I put the invitation down to the ten or eleven beers that he had consumed in the last three hours and figured that it would be forgotten in the morning. Come Friday afternoon, Wilson came up to my workstation, "Y'all set for tomorrow Ol' Buddy? You don't have to ask me just because of what you said the other night…besides, I've never played golf in my life before! He met me from the train in a nice, but not brand new BMW Series 7 Coupe. And the tight-ass money at his club made it obvious that my skin colour wasn't exactly welcome. Tyler Wilson had apparently invested wisely, belying the impression he gives to the rest of the world that his vast earnings all disappear down the urinal.But walking along the street I started to revise my opinion; Wilson was as steady as a rock! " Wilson punched me on the shoulder, "No sweat my man! This is just for laughs." Then he handed me comprehensive instructions on how to get there. But Wilson defiantly gave them 'the finger' by keeping us in the bar longer than necessary to make the point. Set in extensive grounds, the building wasn't at all grand or ostentatious, but the value was subtly obvious."The groundwork for all my best deals is done much earlier in the day than I can manage commuting from here.
Ya'll you coming out for a drink after work with the guys? And what made it all the more extraordinary was that the one extending the invitation was Tyler Wilson, who is twenty-five years older than I am.
Even in these 'enlightened times' it isn't often that a black man is asked to join in on a social event with a bunch of whites, especially that crowd.
He says he comes from Portland, Maine, but he speaks and acts most of the time like Robert E Lee on steroids.
One by one, the guys took off to wives and girlfriends, dinners and kids.
In the end, it was just Wilson and I trading beer for beer and 'curing the ills of the world'.
We fell silent, staring into our half empty glasses and recalling in our own ways the friends and colleagues we both lost in that awful catastrophe.