I still exist.
Poetically. Philosophically. Physically.
Yes, faithful Wuckers. I’m alive and advancing. Dwelling in ye Old Blighty. Enjoying a rather tepid summer and yet another Phoenix rebirth!
You see, following the attempted annihilation of my character ‘n’ career by the most recent in a long line of Vaders, I boarded a plane bound for London, set for a month-long holiday …
Soon, I was in Paris.
Sitting at a sunset rooftop bar with a pina colada in one hand, bread ‘n’ olives in t’other, and a view which stretched clear across Paris to the Sacré-Coeur. Around me sat tourists holding American, Australian and French conversations over wine, beer and cocktails (respectively); opposite: a dude with a bright red mohawk reminiscent of Frenke Potente in Run Lola, Run.
It’s the little things.
As I waited for a friend to arrive so we could begin our time in Paris … a time filled with flea markets, a tower de Eiffel, and giggle-filled train rides … I pondered that it may be this visit where I finally fell for Paris. Perhaps ’twas my frame of mind, my frame of past, or the fact I was without ties … but the sun on my skin made promise of possibilities. Much like the sun of Italy and Greece had made promise (and delivered on) before.
Bien sur, the first thing apparent of Paris (aka apparisent) was how succinctly it shone back at me mes inadequacies.
Behind the bar was a beautiful, tanned, lyrical French man. Tousled hair. Golden beard. Wearing a throwaway t-shirt likely plucked from the floor of a sparse, sunlit loft which spoke (in French, no less) of youth and freedom. A worn guitar no doubt sat expectantly propped against a wall, open shutters nearby, a winding Blonde tangled in sleep nearby. This was the kind of man every woman imagines falling in love with; the projected trajectory of said relationship easily fitting into every romantic comedy ever promised.
Across from me: an ordinary looking geek avec acne and polo shirt, bent over laptop.
My story held neither, of course.
But travel is akin to physically walking onto the 5km-square blank page of a giant sketchbook, where characters and roads are drawn before your eyes, unexpected and inspiring. Infinitesimal. Suddenly you remember what life can hold, if you have the courage to stand up and demand joy. It suddenly stretches out before you, not as a threat, but as a playground.
And so. Mon ami et moi traversed Paris, climbed the Eiffel Tower at midnight, made videos of us bouncing along the boulevards, swept along on good times and endless laughs. Indeed it was the trip where Paris and I became friends; or, as the French say, “tell me whom you frequent, and I will tell you who you are”.
Then we set fly for Malta. Backward in modern amenities, yet forward in beauty and scope – it proved equal parts stunning and maddening. We jet skied on the Mediterranean, zooming out to sea at 40km per hour, jumping self-made waves and getting seasprayed, as the whitewashed square houses of the shoreline whizzed by. We laughed til tears ran down our faces, and drew the eyes of sane folk who knew not of the wonderful secret of whimsy.
Then back to London to visit my cousin for two weeks before (supposedly) returning home …
Three days before I departed, I made the sudden decision to give notice on my flat. This way: I wouldn’t have to pay rent while away and could extend my holiday if a wayward whim did sidle up (as they are want to do). Consequently, my last two days were spent in a hive of hustle – cutting off bills, organising movers, madly packing and cleaning. I put the entirety of my life into two large storage lockers which drove off to an undisclosed location (presumably my subconscious) the day afore I flew. Headlong towards oxygen and a large question mark made of puffy white clouds. My decision half drawn and left unfinished as I boarded my flight to London, I had effectively released my last tether like Bullock of Gravity lore.
Who says you can’t make and execute a major life decision in two days?
And so, flashback over … when it came time to return to the life I left, there was nothing tangible to return to; and instead, I stood in England – possibility and curiosity before me.
That was a year ago.
So! Now I live in London. With office work officially, squarely in my past. Because, dear Wuckers. I did it! I landed a contract on a long-running television show. Not at entry level, oh no. But as an assistant director – on the floor – where the ACTION! happens.
Can ya fucken believe it?
I can’t fucken believe it.
I’ve been in the job eight months and it has indeed been a baptism the likes of which Joan of Arc has never seen. The majority of staff have been there from the start and navigating the resulting factions has been akin to attending a high school designed by Tim Burton on a particularly virulent acid trip. My average day is 13 hours, which is physically fairly nuclear. But I’m in it, Barry. Oh so innit. And I have credits! An actual motherfucking profile on IMDB, which makes me finally, formerly, established in the industry.
I know this all sounds annoyingly Disney but in truth, it’s been much like stepping into a tornado with farcical faith it’ll drop me off in Oz miraculously in one piece, like a kindly windswept taxi driver … my ruby slippers placed nearby. Indeed I am in Oz, but my ruby slippers are up the arse of an unlucky munchkin and the yellow brick road is closed for repair.
But, in my high stakes game of Tic Tac Survival, I am indubitably surviving. Nay, expanding. And no, not like Mr Creosote in Monty Python’s Meaning of Life.
But in outlook, dear friends. In trajectory.