Lucky escape from loneliness

Pickle is off with a friend, as neither Brian nor I can be at home for her this weekend. Going to sleep at home without her curling up by my side last night was strange and revealing about how much she has been a quiet spirit of company – how much I’ve relied on that little wayward furry plaster to puffalumpf onto the bed, walk over my leg, find the space by my chest, go “murrp” once and curl up against my warmth.

I’ve been going from job to job recently, and even my interactions with friends have been largely work related. “Can you feed the cat?” “How is the show I cast you in going?” I’ve been single for over a decade, so I’m used to being alone but it feels my chemistry is changing a little bit in that regard. I have these two hours on the train every day. I can decompress into a book or a computer game, and I do, but I rarely have those simple conversations that start with “How was your day?” Or those quiet times where you just exist with someone.

I’m starting to hear Shakespeare’s constant insistence that we shouldn’t be on our own.

I’m surrounded by people I like. Both of the companies I’m working in are lovely places to be. But this morning I was crying into my coffee. The main reason is obvious: I’m knackered. I’m absolutely completely and utterly exhausted. My head is full of words. My body is full of work, and even though I like the work it’s all consuming. I usually get tired when I’m in just one show and I live near it. It’s fun but Sunday can’t come quickly enough.

This blog really is starting to resemble public therapy. Gotta write the thing every day and right now you get it in one of the very few periods of stoppage time so I’m using it to decompress.


And time passes, the show goes, and I’m sleeping in Oxford tonight, so I have a powerful decompress with the Tempest glories involving lots of crisps.

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Eventually I sneak into Ginny’s place.

She hears me. She pops out onto the stairs. She wants to talk. Glory be! So do I! Oh hell so do I. With her nurse’s instinct, she has emerged at exactly the right time. Tara used to do the same sometimes. Nurses are just extraordinary humans, undervalued.

God I’ve been lucky with where I’ve landed in Oxford. She’s a huge force for good, Ginny. We snatched conversation over port (from my agent) and rosé (from her fridge).

Her three kids and her husband were sleeping upstairs, so we quietly sat with each other and talked about our lives – two friends who met each other in the early eighties, back together now. How remarkably beautiful that we still align in our priorities. How insanely kind of her instinct too that despite her impossibly busy existence she chose to get out of bed and envelop her post show post pub ancient lonely friend in a form of delighted human welcoming. She’s one of the best kind of hearts there can be by my understanding. One that has been brought up to know what it is to be selfish, but has rejected it. A rarity in my childhood peer group. And a headspace that can be dismissed easily by the deadhearts who put constructed systems before anything.

The loneliness with which i awoke has been expertly consumed and transformed by the whole Tempest company – this crazy hotchpotch of mad fools. It has then been buried by my dear old friend coming forward with her bed hair to just be human with me for a bit on a Friday night. Glory be.

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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