I was playing golf in the wind and the rain. It was a reaction against the job. Disintegration was wearing on me, like a second-grader, rubbing his pencil-eraser to a nub. Coincidence, or my lack of will, moved me down the river of least resistance. I had a job where I pushed papers across a desk, and the finer points of communication were spoken by other people. It was an anonymous feeling—like being a zero. All the job would need to do would be to bring in a 1, and they could replace me. Of course, this feeling was intentional. They wanted all employees to be thankful for their work—that way, everybody would do their jobs from fear of losing what kept them alive. The only problem was, I was dying in my soul—dying to do something that counted. When I started to find it, my co-workers noticed immediately—so did the building supervisor. I was supervised by corporate, and he knew I didn’t report to him—so when he noticed, I was feeling free—like my numbers were going up, he asked me, “Who supervises you?”
“It was Mari, but now I think it’s Audrey.”
“Oh—they switched on you,” he said, accusingly.
“I guess so.”
I said this with the least amount of conviction—like having someone above me, was incidental. I could tell it rubbed him the wrong way. My father was institutionalized. He told me, “A man needs a boss—otherwise, he’ll do what he wants—that’s why a man needs to get married.” I thought about what my dad said. I decided not to get married, and work a job until I didn’t need to, anymore. My family noticed I didn’t buy things.
“You take no joy from life,” my brother-n-law said. “Why don’t you buy anything?”
“It costs too much.”
“Why don’t you get a girlfriend.”
“She costs too much.”
“You are bitter.”
I didn’t argue. I had taken life too easily in high school and college, and now I was waking-up to the horror that a job was going to own most of my life—and I was expected to be grateful for it.
My golf game was getting better, under the worst conditions. High-pressure systems converging with low-pressure systems were pushing over trees, and ripping yellow leaves into the air like confetti. Maybe, the storm is necessary to get to the land of Oz. I started to birdie. A suburban man, walked-out onto his porch, and waved at me. I gave him a thumbs up. I could tell he thought I was crazy, but I couldn’t hear anything he said over the storm.
When I got to Number 4, a porta-a-potty had blown into some nearby pine trees, and the blue-stuff had splattered onto the green grass. I walked into it, and felt strange. I felt like I was going forward in time, and backward in time, at the same time.
It was spring, and I walked-out of the blue-stuff onto a sunny golf course. I heard the door bang behind me.
“She’s all yours,” I said, without thinking.
“Thanks,” said a teenager. He was me, on my high school golf course.
“Wait a second, before you do your business, I have something to tell you.”
“I know high school seems like it will last forever, but it won’t. When you go to college, pay careful attention not to waste your time. Don’t give-up your time for anybody—not for a job. Work hard so you can do what you want to do. Choose something you can devote your entire life to, and never give it up. You will be scorned, and told that you are immature, but this is only the mouthing-off of slaves.”
He looked at me like I was insane, but I had my say. When he did his business, I thought he might not be there, but then he came out. When I went inside, I enjoyed the smell—that’s how I absolutely knew he was me. Everybody loves the smell of their own shit.
I wound-up on the windy golf course again, and I wanted to go back to that simpler time. So, I walked back into the blue stuff, and found myself on a much different golf course. The door slammed behind me. There was a man in his mid-forties, waiting. He looked like James Bond—I barely recognized myself.
“What do you do for a living?” I asked.
“Whatever I want,” he said. Then he walked inside. Somehow, I got the message. I was doing what I wanted. I had style. Not much mattered. When he came out, I went in and smelled my own shit, and it was sweet. I finished my round in the storm, and had unbelievable confidence that my life was never going to be the same.