I can't stand the walk to work any more.

Every time I get ready to leave, out my window I hear the mowing team getting the fairway trimmed and ready for the day. Sometimes, I hear the machines working to cut in a new hole on the green.

Walking out the door is stepping into a torture chamber made all my own. The laughter of the gentlemen, the hollow clatter of a ball dropping into the hole, the smell of freshly mowed grass, all of it bombarding my senses, screaming at me that I'll never enjoy those simple pleasures.

Summer has come and passed
The innocent can never last
Wake me up when September ends

Fall used to be my favorite time to play. The cool air and gentle breeze of autumn in Boston was the perfect weather to have a round of golf or two; sure, summer's great, but there's only so long you can take the heat.

There's only so long you can take the heat.

Keep your head down. That's what I tell myself every time I pass the golf course, every time I feel that pain deep down. Keep your head down, pretend that you never knew the meaning of the word 'golf'.

Because really, it's your own fault you'll never play again. One missed putt. That's all it took.


Like my fathers come to pass
Seven years has gone so fast
Wake me up when September ends

Harry Vardon wouldn't have missed that putt. He would've drained it like any other putt, smooth and effortless.

For that matter, Harry Vardon wouldn't have put himself in that position at all. You were overconfident, cocky, arrogant…you even thought that maybe, just maybe, Sara might give you a second look after all that.

Now all she has is the memory of a defeated boy struggling to contain himself as he walked off the green.


Here comes the rain again
Falling from the stars
Drenched in my pain again
Becoming who we are

You've said it a dozen times; I want a career in business. But what's the point? Just like the golf world, they'll never let you cross that street. You'll be washing windows for the rest of your life.

There's no way out. Arthur was right all along. You'll be digging ditches your whole life, and falling in them as well, I'd bet.


As my memory rests
But never forgets what I lost
Wake me up when September ends

I'd love to forget. I'd really love to forget. But working in a sporting goods store, every day my decision and my failure are right up in my face, in the form of golf clubs, hundreds of them.

I dared, once, to swing one of them, after being invited to the Open. I felt like I was breaking some set of invisible rules as the golf club left the rack in my hands It was like I'd picked up an arm or a leg, some essential part of me that I'd been missing for months. I thought that maybe I could prove to myself that golf was no longer in me, it wasn't there…

Then I swung the club. A perfect, effortless arch, back and forward. I saw the ball, saw the fairway, saw the green, almost could even spot the flag, then…

Gone. Sara was there.

But then again, she really wasn't. Or at least, that's what I told myself afterward to excuse the fact that I wouldn't talk to her. Too much shame.


Summer has come and passed
The innocent can never last
Wake me up when September ends

Sometimes I wonder what would've happened even if I'd made the putt. I would've been one of the lowest men on the qualification list anyway, probably would've choked in the competition.

I was naive to think that I could've been an actual contender in the competition in the first place.

So, it's okay.

Isn't it?


Ring out the bells again
Like we did when spring began
Wake me up when September ends

Time is going so slow. Days crawl by, melt, and I'm not really doing anything. I work, I come home. Sometimes, when Arthur's at work and my mother's out in the garden, I get out my putter and a ball and study the breaks in the old wooden floor once again.

Once, I set up the same fateful shot that I missed. I made it this time.

Those times go all too fast.


Here comes the rain again
Falling from the stars
Drenched in my pain again
Becoming who we are

It's all come back to haunt me now. Being invited to the open was like shoving a knife in a not-quite healed wound, and it hurts. It hurts to be invited, it hurts to turn them down and disappoint Mr. Hastings, it al hurts.

But it's for the best.

Isn't it?


As my memory rests
But never forgets what I lost
Wake me up when September ends

I want the whole thing to be over. I want the Open to be moved, I want it to be played somewhere else, far away from here. Where I won't have to listen to the streetcars coming in, the cheering crowds, and my father's scoffing of the sport.

Because I can't forget. And I'm afraid that if I see him again, Harry Vardon, suddenly my father's words and logic won't matter much anymore. Seeing him the first time was like everything I'd envisioned, everything I'd dreamed all coming true in human form.


Summer has come and passed
The innocent can never last
Wake me up when September ends

It's becoming almost too much to bear. I see a lake or pond, and I wonder if it would take my jigger or my brassie to sail a ball over it. I walk through dirt and grass to get shipments from the car, and I can feel the texture of the grass beneath my feet, and I'm so close to asking for a mid-iron.

I can't forget. Even at the dinner table with my family, I'm barely there. My fingers are feeling the contours of the wooden table, studying the breaks, mentally aligned a putt.


Like my fathers come to pass
Twenty years has gone so fast
Wake me up when September ends

Twenty years old. I'm only twenty, and yet…it feels old. I feel like I've lost every bit of my youth to this job, lost it to dreams that will never come true. It's all gone so fast, and now time can't go fast enough.

I just want all this to be over.


Wake me up when September ends
Wake me up when September ends

Somebody…wake me up when September ends.

"Harry Vardon. The stylist," the helper said, gesturing with his pencil. "Practice round."

Francis stared, his eyes wide, his grip tight on the box of golf clubs.

But he'd been right; seeing Harry Vardon again was enough.

He let go and crossed the street.