Sunday, June 03, 2007

Inspired By Bukowski

I’m going to try something a little different for this post, because there are a lot of crazy things happening in my life right now and I’m at the point where I think just boiling down one of my posts into a Bukowski-esque form might just get to the root of my opinions a little faster. Who knows, this may even be a little easier to read.

I was also bitten by a “rather aggressive” Lonestar Tick yesterday while desperately searching for an errant tee shot and I’ve been a little on edge with fears of Lyme Disease (the “rather aggressive” part is a quote from a website that had a picture of my attacker). So I’m feeling a little poetic at the moment.

So here we go: an attempt to write like Charles Bukowski.

Sometimes Aleve just isn’t strong enough.
I find bruises
No idea where they came from
A social worker would cringe
From the sight
My knees
Don’t feel supportive right now
It’s a balancing act to stay upright
Maybe I shouldn’t have had that
Extra cocktail
Last night.

But there’s a light at the end of the tunnel
A familiar face
A favorite player
An Argentinean from Miami
Three friends in toe
All avid in their love for this great game.

It has been months
Maybe even a year
But the member still remembers me
I suppose the feeling is mutual
I still don’t really know him all that well
But I respect him
He respects me
I feel obligated to caddie
Balls to the wall
Till I hurt even more
Poor logic, perhaps
But the company and the tip always make it

I’ll be with them for 3 days
18, 36, 18
72 holes of pure joy
It helps to silence my fears
Of a serious job
And security
For the moment, anyway
Other caddies look at me
Like I stole something
Like I might not be worthy of such a loop
I find comfort
In knowing
That I care enough
To know that I am not entitled
I am grateful
This player-assignment was not my choosing
I will not take this gift for granted
How could anyone?
Good golf and good money?
I suppose only non-golfers would argue

The member allows me to call him
By a nickname
The others I try my damndest to pronounce correctly
Although not that difficult
I try to show their culture the proper respect
So I accent the same letters they do
One of the players
I still have no idea
His speech was rushed on the first tee
I hope that before the 72 holes are up
I’ll have it
Not to foreshadow too much
But it took me 70.

The golf they were playing
Took the form of a Match-play Championship
Two-footers were not even close
To a gimme
Lockjaw was a common debilitation
I don’t know Spanish
I can only count to 10
But I could easily decipher
The cursing
A missed putt
Caused the body to shake
The arms to reach to the heavens
And utter every bad word
Ever learned
On a school bus
Or elsewhere
On one occasion
After an important putt rocketed past the cup
One of the guests yelled and screamed
For a good 30 seconds
After a moment of silence
The member smiled and turned
“Would you like a translation, Tom?”
“No, I think I get the picture.”
Almost makes me want to learn Spanish
So I can be just as eloquent
When I decide to drop the F-bomb
Although I suppose
Would work just as well.

One of the teams dominated
For 3 of the 4 rounds
Was impressed at my own ability
To focus
In 95-plus degree heat
Reading putts that would
Normally make me second guess
Without flinching
I was Neo from The Matrix
I saw lines beneath the grain
The nods of approval
And pats on the back
Never felt so rewarding.
I wanted to do a good job
This was my favorite member
For no other reason
Than he respects me the most
I mean hell
I must’ve been focused
Because I did not even feel
Or sense
The Lonestar Tick biting the
Out of my leg
When I was in the trees looking for
That errant tee shot
It took me over 2 hours to realize
That she was even there
Fears of Lyme Disease
Call into question my lack of
Health Insurance
I think now I might be motivated.

By the time the last
18 holes
Came my way
The forecast was for
More rain
And severe rainstorms
But they came from Miami
A little water
Would do nothing to deter
The last match of the weekend
The two underdogs still needed
A win
I know I wanted to see it, anyway
I was hurting
My legs couldn’t seem to move faster than
A speed walk
My mind tried to compel them
But Mr. Lactic-acid had something else
To say
About that.
By the 3rd hole
Visibility was poor
I could only see about
100 yards in every direction
The rain felt like the massaging jets of a Jacuzzi
Bill Murray’s famous “I’d keep playing. I don’t think the heavy stuff’s coming down for quite a while.”
Came to mind
I think for the last 5 holes they were carrying
The wind and cold had slowed me down
To an embarrassing walk
I didn’t want to let down my member
But he just smiled and applauded my efforts
As his cart fish-tailed off of the fairway.

