Old friends

I’m surrounded by old friends. Jack is here, and he’s spitballing ideas, which is what he does. Directly to my left is a man who was in my first round audition at Guildhall. These are some of my base level industry friends. They’re the survivors.

Fucking hell it’s weird this profession. These incredible humans are throwing their lives into stories. They’re still full of hope and life. And we’ve all been in the acting profession for over fifteen years. Alex on my left – he’s been in New Zealand filming the baddie in a Netflix. He was in my first round audition for drama school. He was in my Guildhall recall. We both did the William Poel verse speaking festival for our schools – (now the Sam Wanamaker). He made The Factory with Tim Evans. God. So many years ago. It makes me feel old but cool.

To my right is Jethro. Another old friend, and someone who has helped me come into myself. He knows me deeply, and knows the things I do to block my power. Then, stretching out, there are people who have been terrifically important to me over many years. It’s a birthday party, for Maddy. It’s The Factory. It’s a distillation of the ridiculous optimistic geeks that graduated just after the millennium. We few. We many. We crazy fun bonkers open awake mad wild fewmany.

It’s a joy to be here, surrounded by old friends. I wasn’t going to show up. Jack persuaded me. It’s near his home. I didn’t want to get drunk tonight. But he was right to drag me in. He’s my dear friend for a reason. He knows me better than I know myself.

I checked myself out momentarily in order to write this down, and my friends understand that. Now that I have this daily obligation, I notice my friends and how understanding they are about the need I have to write words before bed. The more people bang it aside and tell me to get off my phone, the more I learn where a spot of empathy is lacking.

People are leaving the party. I’m rejoining for farewells.


And I’m done. In an uber. It’s pouring with rain. We are at Waterloo. Dreadful weather. My friend whose birthday it was – she lives the other side of London from me. I’ll carry on living Southwest, but it’s always a sinking feeling at the end of the night when I know I’m heading to Chelsea and that none of the artists I’m with live anywhere near Chelsea. I somehow feel it’s my responsibility to try to singlehandedly cling onto the old idea of Chelsea, before all the flats were bought by the people who wish they were cool in the sixties but were too busy oppressing third world economies in unrealistic directions for their own profit. It’s like living in the middle of a huge active mid life crisis. I love my neighbors. They seem to like me. But we fundamentally differ in worldview.

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Barometer is moving hard to storms… Ech

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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