Buffalo, NY—Freed from the tyranny of nearly three decades corporate service local author P.A. Kane now spends his days in peace and tranquility walking in the woods with his dog, catching up on some reading, experimenting with vegetarian recipes and working on various writing projects. It is a simple, uncomplicated life devoid of conflict, unless of course he leaves dishes in the sink. Part of his retirement agreement with his wife was that she would never have to deal with dishes in the sink again. A reasonable request from the holder of the healthcare and a growing 401K. Nevertheless, though his freedom was earned, one month into this new life, Kane is already sick of being Zen and is craving conflict.
He misses the kid at Tim Horton’s who would ask him day after day, with a barely hidden smirk, if he wanted the goddamn senior discount, which totally pissed him off even though he qualified for it. He misses being annoyed at slacking coworkers who spend more energy complaining about work than actually working. He misses the daily rush hour commute where assholes inching along in bumper to bumper traffic won’t let him merge onto 90W. He also misses, when traffic opens up, the dudes in their F150’s with backwards turned baseball caps riding his tail at 80mph, as if Judge Judy and that twelve-pack of PBR’s won’t be there when they get home.
Kane has tried to fill the void by arguing on social media, but quickly grows frustrated when people with opposing views are only interested in making him cry his big liberal tears rather than arguing a point. He has tried to engage his son, who is still home on Christmas break, into heated conversations about his future and just what he’s gaining from reading The Political Writings by Karl Marx, which is a thousand pages deep. But the kid won’t bite. He just rolls his eyes in that condescending “OK Boomer,” way and waits for him to leave his room. He’s tried and failed at ratcheting up rage at the Wegmans’ cashiers who always seem to pack his reusable grocery bags “light” when he clearly says “heavy.” Doing this, he feels stupid and regretful because he remembers all too clearly what it was like to work shit jobs and have old people yelling at you for no reason at all. And because, you know—he’s Zen.
It is unlikely that Kane will lose this Zen anytime soon. He is leaving for a month long trip to Florida where he plans on doing more of the same: reading koans, writing haikus, meditating, and relaxing with herbal tea. There is also the added bonus of engaging in a lot of day drinking by the pool with one of his brothers who also has shed the yoke of corporate oppression. His one hope of achieving a high, non-Zen like level of irrational pissedoffness is— golf.
Because of time restraints and general disinterest he hasn’t played much golf in recent years and his skills have eroded greatly, which has really annoyed him. However, with so much free time since he retired, he’s taken several trips to the Wehrle Golf Dome, where he made some swing adjustments and has been crushing the ball. He hopes these adjustments won’t last and he’ll start spraying balls all over the course, miss some short putts and continually lift up his head while trying to escape sand traps. Nothing ruins a sunny Florida day like sucking at golf. And, nothing would make the local author happier than being pissed off.
Until then, Om . . .