Cosmo was getting ready to retire. He had worked in the pro shop at the East Bay Country Club since 1960. It started out as a summer job when he was twenty, with plans to go to college, but as time moved forward Cosmo started to tolerate the job, then liked it, then loved it, and then for a while, hated it again, but Cosmo figured he must love it, otherwise, he would work somewhere else.
During his years at the club, Cosmo learned a lot about of golf, and how to play it, in fact, for awhile Cosmo was being encouraged to start playing professionally, he even had a sponsor, but by then Cosmo enjoyed his life at the pro shop, for a lot of reasons.
What Cosmo liked the most about his job was keeping secrets. Probably every middle-aged man who belonged to the club would at one time or another bring his wife in and the next week come in with a woman that was not his wife, sometimes, it was the same day. Cosmo learned to keep secrets, and he would be tipped well for his discretion. He even got a few stock tips through the years, that paid off very well. Cosmo was a handsome man, and even he entertained a few lady friends, which usually included a cruise or a few nights in Europe with a widow more than twice his age.
When Cosmo was in his thirties he started to ask people why they played golf, he got various answers and confused looks from his country club customers, sometimes, they would look at him and not answer at all, Cosmo found this rude and he would mentally file their answer or lack there of in a special mental category. Mostly he got answers such as, “to get out of my wife’s hair”, “its cheaper than the dog track” ,”to talk business”, or “to enjoy nature”, sometimes they said, they “just loved it”. So for years, Cosmo watched the people walk the course day after day and year after year, the same nine holes or eighteen holes.
He would watch the people play three times a week, then two times and week and then once a month. He would watch the people get older, and frail and then stop playing completely. “He loved golf” the obituary would always say.
By the time thirty years had passed Cosmo was a wealthy man, and had everything one could want. He had purchased a nice home, but kept it secret, a nice car, but drove the older one to work, had occasional lovers, he even had a few pets through the years. Cosmo had everything but still something eluded him, it wasn’t religion, Cosmo had tried a few of those and found them uninteresting. It wasn’t an education, Cosmo had more knowledge than 10 men with PHDs. Cosmo wondered, and, finally figured it out. He had played this course long enough and finally scored under par, no mulligans were allowed, and Cosmo went on to play the next course.