I haven’t tried to fit in for some time

I’ve been an outsider

and if you’ve spent enough time on the outside

you start to think that’s where you belong

being accepted is a strange phenomenon

probably because I haven’t tried for some time

People draw a circle around themselves

and they don’t let others in

they can be friendly, but family is another thing

the golf course in maple valley

speaks a special language

only their own can hear

it is a banter, a lingo, an acceptable turn of phrase

and those who don’t speak it

get shut out

and never know it

you see,

the same places are not the same

a place is one thing to me

and something else to somebody else

the dinosaurs on the golf course raised me

you have to be around them, day in, and day out

it is a rhythm

between lingering cigar smoke and power cart exhaust

where fossils come alive

I’m dressed in a $90 polo shirt and camo shorts

they can’t stop staring because it doesn’t make sense

“What do you do for a living? Are you a teacher…?”

“I’m a psychologist.”

judgements begin…

but I start to talk the talk

and they loosen up, a bit

“What novel are you reading?”

“Women.”

“Are you married?”

“No.”

“I bet you’ve gotten laid several times since college.”

I don’t answer… “Well, I became a doctor last week; that might help.”

“That’s right!”

“But I don’t advertise; maybe I should.”

we play the game, the only way, it should be played

feeling the air on our faces

listening to the geese eating the grass

busting balls between shots

“Hey, ride in my cart and I’ll take you to the next hole.”

“We thought you were some bleeding-heart liberal, but you’re okay.”

We talk politics and how the world is coming to an end.

“Ride in my cart?” the other guy asks. “You’ve got to read this book; it changed my life. Maybe you can write one about what’s been going on…”

“I think I’ll go to the mountains.”

They laugh and I birdie the last hole.

“It was great to play with you, Andy. We typically tee-off at 10:30. You’re welcome to join us, anytime.”

One thought on “Belonging

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