Saturday, September 5, 2015

Terrific day at the Open, bad night in my dreams

Donna, me, and Lori
I had a fantastic day at the US Open yesterday, my third year on the bus from the Enfield Tennis Club with my friend Donna Young and the second in which our former teammate Lori Chase was also on board.

All those years living in New York, I never once went to the Open. I don't regret that, because our family had our own tradition of watching it in the comfort of our house in Atlantic Beach, with the breeze coming in from the ocean and my mother making tuna fish and egg salad sandwiches that we ate on stack tables in front of the TV.

Donna and I have gotten it down to a science. Instead of making a last-minute decision to watch a match in the general-admission Armstrong seats as we did the first year, when the line was too long for us to wait, we went straight there yesterday to watch defending champion Marin Cilic. We had no idea the match would be so riveting.

Our seats were so close that we could hear the balls on the racquets; we must have been the envy of many who came in later looking for seats as the stadium filled up.

We didn't mean to stay as long as we did – more than three hours – but we got so into this intense, rollercoaster five-setter that we couldn't possibly leave. After lunch, we sat closer to the court than our assigned nose-bleed seats in Arthur Ashe, which you can do this early, and saw Novak Djokovic beat Andreas Seppi in three sets.

We got our own exercise sprinting to our bus, having gotten stuck in the crowd exiting the stadium. We probably should have left earlier, but we wanted see Djokovic do his victory dance. The traditional US Open bus trip brownies were the usual treat.

After such a fun day you would think tennis balls would dance in my head all night, but instead, the flip side of the shiny coin revealed itself.

In my nightmare, I was diagnosed with kidney or stomach cancer, I can't remember which. My doctors said I had only three or four months to live. It was so advanced they could not offer any treatment. I didn't know how to tell my children. I thought maybe they had it wrong, but just in case they didn't, I had to figure out how to face my own death. This obviously stems from the real life issues that thankfully have not done me in.

But in the dream I realized that if I died, I would probably see my parents.

I don't know if this is a good dream or a bad dream.

Well, at least I woke up to find out that none of that was true. I had Donna to call on the phone to go over our day and things to do that were all good, including Justine's class at Serenity Yoga, which was a good balance to yesterday's hectic pace.

I skipped my own tennis today to give my skin a break, following the strongly worded advice of Ellen, the physician's assistant at ECP, who, when I pointed out to her suspicious spots on my skin, reminded me that the procedure makes your sun super sensitive.

It would have taken more than heat and humidity for us to relinquish our seats, reminding me of that feeling you have when you find a perfect parking place in New York and you don't want to leave.

It was fun to watch Cilic play the crowd afterwards when hitting balls into the stands. He looked so fearsome doing his job, but when he went out to hit the balls he had a big smile on his face as he turned to each section to see which one would clap loudest, therefore earning a ball.

Sadly, we did not prevail.

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