This is a guest submission from Mike Bernos, a writer, essayist and public relations professional. Though it is inspired by true events, it is a work of fiction.
“Moonlight floods the sky from horizon to horizon; How much it can fill your room depends on its windows.” — Rumi
I remembered thinking about a lot of things, “working on mysteries without any clues” as the song goes. But that would change, including the arc of my life, one Friday morning in late July. I arrived at the club just after 6 a.m., which even at that hour the humidity drew sweat like a sauna. I waited only 30 minutes before being assigned a foursome and in particular the bag of the Irishman, Cullen. A wiry man in his late forties with slightly hunched-over shoulders, he kept no close friends, and members regarded him as an enigma since joining the club three years earlier. No one knew where he came from; rumor had it that he had been run out of his hometown in Ireland for embezzling a small fortune.
It had been 21 years since I sat on this bench perched on a levee at Audubon Park overlooking the nearly mile-wide Mississippi River. I lived on Magazine Street during that long-ago summer of 1970, not far from the park and its golf course where I worked as a caddy. During those days, the river’s fog seemed to settle around my head as I drifted, nearly lost, after the loss of my mother one month short of my 12th birthday. Following her death my father went absent, too, hanging out more often than usual in the backroom gambling dens and 24-hour bars of New Orleans.