Golf Travel

The eclipse

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The first time I played golf was the afternoon of the partial eclipse in Nashville, Tennessee. I had just returned from school with my degree, and my father chose to acknowledge my maturity by standing me drinks at the close of our nine-hole round.

My golf game is a loss of memory, a stroke sliced so far wide, my eye can’t follow; I hear the pond gulp. But I remember the one o’clock eclipse, how when I stepped from the house the clear sky unexpectedly darkened. The air turned cool in the animal silence.

And I noticed under the tall shrubs where shadows of the oval leaves met and parted, a thousand dancing moon-shaped suns shifting and dividing as the air shuffled the stiff leaves and a thousand foci blinked and stared. I called the others out to show them.

Moments after the display had vanished, I remember I remained entranced. I saw eclipses everywhere. My car eclipsed the family car, the house across the street eclipsed the hill that stood above it, tall irises eclipsed the box, and every object rose to obscure another.

My father joined me carrying his clubs, and we went. But on the way, all buildings, cars, trucks, signs, and trees, held orbits that met and overlapped. The golf swing, too, caused an eclipse, and the sinking ball eclipsed the cup. Nothing seemed safe, that afternoon, from apparent loss.

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