Friday, June 10, 2011

Carrot On A Stick

George was told he wanted to be a professional tennis player from the age of 2. His childhood consisted of drills, serves, and volleys. Power Rangers and the universal appeal of Nickelodeon cartoons would have to wait. Living life like a donkey following a carrot on a stick, George forever chased higher rankings, increased promotion, and international fame.

Yet, George felt alone.

It wasn't that George was devoid of company, by age 12 he had a full time entourage, and by 16 a rotating harem of women to cater to his every physical whim. Yet, one day, on a flight from Paris to London, George realized that he didn't know any of his fellow semi-professional tennis players. They all wanted to exist above him, not below or even equal; these types of relationships were not allowed by whoever was dangling the carrot that day.

Walking into Wimbledon at age 24, George's only companion was pressure. No longer was he some unheard of kid from Nebraska. No, now George had a target placed firmly on his head, and every other racket wielding assassin was striving to take him down. George had never felt so unhappy. The days of happy tennis playing were gone, this was a career, and like any other job in a major corporation, if George didn't win, or even failed to smile for the cameras, he would be terminated.

After losing to a child prodigy from Argentina in straight sets, George didn't feel sad or upset. The feeling that swirled inside of George's head, the sensation that caused all his cells to feel nauseous, was that he missed something, someone. He missed the life he never had, he missed all the people he never had the chance to build relationships with, but most of all, George missed the person he was supposed to be.

The next day George refused to get out of bed. He had no mid life crisis, achieving a brass ring only to discover another one just over the next hill. No, George was just simply done.

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