So I am thinking it was a four-door Chevy, a Laguna maybe, with the half sandwich Driver Education board stuck in yellow on top and a little blurb about ‘Makes Frequent Stops’ attached to the rear. It was magnetic, the blurb was which the instructor Mr. Maven peeled off an tossed in the trunk after each summer morning daily session. The car was blue.

An apex as far as summers go, that summer was I suppose. Tabitha Sweeny had swapped her forehand/backhand drills (the 9-to-11 slot) for an hour or so of in car, supervised driver training amongst the backstreet Elm and Dogwood shaded lawns and 4-way stops yield to the right turn-signal…and so on and so forth.

I served buckets of balls most all mornings. Worked on my toss. I remember Tabitha generally hit against the wall prior to drills. I had watched her hit that morning and noticed that she had developed a smooth terse way of putting all her weight on and bending her right leg when she came in low, racquet back. During the follow thru she came up off the ground a foot at least. Some power.

So anyhow, it was a couple days later I guess. I am lugging my bucket of balls around and the coach comes up fumbling for a match.
The coach always had a pack of Marlboro 100’s in his front pocket, one lit in his hand and a racquet in the other. He typically mostly smoked and shouted. That’s what the coach did.

“You got a match Diaz?” he said.
“I don’t smoke,” I said.
“Right, found them, my matches,” he said.
“Good morning coach,” I said.
“Good morning,” he said. “Ok, look Diaz…we have a situation here.”
“Coach?” I said. “A situation?”
“Yes, well…Tabitha,” he said.
‘Some power,” I said.
“She’s dead,” he said.
“Dead?” I said.
“Yes,” he said. “It’s all very murky.”
“It?” I said.
“The dynamic,” he said. “The situation as it seems/appears.”
“Murky?” I said.
“It appears so,” he said. “A bit murky.”
“A dark oozing murk?” I said.
“That’s redundant Diaz,” he said.
“Coach?” I said.
“So rumor has it she failed her driving test,” he said.
“Driving?” I said.
“And then something about her bedroom closet,” he said.
“Closet,” I said.
“That’s all I know,” he said. “It’s all very muddled, murky.”
“Muddled murk,” I said.
“Diaz,” he said.
“Coach,” I said.
“Keep your chin up and your racquet back Diaz,” he said.


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