Reality check

‘Tennis is life, the rest is mere detail.’

I bought the T shirt.

The thought was hardly original. The slogan was the same for football and cricket. You takes your pick.

Dennis was slowing down.

We knew that.

He still drove 100 ks each way twice a week for tennis but the sets were getting harder.

His left knee immobilised him but the problem with the ticker a few years ago slowed him down.

It wasn’t that he breathed hard. He just looked grey.

‘He’ll die on the courts’, someone suggested.

‘It’s probably the way he wants to go’, another put in.

Even the 35 degree days he arrives at noon and plays until six, gets in eight sets.

‘It’s too much!’

‘It’s getting harder’, he said. ‘I played four sets today and it felt like ten, it used to be if I played four sets it’d feel like two.’

I could’ve replied that it’s horrible when reality sets in but I left the matter unspoken.

Reality sets in of its own accord.

Dennis asked if I’d be out next Saturday.

I said I would.

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