My flatmate/co-host Jake bangs on my door shortly after I wake up.
A few minutes later, a mug of coffee is passed around the door. It’s got milk in it. Jake always puts milk in my coffee, and I haven’t the heart to tell him I don’t take milk in coffee.
My mum used to put milk in coffee when she made it for me in that frantic twenty minutes between rugby training and tennis on a Saturday morning. The smell will always remind me of a big cold sky, grass stains, dirt under my fingernails, and trying to fit in. It also reminds me of having a burnt tongue, because I had no idea how to drink coffee when I was twelve.
The taste is strangely comforting.
I found a diary in a Word document on my computer recently. It has three entries, made up of a weekend and Monday during my first year of secondary school. That’s approximately the length of time I was able to commit to anything at that age. It’s a weird slice of a life I’ve almost entirely forgotten - pretending to like rugby, struggling to make friends, and attempting to stay out of trouble with scary teachers. I’m not going to share it with you.
I can very clearly remember my first morning of starting ‘big school’. I met my friend Andrew outside the school gates. I’m not exactly sure how me and Andrew were mates. He was the fastest runner, the best at football and completely confident in himself. In contrast, I wasn’t great at sports, was simultaneously chubby and scrawny, and used Oxford commas. Andrew gave me some pointers - my tie was wrong, I’d buttoned the wrong button on my blazer, my tie was still wrong, give it here, right, let’s go.
By the end of school I was the lanky kid who somehow had managed to make friends. I still don’t know how to do a tie properly, but I still talk to those friends sometimes.
The Fringe is simultaneously very lonely and impossible to find time alone at. I’m pretty much constantly surrounded by artists doing incredible things. In contrast, I’m here more to wear my hat that says ‘promoter’ on it, and sometimes I don’t necessarily feel that I’ve created something. This is fine! Sometimes, though, I feel like my tie isn’t on right and my blazer doesn’t fit.
(That’s a metaphor because I am a writer. We don’t actually have ties and blazers. I did see a whole horde of posh school kids the other day, though. None of them took flyers.)
Everyone’s in it together. Everyone seems to feel shit approximately 20% of the time. If we all synced up that’d be the end of it, but we’re carrying on somehow. There are two shows left. I think we’ll make it.
I went for a run up Arthur’s Seat yesterday. I sat down for a bit and looked out over Edinburgh. When I got up I had dirt under my fingernails, and caught the scent of grass stains. Jake made me coffee when I got back. It still had milk in. I didn’t say anything.
Oh, right, and our show is on every day at 18:45 in Pilgrim. It’s called Boomerang Club and it is free. See you there!