Rainbow Needle / Tennis Thread


Words are my thread; music is my needle

I haven’t written too much on the internet in the last few years because I am afraid of what…

  • …was
  • …wasn’t
  • …will be
  • …is

This internal poll will be open for the rest of eternity, or until eternity runs out of time, power, or storage

To run out of storage is to run out of time. More storage means more memory, so more memories for your future feeds. The future opens ever wider with every cloud upgrade.

I had a colonoscopy yesterday. Lol if anesthesiologists didn’t exist.

To cede control of consciousness is the highest level of trust and faith.

Two other operations in my life required me to go unconscious: In 1987, I had all four wisdom teeth pulled, and in 2006, hip surgery saw an orthopedic surgeon remove a pelvic bone fragment that was shredding my right hip joint.

I didn’t know what to expect in 1987. Pretty sure the knockout drip was Demerol. I recall making it to 7 after being asked to countdown from 10, then waking up with chipmunk cheeks.

In 2006, the anesthesiologist for the hip surgery didn’t even bother to dare me to count down to zero. He just laughed, and said, “You’re under.” The last thing I saw, just off the inside of my right foot, was a winch with a big crank on top. Being pushed towards my foot. When I awoke in recovery, the surgeon handed me a sealed biohazard bag to let me see and feel, through the plastic, the bone fragment he extracted.

Those few seconds floating away under anesthesia, at the hypnogogic point of no return, where you’ve given away conscious hold on life, are terrifying in concept, but quite peaceful in execution. You are strapped in as the Space Mountain coaster climbs into darkness. Nothing left to do but keep your arms in the car…

Coming out of yesterday’s sedation vacation in the gastro practice’s recovery area, still in a haze, I said to the surgeon, “That’s just a crazy feeling – letting go of yourself like that.”
“As you went under,” she replied, “you said, ‘I love all the rainbows.’”
“That clocks,” I laughed.
“We got a laugh out of that, too,” she smiled (with her eyes, from behind her mask).

I took the subway home. Kinda fitting. Life’s just one big tube.

At home later, into the night, I watched a a few Olympic freestyle super-pipe skiers wipe out because Chinese mountain winds gusted to 30mph in the center of the halfpipe. Then a car company told me to “start the impossible” in an ad that featured a blind alpinist summiting Mt Everest. I felt powerless, as if anesthetized only in body, not mind.

I had to make it to midnight to make sure Cat & I get a tennis court next Saturday at Prospect Park Tennis Center. It’s 11:48 now, as I draft this post in the past tense for publication tomorrow.

Now it’s 11:49.

Tennis Center court reservations open up 7 days prior to the reservation day, at midnight. In New York City, playing tennis takes commitment. This town’s a tennis desert, where there are more criminal courts than tennis courts. Clay courts are less common in this climate, but you’d think hard courts would be everywhere, as the City wears a concrete skin.

Our closest park has 8 handball courts. Invariably, walking by, you will always see most, if not all, the handball walls in use by tennis players, hitting solo. With all due respect, at least 4 of those handball courts should have been tennis courts, given the hyper-local demand.

Tennis is royal-fun, and insanely rewarding, in many ways because of the commitment you must make to the game. Team sports showcase individual achievement, but no one wins a Super Bowl on their own. The only sports analogs to tennis are chess and boxing.

Wins and losses in tennis are squarely on your shoulders. You win or lose with your game. There’s no coach on the sideline calling plays, no designated hitter to take pressure off a batting lineup, no 7-foot centers guaranteeing a lane for the point guard down the paint.

Most people can’t handle being their own team.

It’s 12:01. We secured a court for next Saturday at 11. Feel free to come watch Cat set me up for a passing shot or a lob. She loves to goad me into taking risks and then to make me pay – and I love taking the abuse.

King Richard captured the timeless and tireless process of learning the game of tennis. In the thick of a match, the game is not about the shot you’re taking – it’s about the next shot that this shot sets up. The same way any chess move until “mate” is about the next move; and a boxer’s jabs until a knockout are about the hooks that follow.

Mind and body are one on a tennis court. Kinda like going under anesthesia.