The summer is 72 degrees with an occasional gust of wind. The air is perfect. I drive my 20-year-old pickup down the quiet streets in the middle of the day. Everybody is at work. My friend lives with his mother. I’ve been doing school and the career for 10 years. Somehow, my progress isn’t important. I listen to the hum of my engine as I slow down to park. He’s there. It’s been a year, but it seems like yesterday. Sometimes, we have to endure a grind, a horrible monotonous thing, to enjoy pure delight.
“Man, it’s been too long. We need to hang out more often.”
“Put your clubs in the back and let’s go.”
“What’s new with you?” I ask.
“Just workin out. You still in school?”
“When are you goin to stop?”
“When I finish my Doctorate.”
“I must go all the way. There might be something there, although I’m doubtful.”
“We need to play more golf.”
“No arguing with that.”
When the streets are empty, you can really breathe. You expect to be able to do this in wide-open spaces, but in the city, it takes you off guard. It’s like a fresh snow has fallen, but it’s sunshine instead and nobody wants you.
“What are your goals in 2019?” I ask.
“Just work out and stay healthy. No stress,” my friend says.
He’s smart, in his own way. People ignore him, just like they ignore me. It’s hard to be completely alone, but if you have one or two really good friends, you can beat the system. Friends are fickle; they compare and compete and pretty soon you don’t want to be around them. But some have an understanding and the time is better together.
We get to the pro shop and nobody is there.
“I guess the golf course is closed today.”
“Not for us,” my friend says. We play the fairways and get into our natural rhythm. Miracles happen without any witnesses. He holes out from 72 yards and I sink a 30-foot putt. The sun sinks in the sky and the air gets cooler.
“You want to get some food after this?”
“Yeah man; this is just like old times.”