“Just taaaaaaap it in.”–from “Happy Gilmore”
Golf is one of those games that looks simple, but actually requires quite a bit of skill and discipline. Which is probably why I never personally succeeded at the game. But with love and golf, whether you win or lose, there is always an element of luck–which cannot be developed through drills or practice. But as Pliny the Elder said, “Fortune favors the bold.” You just gotta decide you’re going to play–and enjoy the game, win or lose. Please enjoy,
Out of Nowhere
by H. Robert Rubin
“Certain things in life simply have to be experienced -and never explained. Love is such a thing.” Paulo Coelho
David Goodman was thirty-one, frustrated with his social life, and feeling rather empty. He hadn’t had a bonafide girlfriend since about the age of 17. His love life had dealt him a series of death blows for 14 years. To Dave, it seemed a long, long time.
He was 5 ft. 10 inches in height and weighed in at a fit, 175 pounds. The average woman would give him high marks on looks with his thick hair, high cheekbones, and an upturned nose. It was only with all his frustration that humility gradually replaced his arrogance.
This bright Saturday morning in the spring of 2019, he was about to breakfast in downtown San Diego, as he relaxed at his home near the top of a 28 story condominium. Dave’s career in software found him well employed as a vice president in a growing high-tech firm. He enjoyed his work and home, but he found his personal life a figurative skid row.
David walked the few blocks to La Boulangerie, a restaurant with marvelous bread, pastries, and eggs.
Given its quality, the line stretched 100 feet outside the cafe. He cued up.
Dave found himself within earshot of a blonde dressed in golf shorts, who seemed likely in her mid-20s.
Her hair was long, wavy, and thick. Her voice was high-pitched and cute. There was intelligence behind those glittering blue eyes that was penetrating as he watched her converse with an effervescent brunette lady friend, also dressed for golf. He detected no ring on the blonde’s ring finger and felt a tinge of delight.
Dave waited for a moment of silence, looked at her, and inquired, “Have you been here before?”
“Do you have a favorite breakfast, if I might ask?”
“I do. I prefer their sourdough toast and omelets with mushrooms, onions, and peppers. It will get me going for the eighteen holes I plan to walk. What do you enjoy most on the menu? I enjoy the apple crepes. They are at their fluffiest and swim in pure maple syrup doused with Vietnamese cinnamon. The crepes are a real treat. Their house coffee, black, is the perfect complement to the meal.”
Dave thought to himself, would it be too bold to ask the two of them to join him? It would soften the path to getting her name and number. Knowing he had to take some chances to upgrade his glaring social failures, he asked. She accepted, and they soon sat down together.
“Hi, I am Dave Goodman”
“I am Sharon Hurley and this is my golfing partner today, Anna Smith.”
“Good to meet you both. Are you both living in San Diego?”
“Yes”, said Sharon.
“Sharon, have the two of you played much together?”
“We have not, Dave. This is our first chance to do that.”
“Anna, how did the two of you meet?”
“We were both interviewing as attorneys for the same firm and met in its lobby.”
“Sharon, did you both get hired?”
“What law firm are you with?”
“Davidson, Turnbull and Jacobs.”
“Don’t they specialize in patent law?”
“They do. How did you get familiar with our firm?”
“I am in software and we have patents pending through your firm. We are impressed with the work from the Davidson firm. It’s always our first choice for detailed, patent work.”
Dave was getting a little uncomfortable speaking with the two of them as he thought he might hurt Anna’s feelings, if, it became obvious he was more interested in Sharon. But, Anna, who also had a bare ring finger, might have no interest in him, the same might be true of Sharon. Dave balanced his attention, aware he could reach Sharon later at her firm. He need not request her number in Anna’s presence.
“Are you playing at Balboa Park Golf Course down the road, Sharon?”
“I love the course and so enjoy golf on beautiful days like these. Would I be imposing, Sharon, if I asked to join you?”
“Not at all. You’d be welcome. The attorney in me needs to ask, are you going to join us?”
“The witness in me, not raising another hypothetical, says yes.”
With a smile, Sharon replied, “Good!”
Dave had a good golf swing. But even, the pros have their moments.
Sharon appeared to love being out on the beautiful fairways. For her, it was a fair way. The sun flooded the course. The walking picked up her spirits. She was at one with the elements. Anxiety, faced with another relationship that might fail, put a flaw in David’s swing It was most pronounced on the drive, the most complex of swings.
“Dave, you seem concerned with a few bad shots. It is good to be with you today.”
“I thought you wanted to play some real golf.”
“Don’t let a glitch in your stroke obscure a beautiful walk on a sunny day.”
“Glitch? I didn’t know you knew Yiddish?”
“You seem to have gotten a little flummoxed.”
“I am impressed.”
“It’s just words assimilated working for the Jacobs at Davidson, Turnbull and Jacobs.”
“How do you know the words are Yiddish?”
“I look them up.”
Dave loosened up. At the next tee, he hit the golf ball squarely 260 yards down the center of the fairway.
“Wow Dave, you’ve got a wonderful, long walk off the tee.”
Anna did not feel left out. She was happy for her friend. Anna knew Sharon rejected dating anyone in the firm. Online dating had too little kismet for this incurable romantic.
Ecclesiastes 3 was something Dave and Sharon learned they both loved. There was, “… a time to Embrace and a time to refrain from embracing.” There was, “…a time to love and a time to hate.” They both had loved and failed and this was, “… a time to dance.
* * * *
The short story is about the chance meeting between a 31-year-old, Dave, who is growing up in his relational life, and a lovely woman in her 20s who practices law. She is an incurable romantic. He is an executive in an up-and-coming software company, a rising star.
That first meeting is touched with fear, courage, enthusiasm, wit and an interpersonal connection that is growing. They meet outside, in line for breakfast at an excellent café. Her female golfing partner accompanies her and golf was the plan after a hearty breakfast.
I am a blogger, novelist, and memoirist. In good or ill fortune, I’ve lived a diverse 76 years. My emotional scars from a dad who had difficulty giving or accepting love scars persist, but I am healing.
A roller-coaster ride endured most severely in my 20s is the essence of three published memoirs. I tried to balance the heartaches in the books with some perspective, reflection, and humor.
I am writing my first novelette. Its chapters alternate a young medical examiner/forensic pathologist’s life amid a homicide investigation and a budding romance. The attached is yet another romance.