Tuesday, April 10, 2012


   We watched the ball sore in a gentle arc and land one-hundred and sixty yards away, rolling to stop a few yards further, still fifty yards short of the two balls already sitting in the fairway.
   “Nice shot, Mr. Tysinger,” said Jimmy.
   Uncle Billy smiled. “I don’t get it out there like I used to, but at least it’s in the short grass … and how many times do I have to tell you it’s ‘Billy’ … my dad was Mr. Tysinger.”
   I stepped up to the tee and took a mighty lash. The ball started out on a promising flight, but quickly changed course and ducked hard left, landing behind an imposing oak tree.
   “Nice shot, Arnold,” said Uncle Billy.
   “You gonna use your mulligan?” asked George.
   “Naw … I can hack it out of there.”
   I followed Billy to our cart, slid into the drivers side next to him, and took off in pursuit of our tee balls.
   “It’s good to get out with your golfing buddies again.”
   “They’ve been wondering where you’ve been.”
   “It’s been too damn cold to golf … this is the first decent day we’ve had.” He took a swig of his coffee just as the cart went over a mogul. “Hey, take easy there … damn it.”
   He wiped at the coffee spill on his pants. “So, how’d it go in Saginaw?”
   “Okay … not as well as Clara did, however.”
   “Why don’t you write one of those young-adult fantasy books that seem to be so hot right now?”
   “Not my thing.”
   “So, you’d rather write stuff that has no audience, eh?”
   “I don’t think about the audience … I just write what appeals to me and hope someone else likes it too.”
   “I guess that’s why you need to borrow money for book signings.”
   “Well, thanks, for the loan.” I veered the cart to left. “By the way, I was surprised how well you took my signing in Alex’s store.”
   “What did you think I’d do?  I don’t have any papers on Clara.”
   We pulled up to my ball. The lie was worse than I thought.
   “Good luck with that,” said Billy.