Monday, February 19, 2007

A Door Opened And Life Changed

Life changes. More often than not the big changes come without forethought, without planning.

What brings about change? There is a moment of inspiration. You see something on television, read something in the newspaper or find something in a website.

At times it's a telephone call that changes life. It could be a door that opens. For me, this past summer, it was a combination of the two. Literally...

---> Flashback, July, 2006 <---

I escaped work and purposefully avoided watching the news over the weekend. The Golf Gods smiled and I got out for 18 both days. The weather was perfect all weekend; the kind of days you want to bottle and open up by the time the middle of February rolls around.

Drove an hour on Saturday to play one of my favorite courses. Arrived at the perfect time...just after the guys who think they should be playing The Tour were leaving and the ones waiting for the weekend discount to kick in were sitting at home watching the clock. I walked and played two balls. Shot 90 with one and 93 with the other. They have a great snackbar where the blonde behind the counter came ever so close to making the cut for Playboy. I had two Italian sausage sandwiches between nines with perfectly grilled red peppers on the side. It was delicious. Oh yes, the sandwiches were very good too. The blonde's twin drives the drink cart; it seems like I'm always thirstier when I play there.

Late Sunday morning I got a call from SchemesALot. I was still in bed after a night of debauchery with TheSpecialOne. He asked if I wanted to join him and FinickyExaggerator for 18 that afternoon. I called him back a couple hours later to say I'd go. TheSpecialOne had given her blessing and gone to sleep. She was getting together with the girls for the evening.

SchemesALot told me we'd go to the course where he's gotten to be tight with the owner. The worm turned when I arrived to pick him up. He'd been drinking since he called me. SchemesALot wanted to tell me about his latest venture to make money without paying taxes. I could do it too, he told me, and I could use his PayPal account to be sure the money couldn't be traced. Next he wanted to show off his garden...then we went outside to see the other garden. Where was FinickyExaggerator I asked two or three times. Finally SchemesALot stopped talking. I asked him again and he told me we were meeting at the course.

SchemesALot never stopped chirping while I drove the roundabout way to the course. We drove twice as far as needed when he had me turn the wrong way. Twice. FinickyExaggerator was not there when we arrived. Normally he'd have arrived early enough to putt a bit, hit a couple buckets of balls, have something to eat, brush his teeth and be shopping in the proshop for the latest gadget. SchemesALot called to find out he'd gone to a different course. Of course SchemesALot didn't understand how it could have happened, but he told me it would be good as we'd have more time to hang out and talk.

SchemesALot suggested we go to the snack bar to wait for FinickyExaggerator. The statuesque red-head smiled wide as we walked the cat that ate the canary. It quickly became apparent that SchemesALot was convinced if he tipped her enough that he was going to score. After a couple beers he told me he'd go and pay my greens fee so he could bullshit with his buddy. I was happy to be rid of him so I could have a couple sandwiches in peace. As he was walking away with my fifty dollars he told me we wouldn't have to pay for carts. I shook my head and the red-head laughed. He's really something, she said. "Something" doesn't begin to describe it, I told her. The fact that the red-head felt the need to comment spoke volumes. It was apparent that she was quite accustomed to attention and knew how to work with what God had blessed her.

FinickyExaggerator came in and asked what was going on with SchemesALot. Not only had he sent him to the wrong course, he told him I was coming at a later time. FinickyExaggerator didn't know how he was going to be able to play without time to prepare properly. I saw the red-head looking out of the corner of her eye with a mischievous smile on her face. The red-head didn't have the first three drinks FinickyExaggeator asked for; finally he settled for bottled water. He headed out to his car to change shoes and hit some putts.

I haven't seen you here with them before, the red-head said as FinickyExaggerator walked out. I told her I didn't know if she'd see me there with them again, but I wouldn't mind coming to see her. The red-head told me I was sweet and batted her eyes. Just then SchemesALot came bouncing in and asked if I'd seen FinickyExaggerator. Told he'd gone out to the parking lot, SchemesALot told me to come on...that we were burning daylight. I paid the red-head; as she took the money she looked into my eyes intently. I'll remember what you said about coming back, she told me. SchemeALot stuck his head back in the door...C'mon, man, let's go.

