Penultimate evening in the Willows

One more show today, then two tomorrow and we are done. So I’ll only do my scene about thirty more times. Phew. I’m tired. I feel a little dizzy with it. I kinda should’ve had a nap between shows.

There’s a cat with a brain tumour living in my digs. Clive, he’s called. He’s very affectionate and I want his every moment to be amazing as he’s perhaps not very long for this world. He’s a bit confused though. I think he’s on lots of painkillers and of course he has something in his brain. He squintily jumps up into the bed and then falls over. Sometimes he misses the bed but he doesn’t seem to mind. He likes being stroked very much indeed and he’s discovered that stroking happens on the bed.

Last night though he was worried that I was too still every time I fell asleep. Maybe I was dead? So he very helpfully stuck his paw into my mouth every hour or so and shouted “Ralph!” at me until I woke up again and stroked him. I’m not sure why he thinks my name is Ralph.

All this being woken up is probably why I’m so tired. Much as I love him I might close the door tonight…

Here I am on my badger bench. The wind is up, rippling the water into raindrop patterns that glint in the light like fairies. Or perhaps it’s fairies, fooling this tired badger into thinking they are motes of light. It’s a peaceful evening, but before long I will once more be corralling children and their adults, and throwing out all my energy.

My stamina is returning. That’s for sure. I’m tired still but despite the bad sleep I’m definitely nothing like as ragged as I was last week. The voice is recovering quickly again. I’ve been singing my marching song up the octave this morning, and I wouldn’t have got close this time last week. A few more weeks of this and I might actually be match fit again. But … it’s all over tomorrow. I’ll just have to be a bit less crap at my daily vocal and physical practices, and make sure I’m not just driving everywhere…

I’ll miss this little peaceful corner of Oxford, and this sweet and geeky group of actors. I don’t think I’ve ever been in a show where quite so many people play Dungeons and Dragons. We have brought durational jokes to a whole new level. And tonight we are off for a company meal because tomorrow we all know it will immediately dissolve after the last show, as it always does. Claire’s bike is already in my car. I’m gonna pack up my attic room tomorrow morning. The show will end. We will say goodbye. We will go our separate ways. The magic will be deconstructed. I’ll drop off Claire and the bike and I wouldn’t be surprised if I was in bed in London by 10pm. Or fixing the filter on the fish tank. Or fishing out the suffocated fish. I’m likely worrying unnecessarily…

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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