On my last day at the theatre, I realise I’ve worked there longer than at any other job. On my last day I wear emerald green, instead of black. On my last day I am given a bottle of champagne and asked to make a speech. I struggle to find the right words. Not because it means too much, but perhaps because it doesn’t mean much at all. There were times when I wanted to scream and times when I cried in the toilets and times when I felt satisfied I’d done a good job. There were times when I liked my job, even. But it’s all in the past now. Instead of a speech, I tell an embarrassing anecdote and that seems to go down just as well.
On my last day my friends buy me drinks and congratulate me for getting out. They tell me they’re jealous. One of them asks What am I going to do now you’ve gone? On my last day they give me a card that they’ve all signed, except lots of them haven’t signed it yet and sign it right there in front of me. On my last day I tell them all that I love them. You can’t know what anyone truly thinks of you, but I do know that most of them think I’m funny and I consider that to be a marker of success. Later, I get too drunk and lose the card they gave me, so I’ll never know what they said. On my last day we climb to the roof of the building. Then we stand on it, looking down.
A version of this post was sent by email on the 17th March 2019 as part of Internet Care Package – a weekly memoir project in the form of a newsletter. It also includes links to the best things I’ve found on the internet each week and occasional updates on my theatremaking. This blog is a select archive of those emails. Subscribe to get them right in your inbox.