day 25: the 25th day…

…and it felt like the 25th day out of 25. The feeling of everything being over, fizzling out like a wet firework, just sat all over the whole day. I hadn’t had enough sleep; there was nothing really left that I wanted to see; basically, nothing much that I especially wanted to do except pack up and go home.

I didn’t even get up in time to flyer for the lunchtime show; how it is that an audience of about 20-30 nice people turned up is beyond me. I did my act in what seemed like its most perfunctory form, the audience laughed and clapped happily, Jay sang songs and Tony told his stories for the final time of the festival…and then we were done.

All I could really manage in the afternoon was to sit and read and write a bit. For about an hour I sat, hidden away upstairs in a cafe and read some of Book 2 of the Gay Science – I owe a fair amount of my remaining sanity to those pages – but no sooner was I starting to enjoy the confused feeling of Nietzsche’s wonderfully feministic male chauvinism, than I could feel my eyes closing and I had to go back to the flat.

More than anything, I’m just physically and emotionally wrecked. A full run at the Edinburgh festival puts every emotion and faculty you have right through the wringer – happiness, sadness, self-worth, love, desire, friendship, fear, resentment, rage, disgust, compassion, elation…everything is heightened and pushed to its limits. I’ve spent the last week and a half fluctuating between euphoria, heartbreak and nausea, for no apparent reason other than that I’ve just been so tired.

Now I come to think of it, drinking every day – however slowly – and only getting three or four hours sleep a night probably doesn’t help.

So I sat in my room in the flat for a while, just feeling relieved that the whole thing is over. I went out briefly, into the dark, chilly autumnal evening, to collect our remaining things from the venues and to tell any prospective audience about the decision Tony and I had made not to bother with the evening show; I sat in a kebab shop and ate a chicken kebab on my own, and summoned the last strength I had to make the most of the last few hours.

And it really was a good last few hours: I saw old and new friends I didn’t think I’d see again before the end of the festival (if ever) – Bobby, Nick, Paul, Mariel, Georgina; I had conversations I hadn’t expected but genuinely appreciated; said goodbyes, and went home to pack.

And so – at least until next year – it’s all over.

CTD: Audience – surprisingly they actually existed; Performance – going through the motions one last time (6/10)

SSS: cancelled

Other stuff: see above

Overall, I’m too tired to care about wins and losses any more…


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