Rays of sunlight

Not having a boiler or a working electric shower is getting pretty wearing now. I’ve just finished an 8 hour shift on this hot day and I’m feeling … sticky. Yep. I’m really aware of my feet. I’ve had to cover myself in aftershave to mask the smell of death. But I discovered that the smell is not all coming from my feet. A pigeon had got trapped in the stairwell, died, and was reeking, festering and engendering maggots. I thought it was me. Thankfully the job of clearing it up didn’t fall to me. If I’d got there 5 minutes earlier it would have. My friend Jay got there first. Thankfully. Yuk.

Today was more performance art crazy facilitation work, now with added linelearny funtime in the gaps. Back on the Dodgems, all too aware that outside in the world, the sun is smiling on everyone. Reaching for the rays.


Now I’m stickily awaiting the arrival of another Jay. We are going to talk about process driven Shakespeare as I absorb the last rays of the sun. At the moment I’m not clear on even their gender, but they know a load of people I know. I think they’re male and I’m guessing they’re American because they know my work on Shakespeare at Notre Dame Indiana, which is a pretty obscure point of reference.

While I’m waiting, I’ve texted everyone I know who lives in walking distance asking if I can use their shower. It would be horrible getting clean and then putting these socks back on. But I’ll do it if I must. It’ll still have a positive net result of some kind. Hot water. We take it for granted. I’m paying a massive quarterly bill for it. The less I have it, the more I want to hang draw and quarter Stuart Walkley, who sold my immersion heater for copper and charged me for the privilege.

Does anyone know a plumber that will put in a shower in Chelsea without taking one look at the post code and quoting a price that makes me bleed through my ears? It’s all very well living in my lovely flat but one of the reasons I’ve had so little work done over the years is the tendency I’ve noticed for people to add 50 quid to the quoted price once they see my flat. Or, as with Stuart, to just take what they can take.

I met American Jay. He was a man. And lovely. He came recommended to me because he cares about craft instead of ego. He wants collaborators. He’s found one. After I met him, my shower options all lined up at once. I went towards my good friend Helen.

But then I ran into Scott on the street. I often meet people like Scott, somehow. He was a stranger, crying copiously from every orifice. He was desperate, angry, and alone. He had death in his countenance. He was validating his sense of loneliness deeper with everyone who ignored him. He wasn’t after change. Just the way to Waterloo Station.  I think I know what he intended. I’ve not come across such a complicated-simple energy for a long time. There was powerless empty rage. I decided to derail him before he did it for himself and a train. I hope I did enough. I spent a long time with him. He has put up with horrible neglect all his life. It had reached a fine honed point tonight. We just spoke as equals.

There’s so much negative shit floating around in the air at the moment. We spoke in great depth. We went deep, before sending him off, hopefully more positive than he had been. Then I checked, and Helen’s flat was still good for a shower. Thank God  Now I’m wearing my sticky socks again, and it’s not as bad as all that. Compared to the things Scott has tried to normalise, stinky socks are nothing. Gods, what a fucking world. Be kind. We are so lucky.

Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

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