Saturday, September 29, 2012

The Slump

It rained yesterday. That was a good thing.

Recently, my friend and I commiserated over our mutual plight. "My happiest moment", he explained, "is when I walk off the 18th green." Satisfaction was not in a task well done, but merely in a task that was, well, done. As inevitable as death and taxes, it is simply the "slump".

Each year, like some fool chasing the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, I begin my season with an optimism borne out of whole cloth. After over a half century of coming up empty handed I should have come to the uncompromisingly ugly realization of what I am, and more importantly, am not. But, with the pain and hideousness of past failures having receded over the winter months, spring and hope beckon.

It is now late September and the tooth fairy is no where in sight. I have hacked and chopped, sliced and sliced some more from the months of April until now. I have thrown away all my good swings and positive thoughts and been left only with a hissing, nasty mess. Every putt is offline, every chip a slap in the face. Each drive is framed by a question mark and my score is only an estimate. Even mulligans can't rescue me from what I have become.

I have started to lie to people when they ask if I am available to play.

I moved into new business quarters earlier this year. In one of the other offices there is a putter and two golf balls. Yesterday was the day that the owner of those items and I were to meet at his club at 7:30 AM. In the dark at 5 AM, it was hard to tell whether the sounds I heard from my 8th floor window were wind or rain. I checked weather.com and was reassured that it was precipitating. I was overjoyed to learn that the chance of this dissipating by tee off time was almost nonexistent. But, I was only a guest and could not be certain that my companion to be was not a mudder.

When the email came in that it was a better day to stay in bed then venture out, I was relieved and suddenly refreshed. But not everything is silver linings.

Today is Saturday. I have my weekly game with a number of my buddies. It is now 6:30 and all is still outside. The first light of day brings no joy. It is dry, and the course awaits.

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