The fruit flies in my apartment

only live for 24 hours.

They die

and I can’t find their little corpses.

I wonder where they go.

What if, the pricks we know

were the same?

It was hot, at 9 AM.

My dream of writing the Great American Novel

sticks to my brain like bubble gum.

We all have to have a dream

or else life becomes a nightmare.

I went to the pro shop

where the flies are. The biggest one

was staring at his computer screen, pretending

not to see me. “Do you want to get out?” He asked, without looking up.

“Yeah,” I said.

“Well, it’s clear.”

“Thanks.”

I walked out and teed it up, and sure enough, there was nobody out there. It’s a pleasure to have the field to yourself. What that means is an uninterrupted golf game—not as much to write about—but the closest thing to heaven on earth.

I was closing-in to the green, with perfect golf shots, when a kid in a cart drove up.

“Mr. Johnson?”

“Yes?”

“You teed-off the wrong nine. I’m sorry, but my boss told me, you need to tee-off the back 9.”

“Okay,” I said.

He drove back to the pro shop. It was 450 yards away. I had to walk back, through oncoming golf shots to start again.

This was an invisible battle between me, and a small man, with a little power. Big men with lots of power, don’t have the time to worry about a guy like me. They’re thinking about invading Ukraine or Czechoslovakia. They don’t get much thrill from killing one man—it’s the conquering of nations that keeps them up at night, until they fantasize about 6 million murdered, and go back to sleep.

There were four retired guys, walking up the fairway towards me.

“Did they actually tell you that you had to turn around and walk back?” One guy asked.

“Yeah,” I said.

“That’s Bullshit! You aren’t bothering us.”

“It stinks,” I said.

The next guy re-affirmed his friend. They waved at me, cheering me on.

I sat down at the number 10 tee-box, and stared at the slow traffic out there. A couple was giving a golf lesson to another couple. I was in hell, waiting for weekend hackers to get out of my way. Quickly, my mind shifted to Dante’s Inferno, rather than Hemingway.

Finally, they were through, and I hit another perfect golf shot.

I was playing like a pro.

On the next hole, I asked, “Can I play through?” And they let me.

I was as free as a bird, even though the prick in the pro shop was trying to shit on my day.

I met-up with some young guys.

“Hey, can I play with you?” I asked.

“Sure,” they said.

I began to impress them. I drove a par 4—355 yards into the green. I missed my eagle putt, but then I birdied.

My next shot was an inch away from the cup, from 100 yards.

I was living on hopes and dreams.

It doesn’t get much better than that.

The other day, my friend asked me, “Why don’t you do something practical—make a lot of money?”

And I said, “It’s not the same as pursuing your dream. If you can become who you wanted to be when you were 18, that is the highest satisfaction.”

The End

2 thoughts on “The Highest Satisfaction

  1. Just thinking out loud here: why do people, even those with the best of intentions, say things like “Why don’t you do something practical—make a lot of money?” Why is what we do so important to them? Did they ever think that maybe we’re content doing what we’re doing. Maybe deep down inside they wish they could be more like us and less like themselves. I don’t know; just shooting from the hip. I think people are generally discontent with their lot in life but like to pretend our lives are much shittier than theirs.

    Liked by 1 person

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