Spring is always a border, a corner, a change. A Spring that has sprung so far into summer? Surely a hugely positive omen. After the snow this blast of heat is helping nature get back on track. My friends who suffer from hayfever are all drooling out of every orifice and sounding like people sound when they’re trying to pull a sicky by telephone. I’m debating as to whether it’ll be quicker to reread the whole of Brave New World, or sit in front of 3 hours worth of 1980’s TV sci-fi. I’m in the frame to help tell the story, meeting tomorrow. I might have to watch the Spandex, as it might be an audience point of reference, and I read the book when I was like 17.

Today I met with someone who has already auditioned me three times and not given me the part. They keep seeing me though so I must be doing something right. Maybe this time…

They asked for a song, unaccompanied, so I went with “Old Man River” because “oh I get weary and sick of trying” felt apposite. Plus it’s in my vocal range. Lovely audition. And I usually hate the things.

Then I got home swearing like a trooper because I was expecting a million Buddhists to come round my flat, run their fingers down surfaces for dust, and tell me my gohonzon is too low. I’d agreed to host a tozo, where people come and chant together. I didn’t feel like hosting anything when I got home. Gradually, as I tidied and hoovered and burnt incense and reluctantly made my home lovely, I realised that the fact I was so down on the whole idea of everyone coming was precisely why I needed to do it. Damn. 7pm happened with nobody there, so I just sat on my own with Pickle in a spotless living room, surrounded by candles, loads of empty chairs at my back, and I chanted into the frankincense smoke. For a good half an hour before one person came despite me having hung up on her this morning. Then another 10 minutes brought a second and it was lovely, chanting just the three of us. They did tell me my gohonzon is too low. But it was a positive visitation. I still have time to do my “work” despite me stressing. I’m even taking time out to jot down my daily tithe to the ideas-God before I hit this Brave New World.

Things are pretty good now the sun is shining. I’ve been working a reasonably paid occasional day job where they understand totally if I have to drop it for the afternoon and dash across town to sing songs in a small room – rolling the dice for a good summer. I’ve now spent the best part of three hours watching this 1980’s TV movie of Brave New World which is a remarkable illustration of how we have lost our innocence. There’s nothing wrong with it. It just feels deeply naïve. I’ll let it play out, iron some more shirts, and trust that one of these gigs will come my way. Or more.


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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