My short game has been suffering in the last decade. The last time I went to Los Lagos was over a year ago and that was only to the driving range. So I decided to take my nine iron with me. Besides being able to improve my chipping at a moment’s notice, the iron will support my constitutional. Even though the rubber will undoubtedly suffer on the journey to the golf course, the club will make a reasonable cane for the broken concrete sidewalks.
The walk from the stroke center will take awhile; it’s a tad over three miles. But I’ll get there. At least I’m out of the loony bin. They were getting to me. Especially the women. They prowled around outside my door. Every Sunday, Genieve came in under the pretense that she wanted to watch golf. During the Pro-Golf Association Grand Slam, Phil Mickelson was set to shoot a 58, thirteen under par, and shatter the record PGA Grand Slam record of 61. Only three other golfers have hit 59 in the PGA Tour: Al Geiberger, Chip Beck and David Duval. On the last hole, Mickelson was all set to make a 9 foot eagle putt that would have given him a 58. As he wound up, Genieve coughed. I’m sure that Mickelson heard it on Poipou Beach in Hawaii; he botched the shot. God damn. Genieve acted like nothing happened but I knew. She was banned from my room for two months but somehow sneaked back in after five weeks when I was watching ESPN. It was quiet for a little while and I was able to watch the games in peace, even with Genieve around.
A few months later I started waking up after my Sundays afternoon nap with a pitching wedge in my pants and an unbelievable need to shit. During the Honda Classic this year, Mark Wilson, Jose, Coceres, Camilo Villegas and Boo Weekley, were in a four way play off for the win. Coceres missed the shot on the green, Weekley was still in a bunker somewhere, and Villegas had hooked the ball way off into the trees. Wilson though, oh man, Wilson shot it straight on the dance floor and won. Holy shit what a shot. I turned to tell Genieve what an unbelievable piece of work Wilson was when I noticed her pouring powder into my cup. She’d been spiking my milk of magnesia with crushed Viagra for the past eight weeks. Hussy.
Thank God the women are far behind me. And those wretched people who keep stopping by. A little while ago group of kids marched into my room claiming to be family. The oldest of the bunch was half my age, had twice as much hair, and was four times as ugly. He claimed to be my son. I looked at him closely and I must admit that we do have similar foreheads, the same small mouths, and hollow eyes. He looks like me, that is if a horse had kicked me in the face.
“Dad, it’s me Brian. Remember I came out here last weekend with my wife Beth and the kids- Billy and Judy.” He told me.
He was so adamant about it that after the fifth time I nodded and said, “Of course, Brian. I just didn’t have my classes on.”
After that he turned his kids loose on me. The brats crawled all over my lap, coating me with sticky Popsicle juice, getting the shit all over my nice shirt. Worst of all, the fellow didn’t seem to know that he made a better door than a window. He parked himself in front of the TV. and asked me about a woman named Mary, who he claimed, was his mom.
“Dad, tell the kids about mom,” he said. The week’s basketball highlights were on and I figured I’d entertain him. He did claim he was paying for me to stay in the Stroke Center.
“Nice woman. She loved chicken noodle soup. She loved orange juice. She couldn’t stand them together.”
“Really Dad? I didn’t know that about Ma.” His eyes got cloudy.
“Yup. I remember when we first started dating. The long drives in the countryside in my old Pontiac. Sneaking into her house late at night to play a little touch and go,” his brow furrowed at the mention of romantics. “Wonderful woman, wonderful.”
“A wonderful woman, oh yes.” Genieve walked into the room. Brian scowled at her. I scowled at her. And the little brats, they ran up to her and pawed her floral dress with their sticky hands. Genieve shot her hand out to Brian, tilting it at the rest so that he might kiss it. He stared at her without moving until she dropped her hand.
“I’m Genieve, a close and personal friend of your fathers,” Brian looked at me. I shook my head. “Your father has told me so much about your mother. A wonderful, wonderful woman.”
This woman was embarrassing me in front of a man I didn’t even know. The tips of my ears reddened. “This is a private and important conversation. Leave.” The words gasped out between my teeth.
Genieve hobbled over to my chair, stepping in front of the TV. on the way. She bent over, and puckered her tomato painted lips. I leaned back as far as I could as she moved forward. The chair couldn’t go back far enough, and two wrinkly lip prints tattooed my cheek as she waddled out of the room.
“God damn woman. Why the hell are they always after me?”
“Well, it’s great that you have friends here Dad,” Brian said without an ounce of sincerity. “I got to take the kids to the park. Billy has t-ball practice. We’ll be back in two weeks.” I wasn’t sure if the last bit was a promise or a threat but at least he took the brats with him when he left.
That was the last straw. That woman made me look like an ass in front of that kid. I had to escape. I had to get out. It took me a solid day of planning to arrange everything for the trip. My walking shoes were set next to my bed and I found my plaid pants, a respectable polo, and my favorite hat. I grabbed my nine-iron from my golf bag in the closet and woke early. I could rent the rest of a set of clubs and hell maybe even get a caddy when I got out to the course. After dressing, I stole out of my room and down the hall. Genieve lives three doors down, her room was wide open and I peaked inside to make sure the hag was still asleep. Her bed was filled with a creature with a featureless face. It took me a moment to recognize that it was Genieve. She’d sand-blasted the make-up off her face to go to sleep. I gripped my club a little tighter and shuffled out of the Stroke Center.
The walk has gone by quickly already. I’m a third of the way there and I should make my four o’clock tee time. God, I can’t wait to hit the links. I couldn’t escape with the telly but at least I’ll have refuge on the back nine.