Crowded town

You couldn’t easily fit many more people into the walls of this city. It’s so crowded. All the Christmas markets are packed. Lush has crowds out the door. People are selling a bunch of fir cones glued to plastic holly for six quid, and calling it a bargain. Big burly slightly drunk Yorkshire lads in Christmas jumpers have dropped a fiver on a swaneee whistle from the guy who is making bird songs outside Marks and Spencers. They queue at pop up stalls selling wooden platters for £95. Selling mulled wine for £4.50 so it’s cheaper than a fiver. Selling cheese and selling gin and selling biscuits and cakes and fruit and treats for your pet. There’s that guy who is always at Green Man Festival, selling his steam powered toy boats. And they’re moving today. Imaginary stockings are getting filled to brimming. Santa is winding up his sleigh. Lots of people are off work now and they’re out to have fun. There’s a different busker on every corner, tootling or strumming or shouting or banging. Right now outside the window of the State Room at Mansion House someone is playing baroque flute, and someone else is amplifying their band and imitating Oasis with a slightly needy tenor I’ve got to do a show in about two hours. I’m absolutely knackered. Last night we had a full moon solstice Christmas party with the Gatsby lot. Jack and I ended up with guests under a sheet holding a torch telling ghost stories in the living room. Then I looked at my watch and it said 5am. We had kept the lights burning through the longest night. Someone had to. I’m feeling it tonight though. Still, the show must go on.

And it did. Then drinks. Then sleep. And then I woke up and realised I never finished this. We had a tricky audience. Distractingly unpleasant. A small group didn’t get enough to eat and chose to be thoroughly horrible. It was frustrating for us but there was literally nothing we could do to drown out their negativity. It didn’t break the show because they enjoyed Jack and I. They just didn’t associate us with the food, and somehow couldn’t understand how being vocally negative to the utmost degree would affect us. It meant probably the hardest night that the two of us have ever had. We’ve not had that conversation for years on this job, the unsatisfied hunger thing. Still, I grew very uninterested in their poison. They spread it so far and so fast. Jack and I both had to break character as they bandied around words like “disgusting” and “filthy” as loudly as possible. Amazingly unpleasant reactions. Nasty humans. Although it was a fair complaint, they did get very little to eat. But I learnt to have no sympathy at all for them based on their behaviour. Mean minded.

They spun me out so much I forgot about writing this until just now as I wake up the next morning. Have a wonderful season, lovely people, and if things don’t go precisely as you expected then try not to dehumanise everyone involved in your quest for perfection as you try to stamp a negative memory or get a refund. Merry Christmas. Humbug.



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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