Tennis lessons

While school age children play tennis the mothers and the small children, too young for instruction, mill around outside the courts under the pergola. They have been brought from day care or preschool from where they have been cooped up. Now they are free and run amok. There are geraniums in bloom ready to have their heads pulled off. Fuchsia pink petals spatter the grass. There are spare tennis balls ready to lob over the cyclone fence and onto the lawn courts that they are not allowed on. The precious flat grass dotted with fuzzy yellow.

The squealing children squeal. A reminder of piglets having their tails chopped off. A pink fairy outfit, over sized with a ribbon tying the shoulder straps together at the back, does nothing to soften the squeal.

The mothers are oblivious to the squeal. Piglets having their eye teeth pulled. It is the type of sound that puts off childless couples and cements their choice never to reproduce.

Two teenage boys arrive early for their lesson and must wait amongst the toddlers and mothers. The boys both wear glasses and are not the athletic type. But they can do tennis. Pimples and all. They have stated to grow upwards but their muscles lack definition. They have custard thighs, creme fraiche arms, cream cake cheeks.Their sneakers are enormous, feet already bigger than their fathers’? They hit some balls against the beige brick wall, feet heavy, no deft touch, till all the balls are lost over the roof of a shed and then they plonk down on a wooden bench seat, face in phone, thumbs working hard.