In July 2015 I perform an hour long monologue at the battersea arts centre. It’s about my time as an amateur boxer and how the gym was a sort-of sanctuary when my parents divorced, one of those stories I know I had to tell if ever given the opportunity to write something long.
I needed six weeks off work, three for rehearsing (and redrafting) and three for the run. My first paycheck gets me through rehearsals, on the first week of the show I was emptying my coin jar and using Mcdonalds Metro vouchers for dinner.
Unaware she's arrived on opening night, my ex sits in the front row. I fluff my timing in three scenes and the weight of expectation fucks up any sort of celebration. A decade of youth theatre. This isn’t youth theatre. After the show she hands me a card, congratulating me on getting here, on finishing this story.
I get four star reviews, that means they're not five star reviews.
In September 2016 we’re in San Diego and you’re driving us to the beach in your mum’s car, there are bare mountains in the distance, I've never seen anything like it.
I ask if you want your birthday present early, it's a mixtape I’ve been working on for the last two months. I learned how to use garageband to mix the horns of SpottieottieDopalicious with KissUpAndRubUpAndFeelUp and Convert youtube videos to mp3
- Homeboy sandman singing happy birthday in Spanish,
- The sky is the limit instrumental that I talk over, reading out our first ever texts, leading into Kanye Wests' Only One.
- K-Pop Medley.
- Lil Boosie's "Miss Kissin on You"
We get out the car, and you lead me to this beautiful garden that has exotic fish tiny ponds, scattered everywhere. There are hidden paths, and being so close to the sea we're able to sit on a bench that frames the sunset. Our birthdays are six days apart, you tell me that this park is my present. I try to digest the thought, to give what can't be claimed.
I look back at that fish, and try to make eye contact.