What the flying fuck was I even doing? I literally missed three backhands - by 'missed' I mean I swung the racquet and hit nothing but air. I couldn't believe it. I miss shots in such an embarrasing fashion maybe once every few months, but it happened three times today.
I mean, sure, I couldn't handle his topspin forehand to my backhand (he's a lefty), the ball packed with so much spin that it bounced higher than I'd calculated. But still. I couldn't get my feet in order, couldn't prepare properly, and was just generally shit. I was so frustrated. I didn't even care that I was losing in the sets that we played; I kept telling myself, 'Play the shot, not the point.' The point wasn't to win or to lose; it was to get back my backhand.
Alas, it was nowhere to be found today. It is very disheartening. But I blame the weather for this, at least partially. It was simply odious how cold and windy it was, which made the darkness of the rain-heavy grey clouds even more oppressive and sad. Have I ever mentioned how much I hate the weather in this country?
Finally, there's a mental block now when I play my backhand in a match. I've lost too many points on my backhand, and now whenever the ball comes to my backhand, I panic and I freeze, thereby losing precious split seconds in a frozen state that I should use to get to the ball and prepare on time. My backhand feels amazing when it's on, when the timing and the hitting zone come together perfectly to create this feeling of pure power as the strings slam onto the ball, sending it flat to the other side of the net, the fuzz of the ball almost grazing the top of the tape. That's how it feels to hit a backhand properly. But these days, all I feel are shanks, mishits, this awkward feeling of not having enough room to extend the left arm properly and desperately swinging the racquet and hoping something happens...
This is frustrating. I can't play without a backhand. I honestly might look into private coaching if this continues. How typical - that I wouldn't hire a coach to sort out my serve, but I would to sort out my backhand. This goes to show how much sentimental value my backhand has to me. I don't care if this doesn't make any sense.
Law school gathering in London
I went to London on Monday for brunch with a few classmates from law school, none of whom I knew particularly well.
I don't know why but I feel like a fish out of water when I'm with Singaporeans. I feel all clammed up, uninteresting, inhibited. It was nice to catch up with people, but it felt a bit weird anyway.
He was a bit chatty today. By 'chatty' I mean he stayed online after I replied to his 'are you free tonight' message, which I saw half an hour later after it was sent as I'd been playing tennis, and actually asked if we are going to meet on the weekend. Whoa, right? But the context was my message at about 11am asking if he wanted to meet this week and telling him that I'm free on Thursday, Saturday afternoon and Sunday (this was in response to his message that expressed his hope to see me again soon). He replied hours later with 'Sunday is good x' which I didn't reply to as I was on the way to tennis.
He suggested that I went round to his after my (free) lawyers' dinner in Magdalene on Saturday. I thought it might be a bit late, though he said 9ish is not late at all, so I said, 'I'll text you after the dinner and we'll decide then yeah?' I thought about this again, and then followed up with, 'Actually, I went to you the last time. Can you come to me this time? I would like that.'
'Sure,' he said.
'I'll be all dressed up. Added incentive for you.' I almost wanted to add, 'Not that you need any added incentive when I am all the incentive you need' but I took that back. It's still early days for such arrogant remarks, though I'm sure he wouldn't disagree.
He replied, 'I can't wait...'
So that's the tentative plan. There's a good chance that I'll text after the dinner on Saturday and he'd be like, I'm too tired; can you come over and/or can we reschedule. I hope not though, because I would like to see him.
So yes. He was chatty. That was a lot of texting for his standards. In addition, I was in a super flirtatious mood and would've flirted more if I hadn't been quite keen on getting my already-super-late dinner ready.
I'm also pleased to say that I was actually really cool today waiting for him to get back to me. I wasn't even bothered when I ocasionally flipped over my phone (almost always face-down on the table when I'm working) and didn't see a reply from him. I'm very proud of myself.
Finally, I can't wait to see him again, whenever this materialises.