Wilderness Golf Course was a ritual—like the spring solstice—a seasonal change. The rest of the world turned, but the golf course remained the same.
“What’s with you?” Joel asked.
“My wife and I are having a kid—our second,” Chad said.
“Oh—Really? Congratulations. My wife and I already did that.”
“Why do you have to make everything competitive?”
“It stems from his massive inferiority complex, and his little Johnson,” Andy said.
“Your name is Johnson—why do you have to drag psychology into everything—you’re just saying that because you’re jealous. Are you going to buy a house soon, Andy?”
“That would add to my responsibilities.”
“What responsibilities? Your latest change was moving out of your mom’s house.”
“She made me breakfast in bed every day.”
“Yeah—but wasn’t that the one you used to wet?”
“It was you—who wet the bed—every time you came over.”
“Where’s Brad? That guy has always been a slacker. Has he ever had a job?”
“For about two hours—but maybe you’re looking at him the wrong way. He’s totally free. You’re tied down with a wife, kids, mortgage, and a job. The rest of your life is planned out.”
“Yeah—Chad and I actually have lives—as for you…”
“There he is.”
Brad stepped out of a 1992 Firebird. “Picked her up this morning.”
“Did you get a license?”
“Where did you get the money?”
“Never mind about that—let’s play golf.”
Brad wore an Everlast sweatshirt with the shoulders cut-off. His biceps made a statement. Long ago, he worked out his priorities. It was his body.
“How often do you play?” Chad asked—his attire resembled the suburban dad. All that was missing was a synthetic boob.
“Whenever I get the time,” Brad said.
“When don’t you have the time?” Joel asked. He hooked his shot into the woods. “Damn.” He was skinny because his wife forced him onto her diet plan and made him stop drinking beer. “Why do you have a shovel in your golf bag, Brad?”
“I planted some flowers a couple months ago. If they’re ripe, I’d like to take some home to my mom. She has bipolar disorder—and the flowers will cheer her up.”
“You planted flowers on a golf course? What does the greens keeper have to say about that?”
“Oh—I cut him in.”
Brad ignored the question.
“So, when are you going to get married, Andy?”
Andy wore cargo shorts and a polo shirt. He gained weight from working as a psychologist. Everybody had problems on the job, and to escape their drama, he ate.
“That’s a bit closed-minded, don’t you think?”
“Well—look at the average married male—he doesn’t get any, and he’s a slave to his wife,” Andy said.
“That attitude will ensure that you never get married.”
“Are you having sex?”
“We’re taking a break right now. My wife keeps getting headaches. I’ve suggested four different prescriptions, but they never work.”
“My flowers are in the woods off the second fairway,” Brad said.
“Are those gunny sacks?”
“I’ve got two varieties—your garden variety weed, and poppies.”
“You said that you work with Mexicans on a landscaping job?”
“Well—I give them the product, and they give me cold cash. That’s how I got my Firebird.”
“How much do they pay you?”
“750,000 dollars per load.”
“How many loads have you processed?”
“Over a dozen.”
“What do you buy with that?”
“Well—if you get caught—you won’t need to change your lifestyle too much. All they do is workout in prison.”
“Nobody is going to find out.” Suddenly, sirens wailed in the parking lot.
“Can you each carry a bag?” Brad asked.
“Well—the airport is nearby.”
“Can you fly a plane?” Chad asked.
“Don’t need to—I’ve got a pilot,” Brad said. He bagged two gunny-sacks and ran through the suburban houses toward the airport.
Two bald police officers ran across the first fairway with their guns drawn. “What happened to the guy who was playing golf with you?”
“His mother called—it’s her birthday.”
“But his car is still here.”
“He got picked up—his car wouldn’t start.”
“We’ll check to see if your story checks out. Marty, start the car.” In the distance, the engine turned over, and died.
“I guess you boys are legit. Don’t leave town.”
A yellow bi-plane flew over the golf course, heading south.
“Who would’ve thought it? Brad made the biggest changes in his life this year,” Joel said.