Still, I felt a profound sadness that I wasn't able to put a period on the end of this month-long sentence. I know it was the right decision, health-wise...
Okay fine, I don't know it. But I'm pretty sure. If there were lots of tickets sold or if I hadn't been through vocal nodes surgery last summer, I'd have muscled through it--rightly or wrongly. Whatever. Things are what they are. I promise not to obsess about it for more than the next 6-8 months.
I went for one last jog. My back is still seizing up, so the first few minutes were brutal. But then I warmed up, and was rewarded with a one-hour respite. I revisited the Hermitage of Braid--no emergency dump this time! It was super pretty and I intentionally got as lost as possible, just following random paths. I wound up in some rolling hills outside the main forest area. As I mentioned, I'm the world's shittiest photographer, but:
This country is so goddamn beautiful. I don't think I've played Fringe well, professionally. But from a human standpoint, I've wrung a lot of pleasure out of this trip. Every time I got bogged down in minutiae, I'd stop, take a deep breath, look up and do a 360 degree spin. What a gift to spend a month surrounded by such beauty, both natural and human-made.
BTW I'm currently 1.5 beers in at the Manchester airport after three hours sleep--please take my maudlin sensibilities with a grain of salt.
I went home showered and decided it was time. Time to eat haggis.
I googled "Best Haggis in Edinburgh" and after some deliberation, settled on The Whiski Bar. It was on the Royal Mile, which means it's probably shit (the jaded New Yorker in me is skeptical of any restaurant located in a tourist-friendly neighborhood). But fuck it--I had 29 damn days to seek out the actual best haggis in Edinburgh and I left it up to a final day google. So strap on your fannypack, don your "I (BRAVE)HEART SCOTLAND" t-shirt* and be the cornball American tourist you are.
So let's not bury the lede any deeper: Haggis is pretty damn good. Not the greatest thing I've ever tasted, but undeniably tasty. Someone described it as "gooey meatloaf" and that about nails it. I hedged my bets by only ordering the appetizer (a small mound of haggis atop mashed potatoes, covered in whiskey cream sauce. But I definitely wish I'd gone all-in. Evidence:
That's actually a video still. I hit record on my phone, just in case my reaction to eating haggis for the first time was "hilarious". It was not. It was just a guy eating a pretty good food for the first time. Looks like I'll never go viral... (sigh)
I spent an hour or so writing yesterday's blog post and then just aimlessly wandered around Old Town for a couple hours. Like an idiot, I wasted the late afternoon, which meant all of the stores were closing/closed by then. It's a shame--I was feeling sentimental and probably would have gone on a trinket buying binge. YOUR LOSS, UK! I'm not sure how I went an entire month without buying anything keepsake-y (other than a pair of sneakers and something for Kambri), but there you go. Typical dude.
I wound up back around Bristo Square right around the time I'd have been preparing for my final show. That made me question my cancellation all over again. But I made the right decision. I DID. I did? I did.
Bristol Square was dead as a doornail and there was a strange vibe--like when people are still drinking, even though the bartender has shouted "Last call!" and the lights at full blast.
I did take a few photos. They won't mean anything to you, dear reader. But I think they'll be a nice reminder for me, down the road.
I wandered back towards Morningside, stopping for a beer and to download a few Mindhunter episodes for my flight back to NYC.
Not gonna lie--kind of lame-ass final night.
But rather than dwell on crap, let me itemize all of the wonderful things that have happened over the past month:
* I spent a full month in one of the world's great cities. I'd been told by numerous people that Edinburgh was magical and, quite frankly, they all undersold it.
* I did 25 full one-hour shows in 26 days, not to mention upwards of 25 short bar sets. That's over 30 hours of stage time. Unreal.
* I saw soooooo many good shows. And some pretty ones and even a couple clunkers. But each and every one game me something to think about and lit fire under my ass to see more shows once I'm back in NYC.
* I met a shit-ton of cool people. The person I'll probably miss the most is Jess, the superwoman who handled my tech every night. She was an angel. An angel straight from heaven! Since I missed my final show, I did not get to thank her properly or to even discover her last name. I'm kinda like that.
* I learned that I'm definitely an American comedian. I have a bit of that Groucho Marx thing in me. Whenever someone assumes that I'm X, I feel compelled to argue that maybe I'm actually Y. And if you say I'm Y, I'll declare "Who's says I'm a letter at all? Maybe I'm a number! Or a symbol! Perhaps I'm &!!!" It's a tiresome personality trait that most folks grow out of in their early 20's. While UK audiences liked me fine, the presence of a few Americans in the audience guaranteed it would be a good show. In fact, if I have a target demo, I think it would be "Americans who travel"--i.e. who have a curiosity about the world, but can still appreciate a good Panera joke. The last paragraph of this very nice review encapsulates what I'm talking about. 'Brash', 'Open', 'Vulnerable' and 'Resonant' are all words I want associated with my comedy. Going into Fringe I wondered if performing for UK audiences would reveal something to me about myself. And whaddaya know--it did!
And now, I bring this series of blog posts to a close. As I type this, I'm already back in my Queens apartment with my beautiful wife and two extremely huggable dogs. I've really enjoyed documenting this experience and I hope it's been enjoyable to read. I'm going to keep on blogging, albeit not every day. If you feel so inclined, there's field over to the right ----------> where you can enter your email address and get an alert when I post something new.
In the mean time, thanks for reading. And thanks for allowing me to squat in a tiny little corner of your brain from time to time.
|C'est finit/C'est Finny|