By Andy Burrell
Do you need a hug?
I was feeling very lonely today. I don’t know why. It might be because everyone was making pacts about who they would work with for the next brief and I was shuffling on the sidelines like the boy at the school disco who is secretly hoping one of the girls is going to get him to dance. He’ll feign embarrassment but underneath he’ll be chuffed as pie if someone picks him. Or it might be because I barely see my wife at the minute and I miss her. Or it might be because my usually sunny disposition packed its bags and went off on holiday at the start of the week and it’s been hard to crawl out of bed, let alone get brilliant ideas.
Whatever the cause of the problem was, I announced my loneliness to a small group of people today and someone asked if I needed a hug. I really did, and whilst I turned it down (it was roasting in the studio and I didn’t much fancy having my t-shirt patted into my sweaty back) the fact someone asked me meant the world.
There’s quite a lot of hugging goes on at the SCA. Big bear hugs, little pat-on-the-head hugs, come-up-behind-someone-and-surprise-them hugs. Some people cuddle under blankets during masterclasses. That’s called a rub-a-dub-dub hug. Dirty bastards.
There are times, especially when I’m feeling lonely, that I wish I could fall back into proper student mode. But getting regularly bollocksed, putting bits of me in other people’s bits and having my heart broken all seem like distant memories. It’s been painful and pleasurable in equal doses seeing other people ride that roller coaster from my very high horse. It’s a people watcher’s delight. The only thing is, up here, I sometimes feel like I’m missing out. I’m actually pretty jealous.
This SCAB is coming at the end of three very long weeks. I’ve tried to solve knife-crime, cure pension apathy and scare off illegal immigrants. Hopefully next week we can just sell yoghurt or something.
In any case, I’m going to climb down from my solitary tower crane and start getting dirty. Not under-the-blanket-during-a-masterclass dirty, just making an effort to mix it up with the whippersnappers. And I’m not going to wait for the girls (or boys) to ask me to dance. I’m going to start my own dance and see who joins in.
Big thanks to the person who offered me a hug today. I was starting to get that little nagging feeling that the black dog was nearby. I’ll put it down to tiredness.