My parents are out of town, so I played the local city golf course
next to their neighborhood.
The guy I was paired-up with
was fat and nervous.
“My wife doesn’t know I’m here,” he said.
He said this like he was having an affair.
“I’m getting ready to bet 2,000 dollars tomorrow.”
“In a tournament?” I asked.
“No. With some guys from work. My wife doesn’t know.”
He hooked his shot into the tall grass. He pulled his wedge into the neighbor’s house.
“I’d better play better than this,” he said.
He took a whiff of marijuana.
We passed the boy selling golf balls, and he drove right on past.
“A dollar-fifty a piece,” the boy said.
“Can I get three balls for two dollars?” I asked.
He smiled. He reminded me of me, when I was in fifth grade.
We went to the next hole and the guy I was playing with
nailed the neighbor-lady with his golf ball.
“Sorry,” he said.
She wasn’t hurt
because his golf ball took three or four bounces before biting her in the ass.
She was gardening.
I looked-at the No Trespassing Signs protecting her yard from the golf course.
It didn’t protect her from the golf balls that rained down on her yard. There were dozens in plain view.
“Get some lessons!” She yelled.
The guy I was playing with inhaled marijuana, again.
I know what it’s like to be him.
Life goes along in neutral, until the clutch fails.
There’s no shifting into gear
It’s neutral, until it’s bad.
A man needs secret vices, so he can feel something—so he can get away with something.
To be pure for too long
is not to know what purity is.
There is the comeback—the good feeling of redemption.
The next boy was selling lemonade. I gave him a dollar.
“Take a glass,” he told me. They were paper cups.
It was made from powder. I used to drink the stuff by the gallon when I was his age.
I had a lemonade stand
next to the bike-trail
until a parks department employee
if I had a food handler license.
“No,” I said.
“Well—get the hell off city property before I call the police!”
That was my last lemonade stand.
The guy I was playing with was making me nervous.
“Would you like a Gatorade?” He asked.
“Sure,” I said. Being nice to him had paid-off.
I wonder if people know
how stressful they are to be around?
He was talking during my golf swing, but I knew he was higher
than the airplanes and helicopters
flying above the golf course, so I didn’t hold it against him.
I finished my round and breathed a sigh of relief
The peace was like smoking a peace pipe and getting high.
When I left the golf course
a drank my mother’s coffee
ate my dad’s apples
read their newspaper on the toilet
took a shower
climbed into bed
and slept with the windows open.