And lo’ the early July day (well ‘week’) did cometh/came.
I was set to meet *the boss* from *the production company* on Thursday but by Wednesday I’d not hard anything more specific.
I called the office at lunchtime to see if there was anything in the diary but was told they’d drop me a line. The line wasn’t dropped so I tried again Thursday in the A.M. and was deferred again but he would “probably be in touch this afternoon”.
So bubbling with adrenaline and anxiety I took an early lunch and went out for a lungful of a fresh air and a stretch of the legs. I put on my headphones and strode purposefully around the neighbouring streets.
Had this all been a grave misunderstanding?
Was this an elaborated prank?
Were there any less paranoid questions to ponder upon?
And with that, half-consciously, I rounded the corner to find myself on the very street of *the productions company*’s offices and my inbox suddenly quivered.
“Sorry things came up. We will have to push hooking up for a few weeks I’m going to work remotely from abroad till mid-August. So speak week of the 20th August or thereafter. Happy to put a date in the diary that week.”
My heart plummeted into my hi-tops, 19 months in and another couple of weeks were instantly hurled into the mix. That’s OK, I’ve waited this long, what’s another month and a half between life-altering developments, it wasn’t the end of the world.
I pulled a smiling face together and typed back, trying to sound chipper, caring, and accommodating but kind of outlining that life was continuing outside of his availability. Maybe something terrible had occurred, perhaps a tiny portion of the world HAD quietly ended.
“Fair enough, I hope everything is OK. That week is going to be a bit mental with me, unless I’ve managed to escape to a more inspiring job. I’ll check with my boss when she’s back in and suggest some slots to see if they work for you if that’s alright. In the meantime, I hope everything is, and goes, well.”
I was standing my ground-ish, very compassionately, but my stomach was in knots. The greener pastures had just been encased by a Trumpian wall with a time locked access gate. I swallowed hard and took a deep breath. It was happening, it just wasn’t happening ‘today’. And then my inbox wobbled afresh…
“Unless you have time tomorrow pm?…”
Good God man! Have you no consideration for the faint of heart?
So Friday, 2pm was set to be the moment the world changed forever, if only very locally to my exact coordinates.
I slept OK, but unfortunately, the t-shirt I wanted to wear to show how cool and edgy I was had been accompanied through the wash by an unseen tissue and so was adorned with dried up mulchy lint; it wasn’t entirely running to plan. So a fractionally better known New Jersey punk band was displayed across my chest as I set out for one of the most important days of my professional life.
I managed to keep my nerve all day, I’m an anxious sort, but this whole thing felt weirdly right. Like the Universe was relieved that we’d finally come to the end of all the messing around. As the hour approached I made my way over to *the production company*’s address, which is weirdly convenient to my Clark Kent job and literately moments away.
I went in, was furnished with a cup of tea, and me and *the boss* had a very friendly conversation. It was all really positive, they really liked the script and didn’t think it needed much work. We talked about how hard it is to secure Actors in the current golden age of Television, we talked about the success of Boxing Films and about the current positive shift towards the telling of more diverse stories. I was reminded that they couldn’t fully commit yet as *the other boss* still had to read the script and give us the nod. We were talking about budgets of under a million and a cast of newer faces but they were looking forward to it, it was one of the best scripts they’d had recently. And with a final reminder about their lack of ability to fully commit, mugs were drained, hands were shaken, “see you soon”s were distributed, and I was back out blinking into the sunshine. I was a bit surprised how little applause there was as I re-emerged back into the world from all the normies, and wasn’t offered single high-five, but that’s OK, things can move slowly for us folks in the Movies.
I went back to my regular office and forwarded the most up to date draft of Queensferry Rules for *the other boss* to greedily devour and tried my best to keep from floating up to the ceiling.
I felt pretty dizzy all weekend but the fact that we were taking our littlest into Hospital for corrective cleft palate surgery on the next Tuesday kept my head mostly in the real world.
I was wondering whether the mutual excitement I felt in the meeting might spur *the boss* to encourage *the other boss* to crack on and crack the spine of Queensferry Rules.
And it did, I got an email first thing Monday morning!!!
“Got an update, it’s a pass I’m afraid – not what you wanted to hear and even though it’s a strong piece of work it didn’t totally convince both of us – which is our starting point for all our projects- as I mentioned on Friday. Enjoyed chatting and would like to stay in touch on other projects, when you have them to share. I have a couple of ideas where you might take this too -will drop you another note.”
The whole surgery thing and our baby’s MUCH longer stay in hospital was sufficient distraction of significantly bigger fish to fry. It took a good couple of weeks to hit me how close I’d gotten for it to slam shut so unceremoniously. The intermittent crappy days I’ve had since just I’ve genuinely just realised are very probably a form of grief. Grief for the glimmer of the new world, the one that lay beyond certifiable recognition that I have something the world wants.
I did pretty well though, to get that far on my first properly realised script, especially that was written in a rush because I couldn’t write the thing I was supposed to write. Onwards and upwards, I’m writing when I can, and I’m still peddling Queensferry Rules. Someone will want it, it’s good, I just need to keep going.
I blame the t-shirt, and whoever left that tissue in the washing machine… Oh well, the adventure continues.