Saturday, August 17, 2013

creating a/broad, August 17, 2013

I Am Tired
by Cameryn Moore

I am tired. Yes. It is past the halfway point for the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, and I’m lying here on my narrow-ass bad at 12:30 in the afternoon, and my body is aching like some giant just wrung me out and hung me here to dry. I guess my habit of typing while I’m lying in my bed doesn’t help, but mostly it’s just Fringe fatigue.

It’s not doing the shows back to back to back (by the time you read this I will be at 16 shows in a row). The show is actually staying pretty fresh. Someone asked me about it once, how do I keep it fresh and alive when it’s scripted and I’ve done it so many times. The answer? Fresh audiences. Every night I have a new group of people down in that basement, reacting in different ways to what I say, therefore giving me different things that I can react to. So, yeah, insufferable heat of the basement bar and rapidly molding bread notwithstanding (heat and damp, what are ya gonna do?), doing the show down there, that much… not the reason for fatigue.

For the rest of my food, I’ve been… well, not eating all day.

I’m not going out much, either, so that’s not it. I decided early on that hanging out in loud bars was going to be really bad for my voice; even if I might run into industry types who would conceivably be interested in small-scale, extremely graphic psycho-sexual dramas with a weird sense of humor… even that would be a bad trade-off for losing my voice. 

But I am staying out late, nonetheless. The Sidewalk Smut stand gets rolled out every Thursday through Sunday, from 10:30pm to 1:30am. That is exhausting on multiple levels: creatively, psychologically, ergonomically. I mean, all folding chairs are by definition inherently uncomfortable, and do you have ANY idea how tricky it is to stay alluring and maintain boundaries at half past midnight on a rowdy street?

Food. Yeah. Not the best. I mean, I’m eating all right one meal a day, the one I eat right around now. I just finished a plate of three scrambled eggs with leftover curry sauce, some cheese slices, two pieces of toast, and a small bottle of orange juice. That is officially the end of the groceries I got in one big shopping trip 2.5 weeks ago. For the rest of my food, I’ve been… well, not eating all day. Or eating a bacon sandwich at the pub above my venue. If I’m feeling particularly flush, I might get some pad thai from one of the food stands around the major venues in town. But mostly I just stop by a convenience store on my walk home and pick up a can of Pringles and a Mars bar and a withered convenience-store apple and that’s what I eat at 2:30 in the morning. Hmmm. I need to do better these last 10 days. I’ve still got miles and weeks to go before I get back to anything approaching a comfortable routine.

I’m an utter hedonist

Walking. I’m walking a lot more. My ankle is almost completely better, and what felt like insurmountable slopes two weeks ago are now just, you know, sidewalks leading slightly upward. I can do the endless staircase alleys, the four long flights of stairs leading to my flat, the long gradual slope from my Sidewalk Smut location to my late-night bus stop. All of these are possible now. During the day, when I have places to go, when the evening rains haven’t yet fallen, those are easy walks. At night, when I’m tired and hungry and everything I’m wearing is slightly damp from the mist… it feels longer. And in the night, when I wake up with a cramp in my leg, or in the morning when I lie on my back and stare up at the skylight—the one natural source of light in my tiny little room—I can feel the ache settle in a little deeper and I don’t want to put my feet on the floor because I know they will be tender from yesterday’s perambulations.

As I go through the paces, back and forth to the venue, to the Smut stand, to my flyering location (half-price hut, every afternoon between 4:30 and 6), get hungry and drown it in water, walk and walk and walk, I occasionally think, yes, one day I would like not to worry about the exchange rate of money for comfort. I would like to be able to take a taxi everywhere I go, or maybe rent a hotel room in a hotel where there is complimentary breakfast served every morning, hire somebody to help me lug my Sidewalk Smut stand around. I would like to be able to afford a big bed everywhere I go on tour, where I can sprawl out in comfort and bring lovers back to, if I want. I would not disdain these luxuries. I am not such an ascetic.

In fact, I’m an utter hedonist. But I am on a budget, not only of money, but energy, too. So where can I find my small comforts? I suppose that’s the question of the next 10 days, the next three weeks, until I land on home turf again. So far, I have a sweet new Edinburgh boyfriend who loves to hold my hand, and a new-to-me iPhone, and … uh… a can of Pringles every third night. That doesn’t feel like quite enough. But I guess it’ll have to be.

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