By the time we reached the 14th
The match was over
My underdogs had finally won
Big time
Despite my poor reads on the greens
Now, normally
I just accept the fact that I suck
Don’t get me wrong
I still try
But let’s not kid ourselves here
I over-analyze
For 54 holes
Believe it or not
I was flawless
But the last 18 holes were just ugly
Even had a few going the other way
It was surprising that they still asked me
For anything
Part of me thinks the member was just
Being kind
Telling his players to trust me
They had to have known I was tired
You can’t fake running like Forrest Gump
At least I had more time to take a breather
And better scenery
Than he did.

By the end
They were all so grateful
Sincerely happy
Normally it would be hard to tell
But they spoke Spanish
They could’ve said a million things
Behind my back
If they didn’t like the job I was doing
I’m sure they would’ve stopped asking
For advice
But regardless of all the Spanish
The cursing
The remarks on the side of the green
They still put their trust in me
For whatever reason
Regardless of how water-logged and tired I was.

I will always treasure
Those final handshakes
That last eye-to-eye glance before
A player and his caddie part ways
Never to meet again.


woundedduck said...

You're 26?! Your writing and stories have always made me assume your were an old, grizzled, sun-burnt pine cone that had been kicked around golf courses for years. I guess you're just young and grizzled, which makes you the Huck Finn of golf bloggers. And I love that your problems--thinking that you suck, or that your view of yourself hangs on what your members think of you--are the same problems I have (and I would guess the same as everyone else who reads your blog.) Thanks.

English Dave said...


Tom, dude, this was a little unusual ... but not necessarily in a bad way. I must confess myself to be unfamiliar with the works of Mr Bukowski (should I take him to the thing, right now?) and, once I saw that it was written in verse rather than prose (is that right? It's been a long time since I studied English Literature) I shied away from it for a little, fearing that I would not be able to follow it, or fully appreciate it. But it reads very easily and you still manage to express yourself as eloquently as ever, even using fewer words, which is a very good thing. And some of it even rhymes! Whether that's deliberate or merely fortuitous, I have absolutely no idea.

It's nice that previous players remember you, as you remember them. I guess it's probably easier for them to remember you, since you clearly bust your hump for all your players, and they probably have fewer caddies than you do players for whom you loop. But it is always a good feeling when someone respects and appreciates the work that youy do for them, and wants to repay it in their own way.

There was a line in there "I’ll be with them for 3 days/18, 36, 18/
72 holes of pure joy!" that sounded exactly to me like it belonged in "Whole Lotta Rosie" by AC/DC. Again, whether that was deliberate or not, I dunno, but "Ain't exactly pretty, ain't exactly small/But 42-39-56/You could say she's got it all!" etc etc. AC/DC are a good band ... well, when I say good, I mean good fun.

I would LOVE to learn to swear in a foreign language. How cool would that be? When foreign players come to England to play football, they always say the first thing they're taught in English is how to say all the naughty words and slang. I've played alongside foreigners and they always sound hilarious when they swear in English.

On the previous post, which I did not log on quickly enough to read and comment, Mr Safari sounds like a nobber - a knob-gobbler of the highest order. Some people are just twots, I guess. Although, if Ben Crane was going to kick anyone in the nuts, I would love it to have been that time when he was playing with Rory Sabbatini (I think) in that tournament when Sabbatini kept on walking hundreds of yards ahead of him because they were put on the clock for slow play and Sabbatini got a huffty on. If I was Ben Crane, I would have waited until he was next to a lake or something, then run up to him, walloped him in the hoo-jahs as hard as possible and pushed him in the water while he was bent over double. I cannot think of a single person who witnessed that who would not think it was the funniest thing they had ever seen in the world. How great would that be? Ben Crane would have been my hero for all of eternity. Come on Ben. I know you read this. Next time you see him, do it. Even better, save it for a Major, so I can see it on TV.

Gotta go - next time I'm playing with my buddies, I've now got a plan for when we pass the water hazard.

All the best and keep yourself nice,


English Dave said...

Tom, dude, where you bin to? It's been two weeks!

Was that you I saw caddying for Bubba Watson at the US Open? It looked like a weedy pasty white guy, who didn't weigh as much as the bag he was carrying ... does that fit your decription? Caddying for Bubba would be tremendous fun, I imagine.

"So, Dave, it's a short, tight, dog-leg par 4 with long, thick rough up both sides, out of bounds on the right and water on the left. What do you think we should do off the tee here?"

"I think, my considered professional opinion, Bubba, is fucking twat it, hard as bollocks. And when you find it, fucking twat it again. Sorted."

That's a recipe for success in the US Open if I ever heard it.

Well done Angel. He is quality.