Friday, 28 June 2013


I have come to believe that the neat endings we aspire to when we speak of closure are nothing more than a Hollywood fantasy. Life, unlike narrative, does not give us all we need to move on. Instead endings are ragged and messy, their threads combining with those of our beginnings to weave the fabric of life, with its flaws, snags and occasional patches of brilliance. Today's ending, the last day of my Advertising career, is overshadowed by a past made present again through my father's death; I step onto the threshold of going back into therapy, to discuss my grief, my traumatic relationship with my mother in the month following my father's death, and all that has withered and greyed since. Today's beginning is all about endings, today's beginning terrifies me, and it is only in the grey light of dusk and birdsong that I notice, then say 'goodbye' to the job that crystallised the pain and forced me to acknowledge I need to start over again. Fear crawls across the evening, pulling me forward, even as I retreat to bed, reminding me I live and can only keep weaving.

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Quid Pro Quo

The show is nearly over, only one more act and a closing number. Back in my leggings with drink token in hand, I ask the barman for something non-alcoholic as I have to drive home shortly. 'You like juice?' he asks me and I nod. 'Lychee? Elderflower?' I smile and nod enthusiastically, 'I'll mix you something up.' he says with a twinkle in his eye.

I run up to the dressing room with the rest of the drinks order and once back at the bar, see him shaking the cocktail shaker vigorously before pouring the contents over crushed ice in a tall glass. With a flourish, he garnishes the drink with two glistening pink lychees, succulent as Tiger prawns, and two straws. I take a sip; it is delicious and I tell him so. He smiles and I understand that the extra care, the desire to please comes from having watched and enjoyed my performances; it is my reward for entertaining him, for doing my job well. The drink tastes even better.