You’ll Never Be Lovelier Than You Are Right Now

Cody Delistraty

On tennis, grief, and the emptiness of social striving

At the end of the nineteenth century, Spokane, Washington, was founded as a lumber town, where cowboys and mill laborers made a decent living on the weekdays and on the weekends merrily cavorted, drinking whiskey and brawling in downtown bars. Surrounded by pines and open range country, the city sits on a tiny lump of a hill, an almost-citadel. In the winter, it is achingly cold. In the summer, it is hot and dry, the air scented with Ponderosa bark.

Spokane has changed a good deal since its inception, and as is typical with cities whose central industry is no longer demanded, its quality of life began to slide precipitously downhill once the demand for mining and foresting fell in the 1920s. In the 1930s, aluminum plants became the central industry in light of the Second World War; but in the…

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