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Fifth Set Tie Break

By Jay

I love tennis. Tennis, I think is one of the greatest sports in the world. And I am not that bad in it also.

Summer here is hot with a vengeance. It doesn't let up easily. Those kind of days are perfect for playing tennis. One day I was playing with a friend and...

Well, we got there at just the right time. Me and my friend Dan. Oh, he was a nut. Had a funny sense of humor too. Anyway, I would practice against him before I had a tennis match to play. He was a good sport, and just as good a player as I was.

I would like to say that I am an open minded person. Very liberal, as a conservative would say. And I say to that conservative, "Fuck your ancestors!"

It was hot, even for 9 in the morning. I was to serve first. The good thing about not playing seriously was that I could also carry on a meaningful conversation when ever I could.

"Have you been practicing Dan? If you have, I'll waste you this set," I warned him.

"We'll see who gets wasted," was his reply. I served it right down the line. And he was able to get it quickly and send it back to me.

At 10:30, it was still the first set. At a tie break, I had 6, he had 5.

"Told you I'd waste ya," I said and aced him. 1 love, now he served to open the second set. This time he took the first 3 games. I managed to lash back, but he still won the second set at 6, 4.

"Let's take a break. It is so friggin' hot. The paper said it would get into the 100's today," I said.

He agreed and we went and sat down on the bench that was near there. I noticed how quite he was. He was usually talkative, but was oddly quite. And he had a sad look on his face.

"What's up, Dan? What's wrong?" I asked. He looked so tired. You would think he had mono or something like that.

"Personal stuff. Nothing I can't handle," was all he said. I said to myself, "Uh oh. Touchy feely stuff. Time to be the good friend."

"Come on. Talk to me. What's bothering you?" I pushed. And I was saying to myself, "Don't pry, don't pry, don't pry." I rarely listen to myself when I tell myself something like that.

"I'm gay."

Those 3, 1 syllable words must have taken him a lot of strength to say.


We took an hour break. We just sat there and talked. I told myself not to ask any dumb questionslike "What makes you think that?" and dumb stuff like that. I really hate it when people ask me things like that.

But what do you say to a person who has just come out to you? And who thought of that expression "come out" anyway? Sounds like something you say to the family cat when it is time to take it to the vet. Back to the situation at hand.

He was avoiding my eyes, I could tell that much. And it looked like he was going to start crying. I also hate it when people cry. I have no reason to, I just do.

"Oh, don't cry. You know how much I hate it when people cry," I said. It seemed like the wrong thing to say, but it seemed to have an effect on him.

"I' sorry. It's just so hard to talk about this. You know you're my best friend. I just didn't know what to say."

"Oh please. I wasn't going to say anything. I would be the hypocrite of the year if I did."

He seemed so lost of energy, of words, of life. So I just put his head on my shoulders and told him to shut up and rest a bit. He called me a pushy asshole. Well, he was right, I am.


He looked much better by the fifth set. He must have gotten a lot of his energy back. At 1:30, we got another tie break. 6 me, 5 him.

"You, know," I yelled across the court, "It doesn't matter if you are gay. It is not as if you are the Antichrist or something. You are just a teenager. Big deal. It doesn't change you at all."

"You're right. I do feel silly about it now. I thought you wouldn't care, but I still wasn't sure," he replied.

"Of, course I care. I am not that narrow-minded. It doesn't matter what you are. So what if you are gay. People say gay sex is gross, but what will it take for them to realize that it has nothing to do with who you have sex with; it's who you love." At that time, he hit it out. I won the match.

"Oh shit," he said, "You won again." But I would think it was a victory for Dan more then it was for me.


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