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by Laramie Boyd
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Woke up at 3:00 A.M. the other morning. Couldn't sleep. Decided to stare at the PC a while in
case something came to me. I saw where medical journals say there are surprising similarities in the symptoms of Alzeimer's disease
compared to acute hearing loss. I have the latter. The list includes depression, anxiety, social isolation, denial, negativity, and
paranoia. In my opinion I don't have any of those characteristics. This week I lost 3 golf matches in a row. Don't seem to have as
much interest in playing nowadays. At least in playing badly. Can't always remember who I played with an hour after a match. And frankly
don't care. Seems everyone I play against is cheating and lying about their handicap, and I imagine that's the reason they beat me.
My handicap is the only legitimate one in the Coachella Valley, where my home is in Palm Desert , California. Sometimes I think some
people don't want me to be on their golf team because I'm such a lousy player. I usually feel a personal responsibility and obligation
to be the player who brings home a team victory as a result of my scores. The sand in the air was so thick yesterday you could hardly
see the putting greens on the course, due to the 40 - 50 mph winds that whipped through the desert. The worst winds I've seen here
in 17 years. Must be global blowing, or global sanding, or whatever. People from cold places in the winter come to my resort in the
desert where it's warmer, and they can play a lot of golf. When the season is over, 3 or 4 months down the road, they pack up and
go back home. We always have a going away dinner for the "snowbirds" when they leave. They give out golf awards, say the same old
jokes, cliches and repeat excuses for why they play lousy golf. Been to these gatherings seventeen times so I can't get too excited.
Not much interest anymore. I have a hard time finding a table where I feel the occupants want me to join them. I'm supposed to get
a trophy for winning something in golf, probably a 3" tall plastic figurine, and maybe I'll get recognized for getting a hole in one,
when I hit a ball off the tee that never got over 4' off the ground, then hit the flag at 90 miles an hour and dropped into the hole.
I told everyone how skillfully I planned that shot out. Probably get some money for that from the Hole in One Club, that costs $5
to join. Won't be long now and the heat will start to creep into the desert. Sometimes it goes up to 120 degrees, and you can hardly
breathe. Sometimes, on intake, the air burns your lungs going down. Hoping to get away to Kauai this summer for my 80th. My wife and
I don't snorkel much anymore. We have a hard time getting out to the deep water due to the 12" waves that come at us when we head
out. We have an even harder time keeping our balance getting back out of the water without being knocked down by the same 1 foot breakers.
People come by and offer us assistance in getting to shore. We refuse because we're too proud I guess. We end up crawling out, feeling
totally embarrassed. We get a good laugh at ourselves. Quit my job of looking after condos of people who won't be here during the
summer months. I flush their toilets, check that doors are locked, fill buckets with water, call repairmen when needed, keep golf
carts juiced up, etc., etc. Very high profile. Almost lost a couple homeowner keys once. That's not what the homeowners want to hear.
A friend gave me a safe the other day. Borrowed a dolly, hoisted it on, then pulled it back toward home behind my golf cart. Hit a
bump and the safe fell over, broke the handle and combination gear. Didn't have anything in it anyway. Maybe I can get some Peterman
(safecracker) to come fix it. Have to go in to the skin doc every 3 months. So far no more problems. Had a couple cancers cut out
and hope they don't return. Thinking a lot lately about giving up golf but can't imagine what I'd do if I did. Maybe take up lawn
bowling or needlepoint or some other exciting adventure. Things change over time, that's for sure. I'm just glad I don't have any
of those symptoms of Alzeimer's that sometimes go along with my being hard of hearing. That would be a real downer.