I've been spending an unbelievably tremendous, shamefully useless, sadly wasteful amount of time talking, arguing, typing, texting etc. about tennis, including injuries, head to heads, best BH, serves, ball bouncing, ball bashing, ball spins, moon balling, bullying, crying, fist pumping, leg pumping,pelvis thrusting, screaming, shrieking, goats, woats, etc...so much, indeed, that everything that I see, or hear, somehow becomes a tennis related word. For example if I am listening to news and it says "chilling weather in Maine" I hear Marin Cilic. Or for "Sara Palin" I hear Sampras and I hear words such as Davydenko, Berdych, Hewitt on the radio and tv all the time none of which related to tennis. Seems like the only purpose of my pc is to talk and argue about tennis on the internet. When I turn it on and before I know it the thread page is loaded. It's as if the cursor moves on its own, goes over a shortcut on my google chrome link bar and clicks on "tt". It appears that I know alot about tennis, even though I have never been a particularly good player. As a matter of fact I am not even the best player among my own group friends, none of which have never had any titles at any level during their lives. There is no motivation in my life and basically, its highlights overlap with ATP calendar page, and it is on hold between the two majors. But it's not only my mind that's a mess, I am living in a mess. And it's so bad that I have lost the single fork that I had, inside this disorganized, ransacked place I call my apartment. As a malformed Grey Gardens sort of bachelor, I have only one fork, but, unfortunately, this one fork has gone missing in the strange coral reef that passes for my apartment. And I describe my apartment as a coral reef, as opposed to the ever-thickening nest of a hoarder, because I don’t suffer from hoarding, per se. I am at the mercy of another phenomenon — a kind of metaphysical cousin to hoarding — known as kipple. The effect has been to turn my smallish Brooklyn apartment, where I’ve lived for 12 years, into some kind of above-sea-level reef where things attach and occasionally break off, but mostly they attach, accrue, accumulate, affix, amass and asphyxiate. And in such a reef, things can easily go missing, like my lone fork. Luckily, being of a somewhat infantile nature, I don’t mind eating with a spoon, of which I have three. So, what is kipple, and why did it cause me to lose my fork? I learned about kipple from the Philip K. Dick novel “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” Here is an exchange between a man named J. R. Isidore and a character named Pris Stratton. This building, except for my apartment, is completely kipple-ized. “Kipple-ized?” She did not comprehend. Kipple is useless objects, like junk mail or match folders after you use the last match or gum wrappers. ... When nobody’s around, kipple reproduces itself. For instance, if you go to bed leaving any kipple around your apartment, when you wake up the next morning there’s twice as much of it. It always gets more and more. ... The entire universe is moving toward a final state of total, absolute kippleization. Like Dick, I am in firm agreement that everyone in the universe — including those of us on Earth — struggles, in varying degrees, with kipple. Who doesn’t have a medicine cabinet teeming with rusted nostril-hair clippers, congealed unguents and empty bottles of Motrin, or a bedside table drawer frothing with old, forlorn, hastily ripped condom wrappers, bar mitzvah yarmulkes and 13 tangled, airline-issued eye masks? Actually, that’s my medicine cabinet and bedside table, but I know I’m not alone with this kind of accumulation of idiotic detritus. My problem is that in one’s never-ending battle with this perpetual accumulation of life’s silt, I am France, and kipple is Germany. But why? Why am I so feeble, louche and easily overrun? Why is my apartment the dominant organic life form and not me? WELL, FIRST OF ALL, I LOVE BOOKS. Anthony Powell once titled one of his novels “Books Do Furnish a Room.” In my case, it’s more like “Books Do Overwhelm a Room.” I have a thousand or more novels and works of nonfiction, but not enough shelves, so I have uneven stacks of tomes everywhere, all teetering in an intoxicated manner. But I don’t care. I’m a middle-aged old fart who steadfastly refuses to ever read on an electronic device, if for no other reason than I’m a frightened, small-minded technophobe. Also, these gadgets are going