I kept my head down and stayed in the New Town. I will not cross the bridge and head north or south, whichever way it is, I can never remember (it's the opposite of what I always think so I am guessing it's south, unless I have already tried to remember it that way and have reversed it already in which case it is north) until tomorrow when I head to the Pleasance for my tech.
But I did a little work on the shows, trying to get the Hamlet bit into my stupid brain (I know his lines, but not mine) and even doing a bit of research on Jenny Eclair for the podcast (that kind of thing cannot last). I was also interviewed by Sports Direct about Me1 Vs Me2 Snooker. The journalist sounded half amused, half bemused, but it was fun going into depth about my motivations and personal confusions around this project. It's the first step in this becoming the UK's national game and then the only televised sport in the world.
Determined to get fit and get through this festival without getting ill or exhausted (good luck with that) I went to the gym for a 50 minute work out, which I was pleased with. I have little excuse for avoiding this as the gym is five minutes from my flat and on the way to the Stand. And I am doing a half marathon in about two months so I really need to get training for that.
I wandered over to the bank to pick up some coin paying in bags and then had some lunch. I bumped into comics Michael Legge and Zoe Lyons, both professing to be not quite ready for the first night - but this is the law and only the most arrogant and insecure comedian (that is a massive amount of arrogance and insecurity by the way as most of them have a healthy dose of both) would be shouting out about how prepared and brilliant they were. I was wearing my headphones and sunglasses when I met Michael who told me I was looking cool. I then told him I was listening to Robin Ince's Infinite Monkey Cage and he re-evaluated his judgement.
Whilst I had been feeling fairly calm and zen about this Fringe and hoping that I might remain in the same state however few tickets I sold and however bad the reviews, I did get unreasonably shaken up tonight by a piece of financial news unrelated to the festival, which gnawed at me and reawakened the demons of paranoia and doom and gloom that often accompany the Fringe. Which led to me projecting a terrible run of the show and another year passed without anyone recognising my genius or with me realising that maybe they were right all along and I was just rubbish. All the usual self-obsessed bullshit that I had hoped I could avoid, but which has shown up, albeit in a very light form, before anything has even started. However much you think you can overcome this or try to avoid it these anxieties are impossible to totally defeat. But I hope I can suppress them because I really want to just enjoy my shows this year and do them the best I can. But even though it's good to have company in the flat I miss my wife and I also miss my cats. Which is annoying because I didn't even really want to have cats and if we hadn't got them then I wouldn't miss them. The lesson is to try and cut yourself off from everyone and everything and then you can never be hurt. I realised that I was probably a bit home sick when I mistook a white towel on the floor for Smithers. And the worst part is that I am sure he hasn't even noticed I am gone. I also worry that when I get home I might mistake Smithers for a towel and whizz him up and down on my undercarriage. But if I am discovered doing that, then you will know why.
It's not like I miss Smithers more than my own wife, but it's hard to mistake a towel for her. Which is a compliment to her if you think about it. She is much more complex and beautiful than a towel in my peripheral vision. Which is more than you can say for stupid Smithers. But I might get Ben Moor to dress up in a cat suit and play with my feet, just to keep me from feeling the loss.
My wife did manage to tear at my heart-strings too by sending me some good luck flowers. Never love anyone. You just come to depend on them and need them. I wish I had never left my house and was just sat in playing Civ II all weekend, every weekend like in the glory days of my single life.
All is fine really, of course. Tiny things get heightened here and the fear of failure does strange things to the psyche. And I had felt pretty happy for the first half of the day. Edinburgh gives you a little taster of what it might be like on the outskirts of manic depression. It's not just the streets that go up and down.
So it all starts tomorrow. We're All Going To Die! tickets are only £7 for the previews and you get a free DVD (retail value of £12), which suggests to me that you could probably come to the show and then sell your DVD for more than the ticket price and walk away with a profit.