Final Draft


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175 in stock


By Angus Broadhead

ISBN: 978-1-84991-800-8
Published: 2012
Pages: 86
Key Themes: Mental Health, Creative Writing, Fiction, Poetry


Final Draft is an example of the scope of Broadhead’s artistic energy. Whether writing essays on personal subjects, penning poetry about his relationships with women or exploring creative fiction, Broadhead’s work appeals to any adult reader on numerous levels.

About the Author

Born in 1974 in his hometown of San Diego, Angus Broadhead was a poet, writer and student of journalism. This book, a collection of essays, poems and short stories was compiled posthumously out of writings in various notebooks found in his possession.

Book Extract

I woke up on the wrong side of the bridge.
The Laurel Street Bridge connects the west side of Hillcrest in San Diego to the theatres, the museums, the gardens and waking trails, the restaurants and cheap food stands, and galleries of Balboa Park.

I had spent a lot of time underneath the west side of that bridge. If you are without a home and wanting to drink cheap cans of beer and smoke cigarettes and talk back to the noise of the 163 freeway as it skitters under the overpass then the underside of the Laurel Street Bridge is a great place to be.

I could curl up inside of a blanket and drink my beer cursing at the dirt and shrubs that surrounded me. I could walk around, pacing back and forth, pretending I was a songwriter, singing little ditties into the massive stone archways of what my mother had once referred to as “suicide bridge.”

The day I woke up on the wrong side of this historic landmark had been a kind of welcoming epiphany for me.

The night before, I had been engaged in an argument with a man in fruit-loop park (named so because it is a known hang-out of male prostitutes and their customers). He had approached me attempting to buy, or share weed with me. His persistence at believing I was a drug dealer, or just high on some drug had angered me so much I had cursed his mother. He then, in retaliation, threatened to stab me with a knife. To avoid that outcome, I had called 911 on my cell phone to report my life was in danger, only to end up standing on 6th Avenue yelling into my phone at 911 operators as police cruisers drove by completely ignoring me.

There is something about Dago that is serene, vengeful, and obsolete all at the same time.

After my confrontation with random ganja solicitor, I decided not to lead my assailant back to my car that I had been living in and out of for almost two years, and not to lead him to any place I would normally sleep in the park. (I had decided after having gone to the hospital once to have seven stitches put in my lip to call the police instead of attempting to verbally work out threats of physical harm to my well-being with people I had never met before. In this case, even though the police did not stop to help me, the man left me alone when he could hear me calling them. It turned out, to no great surprise that he was on parole and wanted to avoid any run-ins with the authorities.) That evening I crossed over to the east side of the bridge and slept somewhere I had never slept before- illegally, underneath the east eve of the bridge, facing west across the north and south bound lanes of the 163.

When I awoke the next morning, I had a strange sense of imbalance. It was as if I was inside of a snow globe that had tipped on its side. Often times, if I woke up at some place I did not normally sleep, it would take me a few minutes to orient myself. This usually happened when I slept in my car. I would know I was in my car, of course, but I would peer around for a moment or two half-forgetting what neighborhood I had parked in the night before. I moved my car as often as I could so as not to draw the attention of residents or business owners who did not know me and might call the police. It is still illegal to sleep in a vehicle in the city of San Diego. It is legal though, in a public place, to curl up right on the ground between the hours of 10pm and 5am. Go figure.

Waking up underneath the opposite side of the bridge was surreal not only because it took me more than a moment to figure out my exact location but also because the freeway beneath me was closed to traffic and hundreds of people in pink clothing were walking on the two lanes of white freeway pavement.

It wasn’t raining but a cold mist was all around. My lightweight fleece blanket that I used to wrap my legs in at night was wet and a little muddy on the bottom side that had been on the ground. My old Mexican serape was dry though, and so were my pants. All my toes felt numb, so I paced around a bit, trying to get the blood circulating through my legs.

It took me another long moment to remember that the people on the freeway with their pink clothing were walking in support of a breast cancer charity. I had been aware that this charity walk was going to take place but had not known the route of the walk or the fact that the northbound lanes of the freeway would be completely closed.

When I got my blanket and empty beer cans packed into my backpack, I started walking back up the hill to the top of the bridge through the archery range that was in the miniature forest next to the underside of the bridge. Four or five people in their pink cancer charity t-shirts came walking up the hill toward me at this same time. They were only wearing their shirts and shorts, and one or two of them were wearing open-toed shoes. They were wet from the foggy mist and had jumped over the wall next to the freeway looking for a short cut.

“Hey!” One of them yelled out to me.
“How do we get back to the park?”
“It’s right up here,” I told them, trying not to laugh at them. They looked twice as cold and damp as I felt, even though I’d spent the night outside in the dirt and weeds.

As I guided the young charity walkers up to the stone stairway that would bring us on top of the bridge, a group of twelve or thirteen archers in camo-gear were walking down the hill toward us. Their lead man stopped dead in his tracks when he saw us.

“You can’t be down here,” he said, exasperated. “We have a tournament today.”

“We’re going straight out,” I told him, once again trying not to laugh at the stupefied look on his face. I suppose he had not expected to find live game on his pristine archery range.

I walked across the Laurel Street Bridge that day, watching the four or five charity walkers practically jog out ahead of me to wherever they were going to dry off and warm up, feeling like I had come to some sort of impasse with my life situation.

The world had flipped upside down. I was on the wrong side of the bridge. I had been living out of my car and sleeping outdoors for far too long, and I knew it.


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