to change the way novels are written and conceived, and I’m against change when it comes to things I do. So books are the only form of kipple I’m not opposed to, though adding to the mix all the time, which can be quite guilt-inducing, are the 50 or so bound galleys I’m sent every year to write blurbs for. They’re usually striving first novels or memoirs, each author, with a book, sending out a sympathetic existential flare: I was here! Read me! But I usually can’t because I’m too busy trying not to go insane, so I simply add these young books to the piles that surround me, like prison bars, penning me in but also keeping me safe from the coming bookless world. SECOND, I’M PATHOLOGICALLY LAZY. I have a form of attention deficit disorder. I like to pay attention only to things I want to pay attention to, and cleaning my apartment does not fall into that category. Thus, I live like the Unabomber, but without his sense of purpose. I have, of course, made attempts every now and then to straighten up, but I approach it in the same manner as my taxes — something to be done only once a year, while screaming in confused agony like a cat in heat. As a result, the dirt in my apartment has been around for so long that it’s a kind of carpeting, and I breathe in more dust than a whole classroom of poor asthmatic children. Also, for over a decade I’ve never washed the yellowed Shrouds of Turin that cover my bedroom windows and pass for curtains. They are porous from age and let in so much cirrhotic light that I’m dependent on my knotted eye masks to sleep. When I do wake from my dusty, tormented six to eight hours, I bathe in my tub, which brings to mind that well-known phrase: pond scum. I do want to emphasize that while I may be filthy, I’m not materialistic. Almost all my furniture was found on the street a dozen years ago. I currently make a nice salary but still live like a feral graduate student. I hardly buy a thing. So my apartment is not cluttered with possessions. It’s simply the garbage of life and the dirt of life — kipple in all its effluvial manifestations — that I can’t keep up with. But to write this piece, I had something of a minor breakthrough: I shifted the bulk of my kipple into the small child’s room off my bedroom. This has cleared some sightlines and lessened the risk of a spontaneous fire. THIRD, I’M HALF NUTS. I used to have seasonal affective disorder every February, but now I have it year-round. Most people like to call it depression, but I prefer a more old-fashioned diagnosis — I’m losing my mind. We all have different internal compasses, and mine, for as long as I can remember, has listed toward sadness and despair, which can make it difficult to get out of bed. My main problem is with death. I don’t like it. I don’t like anything about it, and I don’t want anyone I love — or anyone I don’t love, and that certainly includes dogs, a species I’m very fond of — to die. I’ve been around for nearly five decades, but I still can’t accept the basic premise of life: it ends. Thus my apartment has come to reflect my mind, which is also kippled: I’m mired in the heartbreaks of the past; I’m confused and nuts in the present; and I dread the pain of the future, the coming losses. So I just sit in my three-and-a-half small rooms, waiting for and fearing death, all the while allowing myself to be buried alive. I seem to have run out of dreams for myself. LAST, I HAVE SEVERE OEDIPAL ISSUES. A long time ago, my mother chose my father over me, as well she should have, but twisted as I am in a classic Oedipal way, I’ve never gotten over it. At 47 years old, I’m still waiting — since 1982, the year I moved out — for my mother to come clean my room. What I probably need to do is to fall in love with a Spanish woman so I can call her mamí and not feel self-conscious. It would also be helpful if this woman had old-fashioned values, wherein a man is allowed to do nothing in a domestic situation except make a mess and be fed. A high tolerance for self-indulgent melancholia would also be welcome. But since such a winning combination of selfless and co-dependent traits is very hard to find in a woman (damn you, Dad!), I imagine I’ll be a stunted Grey Gardens bachelor drowning in kipple for years to come. But there is one positive in this mess about a mess: I’ll have plenty of books to help me pass the time. HERE...Oh, and plenty of tanking, chocking, goating, ball bashing, moon balling, ball bouncing, ball pushing etc...to talk about.