Tim ReddingMay 12, 2008
Chapter Four (continued from Byung-Hyun Kim)
Today I’m not going to the actual Golf Road, because today is the day of the week that I have arranged to be my big writing day, my day where I better be brilliant because I’m sacrificing a day’s pay to get it. In effect I am paying money I could really use just to have this day.
Earlier I punched myself in the head as I screamed obscenities. I was trying to write. My head is OK now but my throat is still a little raw. After that I stuffed food down my throat and took a shallow, awful nap. This day away from Golf Road has turned into Golf Road. I am nowhere, waiting for something that will never come. I feel like ripping a notebook in half or shredding some baseball cards. But I already did something like that a long time ago and it didn’t make any difference. I was trying and failing to write, just like right now. I was twenty years old and had filled up a few notebooks by then. I knew I didn’t know how to do anything and was scared of everything and so my only way out was to write, but I couldn’t. I gathered up all my notebooks and threw them in a dumpster. I felt OK for a moment, lighter, but in the end nothing changed. I started the whole process all over by opening a new notebook and writing a shitty poem, then I spent the rest of the day eating chocolate chip cookies and putting golf balls at a table leg.
Most days I’m waiting in a place no one wants to know, least of all me. Golf Road. That moment, that long moment in the polluted dusk, waiting, the day chewed. How many days do you get? Stranded on Golf Road. A whole life leading to it. Things you could have done differently. But you didn’t. Anyway the past is gone. It doesn’t exist. You find some ripped pieces. You have lived such a life that you happen to recognize that these pieces go together. You don’t know much else but you know this. You gather them up and take them home. You tape the pieces together and add them to the pile. Next day you search for more pieces. You find a couple. The day after that you don’t find any. You keep looking every day for more but that chapter is over and you’re back where you started, nothing to gather, nothing to rescue, nothing to hold in your hands.
(to be continued)