Friends and the pull of home

Not that anything is ever as simple as we want it to be, but if I were to organise the last three days including today, and if I were to give them labels, I would say they represented Past, then Future, then, today, Present. I’ve been juggling these timestates quite a lot lately. Two days ago I communed quite deeply with the past, looking through the possessions of that maternal figure who had shuffled off her mortal coil. The smell of medicine and the touch of the end. Yesterday was Stratford Upon Avon, and seeing a friend from past times in her forward looking state, meeting the babies and children that make up the future for her and for us all, and looking forward with her to six months of wonderful work in a powerful place. The smell of milk and hope. Not my future, but a future touched by me. Today I woke up in that little waterside flat and felt the power of NOW. The sun was shining. There’s so much still to do.

They are tiny, those little flats in Stratford and people walk by the whole time and push their heads against the windows to peer in. They know the actors stay there. “There was an old couple in sunglasses,” said Minnie. “They were staring in the window, so I moved, and it only made them move closer to look!” Weird. People know that actors stay there. Perhaps they are looking for the famous ones. They won’t usually end up staying in Waterside… But the whole of Upon-Avon is skewed towards that theatre and the industry of Shakespeare. I guess that, for now, Minnie is part of that and people want to look at her. It’s crazy. Everything is Prospero this and Arden that. It must be hard for young people who don’t give a fuck about Shakespeare, when they get the job in the tea shop and they have to wear a ruff and all the tourists are quoting at them.

We touched base, Minnie and I. We had easy time with one another and ate roast chicken. We remembered. It was such a relaxing Sunday. Inches from her door there’s a Sunday market flogging all sorts of fun hand made crafty things alongside good meats and coffees and veg and cakes. She can be in Marks and Spencers five minutes from the door, or Poundland. I went to both, to get flour and sellotape respectively. The immediate concerns of her two small children who have recently had upheaval meant that much of my time was spent entertaining myself which is something I’m very good at, but the sellotape was to help entertain your oldest. I stayed in the busy company of my friends and their young ones until it made sense for me to get the van back to New Cross. Two and a half hours. Not bad.

I didn’t want to just hit home though after dropping the van so I got a surge Uber to Jethro’s. He’s on the way home from New Cross and I found myself in the state of mind where I wanted to just keep connecting. Jethro is good for that. I had a second chicken dinner unexpectedly courtesy of a generous neighbor. Then we had a moment together in the hut at the bottom of his garden. It’s like a version of my altar that you can walk into. It’s great in there. I walked in and rested there a moment and remembered why he’s been important in my life recently and will continue to be. Ahhh friends. It has been too hard the last few years.

Now I’m home. I thought I was working tomorrow but it’s a down day so I’m going to try and use the last three days worth of time-thinking to start forging a future for this delightful flat full of gubbins. Plus maybe have a lie in. Oh the joy of not having kids. Oh the hell of not being in rehearsal for a lovely job. Life, eh? Always something to do…

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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