Fiction | January 31, 2014

And then, in his midforties, just as he started to feel slower in his limbs, the mornings seeming to drag, the darkness seeming to fall sooner each day, even in the spring and summer months, Kent Boyd nonetheless convinced himself that he still had, among many other things, his youth. He had countless sunrises before him. He had a great deal more to expect and hope for, especially if his past was a predictor of his future; and since he was an optimist, he chose to believe it would be. He had two kids, Alice, thirteen, who’d inherited her mother’s fair complexion and curly red hair, a conflagration that blazed halfway down her back, and Ethan, eleven, who’d gotten Kent’s oddly handsome bulldog face and his lumpy nose, a feature Kent had always regretted and often lied about, claiming he’d broken it, which was no longer an option now that his son carried around a small replica of it; he had a million-dollar house in a nice neighborhood of Boston, a partnership in a small corporate law firm he’d helped to found that specialized in copyright and patent law. He had a decent if weathered Subaru, a car he chose to drive, even though he could afford much better, because he wanted to set an example for his kids. He’d met enough class-conscious rich brats and didn’t want to father two more. He had several summers and long vacations behind him, dedicated to his obsession with golf, of rising at five every morning, heaving his clubs into the old Subaru, meeting friends to tee off at sunrise, slashing away at the bright little ball, its dot of light soaring above the vast green dunes, until late in the afternoon. In the game, he had two spectacular achievements: a 34-foot putt on the most difficult green—with a severe back-to-front slope—at St. Andrews, in Scotland, birthplace of the sport—and a birdie at Augusta; he had Bernhard, his partner and closest friend, who never let him forget his talent, celebrating it in the bar afterward by lifting a glass and shouting, “You’ve got balls, Boyd! You’ve got one hell of a stroke.”

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