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visitors since May 12, 2002
February 5, 2003
Anything you want it to be

I'm back in Fitzroy and I've just come back from a stroll around the neighbourhood. I walked through Carlton, across Princes Park, and ended up at the Royal Park Golf Course. I hadn't intended to play golf, but I changed my mind once I got there. I didn't have any clubs, and I didn't have any golf balls, but it didn't seem to matter. Visibility on the course was poor, but I think that's because I was there in the middle of the night.

I wasn't really playing proper golf, anyway. I was playing a variation of my own invention. This involves walking from the club house to the first tee, and then following the course all the way round to the ninth green. This is surprisingly difficult when you can't see any signs pointing you in the right direction. I got to the first green without difficulty, but then had to do an extensive search before I found the sign pointing to the second tee.

The sign said:

Walk along this path for quite a while, then cross the train line, then find the tram stop, and it's just near that, sort of. If you can't find it, you haven't gone far enough. Good luck.

So I walked along the path, and crossed the train line, and looked around, and kept walking. Then I walked some more, and a bit more after that. Eventually, I found the second tee. It was in a different suburb. It's possible that it was in a different city. It was a very long way. After one hole of imaginary golf, I was exhausted.

But the lengthy stroll committed me to the idea, so I walked around the rest of the course, and eventually came to a resting position on the ninth green.

I lay on my back and looked up at the stars. Normally a vast number are visible, but there are bushfires in the north, and the smoke has reached Melbourne. Only three stars were clearly visible, and another dozen or so put forth a weak glimmer.

Despite being only a few miles from the centre of the city, it was very quiet. A sprinkler gently watered a nearby lawn, a bat flew overhead, an occasional police siren was heard in the distance.

And I thought over my game of imaginary golf, and felt satisfied with the way I'd played. I hadn't lost any golf balls. I hadn't mishit any shots and lost my temper. I hadn't attacked the shrubbery with a five iron. And I'd played the entire course while wearing black jeans and black boots and a black tshirt.

The problem with real golf is guilt by association. By swinging a club in leafy surrounds you're engaging in the same activity as people who wear tartan trousers and a jaunty peaked cap. There's no such problem with imaginary golf. You can wear anything you want. You can change the rules. You can change the objective, the prize money, the point. It can be anything you want it to be.

As I lay there looking at the sky, I suddenly realised that this is pretty much how I feel about life.

     Posted by Sean Hegarty at 02:12 AM in the Reflective category | Comments (0)
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