of Ram? An hour and a half later, my fate was fully determined: Ram won a pair of 6–3 sets.

Clearly the moral here is that I am to engage my more fiery nature, no more dreamily ruminating about how to live but rather plunging confidently into the rest of my life. The only other interpretation, maybe, would be that this is some kind of generic all-purpose life lesson drawn from a random coincidence. But we all know that the universe doesn't operate that way. Look, I've done okay with myself to date, but if the signs are telling me to start bending my life strategies to the outcome of a Pilot Pen tennis match, I'm not going to say no.


Blogger Mike said...

That's pretty funny.

8/26/2009 3:47 PM  

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