Zen and the Art of Miniature Golf
I've got to tell you, I have been a bit of a wreck lately. Between a touch of homesickness, mourning the passing of a friend, and a flare up of chronic, cavernous, gaping ambition, I have been feeling a little bit fragile, a little bit lost, a little bit desperate.
I don't think either the homesickness or the grieving requires much in the way of annotation. Each just is. I hate it that I can't afford to travel home to the island this summer, and I hate it that people get sick and die. There's not much I want to say about the grasping, except that I feel like I am sitting on the edge of a coin some other hand has tossed, waiting for heads or tails. This, or something better, has been my mantra, for I know the clenched hand cannot receive. Que sera, sera. But my prayer (if you can call wheedling prayer) has been Oh, please. Please. This.
What it feels like is the summer I was fifteen and my boyfriend broke up with me. It's that bad. My self-esteem in this matter is between grades nine and ten. I am on the verge of writing Kasey Kasem about it.
Anyway, I just couldn't face another day of obsessing and moping, so I gathered up the kids and took them out to Gator Golf. We headed down the interstate, listening to Elton John and Billy Joel on the oldies station. Gator Golf is a cement shack right off the highway, surrounded by a labyrinth of matted astroturf and algae-smothered waterways. It has a video arcade that could gave been lifted straight out of my early adolescence. Old school. I bet you could buy a cigarette for a quarter at the counter. It rocks.
You know how your fingers remember phone numbers on a key pad, even when your mind doesn't? Apparently, mine have retained the Ms. Pac-Man opening strategy at the cellular level. I got the high score. It boosted my confidence immensely. The kids had a blast at mini golf. It could have been Pebble Beach.
And you know something? For that hour, it felt like we were on vacation. It felt like life really is a gift, on any terms. It felt like it might not turn out to have all been for nothing if it never happens for me, because maybe this is what's been happening for me, all along.
For twelve bucks and a handful of quarters, it was quite a deal.