Sunday, 14th June 2020.
Let me begin with stating that I may still be a little tipsy right now writing this, so if anything is overly sentimental— well, now you know why. I woke up about an hour ago, but only went to bed maybe 4 hours ago, so, well, here we go with this blog story.
Last night was a good one. I’m too much of an over-thinker to ever use the word ‘perfect’ (if you know me, then you know I neither believe in perfect nor ever try to strive for it), but, in a way it was, and I woke up an hour ago with a full heart, a full belly from that Full Veggie English that my fabulous sous-chef and I cheffed' up at 5 AM for everybody post-Primrose (as promised), and in total grief.
I’ve been telling myself and everyone around me who asks, that “I’m saving the feelings for the plane,” but I woke up this morning with lots of them. Too many for myself to handle. I think the moment the feelings started to trickle in for the first time was when I sat down next to SpicyFriend at the top of the hill to take in the moment that was: the sun slowly rising from behind the trees, glistening over the city landscape; above our dancing friends in the field below. These are my people, and I’m so sad to leave them.
Friday night, over a cup of midnight tea in the kitchen— where all of our best chats happen-- Dandylion shared with me a german phrase in response to my shared thoughts. The phrase has no direct English translation, yet is still so very beautiful. Man sell gene went es am schönsten ist, which means leaving when things are good; leaving with nothing but fond memories. This is definitely not to say that London hasn't presented me with many challenges these last three years, because oh believe me it has, but all ones I've been able to grow through with support from the most loving humans. I am leaving, with so much love for London, its people, and my time here. My case here is strengthened by the fact that I am saying all of this, despite living my last few months in London, having spent our last two UG performance-based terms online x global pandemic x revolution. That's how much I love this little London life I have here— it is a love that withstands times of change. That's why I have so much trust in 'my great return' one day, and that's how I know that these people are forever; that this time will have a forever place in all of our hearts as it does mine.
Anyways, back to last night.
Last night was like a dream. Maybe that’s because I recall it both in pieces and in phases, which is probably due to how unexplainable everything was but oh-how-right everything felt to do in the moment. For one very prime example, I hatched Madam Bowie while doing an Ostrich dance (sometime before or after our Swan Lake debut).
Last night we lived from the heart with no explantations. E.g. hah, try to explain this one:
In the weeks leading up to this time, our house has been playing “divorced parents,” and early-on invited our friend Dandylion to stay over for the weekends, as he is otherwise quarantined alone. Throughout this time in quarantine, we've separated our weekends from the weeks by planning them out with themed dinners and whatnot. So, we wanted one last night of playing dress-up, doing our makeup all fancy, and slaying the night away. This weekend though, the only theme we came up with was to be present with each other, and to live our best lives; it was to be a culmination of everything we had learned from our time in quarantine, while also making one last memory.
So naturally, we started the night with some glam.
And also very naturally, we started the night with games while we waited for our quite fashionably-late friends to join.
Sidenote: they were indeed very fashionable, and all of our jaws dropped upon first-sight, at the new LOOKS they were serving as they strutted through that famously red door.
Waiting for our friends, we started with one of our household favourites.
However, once our v. fashionable friends made it to the party, we stepped the games up a notch. Before, when it was just me, Lady A, Dandylion and Madam Bowie, the 'competitives' were overpopulated by the 'playing-for-funsies.' HOWEVER, once miss SpicyFriend and J. Fada Mística do Sol (let's go with J.Fada for short) arrived, the COMPETITIVES TOOK THE HOUSE! A couple of rounds of "Most Likely To" and Charades later, and the heat was on!
By the way, it's always so interesting to see what your friends— who lived through a quarantine with you and know you best— think you are the most or least "likely to." Apparently, I'm the most likely to leave my wallet in a store, marry somebody my family disapproves of, not share my opinion, be / marry a stripper, and catch feelings after a one-night stand.
BUT, the game that REALLY did us all in (of course after taking a post-charades toast&jam, coffee and water break), was "Ring of Fire," and OH HOT DAMN! What a game... you know, still I don't really remember what card number and symbol signified exactly what action, however, I do remember drinking... a lot... because somehow— just somehow— every single time that those cards told SpicyFriend to drink, we all had to drink. And every time that Madam Bowie had to drink, Spicy had to drink, so therefore we all, once again, had. to. drink. Like I said, what a game...
Ring of Fire was the game that transitioned us from dusk to dawn, and kept us laughing and wide-eyed until it was time to finally go catch that sunrise. A little bit of background: it has been my dream to watch the sunrise over London, for almost three years now. This weekend, we very much brought that dream to life. Often, when we're living a dream-come-true, it never really feels like a dream until reflecting back and realizing we just lived something that maybe we once dreamed. However this one very much did feel like a dream, and it has place in my heart like one does.
With Midsummer approaching soon, the sunrise was scheduled for around 3:30 AM, so that's when we set out. Whoever is reading this, I don't know if you've ever set out on foot at 3 o'clock in the morning, but oh what a feeling it is to strut through the streets on a Saturday night (Sunday morning), of a deserted cityscape. We were in the movies; we made up the musicals. The stereo was our chorus, and we were Gene Kelly in 'Singing' in the Rain,' tapping singing and dancing our way to the park.
Once, to our surprise, we realized that the park was actually open, we found a nice little perch atop the Hill and made ourselves comfy. The sun hadn't begun rising just yet, but we had ourselves, and a heartfelt playlist to keep us entertained.
It really wasn't until after we all woke up this morning and began piecing together the night with all of our individual perceptions and conversations / happenings, until we remembered how we went from sitting and chatting, to slipping and sliding down Primrose hill at dawn. *Correction* it wasn't until we played back the audio, of which Madam Bowie had recorded for a choreographic project, until we remembered what had got us up in the first place... it was THE SONG.
Leading up to mine and Lady A's departure from London, us three Malden Crescent sisters had been choreographing for a film. It was set to a song that still takes me back to them every time I hear it. Hearing it on this Hill, and being pulled up by it's very first strum... it was one of the first times I ever truly felt moved by the music, and swept away.
Music is what swept us up and into the night. We danced, for I don't know how many hours. The hill was still dewy from the night, so once the first beat dropped and we started running... we started to slide. We rolled down the wet hill. We ran after our friends rolling down the hill, to scoop them up at the bottom. We lifted each other up. We also dropped each other, tripped over each other, and ran into each other (too many times to count). We climbed trees. We listened to a guitarist who sat among us on the hill. We jumped, we ran, we sang and we danced. We sat, both alone and together. And we watched as the sun rose above the city; as it rose above the trees below, the trees close by.
We watched as it rose above us dancing.
Like I said sometime above, last night we lived from the heart... has that ever happened to you? You know the feeling I'm talking about, I know you do. The one that makes you spread your arms to match the bird, and chase and seagull on the beach until it takes flight. The lamppost you pass that, out of nowhere, turns you into Gene Kelly. Sometimes in life, there's absolutely no rhyme or reason for how a moment plays out. Yet, it also makes sense. These people are the ones who inspire me immensely. Their overall being inspires me. I feel connected to them, through all of the love, support and utter acceptance we have for each other. Seeing them happy naturally makes me happy. And, seeing them dance, naturally invites me to do the same.
All of my stories are non-fiction, as well as the people in them. However, I have given each and every one a stage name with careful thought and detail, because all of the people in my stories are just that fabulous.