A 12th motel sends
him away. Now he's driven an hour and a half the wrong way, toward the life he
just left. Wind batters his car. His mind swims with fatigue. Brooke's Walk in
the Woods? It's just a Sunday stroll in the park compared with A Journey
Through Andre's Forest.
He rises from a
strange bed in a cheap motel somewhere between L.A. and the San Bernardino
Mountains. What does he see in the mirror?
Eyes, wide as a
child's, that he used to frame with eyeliner and mascara. Lips that pray before
each meal and curse chair umpires. The face of a man who yearns to change, to
find something rock-solid and reliable in himself that won't change.
He climbs back
into his car. Which way now? His art goes to hell when he pursues love. His
love goes to hell when he pursues his art. It's raining. He's crying. He heads
back toward Vegas, toward an empty house.
His coach, Brad
Gilbert, shows up a few weeks later. Andre tells him that his marriage is over.
The television's on. As Andre clicks from one channel to the next, a vision
fills the screen. The holy grail.
Killer legs. Kind eyes. But private eyes. Resolute.
serving in the semifinals at Indian Wells, Calif.
"You need to
meet her," says Brad.
Andre's eyes lift,
full of futile hope. "I already tried that," he sighs. "A long time
It's 1992. He's
22. He comes upon a field of grass. What does it look like?
Faded green, bordered by white lime, surrounded by vintage wooden seats.