Posted on December 5, 2021 at 5:55 AM
Once they’re all sloshed Mike suggests they swap partners, and Sue’s mood of resigned boredom momentarily lifts, until she realises he’s talking about mixed doubles for the tennis game. Once, when they were all young, they played outdoors on real courts with real rackets, feeling the sun and the wind on their skin. Now they wave electric boxes around, smash pixelated blots.
Sue partners Wilfred, who’s quite as hopeless at fantasy tennis as he was about real sex that one time when he visited the student halls knowing Helen was out; Mike, on the other hand, is as adept at electronic lobs and backhand smashes as he once was in the bedroom, in the conservatory, atop the multi-storey car-park adjoining the mall; masterful.
-From "A problem shared is a problem doubled", first published in Bewilderbliss Magazine (2009), and one of the stories in Mark Piggott's fiction/non-fiction collection "Militant Factions" available in paperback or Kindle from Amazon.