Coming back I saw a guy with a golf club on the west side grassy border between the sidewalk and the street I was on, which happened to be Hudson Street. I could see he had a ball on the grass and was positioning it. Then he stepped over it and took the shot.
His swing looked sound. I’m thinking this guy is not a hacker. It was funny. He swung the club in my direction and the ball looked like it was coming right at me. I instinctively dodged a little to the right in these interesting times as the ball ran out of gas quickly and plopped to the ground.
“I thought it was a real ball, “ I said, coming up to where he was. I was still in the street.
“Oh no,” the guy says. “You couldn’t do that around here. It’d go bouncing off all over the place. It’s a wiffle ball.”
I’d already guessed that myself. I know all about wiffle balls. You might say I’m a wiffle ball expert. A hollow plastic ball with evenly spaced little holes in it. This one was the same size as a real golf ball. If you swung at it with all the precision of some heavy-hitting pro the ball wouldn’t fly more than a few feet.
“Sand wedge,” the guy says. He was a white gentleman maybe sixty with wavy pepper and salt hair and was looking reasonably trim in dark blue jeans, new looking fine running shoes and a well-tailored, polo style shirt in a sheeny grey, tucked in as opposed to worn loose. “Want to join the Shaughnessy golf club?” he says.
“I don’t think I can afford it,” I said.
“It’s free,” he says. “All you need is a club or two.” He was joking about doing what he was doing, but I didn’t get it at first.
“I thought you were talking about the real Shaughnessy,” I said. Shaughnessy Golf & Country Club “Well, you get good loft with a sand wedge. Have a nice afternoon.” I had to be moving on.
“Good loft. That’s right,” he says.
He was a nice, friendly Shaughnessy-er. I’ve no doubt that was his excellent, massive place just on the other side of the low granite stone fence bordering the other side of the sidewalk from the grassy strip. He had the easy, confident patter of someone well-heeled.
In a flash I decided not to mention I played Shaughnessy one time as a guest but I’d thought of it. My concern was the gentleman might possibly be a member of the real Shaughnessy Golf & Country Club because he could afford it. And he might think me, in his final analysis, rather jejune. And I can’t have people thinking I’m jejeune. It’s not on. And I wasn’t overly interested in more conversation although I’d enjoyed this strange encounter. I had to get going.
I had the thought for a few moments that this wealthy lawyer or chairman of the board or whatever thought perhaps I might live in Shaughnessy myself, a rich guy like him, a neighbour out for his exercise slog in my running shoes and shorts and logo-ed top, something like he was doing to prevent himself from going crazy. I daydreamed of my ego being stroked, purring like a kitten. Hey, I’m a rich guy too! But I was dog-tired from this championship death march and soldiered on like a horse who can smell the barn.
That sounds icky. It’s day a billion and two of the pathogen. Pathogen, why? Why this? Why now? Where you headed, pathogen? Behaving like this and all. Why? You’ve caused so much pain you ought to be ashamed of yourself.
All word spinning aside we’re getting through, like the Shaughnessy golfer who can’t go to his club, wherever it is. It’s nice to be in the privileged position we’re in with one of the best scores on the big board. Our game has been pretty solid so far and here’s hoping.
Flowers courtesy CSNicol