Following my blog about the tragedy of Darrell Kramer yesterday, the unstoppable force of the internet has once again collided with the immovable object of life. An intrepid friend of mine took up my closing line (“I simply couldn’t find him”) as a challenge, and set about tracking down the elusive and mysterious Darrell Kramer…
The paltry and absolutely un-romantic nature of such a challenge in the 21st century has been completely exposed by the fact that my friend simply googled ‘Darrell Kramer’ and came up with the following blog.
Please do click on that link there, it’s quite extraordinary. Not only has someone blogged about THE SAME DARRELL KRAMER: the writer seems to have a eerily similar experience to the one I had. Darrell’s tragic aura is noted, his time spent in LA is recorded (something he actually told me when we briefly discussed public transport, but I omitted that from the tale) and even the fleeting invitation to track him down on Facebook is there. It’s the very same Darrell Kramer.
But this isn’t all: not only has the internet obliterated the writerly sense of mystery that I feebly tried to create, it has also provided, with the same ridiculous ease, a video of the man himself. I’m effectively destroying my own poetic license by advertising this to you, but here you are anyway, judge for yourself whether you think my character depiction was accurate:
The video is, deliciously, absolutely insane. I want more. I wonder whether he just lurks on subway platforms, waiting for suitable candidates for his conversation. I wonder whether he lied about any of the things he told me. I wonder if the tennis bag that the writer of the other blog spoke of was empty, or filled with severed heads. I wonder what would have happened if we had started talking about tennis: as I am a big tennis fan myself, the fact that he likes tennis so much is somewhat unnerving for me, I’m starting to feel like Darrell Kramer could be my own piteous Tyler Durden, or perhaps The Ghost of Korea Future…
At this point, my interest in Darrell Kramer is completely ovewhelmed by the force of the internet. Not only will Darrell Kramer find this blog if he ever googles his own name (which some have already speculated is a likelihood), he will also be able to track ME down. I have a Krameresque sense of unease about this. I feel a need to reach out to someone that I have never met, because I am aware that they might perhaps read these words and take them the wrong way, so to speak. The impossibility of me being able to do this genuinely via this medium is something that has filled me with helplessness.
It’s something that has undermined this endeavour of mine from the beginning and something that I have pondered on in recent weeks. It was a relative luxury to write about people like Mr Kim and The Master in the beginning, fairly safe in the knowledge that the linguistic fog between our worlds would more or less guarantee that they would not read my words about them (not that I said anything malicious or anything like that). It was also a luxury to be thousands of miles away from anyone that could possibly question my depiction of events as being overwrought or inaccurate.
These luxuries are beginning to lose their gleam as my life in Korea becomes more permanent, and the task of writing becomes more and more of a tightrope act. The last few weeks of my time in Korea have been, on a personal level, perhaps the most intriguing of all my time here thus far, and it is no coincidence that this has meant that I have written the least since I arrived.
But this should surely be secondary to the intrigue and, in all seriousness, joy that meeting and writing about someone as peculiar as Darrell Kramer brings me, and hopefully the people that end up reading this stuff. So if I should ever coincide with Darrell again in the bowels of Seoul, make no mistake, I will surely report back – I merely hope that his opening line isn’t “So you like tennis too right….?”
PS Thank you Tintin for finding that blog, this has truly been a cosmic internet experience!