Late night words

I’m back on Waterside, just opposite the theatre where all the sanctioned Shakespeare stuff goes off. Man I miss Sprite… The more time that passes the more I see what a gem it was. It was a nurturing ground. The work was just so positive over those long happy summers. We grew together. Wherever the equivalent is these days, I want to find it. Sure, it started to homogenise itself after a while and pull its own teeth to favour a well grown audience. But there was power and there was joy. I remember it today because I first met Hester and Liam up here in this town when I was supporting friends for Lion Witch and Wardrobe, and they were involved with my mates. I met long term collaborators up here in Stratford thinking I was just hanging out with Jake and Kesty. I also met other friends on unusual nights. People who have become important in my life. I’ve spent far too much time in this town visiting my friends who are working for a company that have never acknowledged my existence. I’m ok with that until I look at it as starkly as this. Nobody deserves anything. Whether or not I would have liked a chance to succeed or fail is irrelevant. I don’t often get chances. That’s mostly been the rules. I am good at converting the chances I get, but they are rare and there’s never been a shot at this company which is a shame. insha’Allah.

I’m here now literally just to hang out with my old pal. It’s glorious. She has two fantastic young children. She needed somebody with a car. I was able to make myself free. I haven’t seen her properly for too long.

Most people my age right now have to deal with the stuff we were dealing with tonight. Children’s bedtime. The need to just get them off to sleep so you don’t go completely insane. I tried my best to contribute, reading bits of Dahl, trying to use a soporific tone of voice as the aunties are crushed by the peach. They went to sleep, woke, went to sleep again etc. They will be up at 5. I’ll be down until half eight because I’m not their dad so I don’t have to… But God. I love them to bits. Half the world has these bastards every day. I will hold much closer my moments when I can’t decide if I’m gonna watch telly or read a book. I was part of the life-theft once. “Look at me daddymummy, stop your life and admire my existence parentfool! Arrest everything you are attempting in order to make insincere noises about my tiny achievements! Hooray for me!!?”

I love Min, and her kids. I’m glad I’m free of that. I see the loss, sure. But I’m very much aware of the life I’ve been able to grasp. I’ve seen fire and I’ve seen rain, and I’ve followed ideas until they broke me. I’ve answered calls at 4am. I’ve remained. I have no idea what I have changed with my big noisy efforts. Everything and nothing. I’ve set things right. I’ve set things wrong. I’ve burnt it all and started again. But at least, if there’s a rabbit hole, I can go down it. Round it. I can set it all off again. And I won’t have to pretend to be the same shape for somebody else’s sanity. I haven’t made a new one, but I’ve worked very hard on the one I’ve got. Seems like that’ll have to do.

It’s late. The Friday night conversations go past the window and yeah it’s all so familiar. Young creatives establishing their identity in response to things they have experienced. I love them. I am still working my shit out. We all are, as these late night conversations remind me.

Bedtime. Tony Sher at my feet as Richard. And therefore, since I cannot prove a lover … Villain time? I should be so lucky. Roll on Sprite Mark II. Roll on permission for me to be brilliant and joyful. Who knows, maybe the flat things in the universe will shift and a tiny tiny door will open in the forcefield.

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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