Sundowning

Hannah and I left my father’s cabin for the clinic at 5:00 a.m., after I woke him for his morning pills. Rotary sprinklers were clicking every few yards, spurting across checkered grass fairways. The air was crisp with dew and the smell of wet dirt. The first tee time wasn’t for an hour. Growing up, on weekends when I visited him here, this had been my favorite time of day. He’d wake me at dawn and I’d tag along as he inspected each green, mending divots and raking sand bunkers. This was when the course was at its most beautiful, everything undisturbed, more scent than sound, more nature than sport.

Hannah and I hadn’t planned on spending the night. We could have left earlier, but I didn’t want to go until my father fell asleep. I had told Hannah that I was worried he’d try to go to the clubhouse or wander onto the course, eager to get in a few practice strokes before teeing off for a tournament that took place fifty years ago. She didn’t argue; neither of us wanted to brave another silent car ride. It was after 1:00 a.m. by the time he passed out, finally exhausting himself with stories from his rookie season on the PGA Tour.

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