Since the world's lack of response to my existence—my Match.com success rate is lower than Sisyphus'; magazine editors feel no compunction to reject my proposals since they can simply ignore them; and applying for jobs has proven to be nothing more than an act of abnegation—I decided to try to taunt fate by committing to all the golf I could play for a total of $50, on weekdays during the month of February, on The Lakes at El Segundo.
The way things had been going, I figured I'd pay the 50 bucks, hack around the course, commit to playing there regularly, then arrive home to a request for an interview with ING or a positive response from an editor that would require me to travel. Or, lottery-victory of lottery-victories, I would receive a response from one of the women on Match—strike that—I would receive a response from one of the attractive women on Match to whom I had sent an email, as opposed to those who have contacted me unsolicited, women who may be overwhelmingly alluring to others, sexually irresistible to some, but, alas, less than pulchritudinous to me. No such luck on any front.
Instead, on a course that I had played twice, shooting sever-over 36s both rounds, I parred the first four holes, missed four-foot par putts on the next two, bogeyed the next when I pulled my tee shot and didn't make a good recovery, then parred the eighth. In my mind I was two over (had I counted correctly, who knows what might have happened next), so when I reached the 261-yard par-4 ninth, a hole that has three traps right and a trap and water left, I figured that if I went for it, drove the green, then made the eagle putt, I would have shot level par, something I've never done on a course that didn't feature a windmill. The headwind was fierce, I'd say 20 mph. I figured that if I aimed at the traps and hit the ball solidly, my natural draw would kick in, carry the ball over the traps, land the shot on the fringe, then roll the ball towards the pin. So that's exactly what happened. I had a 12-footer for eagle.
Of course, had I counted correctly, meaning if I had known that the made eagle putt would simply have put me at one over, I probably would have made the putt. As it is, I overread it by an inch, left it a quarter-inch high, and had a tap-in birdie, shooting a two-over 31.
Debating whether to press my luck, I went around again, this time getting a touch unlucky when the second-best shot I hit all day didn't bite and left me with a downhill chip to a tight pin, but I still shot a 32. That's a total of five over for 18. And to think that a week ago I felt pretty good about the two 36s I had posted.
That, ladies and gentlemen, is a little thing we like to call progress.
Now if only something vaguely resembling progress would manifest itself in another aspect of my life.
To that end, I will now write out a plot summary of Exit Wound, since the original one I wrote umpteen years ago jumped the rails many chapters back. I think I have a handle on it now, though, so if I grasp it gently, as if holding a bird, keep my weight on the balls of my feet, then move everything rhythmically, all should be okay.