- Albert Camus
Ali took me to Brighton on Friday, which is on the south coast 40 minutes by train from London, and widely regarded as Britain's San Francisco much smaller, but with waterfront, pastel-painted row houses on hills, cool breezes and sunshine, a thriving gay community and a welcoming vibe. Ali's friend Janice, a very successful comedic actor, was doing an hour of standup that night as part of the Brighton Festival. Thusly did I made my [near-]stage debut, delivering a full three lines to nearly 400 people as Janice's plant in the audience. I was smashing, take it from me. No doubt as a result, we got to spend the night in a guesthouse for actors, run by a couple Bill and Agnes who have been cheerfully putting up performers for 30 years.
During the day, we walked and browsed in funky shops and ate three fantastic meals in two different veg joints. We strolled on the pebbly beach and out onto the classic touristy pier, with rides and games and food stalls. Ali even let me play a video game. The only photo I took was this goofy hybrid of the two old standards of the cardboard cutout and taking your own picture at arm's length.
Back in London, we took a Sunday evening stroll through leafy and lovely Kensington, the weather glorious, we happy. We talked about how good and grand life was in that moment and what such moments mean when they are over. Ali said that even if we don't capture them in words or pictures, even if the details fade from our minds, they still become part of the fabric of who we are.