A hot summer evening. A two hour hike in the morning. Six forty-five on the clock.
"You want to take Orion across the street to the tennis courts?" Marisa asks.
"Sure! How about we play tennis too?"
The three of us waltz out the door. I wait with Orion, poised in the middle of street, two feet on the yellow line as Marisa digs in her trunk for tennis balls.
No cars in sight.
Such a different experience than living in Easthampton, where the cars rush by, one after another. Thunk thunk. Thunk thunk over the loose sewer lid.
Shortly Marisa pops up, the champion with two more tennis balls. I've since crossed the street, and turn to see her crossing as well, distracted for just the moment Orion needs to make a lunge for the spilled Ramen Noodles cooking on the pavement.
"NO!" I shout and then think for a moment about how it has been so long since I've had Ramen and isn't it too bad I don't have a pack to cook up upon return?
He is munching away at the bit he snagged and I'm less interested in the idea of pulling his jaws open and shaking it out so I let him have his night time snack.
Across we go and Orion trots happily to the warm-up board where often he and Marisa play in the mornings. She hits the ball, he makes a leap for it. If he gets it, he brings it to her, dropping it at her feet and the process begins again. If he misses though it becomes a keep away game between him, the wall and Marisa.
"Not this time buddy. It's real tennis and you can chase down the balls," I say winding up for my first strike.
I have played tennis during one period of my life. One period. High school gym class, 10th grade. Individual Sports and Games. Can't remember the rules. Can't figure out how hard to hit the ball. The balls go sailing over the net, past Marisa and a little yellow dog is off running after them.
A good way to round out the day.