Waking up before 4 AM is unnatural; at least it defies my nature. I nuked my burritos in the microwave and grabbed a Diet Dr. Pepper for my run to the golf course. The crew passed me in their cars; a bronco, firebird, exhibition, infinity, and ranger.
I punched in.
Billy was doing his crossword puzzle and smoking a cigarette.
Pete was taking a nap.
Jordan was making pancakes.
Dave was watching wheel of fortune.
And Bill was reading the National Inquirer.
Steve popped the end of his dry-erase marker and wrote assignments on the board.
“Jordan, sand traps.”
I got up and put my rain-gear on. I looked at the walls where the men hung their things. Names were written everywhere in permanent ink, but there was impermanence there. So many had passed through this place; so, I breathed a sigh of relief.
It started to rain and I walked with the rest of the guys to the maintenance barn. 1985 was the password to get in; it was the year Billy graduated high school. Things are so slow to change there; I wonder if it’s still the same.
Dave inspected the mowers. “You gashed the hydraulic lines when you backed in Billy!” I could sense a fit coming on. “Watch the fuck where you’re going next time!” He picked up a broom and threw it across the maintenance shed. “It’ll take me at least half a day to repair!”
Billy got into the other mower and lit a cigarette with indifference. “Asshole.”
“What did you call me?” Dave screamed.
And Billy roared out of there. The crew had to stay ahead of the golfers, especially if they were near the greens.
When I walked onto the number 2 green, it was still dark. I put my hand into the cup to change it. SQUASH. Some asshole had done number 2 in hole number 2 and I rushed to wipe the stink off. It was going to be a shitty day.