Marko at the Net, Chapter 1

Marko hustled uphill to his car after the tennis match so he could scream “FUCKKKKKKKKK.”

Three fucks and then an all-purpose scream which we can transcribe here as “AHHHHHHHH” but it was harsher and more guttural, with some real lower-throat throb.

He felt better.

Oh my god though, those pitty-pat returns three feet above the net, directly at the opponents’ waiting racquets. They put away each and every one of those gimme shots. Certainly it was one of the worst outings Marko has ever hazarded.

It’s cleansing to talk about, though, so thank you for listening. And why so horrid? Marko has a theory. He’s been nursing a cold all week, really just getting over it these past couple of days.

Oh. Well. That makes sense, actually. As excuses go. It would have been better to rise above it, but obviously that didn’t happen. Marko was not getting his first serve in and no amount of grunting helped.

So: oh well. It gives him impetus to try harder at things that matter, like teaching and gardening and being a good husband. Not necessarily in that order. Being a better writer! Now there’s something he can control. How could Marko be a better writer?

Hmmmmmmmmm. I know! By talking about what other people think and feel, not just himself. OK in that case, the opponents must have been completely thrilled. And his doubles partner must have felt, like, yeesh, this guy. Which is not how it usually happens. Just yesterday Marko was commenting to his wife, “I think everyone on my team plays their extra hardest when they play against me.”

He was riding high. Not anymore though. He is back to earth. That’s for double-dang sure. I think what Marko should do is shave his whitebeard so he doesn’t look quite so woebegone and get himself ready for a nice din-din with his wife and in-laws, who by the way came to the game and will no doubt have upbeat things to say, which is a blessing he would like to show he deserves.

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