I have left at the interval of no less than two shows out of two shows this week.
I am reaching a point where I simply can’t make excuses for the boredom – especially in this weather.
On the weekend I went to Regent’s Park and it was just – beautiful.
It was warm as a bath and the sky was as big as London can manage and I thought of Athens which makes me think of Melbourne.
And I found a cardigan. There was a cardigan sprawled on the ground in front of me in Regent’s Park so I picked it up and looked around and of course there are people walking off in all directions and they all have their backs to me and any one of them could be missing a cardigan, it was warm – did I say? Which is why someone has taken their cardigan off.
I would if I was wearing one.
And I watch these people rippling out from where I am standing with this cardigan. I am the origin of some explosion of cardigan owners.
As these particles reach a kind of critical unreachability I start pounding after one. This is not really a conscious decision – it is a physical decision which has shot from >360° of spiraling indecision and I just know they are going to leave the park and jump in a cab before I can get to them – or I will reach them barely able to speak for running and they will look – mystified – at the cardigan. It will be hopeless and I will look a fool – but I am running now and to stop because I am worried about looking a tit for chasing the wrong cardigan droppers would be less justifiable than it would have been before I started running. I am now a good fifty yards from them and I imagine more than one person has noticed what I am doing so although the distance is still enough to require the best sprint I can manage it is still a sprint that is required.
Now I am about thirty yards and – look – one of the girls puts her hand to her bag, looks down and (I see this is in slow-motion) turns slowly around to look back the way she has come to see if she can see her cardigan on the ground.
I know she dropped it so far back she wouldn’t see it if it was still there – that’s assuming someone wouldn’t have taken it by now.
Regent’s Park is nice but it’s no enclave.
And here I come and I am so unsurprised to hear an American accent.
“Ohw – my – Gaaaahd – theynk – yewoo – so – MU-ITCH!”
And I can barely speak I have run so far and almost before the cardigan touches her hand I am turning, mouthing “That’s fine..” and pounding back the way I came.
To my children who have been making the most of the opportunity to show off their handstands to passers-by. Most of whom are also American.
The world needs more handstands.