I Need a Caddy

Grab my sticks for me?  They’re getting too heavy.  I know, they feel light, but put them on my shoulders and watch me break.  You see, there’s a lot more to those clubs than what you can see.  Yeah, they’re new, but don’t compliment me on them because it’s embarrassing.  They’re just sticks, just like anybody else’s.  No, they’re not blades, though I know they are, but don’t call them that because then you’ll expect me to be good enough to play blades and the fact is I don’t think I’ll ever be good enough.  It’s confusing I know, the bag’s practically empty and there’s only 14 clubs in the bag so why would I ever need a caddy, but those clubs hide an entire world that you can’t see.  For me they’re like lightning rods.  Every time I touch them I’m transported to a million different places.  I’m back at my worst, I’m ahead to my best, I’m carrying the burden of a lifetime of validation reliant on how I can make these clubs perform.  I’m tightroping all of these realities in the present with a thousand eyes searing through my being, peering into the most insecure of my fears, waiting for confirmation of what they know to be true, that I’m not enough.  That I’m not what I portray, that I’m not what I aspire, that I’m a fool in royal attire masquerading himself as more than what he could ever achieve.  All in the span of one shot, one round.  I’m student, teacher, champion, cretin.  I’m no longer playing a game, I’m journeying an Odyssey.  I don’t carry clubs, I carry crystal balls, therapists’ couches, addicts’ vices, theologians’ divinities, capable of beaming light and hope into my despair and filling me with optimism that I’m more than just daydreams and whispered intentions, and also capable of tearing down every wall, felling layer after layer of my soul until the most basic, most insecure and most terrified manifestation of my existence is left shuddering in a corner, shocked at how quickly the glass Oz around him could be shattered.  I can’t touch these clubs any more without a feeling of dread, anxiety, hopefulness, and fear.  I can’t pick one out without seeing my entire future resting precariously on the dime sized sweet spot, waiting to be knocked off and lost should I fail.  Maybe if they came from another hand they might be more than adders in my hands, complacent as long as they decide they shall be, master to none and willing to no plans save their own.  Perhaps if someone were to shoulder them they might shed all the previous possessions of past failures and be nothing more than instruments of a game, tools to bring me as much success and enjoyment as I desire.  Maybe if someone besides me stared down at them they might see a club and not a pool reflecting back infinite disappointment and shortcoming.  Maybe the shot might manifest a little faster and I could see a flight path and not an abyss over which stretches silk threads, so fragile that the tiniest creeping doubt snaps them.  Maybe if I had a caddy I might hear something besides the incessant chatter of the various players within me arguing over who will get to hit the shot, maybe he could finally veto the temperamental, insecure, failingly hopeful version of me to be the one to hit the shot, and he could hand the club to a more deserving candidate, one who dwells in reality and not his own delusions.  I need a caddy, because I can’t club this next shot.

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