A Caddy Remark –
Lining up his putt on the 18th at Pinehurst for a birdie, Jack Higgins looked to win the first tournament of his PGA career. Behind him stood his caddy of nearly four years on the tour. The National Cellular Network Open was the latest tournament to be added on the PGA.
“Okay good buddy, what do you think?”
“Aim two balls to the right of the cup to compensate for the break. The afternoon sun hasn’t dried it out as much as it might have because it is late September. I would suggest a firm stroke of about four inches past the cup since it is an uphill break.”
“Gotcha. I agree Jamie.” Jack stood up and Jamie stood back out of sight. He putted firmly. The ball slowly broke left and headed to the center of the cup. It rolled slowly up to the cup and took that precious turn that caused it to drop into the cup yielding that sound that every golfer loves of the ball echoing as it falls in the cup and bounces. The crowd erupted into applause. Jack looked back to Jamie and they gave each other a hug. “You the man!” Jamie said into his ear. Jack whispered back into Jamie’s ear, “Good call on that putt. I couldn’t have done this without you. Too bad Mark wasn’t here to witness this. You are going to love your paycheck, by the way.”
Jamie smiled, “Yup, I sure am!”
Five years earlier, coming off the course at the Arizona Biltmore, Jack had shot a 65, but beat his friend Mark’s one under par round by six strokes. “Time for you to pay up. Lunch is on you.” said Mark with a mischievous grin. The two of them headed to the Orangerie room for lunch and a chance to talk about their futures.
“I can’t believe I beat you, but have to buy you lunch. That is not how it works for scratch golfers, Mark. But, you were amazing. Tee to green, I always have beaten you. But, in putts, you win every time. Today, with you helping me line up my putts, I had one of the lowest scores I have ever had.”
“You are welcome. All you need to do is sharpen up your game on the dance floor and you will be invincible. That swing of yours is the next Iron Byron.” Mark added.
“Mark, I am turning pro after I get my degree in May. I want to either be a pro at a club or turn pro and go on the tour. What I need is you carrying my bag on tour. How about being my caddy?”
“I don’t know, I have special plans.”
“How special can they be. You saw it today. Together, we make a wicked combination. My weakness has always been my putting. But you are the cure. Long game, I am unbeatable. Second shots, I can nail the green every time. Even when I need to chip and hit out of the sand, I am phenomenal. But get me on that dance floor, and I lose it. You have that special eye and you know it.”
Mark turned his head to look at the Frank Lloyd Wright architecture of the room and drank his fresh orange juice. “I really can’t Jack, it would be too painful.”
“Because you wouldn’t be playing?”
“No, helping you do well is one of the best things I have done with you during these last four years of college. Being your study partner was great. And you know I don’t have that killer instinct you do. I beat you, but only because you have the yipes so bad.”
“Then what is it? Are you into guys? I mean you hardly date. Could it be the tour would be hard on you for that reason? Please give me a reason.” Jack was getting desperate. He wanted to go pro so badly that he was grabbing every chance he could to ferret out Mark’s reasons to say no. This one seemed to hit a sore spot.
“No, I am not gay. That is not it.”
“Traveling? Living in hotels? Miss the family? Want to have a regular job? Want to hike the Appalachian Trail? Write the great American Novel? I would just like to know. I am your friend too. If we aren’t going to be together, let me be at least supportive of you achieving your dreams.” Jack was giving up and realized he needed to care about Mark’s dreams too.
“I would love to help you Jack, but ...”
“But, what? Please, I am your friend too. There is something you want to do and you aren’t telling me.”
“I have enough funds left over from my student loan to fix me.”
“Fix you? Fix you how?”
“I need an operation.”
Jack looked at Mark and said, “Are you sick? It isn’t cancer is it?”
“No. It’s worse.”
Jack looked at his friend and worriedly asked, “How much longer?”
“About a year, and then Mark will be gone for good.” Mark smiled.
“What the hell are you smiling for? My best friend will be dead.”
“I am not dying Jack, I am transitioning. I have my degree in accounting. I want to transition and become whom I was meant to be.”
“And who would that be? Transition to what.”
“A woman. I want to be a woman and get a sex change operation, Jack.”
“A woman! You mean you want to have boobs and chop your dick off!?” Jack turned pale and was shaking his head no. He looked at Mark with anger and disgust. He was having trouble processing all that he had heard.
