So yeah, I have no idea how but my voice is back entirely. I’m blaming it on the daimoku.

Tonight’s show was a total pleasure. Even if the disaster-cart is still rolling. Today’s disaster was a power blowout 2 minutes before start time, that meant we had no sound. For this show that’s not the end of the world. It was made as an intimate tech free show in the back of a pub so it runs nicely with no sound as long as Jack does a bit more singing. Which he did. Beautifully.

We had a brilliant house tonight. Our biggest yet and they were all there with us. Finally now I can relax into knowing that it fully works here in this improvised space with so many more people. And the food is brilliant. I’ve barely eaten any of it so far. I lose my appetite about an hour before I work and usually don’t get it back until I’ve been down for an hour or two. And then I get ravenous. The last two years, at The Arts Theatre, I would watch disconsolately as all the lovely leftover food got binned. Then I’d cycle home in the drizzle and guiltily stop at Chelsea Bridge.

My mate Joe told me about Chelsea Bridge. He’s a cabbie. He calls it Chesslee Bridge. Apparently he is very used to picking people up late at night from the most expensive hotels in London, who just say “Chesslee Bridge” and nothing else. The way he tells it, it’s like it’s a destination for anyone from the Arab world late at night. I’m therefore assuming that it’s halal. It’s definitely extremely popular. When I wobbled in with my cycle in shitty nights, I’d be surrounded by people who were working. Nurses, doctors, policemen all talking openly about their days, all getting a guilty burger. There’s nothing special about the burgers by my late night drunken assessment. They look like the grey doner van patties you get when you’re a drunk student and you can’t face the meat lottery of an elephant leg doner kebab. They leave you with the slick throat and vague feeling of guilty malaise that is brought on by eating meat like that.

This year I was determined to break the pattern. I’m in Liverpool Street, so cycling back is out. I’ve got to fuck around with night buses. But the uneaten food is available briefly after the show. And Natalie is the perfect person to cook this sort of food. So I bought some sealable tupperware. And I’ve filled out with her grub. Which seemed like a good idea.

But now it’s hours after the show has ended, the food is in a hot nightclub, and Jack, Tom and I are drinking too much. It’s the director’s last night. I’d overlooked that. I’m either eating very late, or not at all. But I know for certain that I won’t be shoving a grey burger from Chesslee Bridge into my face. And somehow that feels like progress…

Here we all are. Back to the fray. I’m done being antisocial.


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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