“Beep beep beep beep,” my bedside alarm jolts me out of my night’s slumber (yes, even on weekends) and quickly follows with greetings from my favorite radio station. As I listen to some critical tennis sport updates and Hollywood movie reviews, I slide minty-fresh toothpaste across my brush and get ready for another regular Saturday in Fair Lawn, New Jersey. Finishing my morning routine, I grab my usually-thin wallet, which is sitting on top of the cluster of paperwor], empty Pepsi cans, and old guitar picks. I noticed something different; the black imitation leather wallet looked like mine, felt like mine, but was subtly heavier. I opened the wallet to reveal the cause of this extra weight: a very green Alexander Hamilton.
Rarely having pocket money, I wait for my imagination to catch up with my ten dollars. But since I only have one day to enjoy, I leave my day to spontaneity. In my ideal world, my friends would have no lives but to stand by their phone awaiting my call. Wanting my tennis fix, I ring up Joey and Alex, twin masterminds, for a jolly good game of King of the Hill. King of the Hill is our favorite: one king racks up points by defeating the lowly challenger in best of three rallies. If the challenger wins, he takes over the king’s position and starts counting his own points. Three might be an odd number for posh tennis, but three is perfect for an insanely fun and competitive game of King of the Hill. The third man makes the game extremely amusing and worthwhile as he builds up the tension and excitement. He becomes our one person crowd and simultaneously the play-by-play announcer. With all the undying remarks, incessant taunts, the unmistakable “oohs and ahhs”, the in-your-face attitude of odd man out sparks crazy levels of adrenaline and excitement never to be found in a video game arcade. Thrills of the game can only maximize to a certain extent, but with the help of this third person, the fun is multiplied thousand times over. I can usually sense a crowd behind me, vociferously responding to the surprise of a drop shot or the magnificence of a successful slam. Topspin serve, slice return, powerful volley, oh and a stupendous drop shot – ah the thrills of tennis never let me down.
After physical activity and the emotional ups and downs from hours of tennis, anyone would need some relaxation. Only few get that from strumming a guitar. Something I picked up recently, my borrowed guitar transports me away with each pick of a string or with each strummed chord. Musical output is excellent in enhancing creativity but for me, my guitar serves mostly to relax as I melt away with the fading sound waves. I grab my borrowed acoustic guitar and venture off to visit my friend, Anthony, to continue in one of our random jam sessions. The musical brilliance of Jimmy Eat World and Something Corporate permeates his basement as we try to emulate their guitar skills. Although difficult finger positions and irregular strumming patterns are still a concept and practice cumbersome to my hands, my fingers can still let me follow with my favorite bands and make me feel a part of something bigger, something calmer: harmony.
Through relaxation, I am born anew into the night of my ten dollar day. Hamilton could not join my in my escapades through the hard courts or help me pick my guitar. As the night ensues, the only help of the little green bill is to stay in my wallet and wait for my imagination – or in my case, blatant opportunities – as my family and I enjoy valuable togetherness. Time passes quickly as we avidly watch the latest movie airing on television. We watch as the same famous actors play roles opposite each other in the same patented love triangle. But as the night concludes, I find that every romance movie, no matter the similarities in convention and plot, uniquely delivers its message with a balance of excitement and relaxation – a balance much like that in my day.