I went outside to find that SchemesALot had put our clubs on a cart and FinickyExaggerator had a cart parked next to his car across the parking lot. C'mon, man, SchemesALot told me, let's get over there. FinickyExaggeator is playing for free, SchemesALot told me as he burned tires making a quick getaway from the clubhouse. I asked about my change and SchemesALot told me he'd paid for the golf and would catch up with me later. I started to ask about the deal he was getting and SchemesALot told me I shouldn't worry so much. We're here to golf, he told me, chill out. I heard the red-head's voice in my head. He's really something.

SchemesALot had enough warm beer stashed in his bag to get him through the front side. But he had to keep taking cigarettes from FinickyExaggerator who smokes a European brand. This, of course, didn't go over well with FinickyExaggerator who kept pointing out that they have the generic ass cigarettes SchemesALot smokes in the clubhosue. SchemesALot never carded more than a bogey which FinnickyExaggerator continually questioned. He would recount shot for shot what had transpired on the hole we'd just played. Meanwhile, FinnickyExaggerator never shot more than par...according to the scorecard.

FinickyExaggerator was talking about his business venture, the newest gadgets and clubs he'd gotten to cut strokes off his game, how much money he was spending on various home remodeling projects and what he was buying for his boys. As we drove from one hole to the next SchemesALot contested whatever conversation I'd been having with FinnickyExaggerator. He made sure to point out that this didn't cost that much and how he had facilitated deals to get things done for FinnickyExaggerator at little or no cost.

I saw more of the course in nine holes because of SchemesALot looking for lost balls {balls abandoned by other players not onces we had hit} than one would normally see if they spent the whole day playing. Time and time again, as he drank more and more, SchemesALot narrowly avoided crashing carts with FinnickyExaggerator.

What I shot I have no idea; I stopped counting after the second hole. I did enjoy the game, though. The course was nice to look at and a challenge to play; beautiful houses lined the fairways and there were a few points where you were high atop hills with the most wonderous views.

When we came to the turn it was back to the snack bar. It was busier now as the discount crowd was arriving. FinnickyExaggerator left to buy a new glove; the one he was wearing just didn't feel right. SchemesALot had a couple quick beers and headed off to the bathroom. The red-head walked over, rested her hands on the snack bar and began tapping her freshly manicured nails. I don't have to close tonight she told me...then asked what we boys had planned after our game. I told her I didn't know what they had planned, but I'd had my fill for the day. The red-head said she was sorry to hear that and again reminded me she would keep in mind what I'd said about coming to see her again.

I thought of TheSpecialOne and thought I should be on my way. As I was walking out SchemesALot practically ran me over. I made an excuse of being tired, said I was concerned that my play was holding them up and that I would have to be heading home. SchemesALot told me he would walk me out to the car.

As I was putting my bag in the car he switched his over to FinnickyExaggerator's cart and pocketed a fresh pack of FinnickyExaggerator's cigarettes that were sitting in the cart. I thought FinnickyExaggerator was going to have a stroke when he came out and saw how SchemesALot had disrupted where he had things placed in the cart. SchemesALot asked FinnickyExaggeator for a cigarette who again said they have the generic ass cigarettes you smoke in the clubhouse and noted how much he paid for the European brand. He was so upset at his things being moved in the cart that he didn't notice the pack had been taken by SchemesALot. SchemesALot meanwhile made fun of the situation and talked about how much less the cigarettes actually cost than FinnickyExaggerator claimed while he went to his car for another pack.

I'm not sure to have ever been so happy to be leaving a golf course as I was when I looked back in the mirror. The two of them were still sitting in the cart clearly having a lively exchange. I clicked through the CD stacker to get to the one I labeled The Relaxinator and headed for home. I stopped at a nine hole course on the way, walked and shot 56. I have to say after the first nine of the day, it was the most enjoyable 56 I'd ever scored.

TheSpecialOne called me for a bit of phone sex before falling off to sleep. Orgasms always help her sleep better she told me. Before we hung up for the night TheSpecialOne told me what an enjoyable night she had with the girls and how happy she was when I told her I had a great time golfing. She encouraged me that I should take more time away from work.

I had a passing thought of the red-head before falling asleep. To be more accurate, I laughed thinking of TheSpecialOne's words and wondered if SchemesALot had gone to make time with the red-head after the game. Had he spent the rest of my money trying to take her home after closing. The thing I didn't have to wonder was whether the red-head had taken the bait SchemesALot attempted to dangle.

Through it all, I have to say the old adage is true. A bad day on the golf course is better than a good day at work.

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