i have adventures (sometimes)

Saturday, 28 July 2012

We Live on Avenue Q

Last weekend, I joined some G & S friends and Bri and her friend Robert for a trip to Leeds to see Avenue Q.

Doo doo doo ba da baa, doo doo doo ba da baa, waaaaa! (Source)
That may have been the fourth time I'd seen it. I'm not obsessed (yes I am).

I think the only other musical I've seen four times is Chess. I would have seen it several dozen more times by now if anyone anywhere ever actually performed it, because it's the best thing. I have so many feelings about Chess. The musical, not the game. I just straight up lose at the game. But the musical has feelings! And drama! And politics! And synth! And MORE FEELINGS.

So many feelings. (Source)

Wait, where was I? Oh, Avenue Q. Which, although it doesn't inspire in me quite the same depth of feeling, is still one of my favourite musicals. I saw it for the first time in London in 2008, desperately hoping to get an answer to the question posed by the first song, "What do you do with a BA in English?".

Good question. (Photo by Nick Spratling: source)
I was disappointed in that respect, because it turns out that the answer is that you just have to muddle along as best you can.

Thanks a lot, guys.

The first time I saw it, I thought that was a depressing conclusion. Now I quite like it. My life is happening now, even if I do sometimes feel like I'm living on Avenue Q. My life isn't going to magically start once I find my "purpose". I've spent so much of my life waiting for real life to start: I went through a long phase last year where I felt like I was just waiting to move here. I'm trying to avoid wasting my last few months here in the same unproductive wilderness.

Which is the long-winded answer to the ubiquitous, "So what are you going to do with your degree?"


Em and I cross swords, proving that there are things you can do with a BA in English Literature and Linguistics.
Anyway, Avenue Q was energetic and funny and wonderful, and worth a trip to Leeds, which everyone seems to hate. I don't think Leeds is half as grim as people make it out to be, but maybe that's because I come from an actual city (sorry, York). Which is not to say I wasn't slightly overwhelmed (yet again) by the bright lights and fast cars and rude people. No one in York has ever hit me with chocolate boxes. Just saying, lady in Leeds. Just saying.

While Bri and Robert and I were waiting for our train back to York, a man walked up to us with a woman in tow, seated her on the bench, and said "Make sure she gets on the train to York, won't you?" and disappeared.

It was a bit of a Paddington Bear situation. Please take care of this drunk.

And so we made a new friend... Or at least a new, very friendly babysittee. She tried to get us to speak "more Yorkshire", and found it hilarious that Bri and Robert sounded so American, and even funnier that I didn't. I tried to point out that this was probably because they were American and I wasn't, but as I'd also tried several times to point out that we were all getting off at the same stop because the train was literally only stopping in York ("no really, I promise"), I didn't push the point. There was a lot of spontaneous hugging. She got my best awkward laugh.

The best of friends.
I'm pretty sure she was joking about wanting to do naked somersaults through the train. She didn't execute that plan, at any rate. We shepherded her onto the train and off at the right stop ("yes, this train is really only going to York, I promise we'll make sure you get off there."), and made sure she was at least standing near the taxis when we left to catch our bus.

And this, my friends, is why I'm not having children. I will, however, babysit for money - English graduates can't be choosers.

But she did tell me to tell my mum that another mum thinks I'm great. So there you go, mum. I babysat a mum who thinks I'm pretty fantastic.

And that was Avenue Q! The theatre is awesome, and real life is pretty strange and excellent too.

Nothing lasts, life goes on, full of surprises.
You'll be faced with problems of all shapes and sizes.
You're going to have to make a few compromises
For now... But only for now.

Spending all my days in the library is only for now.

Or so I keep telling myself as the madness sets in.


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