Monday, 8 August 2011

The Big Empty Room

24 hours later, the room I was working on with Kirsty Harris and her very nice and efficient mum, is finally nearly complete. Being the only Forest Fringer who is currently in Edinburgh, there was something calm and relaxing about sitting in that room after Kirsty and her mum had called it a night, aware that it will be peopled very soon - possibly ruined if the keys are given out to the wrong people throwing a party - (Oh my gosh I hope not) - but for now it seemed to be this airy space with big windows and paintings of crows flying up the wall. The whole thing made me feel so relaxed that I sat down at the desk, started working, and submitted a grant application I'd been sure I wouldn't get around to writing with twenty minutes to spare. But then. I got a bit lonely. I started thinking - this place is so nice, I should show it to somebody. And so I invited a friend to see it. And after finding Forest, then climbing the stairs that still smell of recycling only to find me in a big empty room all alone filled with fairy lights, listening to music and huddled over my computer, he called me the word we all dread hearing after having spent over a half hour in the company of no one - He called me Creepy. What a jerkface.

My friend doesn't work at the Forest. Because if he did he wouldn't bat an eyelid at the joy of a room with practically nothing in it. Spending all day clearing stuff out of a room that has been used and misused and unused by an epic stream of people over the last eight years, repainting, hoovering, and then savouring that moment before anybody else gets to come in. I know I'm not the first person to have had that experience at Forest, probably in that very same room, but what is so sad is that with the upcoming sale of the building, I may be the last. The Action Room has been an office, an action room, a storage space, a cabaret bar, and now it's a green room. But what will it be next? Probably empty. And that's pretty sad.

But back to me defending myself against being creepy in a big empty room - In a building brimming with ideas and legacies and stuff - just like, a lot of stuff- and in a venue that is soon to be filled with activity, with people on the way and acts on the way and more stuff on the way - so much stuff - what is more wonderful than that moment of enjoying the big empty room? There's a sense of achievement and a sense of anticipation all in one. A feeling and enjoyment that I can only relate distinctly to Forest Fringe.

Or maybe I really was just being creepy.

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