It has been too long.
Who-nan? I hear some of you asking. And yes, to those of you who’ve only recently sidled up next to the like-minded souls here on the 19th hole, I appear as a newcomer. To those who have long been here at the bar and are signaling the waiter for another round, I have been admittedly indisposed. An explanation is long overdue:
Upon awakening at the dawn of 2015, I found myself shouldering my trusted (and accursed) collection of irons, woods, putters and misplaced optimism — and starting out for a long 18. I had foregone the cart (my recent predilections for a finely mixed manhattan, or ten, had demanded certain lifestyle compromises, the terms of which my waistline, my liver and my taste buds have all agreed upon hencewith.)
But after my first 18, I felt a lacking. An unease. This, despite a string of birdies on the back 9, an up/down for par that could’ve easily been a triple, and a delightful half-flask of Ardbeg Uigeadail. So I walked for another 18. And another after that. And so on. Soon I found I myself in the Far East, under the watchful instruction of the old masters who practice the ancient arts.
I’m not sure how long I stayed, but at some point between my third dram and three thousandth, I seem to have wandered south-er. I recollect riding motorcycles with Cambodian street gangs, arm wrestling a baron in Luxembourg for half his kingdom (we settled at a fifth), and hunting narwhal with the Inuit.
Then again, perhaps I was half-hallucinating a beer commercial. Still, it wouldn’t explain my newfound ability for scrimshaw.
It wasn’t until I found myself at an ayahuasca ceremony deep in the Amazon jungle that the sudden, blinding revelation hit me that it was time to return home.
And here I am.
Where is all of this leading? I don’t know and that’s point. Where is any of this leading? Why does it have to lead anywhere? What if we simply sit in the moment and be thankful for what all surrounds us? I suspect most of us have some semblance of a roof over our head and people who, at best, love us and who, at worst, tolerate us enough to eat their poultries and drink their alcohols. To whit, I raise a glass and proclaim my thanks for a few things.
I am thankful for a good shirt on my back. Should you find yourself in need of one, my dear friends here at Criquet have got you covered.
I am thankful for a well-made manhattan. Hold the cherries. Fruit is for children’s lunches, salads, and monks who know how to turn it into alcohol.
I am thankful that women have decided to make yoga pants in public a thing. I realize this has been a thing for quite some time now, but well, I just wanted to be thankful for it today. May it always be.
I am thankful there were no Adam Sandler movies in 2015— what? Oh dammit. If only another manhattan could erase that fact.
I am thankful for you, gentle reader. I am thankful that life is like a golf ball – pure but not quite perfect – and how we should all aspire to live as though we were like it… flying far and wide, with purpose but open to chance. In other words…
Be the ball,
…and Happy Thanksgiving, naturally.