Saturday, August 25, 2007
An Audience With King Arthur
A devout tennis fan, I have been going to the US Open every year since I came back to NY. For my money, nothing tops the evening sessions when the air has cooled down and the lights of Arthur Ashe Stadium create an intimate, expectant atmosphere. But I also feel a sad, heartfelt connection sitting in a place named for a man who died from AIDS. It makes you wonder. Do people remember that he won the US Open in 1968? The Australian in 1970? Wimbledon in 1975? Or is dying from AIDS what comes to the average mind when the name Arthur Ashe is mentioned? HIV is a powerful virus, sure to have a say in dictating the terms of death. That doesn't mean we grant it power in dictating the terms of life. I will keep playing tennis (for as long as my legs allow.) I will keep being curious about the world and my fellow humans. I will keep growing things in my garden. I will keep watching movies on Friday nights. (Go see Death at a Funeral--outrageous and hilarious!) I will keep searching for someone to love me. And I will keep sitting in Arthur Ashe Stadium, this time on the first Monday, thinking these thoughts. And I'll look out onto the crowd and wonder if anyone else is feeling what I'm feeling.