NEW BOOK TO BUY. written: 9:29 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 16, 2009
THE NEXT BOOK I'M GONNA GET IS ANDRE AGASSI'S AUTOBIOGRAPHY.
READING AN EXCERPT FROM IT NOW AND I'M TOTALLY CHILLED TO THE BONES. THIS PARAGRAPH IS INCREDIBLE:
It's no accident, I think, that tennis uses the language of life. Advantage, service, fault, break, love, the basic elements of tennis are those of everyday existence, because every match is a life in miniature. Even the structure of tennis, the way the pieces fit inside one another like Russian nesting dolls, mimics the structure of our days. Points become games become sets become tournaments, and it's all so tightly connected that any point can become the turning point. It reminds me of the way seconds become minutes become hours, and any hour can be our finest. Or darkest. It's our choice.
His ghostwriter is really quite good. The style of writing is very American, but it's well-written and it resonates with you emotionally. I'm fascinated by how he professes to have hated tennis since he was a boy, and yet he was the last person before Roger Federer to win a career Slam. It's incredible. I have to read the book.
I WANT THE REST OF IT. I don't give a shit about the meth thing, the speed, his dissing other players; I want to know what it was like for him, making a career - a wildly, insanely successful career - out of something he hates.
Love this part too:
Tennis is the sport in which you talk to yourself. No athletes talk to themselves like tennis players. Pitchers, golfers, goalkeepers, they mutter to themselves, of course, but tennis players talk to themselves - and answer. In the heat of a match, tennis players look like lunatics in a public square, ranting and swearing and conducting Lincoln-Douglas debates with their alter egos. Why? Because tennis is so damned lonely. Only boxers can understand the loneliness of tennis players - and yet boxers have their corner men and managers. Even a boxer's opponent provides a kind of companionship, someone he can grapple with and grunt at. In tennis you stand face-to-face with the enemy, trade blows with him, but never touch him or talk to him, or anyone else. The rules forbid a tennis player from even talking to his coach while on the court. People sometimes mention the track-and-field runner as a comparably lonely figure, but I have to laugh. At least the runner can feel and smell his opponents. They're inches away. In tennis you're on an island. Of all the games men and women play, tennis is the closest to solitary confinement, which inevitably leads to self-talk, and for me the self-talk starts here in the afternoon shower. This is when I begin to say things to myself, crazy things, over and over, until I believe them. For instance, that a quasi-cripple can compete at the U.S. Open. That a thirty-six-year-old man can beat an opponent just entering his prime. I've won 869 matches in my career, fifth on the all-time list, and many were won during the afternoon shower.
The inside info into the pscyhe of a tennis player is incredibly fascinating to me. I've always wondered what they think about before and during a match - especially during.
Okay I'm so distracted by the book now I can't study. Dammit. Reading Civ Pro now. I spent $51 dollars printing muggers for 4 out of 6 papers.
AND I just found out the 6 papers are evilly spread over TWO PRECIOUS WEEKS. The hell? They should just get it done and over with in 3 days. Two papers a day. I really don't care, so omg, two weeks?! The hell?
Wei Chuen and I are back to good.
I can't comprehend why he still wants to be with me after all of that, I can't comprehend how much he loves me, I can't comprehend how much I love him, but I'm very happy.