Friends For Life

Before his stunning turnaround last month, Tiger Woods had swam through a clusterfuck half of which most of us would not endure. It had been 10 long years. Actually, 11. Eleven years of despair. Of darkness. And failed attempts to come back and to convince the world. It is dreadful how much anguish one man can go through in 11 short years. Well, 11 years is a lifetime, by any standards. His downward spiral was as spectacular as his ascent. Tiger had lost his family, struggled with multiple injuries and just couldn’t win again. At the green, he stood steady. Quivering, slightly. The world watched. Breathing heavily. Almost breathless. He had gaffed so many times. There was no way he could blunder this time. Here was a chance to vindicate himself. Clearly his last chance.

ISOLATED CHAMPION

So, when the ball rolled slowly into the hole, the expectant air around Augusta National Golf Club erupted. It turned from nervousness into an electric mood of ecstasy. For this man though, it was nothing more than relief. The end of the long twisted wait. The happy ending of a winding journey from the gutter to glory. By 70 odd, audacious, confident tees, he had turned the fortune in his favour.
Tiger Woods, the famed champ, was back. Back when it mattered the most. When the world expected nothing from him. Friends had eluded him. None seemed to remember he was once a tiger. Now he was a perennial loser. Who wants to hang out with losers?
He was a lone man. His balding head told the story of a man who the world had isolated. His roar a mixture of reprieve and joy. Granted, Tiger had blasted his head up his ass. Which, in all honesty, is silly enough, but pardonable nonetheless. But all men are wont to goof anyway. That the world would make him suffer so much heartache is the very essence of human wickedness.

BACK FROM THE WOODS

Yet, after he won, the world was back with hearty messages of goodwill. The same world that had trodden him. What hypocrisy. Sometimes in life, you lose so many times until you perfect the art of losing. Every day you sit, pensive, regretting how much of a train wreck you have become. Wondering what wrong buttons you have punched.
At this point, at this tormenting time, you will mostly admire your former self. Because your former self is all there is to inspire your now insipid life. Here is to those who stick by their friends during their freefall. You are authentic friends. Friends worth having and keeping.
You may have hit rock bottom in your life. Struggling with disease. Divorced. Jobless. The world may be crumbling into a heap around you. You have lost so much, until you can’t lose anymore. For there is nothing more to lose.
Hang in there, mate. Tiger Woods just came from the woods. Now he has a new jacket. His fifth, mind you. And that fits well.