Friday, 2 September 2011

A Whimper, not a Bang

September begins, Edinburgh empties, Festival ends and melancholy rain sets in. I’d like to think that all the recent joie-de-vivre leaves ones cup of creativity half-full, even if ones double-bed remains half-empty. The picture on my Innocent Smoothie at first glance looks like a fringe-flyer, emphasising the reality of singledom. Along with the dubious assertion that the carton is, lacking a ringpull, saving the planet, there is an equally spurious claim that “True love awaits [yea, even] in the supermarket.”

I wonder how many 2011 Fringe shows contained ukuleles and sketches on internet dating. The first piece of drama I saw this year was about the latter subject, and was in my opinion extremely well-written and convincingly performed. I’ll be upfront: my reason for going was not the flier (now buried under a pile of an hundred others on my dining-room table) but the girl who handed it to me.  When she saw me again a few days later, I tried to play it cool by giving a ‘luke-warm’ response to her play. What a fool!

I never saw her again, on any of my subsequent lunch-hour strolls. My wish to give more positive feedback fell, like most fringe leaflets, underfoot.  “But that’s what Facebook’s for!” I hear you holler. (Actually, I’m only convincing myself that, if you exist at all, you are reading this.)  ‘For what?’ I respond: ‘Stalking strangers online?’ There’s bound to be a Fringe play on that, if not a forthcoming production at the English National Opera. And that’s the very reason why this blog is anonymous, and why I’m not on Facebook. (or if I am, I’m not telling you.)

Where does this leave me?

In better place than I was four years ago, when I wrote a poem about the Fireworks that summon the season of mists?  Perhaps.  I’ve heard there’s a code of conduct for cruising in supermarkets; certain aisles suit certain tastes. I’m not sure if I should lurk among the fresh fruit & veg, or the frozen meat section; stand by the savoury packets or hover hopefully by the sweets & biscuits.  One thing is for sure: the fridges are out of the question. Smoothies may be saving the planet, but they’re too cool for me. I guess it’s back to the Bombay Sapphire, the ever-dwindling embers of Festival, and a distant whimper of a voice, lodged somewhere between my memory and the chink of ice in a glass.

Fill it right up, imaginary barman.

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