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LAST BALL OUT OF FIVE. Three bricks left on screen. The farthest I’d ever come. After a minute’s break to gather composure, I serve. For some twenty seconds the ball floats off the boards around the empty space of the nearly vacant terrain. A no man’s ball. I feel the attempted seduction of the long lobbing interim, a calm before the storm, the action so laid back that I’m consciously elaborating a rhythm to be ready, set, go for a slam. Then! It hits the high brick, shoots down like a whip and I’m right there on time to return. Forget about placement. Just hold on, don’t miss, keep the time right, and watch like a hawk for added rhythmic protection. The phone rings. Return, back, return, back. Another one’s gone. The caller hangs up and maybe two seconds later I get the last, by God. (Pg 41)