It was late afternoon and the sun was setting along a distant tree line; it looked like an iridescent ping pong ball on fire. Below it, dancing in squiggly lines on the surface of the lake, orange reflections intersected in a tirelessly changing pattern as same and as different as each rippling of the molten waves.
This was my favorite time of day — one to be shared with a glass of wine and light jazz drifting through the deck’s screened patio doors. As I leaned against the rail and breathed in the gauze-like serenity of twilight, the buzz of the renegade deer fly replaced the meandering lacework from an intricate Hank Jones piano solo.
Ah, HA! My pulse quickened.
As the fly drew nearer, I carefully set down the glass of Pinot Noir and turned my head slightly, zeroing in on the approaching flight path. Just as the greedy fly circled for the kill, I slipped a tennis racket from behind my back and instigated a 100 mile-per-hour practice swing along a perfectly intersecting arc. There came an infinitely pleasing “PING” as the racket made brief but solid contact with a fuzzy, foreign object.
Two separate fly-pieces spiraled all the way out to deep water.
I sipped my wine and wiped the gritty residue from the tennis racket’s webbing, replacing the racket in its neat, zippered case. As the sun dipped into the still water, somewhere in the distance a bass jumped.