And, Poof! just like that Laura the Tennis Pro turned into Laura the Respiratory Therapist.
I’ve been dreading this day for a long time. The day when Laura the Tennis Pro would really truly not be our Tennis Pro any longer. It was inevitable. She enrolled in a post graduate program to become a Certified Respiratory Therapist and during her studies, she would cram us all in for clinics on whatever day she could keep free that semester. Fortunately for her, school only lasted a finite amount of time. This last leg of it nearly killed her. Not so fortunate for us, though.
I continued to take lessons with Laura while she was in school because I knew that at some point (some point soon) the lessons would just end. That Laura the Tennis Pro would take off her Adidas, put on her surgical scrubs and go off to save people’s lives rather than just their backhands.
Still, in some secret place, I wished that Laura the Tennis Pro would find some respiratory work that didn’t require her presence every day. That she could find some special hospital or care facility that had made their patients agree to not have asthma attacks or emphysema on Wednesdays. That on Wednesdays, Laura the Respiratory Therapist would be able to sneak into a phone booth, don her Dri-Fit, and, just for a few short hours, become Laura the Tennis Pro again.
That shit never works and this time was no exception. Not only is Laura the Respiratory Therapist not going to be available for the occasional clinic, she’s not even staying in the tri-state area.
I’m really good at pretending sad things like this aren’t real and that’s part of the reason I haven’t written about it before. She has bequeathed us to another tennis pro who I’ve met over the summer and who I like a lot. But he doesn’t appear to be able to pull off an Austin Powers imitation, and he doesn’t have that same charming quality of being fearful of fire extinguishers. I don’t know if he’ll be a Serve Whisperer like Laura, although he does seem utterly capable of finding the same sort of glee that Laura did whenever Gina got hit with a ball.
I guess the truth is, I don't feel like I've learned all that I'm meant to from Laura the Tennis Pro. And I'm not even really talking about tennis anymore.
Peter the Tennis Pro. It doesn’t have quite the same ring to it. Maybe he’ll need a moniker all his own.
In the meantime, I just keep hearing this song playing in my head: