18 Holes. 18 Years. (from The Barnstormer)

I WAS NEVER what you would call a “skilled” or “competent” or “sober” hacky sack player. But, for a good chunk of my 20s my friends and I played with a ferocious regularity. We were not the shirtless, dreadlocked, stoned, Dead listening, patchouli scented hackers of clichédom. Though, I did like the Dead, especially when stoned. And for a few years there between 2000 and 2003 I wore my share of patchouli. But we weren’t the hackers you think of when you picture hackers. It wasn’t a statement of the laissez-faire, or a tribute to a hippified lifestyle. No one wore tie dye. Instead, it was a pastime. A recreation. In those years, post-university (the first go) and pre-Montreal (the first go) and sans-career (still no) we seemingly played an endless round of hacky sack at barbecues, in parks, in driveways. Any patch of space that could accommodate three to eight people, really. On New Year’s Eve, 1998, I believe we played in the small living room of our unimpressed host. It was a transitional time in my life, in all of our lives. We were all equals, still. No mortgages. No car payments. No kids. Little debt.

And then, suddenly, one day, it was over. And everybody golfed.

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