Linksman

Linksman

he was a golfer
never a linksman
and he quit playing
around age 30
because he wasn't 
all that good
at golf

but it wasn't
just the fact
he wasn't very good
it was that
not being so good
it made him so damned angry
so frustrated and furious
with the outcomes
of being mediocre
that he just had to quit

and it's still that way
today
40 years later
with a lot of things
mostly people
he's had to accept
their abandonment
of him
like his own
abandonment of golf
over his anger and frustration
at being 
merely mediocre
at the game of people
too

the same anger
forcing him to abandon
people and potential passions
rather than try 
to temper the frustration
or improve upon
the skills and competence
that
in lacking
give way
to so much
damned fury

when he told me
about quitting golf
i wanted to ask
"did you ever think
about taming your anger
so you might
continue on
with the game
and maybe improve?"

and i wanted to ask
"what was the big deal
about being so good?
why not just play
and enjoy the time
on the course
with your buddies
some booze
in your dumb pastel clothes
in the sun and fresh air
whether you
were superior to them 
in the game
or not?"

but i already understood
it had less to do
with the quality of his game
than the fact
without a whole lot of effort
he would never be
superior to
all the others
he played with

it had to be
far more than
the game of golf
since
in a group of guys
ones with superior golf
and social skills
he would not be the standout
in any way
and being
just one of the boys
has never been 
a position
to his liking

but i know him too well
it's been 40 years
since he quit golf
and in all that time
to question
his role 
in his rage
would only trigger
more of the same rage
still pestering
him
now

so there's really no point
in even 
or ever asking
since it had to be the golf
that was the problem
cause an anger
he never acknowledged
by trying to fix it
couldn't have been 
the problem
otherwise
he'd have fixed it
a long 
time
ago

no
it wasn't him
it wasn't his rage
that forced him
to quit golf
is was golf
and the skill
to be superior
that didn't come
easily enough

just like
the prestige
that comes with 
better jobs
responsibilities and commitments
and decent women
mostly granted
through effort
risk
and some failure
that for some
cause too much 
frustration and fury
to ever
carry them
out
to the end

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