The wedding ceremony is outside and I am impressed by the shameless gawking of passersby. They know that we can see them, that they are in the way of photographs, but they do not care. These declarations of lifelong allegiance are occurring in public and strangers will watch as they see fit. It makes the bride and groom seem famous and us seem cool for being invited.
At dinner, the place settings are silly photos of us lifted from our Facebook profiles. Mine isn’t particularly embarrassing, but it is from twelve years ago and I can confirm that it’s better not to be confronted with your rapidly disappearing youth over antipasti.
We get chatting to the couple across from us who are down from Brisbane. He’s Australian and she’s Brazilian so mostly we talk about visas, then marriage and eventually jobs. When they ask, I feel embarrassed to tell them that I’m a writer. And they are impressed which makes me more uncomfortable still, but I stumble through how it works and vaguely outline arts funding without crying or showing them my bank balance, which is a commendable effort.
I’m in my thirties and everyone’s getting married now so I must get better at the job question. And the marriage question. And the babies question. I must be politer when people showcase their Birmingham accent for me. I must be politer in general.
Later me and the woman from Brazil follow each other on Instagram and she promises they’ll come to Melbourne for my next play. Later there is dancing. Later we try to throw fries into an empty wine glass with little success. Later I search for my younger self among the post-dinner debris, and when I find her, I put her in my bag.
A version of this post was sent by email on the 1st March 2020 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.