Definition #1: In Tennis, the space between the service line and the baseline
Definition #2: In WWI, the space between the trenches of opposing armies
You hurt your opponent with a deep shot into the corner. You need to move into no man’s land, anticipate the weak return, steal their time before they steal yours. No man’s land a space to move into and out of quickly on your way to somewhere else: the net, the trenches, the baseline, death. Poppies, rats, gas, bombs. Not enough time if you plant yourself there to find your gas mask, get your racquet back. No man’s land changes, changes again. The weapons different. So much variety and speed your head might explode. Changes fast, faster like time itself till you are older now, a super senior. You must stay much longer in no man’s land to cover the drop shot, the lob, when your knees are 80 years old. Closer to death, closer. A snap of a finger, the mystery of what come’s next. Groans, death rattles, nights. A forehand bomb at your feet.
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