We left Aqua Golf quickly, embarrassment crawling up our necks. Somehow during the one hour spent driving golf balls into a man-made lake — downing drops of tincture — Sean had managed to tell me of his greatest fear.
All around us were persons who seemed lost, as though the sunshine and spring heat dizzied them, and that they too had found themselves at a driving range for reasons unclear. It was something to do. It was nice out, and Sean had only slept a couple hours the night before. As a lawn aerator, Sean complains that the aches in his muscles keep him up, induce nightmares and makes him feel immobile. He had dreamt of orgasming into a group of 40 people and thought being near a lake, doing something mildly active could work as a cure.
After spiking our Gatorade with mango-flavored Edipure tincture, we didn’t speak, give or take, for fifteen minutes, aiming our shots at the red and blue targets floating in the water. It was fascinating to watch the lake splash and ripple, as though I were casting stones off the porch of my childhood home.
Initially I had hit a ball only 50 yards, until the tincture worked its way through me. Then I began to visualize my form — worked on keeping my left arm from bending and how to swing my 3-wood with a single fluid motion. It was therapy. I was hitting the ball a couple hundred yards.
And when we finally did speak while breaking for a sip of Gatorade, Sean had asked, while blocking the sun from his eyes, if I ever felt like a tourist. He had meant it in a way that said: I have no home. At places like Aqua Golf, there’s a feeling that everyone there is a local. That they had maybe grown up coming here, when like today, there was nothing left to do.
I told Sean I didn’t, not in Denver, because I grew up just 80 miles down the road. He finds the idea of nativity hard to understand. He has spent much of his life wandering from city to city, state to state, and has always used sports as a means to meet new people. In Portland, Ore., he practiced yoga; in Santiago, Chile, he snowboarded; and in Marquette, Mich., he played pick-up soccer games in a park outside of town. Sean is likeable, interesting and open minded, and in the past month we have been getting high and playing sports with a sense of adventure. I have learned how he responds, and what kind of weed will make him or me sluggish or poorly perform. Since exploring the world of tinctures I’ve found that, for the most part, it makes Sean talk.
After hitting all 100 balls into the lake, Sean and I rested, leaning into our clubs. We spoke about what form worked best, which tee, and how far we had hit the balls. But Sean still felt bothered and changed the subject, chatting with a sense of openness about how lovemaking is a rare and shy thing for him — that’s what the dreams are telling him, he thought. He spoke with such an openness, it was as though he forgot where he was and what he was doing.
And it wasn’t until our focus widened that we realized we were extremely stoned at a driving range and talking about Sean’s love life as though we were in comfort of our own home. Everyone around us, it seemed, was listening. Sean and I quickly gathered our things and left, avoiding eye contact with the other golfers, and stood in the parking lot waiting for our ride.
“Who would have thought,” he said, “that you could sweat so much hitting golf balls.”