Election day in Spain, energy is going to get interesting tonight and tomorrow. Some police in Barcelona are armed with semi-automatic weapons and surrounding the Olivia Plaza Hotel a Catalunya. Officers are stationed on random corners of the city waiting for the cava and heated discussions to kick in.

https://www.independent.ie/world-news/europe/spanish-vote-spins-around-the-question-of-catalonia-38054959.html

https://elpais.com/elpais/2017/10/28/inenglish/1509183748_516002.html

Currently in UK and too depressed to write anything of substance. You know what’s worse than banging your head against a wall? Watching someone else do it. And trying to hand them a helmet. And having them smack it out of your hand. That is what I’m dealing with. London, such a significant important city, but for me it has always been about that side of my family that I rarely see, but also relish in their presence. I have had many a good time in this town, but this week has been hell. Funny enough, the weather is spectacular, like a perfect summer, so unreal. But my aunt’s dementia and refusal to allow people to help her do anything is wearing me down to the bone. It’s two steps forward, three steps back. An entire day wheeling her around only to have her disregard everything that people try to do for her. The sabotage, the fear, the loathing. I am ready to run away. When you drop everything in your life for a “dire emergency” and then have that person not even acknowledge or accept your help. So here I am, alone at the moment, hiding out in an apartment that is literally across the street from my aunt’s home, feeling like I want to run or punch something. I missed Roky Erickson for this. So frustrating. My uncle Pierre in Montreal has been helping me defuse via text, but his feeling is, get out of there, let the someone else deal with it. But there isn’t anyone else at the moment. Give me a sign, that this wasn’t in vain. Or make me laugh, anything. I can’t afford to phone a friend. I guess I will “like” things on social media and read about the carnage of the world until the sun comes up and I can go put flowers on my grandmother’s grave.

 

“Never has so much been sacrificed for so little.”

Sarah Churchill had a secret apartment in London. The place she spent most of her time, where she could do whatever she wanted without people watching her. This flat happened to be down the hall from my grandmother’s. They became good friends and would sit in grandma’s living room, getting tossed on gin and tonics. Then, Sarah’s driver would come fetch her and she would appear an hour later, reciting poetry on television. She was an actress and a hilarious, wonderful person who didn’t care about poshness, she loved art.  My grandmother and father said I was named after her, but my mother said that wasn’t why, it was after mystical and ancient stories around Sarah. Not a rare thought.

The place doesn’t look like it used to. My grandmother passed away from lung cancer as I sat by her bedside in 2001. The last thing she ever said to me was “Cheers, darling!” she was smiling and she looked absolutely beautiful, despite the pain she had been in for 6 months. She had been hallucinating a man in the corner of the room holding our family dog, Lucy, who had passed away several years previous. My aunt had cared for her and never moved out of the flat, since she spent most of her life touring and working. Everyone loved my grandmother, she was funny and sweet and had the best stories, having lived through the blitz of London, and ran a family-owned nightclub in the late 40’s-60’s called Le Chez Moi.

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My aunts and uncles were with her constantly, the house alive with friends and chatter, dancing, and music. Her death was devastating to many people.

My aunt has become a hoarder and is addicted to several medications due to her injury from years ago, and now she has a brain tumor. She was a full-time musical theatre actress for 40 years. She has destroyed her home and it is uninhabitable. I stayed up all night, sobbing, as I filled 10 garbage bags full of stuff and didn’t make a dent in any of it.

My grandmother’s room was untouched and the same for 50 years, now you can’t even find the bed and the furniture. To see such a wonderful life in a wonderful place come to this. My once delightful aunt gave up family, high pay, and romantic love to work onstage, now she is broken.  Theatre didn’t cause her condition, but it didn’t help. Most of her community has fallen off because she yells at everyone.

Winston was right, people sacrifice everything for theatre, and often end up with nothing. Brilliant moths, flying toward the gaslight flame.