We'd been drinking the night before and I didn't know the town. In the morning I was sick, sicker than the others, and when someone suggested we go play miniature golf, I was too addled to refuse or argue. We piled into someone's car and drove out to this little course behind a mall. It was August and hot. I felt as if someone had tied a plastic bag over my head. The 18 greens were punctuated by dragons and windmills and bowlegged farmers who tried to sweep your ball aside. As the others played and noted down their scores with their stubby pencils, I could feel the water pour out of me. I became dizzy. Nausea set in. I looked around. There was no shade, nothing. Then I noticed a narrow strip of grass, real grass, over by a fence where someone had planted flowers. I wandered away from my friends. and found a tiny gardner's shack, and there, almost out of sight behind the shack, was a hose. I found the valve, turned the handle, and said a small prayer. Water sputtered out, hot at first, then cool and steady. I put the nozzle over my head and drenched myself, pausing only to drink from the flow before repeating the process. Slowly I began to feel the life creep back into my body. The dizziness and nausea vanished. When I returned to my group, I'd missed two holes of golf.
"Jeez," someone said, "you look like shit."
"Par for the course," I said.