#70 Recreation Park, El Segundo

I was getting a lot of long lingering second looks on the bike ride west along Ballona Creek from people of all genders, leading me to think self-congratulatory thoughts along the lines of hey dude u still got it…. until I stopped for the beach selfie and realized my face was a big mess of zinc.

Oh well hah-hah, that’s what I always say. I still had jumbo fun bike-riding down to El Segundo. The Pacific Ocean! Such grandeur. It’s amazing to me how infrequently I directly witness the Pacific, maybe it’s like looking into the face of G-d and/or maybe I just don’t love sand. It’s something to work on, more Pacific Ocean-i-ness, and maybe I will get there as I further explore the tennis courts of the South Bay.

I bet they’re balmy. Recreation Park is balmy, has about a million tennis courts plus a skate rink, magnificent ball fields and a basketball court where they were going AT IT on this Sunday morning. Yeah! I felt the ballers’ zest added to my own zest, which was considerable.

Maybe too much? I scouted out the zillion courts for a three-some figuring they would need a fourth for doubles. Lo and behold I find three guys milling about on the court right next to the basketball court. Guess what happens when I apply my sure-fire how-to-pick-up-a-tennis-game-anywhere tips by asking Who’s Got Next?

They all leave! Like, double-time!!

Yeah, I was pretty downhearted for a micro-minute there. Maybe I was actually singing “Six Days on the Road” along with the Flying Burrito Brothers aloud instead of just inside my head. Yes, earbuds in on the bike ride, sorry, not good riding hygiene I know, I know, it’s just so exhilarating to folk-rock out while bike-riding.

Well, short story long, they truly did all split, even when I burbled, “I didn’t mean to drive y’all away.” They were like, “What do you think this is, Texas? Y’all. Harrumph!” But that’s what happens when your face is grotesquely smeared with zinc oxide.

Oh well. I amused myself as I thank G-d I have the ability to do by trying to swat a ball into my bike helmet from the other side of the court. This plugs me directly into my seven-year-old self, shooting free throws underhanded like Rick Barry in the driveway of my family’s house on Long Island, with a red-white-and-blue ABA ball, announcing the game all the while: “Gozonsky misses his seventh consecutive free throw, he is closing in on his own record!”

Yes well that all had its own minor glory until finally rescue arrived in two players showing up. “I’m happy to play with y’all,” I gallantly proclaimed but they were having no part of this either.

“Uh, we have the court,” announced the blonder of the two.

“Okay, let me just try to swat a ball into my bike helmet,” I grasped at straws. They paid scant attention and then no attention as I failed.

One comment

  1. Ironic how people express antipathy to a friendly offer to play tennis, yet are equally drawn to witnessing violence on tv and movies.
    I appreciate the end of the video when you say, “At least I tried, that’s the main thing”.

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