Alan Livingston’s debut novel “Gabriel’s Creek” shares the story of an enchanted bucket list round of golf on a course described as “magical.” Protagonist Chris Collins’ health is failing, and he knows it. He chooses to spend what he knows could be his last day doing what he loves, golfing. As he walks the 18 holes, he reminisces about his life and struggles to come to terms with the approaching end to it. Livingston, an accountant with experience ranging from corporate executive to table games dealer, lives in Las Vegas. For more on the author, visit alanlivingston.com.
The beauty of the morning was astounding. The air was crisp and clear, and the rays of the morning sun reached across the sky as if stretching to wake up. Birds chirped with the sound that announced they were just awakening as well. I savored the scent, that wonderful morning golf course smell of fresh cut grass. In one direction, there was the sound of a distant greens mower humming. In the other direction but just as far away, I heard the distinctive and different sound of a tractor cutting the fairway. Between those two, the staccato psst-psst-psst of sprinklers spitting water in rhythm. As a day wears on at a golf course, you don’t hear these sounds, and you don’t smell these smells. I was so glad to be here this morning to enjoy them, today more than ever.
You see, I want to tell you about a big day for me, even though I was just another guy hanging around at a golf course waiting for it to open on this day. I was just a guy as happy to be there on that bench as anywhere, because I am one that always wished he could play every day, or at least somehow spend a majority of his time on a golf course. I’ve done neither. The truth is I don’t play much anymore, and maybe I shouldn’t say I play anymore at all. The fact is that it has been a few years since I’ve even been on a course. I have been away from golf for long stretches of time before, but this has been my lengthiest. It has been time through which both body and budget have begun to fail.