When you’re a young man looking for advice, it’s freely given. And knowing what to hold onto is a kind of wisdom. -Intellectual Shaman
For some men, their worlds grow larger and for others, their worlds begin to shrink. Billy smoked 2 packs a day and his world was the golf course.
The weekend shift is only 4 hours. A handful of high schoolers and myself chose to work on Sundays because it was more laid back. Billy was in charge. He arrived early in his red Camaro and pulled his clubs out of his car.
“I’ve got a men’s club tournament after our shift,” he said. “So, you boys better hustle out there.”
It’s strange how the boss sets the tone for the crew. Even on the weekends, the men hold to his routines. Billy popped the cap off the dry-erase marker and wrote assignments on the board. I’m not sure if his acting was intentional or just something he had observed for years.
“Matt, course prep.”
“Jordan, sand traps.”
We hustled to the maintenance shed. It was the same routine every Sunday. When we finished, we walked back to the clubhouse.
“I got my nephew so drunk yesterday,” Billy bragged. “He turned 21 and I bought him his first beer. He didn’t realize that one beer easily turns into two.”
“I just turned 21,” I said.
“I’ll buy you a beer,” Billy offered.
“No thanks, I don’t drink.”
Billy looked hurt. “Nobody’s ever refused me before.”
“Well, I have church after this and it’s Mother’s Day. Getting plastered would sadden her.”
“Just one?” Billy asked. I could tell he really wanted to get me drunk.
“Didn’t you just tell us about your nephew?” I asked.
He gave me a sheepish grin.
It wasn’t long after that that somebody broke into the restaurant and stole a bunch of booze.
Bottles of Jack Daniels were lying everywhere, like somebody had a party right after.
When the police arrived, Billy checked in. “Are you going to log all of that whiskey as evidence or can I have it?” The officer hadn’t considered this. “If it’s okay with the restaurant,” he said.
Apparently, the booze was contaminated or at least that’s what Billy told me and he piled most of the bottles into the trunk of his car. We didn’t see Billy until 17 days later and he came back to work with a terrific hang-over and more drunk stories than I care to tell.
I usually played golf in the hot afternoons and Billy always sat at the open bar, watching the golfers tee off. He just sat there for hours, waiting for somebody with talent. His cigarette butts filled the ash trays and a column of blue smoke billowed above him.
I crushed it off the tee and Billy clapped. He did this with a cigarette in one hand and a drink in the other. I turned to look at him and there was a big smile on his face.