Thursday, July 21, 2005

Day 12: College Park, MD

The mind and the body adjust of their own accord to circumstances.

Todd and I know that we can sleep in, yet when I awake and make my way down to the bathroom, my brother-in-law is getting ready for work. It is not yet eight o’clock.

We do spend some time with a leisurely breakfast, but then it is time to pack up the car. We say good-bye, pausing to admire the tie-dyed shirts that my sister-in-law and niece made yesterday but are not quite dry; then it is off to BWI.

I wonder if dying is something like this—the gradual giving up of the things you’ve accumulated in the first half of your trip. I know there may be golf this afternoon, but I also know that I will be play alone and Todd will be on a plane to Ohio.

We part at the airport, Todd holding the camera out in front of him to take one last picture of the two of us. It has been a great trip made better by the presence of a good friend. I know I would have enjoyed myself had I gone alone, but there is an icing on the cake that I got to share the bulk of my trip.

After Todd is gone, I adjust the driver’s seat, pop in Sunday Ladies Philosophy Club and head for College Park. I make one wrong turn where 95 turns into 495, but it is easy to turn around and my directions to the park are simple enough.

Calvert Park is the oldest course in Maryland; it’s Mach 1 baskets are in good shape, though, and there are alternate tee pads and pin placements for every hole. Today, it appears as though all the pins are in the long positions, so I decide to play the short tees (there really isn’t that much difference).

As I lace up my high tops, I’m in a somber mood. There is a little wind that is affecting my warm up putts, and I see some graffiti on the portajohn announcing NO ILLEGALS, but really it is just the awareness that things are drawing to a close.

I shoot a pedestrian 54, with two birdies and two bogeys. Even making a 20 footer on 18—the longest hole on the course--to save my par round, is not enough to get me jacked up. Around Hole 16, my shins start to hurt from pounding the pavement and pushing off, a dull, achy sort of pain. I’m always happy to shoot par, and while Calvert is no Rock Hill, it’s no Douglass College either. For the first time all trip, my bed at home sounds more enticing than tomorrow’s course. Looks like I timed the length of my vacation just right too.

There is one very nice moment though, when I throw my second flick of the round. It makes a solid approach to a long hole with a right turn, and I realize I’m getting slightly more comfortable making this throw, even in the middle of a round. It is not the orgasmic thrill of throwing an ace; rather, it is the pleasant prospect of a new friendship, one you think might last a long time. Why it should seem odd that among the many good things about this trip, improving my game should be one, I don’t know. But it has been.

I get to the home of the people I am staying with in Maryland, but they are out for most of the evening, so I start watching a downloaded movie ( Being Julia). As usual, I’ve packed way too much, and I have DVDs, books, and downloaded movies that I didn’t even glance at.

This seems as good a place as any to add some of my less than complementary observations about the trip:
--The merging lane of a highway is for accelerating until you reach the speed of traffic, not for stopping until you find a break in traffic.
--Many of the towns in New England have an irritating habit of only identifying the cross street on their signs. This can be annoying when you are not sure that you are on the correct street to begin with.
--There is a preoccupation in New England with letting you know that something is a STATE law. You must, for example, yield to pedestrians in crosswalks. This is not a local ordinance, nor is it a national statute. It is a STATE LAW. And don’t you forget it…
--Despite my two day stay, I still avoided buying gas in New Jersey.

3-3-3 3-4-2 4-3-2 OUT (27)
3-3-3 3-3-3 3-3-3 IN (27) 54

Day 12 Tally--
Courses: 16
New Courses: 8
States: 11
IKEA Stores Visited: 1
Books Brought on Trip: 4
Books Bought on Trip: 1
Books Read on Trip: 0 (little bits of de Caussade)
Movies Downloaded to Watch on Trip: 5
DVDs Brought to Watch on Trip: 9
Movies Watched on Trip: 1

No comments: