Everybody is milling around near me. They’re closing the show bag, or packing their own bags, or snatching the remainder cakes, or recycling plastic bottles, or signing autographs for those few audience members resourceful enough to find us in our basement. We are in a recital hall again, after that beautiful theatre yesterday, but it didn’t take away from the experience of doing the show together. It was sold out and they were up for it. Maybe 400 people and lots turned away. Our last show in Texas and word is out. We are involved in the bag pack, but my bit of it is complete. Now if I were to get involved in any aspect of it I’d just be a hindrance. So I’m starting this in the hopes I get it done by midnight.
A little bit later and I write as we trundle to the minivan. I’ve got my accordion on one shoulder and my costume on the other. The cicadas cry in the wet heat. We are inevitably going to drive to The Flying Saucer, where a number of the people who have made this possible will be raising a glass with us.
San Antonio and Austin are both very vibrant towns in terms of the people, although the culture is certainly in Austin more than San Antonio. In Texas terms though they’re next door neighbors. Under two hours driving between them.
And the Flying Saucer happened. And I’m already an hour and a half after the (notional) deadline. Midnight is too bloody early for it to be six o’clock in the UK. But we are engaged in the slow process of saying farewell to the Lone Star State. This state has a special place in my heart, partly because of excellent childhood restaurants but as much because of the human beings who work with Shakespeare here. We have met and worked with so many extraordinary humans. People who are so full of understanding and of specialist knowledge, who give so much of their time and energy to making our time in their city into the most wonderful time it can be. Our schedule can be pretty hectic. It is often crazy busy and varied simultaneously. My acquired skillset of having no expectations and of efficiently rolling with whatever I receive with as much charm and calm as I can be bothered to manufacture – it works well on this job, so long as I don’t lose patience.
Tomorrow we have a day off – outside of lesson planning. We are going back downtown. We can hit up The Alamo again and see what else is available at the heart of this city. I’m going to soak up as much heat as I can! Next week it’ll be autumn and I’ll be wearing jumpers and shivering in the evenings. I’m gonna take advantage of this Texas heat while I can.
There’s still such a long time left of this excursion – of this wonderful crazy varied job. Our fellowship is locking in.