I have not been on a bus, train or in a taxi for 14 days. Every day, I notch up six or seven miles criss-crossing Edinburgh. When I board the train at the end of August, I may have the paranoia of a Victorian gentlemen who believes he might be vaporised should the train exceed 30 miles per hour. With our infrastructure crumbling, there is a high percentage chance we may not reach that speed.
I have never enjoyed my experience at the Edinburgh Fringe so much, mainly because it is the first I have done since my mind was diagnosed and I have the measure of myself. I am brimful of love and excitement. I find no need to hang around performers’ bars or those who glitter, and there is a lot of glitter, but find myself walking, pondering and browsing in bookshops.
I feel, after having had such an overbearing critical voice full of self-loathing for so long, now I have shut it up, I have even less than the average Joe.
My evening show begins with me frantically drawing a face on a melon as the audience saunter in, the speed of my felt tip increasing as Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds become faster and faster (I am using a recording of them, they are not there in person. There is enough false advertising on the billboards without me adding to it.)
I then punch the melon until it explodes. Weeks of practice has meant I can almost aim it correctly so it avoids peppering the front row with seeds. Then, dripping with melon, I tell my story. This is what the Fringe is for.
Sopping with sweat at the end of my show, I walk a mile to the Cameo cinema, drying as I go, and sit alone with a glass of wine and suspicious stares.