Damn you, Tom Watson.
There you stood, nine feet away from eliminating every ache and pain in my rapidly aging body. You knock that putt in and I’d be able to put on my Brooks Beasts and run pain free, my pulled hammy miraculously healed. I could jump on my Trek and tackle those hills in Cherokee Park without having to click to the lowest gear. At Hogan’s Fountain, I’d still have breath. I’d arise in the morning and not have to stretch first thing before being able to trundle to take care of business in the bathroom.
You wrinkled ol’ linkster, if you had sunk that baby and won the British Open, it would be a whole new ballgame for every one of us old farts losing the smackdown with our dotage. We’d be able to get out of our recliners without having to push up with our arms.
I’d have sat down this morning at my Young Chang upright and both hands would have worked together like their supposed to, chords with the left, melody with the right in harmonious, seamless symmetry. 12/8 time would ring like 12/8 time. “Blueberry Hill” would actually sound like Fats Domino, not “What’s that song he’s playing?”
But no, Tom, bless your heart, you acted your age, our age. You were attacked by the yips and short stroked a chance at immortality.
So it’s Monday Blue Monday just like last week and next and life, as it inexorably does, is once again inching forward to its inevitable conclusion.
If nothing else, Tom Watson, your flirtation with the unthinkable underscored one of the absolutes. Don’t wager with time. Time always wins. The under always prevails.
Ask Lance Armstrong, as defiant an SOB as ever laced ’em up for competition. On the same day, Tom Watson failed in his attempt to send the Father Time packing, the greatest cyclist ever fell prey to the same delusion on the climb to Verbier, a challenge he would have swallowed whole and spit out with disdain a half decade ago.
You know those lyrics to that song, the one the Stones stole from Irma Thomas?
Time is on my side, Yes it is.
Great song. But wrong.
There is an arc to our physicality. We can cheat it by staying in shape, eating right, finding the balance with the cosmos. But we shall succumb. There is no winning argument against it.
Which isn’t to say we don’t hold our heads up high when we try. Tom Watson did. Lance Armstrong kinda did. (He’s a cranky ol’ boy, that one.)
So can we. I attacked those inclines in the park today. Breathed hard at the top of Golf Course Hill, but breathed nonetheless. Made it all the way in a higher gear too.
I thank Tom Watson for the elixir, the impetus to rejuvenate.
Now I’m going to practice piano.