Clarity rarely enters a muddled mind, and when it does, it is often ignored. -Intellectual Shaman

I was playing golf with my cronies. I didn’t want to be like either one of them, but they were the guys who kept showing up in my life to hang out with me.

“You want some bud, Andy?”

“No, it’ll just be beer for me, this round,” I said.

“Ha, you think your better than us, but we know you. You’re the biggest poser there ever was.”

“We’ll see,” I said. And I crushed my ball off the number one tee.

Ryan slugged his second shot out of the rough while I hit my third into the woods. It was a slow walk up the hill and my beer belly wanted to rest on the soft grass. Then I dropped.

“You havin a heart attack?” Brad asked.

“No, just tired,” I said.

“Pace of play. Get yourself moving!” Ryan said.

I nodded and I got to my feet. If this round was like last week, I’d need something medicinal by hole number 3. I scrambled between the trees, looking for my ball and suddenly, I smelled the worst ganja. It was like dirty feet. A cloud of smoke billowed under some ferns confusing the insects, followed by coughing and choking.

“Who goes there?” A voice shouted.

I thought I might be hallucinating, but then I remembered… I’d only been drinking. “I’m just looking for my ball,” I said.

The underbrush parted and there was a little man with a rusty crown on his head, smoking a pipe.

“It’s been awhile since I talked to anybody,” he said.

“Why?”

“Maybe because I drink too much and I like to get high.”

Are you human?”

“Not exactly. My purpose, unfortunately, is to help people like you. I’m a leprechaun. I’ve lived for thousands of years and it’s the same tired monotony. Once I turned to drugs, I started attracting guys like you. I hate helping idiots, but it’s the only way I retain my magic. Once I lose that, I’m fair game for wild animals and circus spectators. Even with magic, maybe especially with magic, I exist in a prison of my own creation.”

“That’s very wise,” I said.

“Not really,” he offered. “When you’ve lived for thousands of years, you can’t stop thinking about life. In fact, you want to stop thinking about it.”

“I understand,” I said.

“Do you?”

“I think so. You can play games for only so long, and then you want something real, but life is a game and there isn’t a prize at the end.”

“God, I thought I was depressed,” he said. “How long have you been alive?”

“33 years.”

“Humans have no stamina. It took 150 years for me to get depressed.”

“Let’s not make this into a competition,” I said.

“Of course not. Now how can I help you?”

“I don’t know… I guess I need to stop my bad habits, find success, and marry a good girl.”

“God, you humans are so naive, but your wish is granted. Now I’ll get back to puffing the magic dragon, if you don’t mind?”

“No, go ahead,” I said. I found my ball and hit it onto the green.

“A miracle shot!” Brad shouted. “Who were you talking to back there? Are you sure you didn’t light a duby?

I smiled. I was high on life and who cared if it took 150 years for the effects to ware off. I’d be dead, long before then. So, I holed out and my life became a miracle after that moment. I don’t care what other people say, magic clears the mind, when nothing else will.

THE END

4 thoughts on “What I Found in the Woods

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