Mark got up. “Excuse me Jack, I need to go use the restroom. I will be right back. I will understand if you aren’t here when I return.” Mark patted him on the shoulder.
Jack sat back in his chair and watched Mark leave the room. He pulled out his wallet and was getting ready to drop some cash and leave when he heard, “Some friend you are.”
“Excuse me?” Jack turned and was looking at an elderly gentleman in his late 70s sitting at the table next to him.
“You know, the acoustics of this room are legendary. The ceiling can reflect the conversation of the table next to you right into your ears just like you were sitting at their table, but the people at the table don’t even know someone is eavesdropping on everything. I heard everything you both said. You are a coward, if you ask me, Jack, if you leave.”
“Whatever, Mark is a freak. He is going to chop his dick off and become a real freak.”
“He is not the freak, you are.”
“Look, mister, I am pretty sure the bible says he isn’t supposed to do it. Something about men wearing woman’s clothes. I have heard my pastor talk about it.”
“Yes, that is from Deuteronomy chapter 22. And guess what it really says. And yes, it says that God detests woman wearing men’s clothes and men wearing women’s clothes. But, it doesn’t say to do anything about it. No stoning. No killing. Just that God detests it. That is odd because the whole chapter talks about a lot of things you ought to do. However, on this one point, God doesn’t tell us what to do to the person who does it.”
“Well then, I am walking away from him because God detests him.”
“Then you are taking an action that God doesn’t sanction in Deuteronomy. God detests the wearing of clothes, not the individual. Is your friend wearing those clothes right now?”
“No. He is still dressed as a guy.”
“Then you have to stay.”
“Okay, then what do I do when he chops his dick off and puts on women’s clothes when he isn’t a real girl? Can I leave him then?”
“No, he will become a eunuch, technically.”
“Well, why not? Then can I ignore him according to the bible. The bible says eunuchs are bad too, right?”
“No, because Philip was commanded to go to a eunuch and share the gospel. He did and the eunuch was saved.”
“You sound like a pastor. Were you?”
“Yes. A fairly conservative one too. Listen, we are commanded to test everything according to scripture. And, someone like your friend needs scripture just as much as you do.”
“So, does God condemn him or not?”
“I don’t think so. Your friend isn’t wanting to sin sexually. He wants to become the sex he, or rather she, feels she is. And that is not the same. The bible condemns adultery. It says that sex outside of marriage is wrong. It says many things are sins. But, when it comes to eunuchs, scripture is pretty much okay with them. In fact, while they weren’t allowed in the inner courts, they were tolerated in the outer courts. And, in the new testament, Christ even says that we should be like eunuchs for the kingdom.”
“So, abandoning my friend isn’t really kosher.”
The elderly man laughed at the Jewish reference. “No, it isn’t. Your friend needs you. And God doesn’t give you a reason to run away from him. Your friend will have to reconcile his or her nature with God’s word. But, the word doesn’t allow us to throw stones at him in Deuteronomy. Far from it. Now, if he were committing adultery, have at it. Well, don’t really do it. What I mean is that adultery is an offense we can walk away from.”
The elderly man got up, pulled out his wallet, and threw down a fifty on the table Jack was sitting at with Mark. “Here, lunch is on me. I am thinking you need to stay. Friends stay together. And here is one bit of advice. Golf is a special game. You understand it has rules, just like God has in the bible. It requires integrity. If you leave now, you will lose that integrity. And is it really worth it because you don’t understand what he is going through or what God says about it?”
Jack put away his wallet and looked at the fifty lying on the table debating about whether or not to give it back. He then turned to talk to the elderly man and he had vanished. He sat there thinking about what the man said when Mark returned. “So, you stayed. Does this mean you are still my friend?” Mark said with hope in his voice.
“I guess so. It is just a lot to absorb. You blindsided me. I am not going to say that I agree with what you are going to do. But, I want to try to understand. You deserve that much after four years of being friends.” Jack gave Mark a weak smile.
“Thank you Jack.” Mark got a little teary eyed. “Because I really need a good friend. And, I think I am going to lose a lot of them very soon.”
“So, what should I call you when you do this thing you are going to do?” Jack said haltingly. He looked at Mark and let out a little laugh.
Mark smiled and said, “I like the name Jamie.”
Copyright © 2017 by AuP reviner
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