Nicholas Quirke was discombobulated on 17th March. It was 4am and he was unable to sleep. He had been woken at 2.30am by a message from his friend in China who had crashed his car and Nicholas found himself unable to return to slumber. It was the start of his last full day in LA. He was approaching journeys end. He still had things he would do, but the week had been an extraordinary imaginative ride and he had not had time to make the most of LA. Every morning he would drive Kim and John Patrick Shanley from their West Hollywood Hotel to the venue in Los Feliz. It was always a drive full of laughter and insight and set them up for the creative rigours of each day. Of course, nothing was without event for Nicholas and on one occasion he found himself with Kim and JPS, the workshop leader, marooned outside of the Skylight Theatre, as they returned after the break curfew and the officials locked the doors on them. This was a recurring theme for Nicholas who needed to park the car, or get breakfast, to the point of embarrassment. But the performance of JPS’s short plays and the discussions they engendered were stimulating beyond his expectations. The oppotunity to investigate a writer working on his process and witness some astonishing emerging talent made the diversion back to LA worth every second. It was also a final opportunity to spendtime with Kim who had proved to be the most generous, inspiring, maddening and hilarious companion on his travels. This was the renewal of a very old friendship and there seemed nothing they couldn’t turn into hilariaty, including Nicholas being forced into duplicity and deciet over the emptying of a bath. They enjoyed the luxurys of the hotel and semed to constantly have someone from concierge coming to the room and at one one point there were 3 members of staff in the apartment to fix the TV and deliver some plates and cutlery and replenish the water. They enjoyed some lovely meals, especially a supper at Sunset Towers, formally apartments where the likes of John Wayne and Marilyn Monroe had homes. It was a beautiful location with a stunning view of Los Angeles at night; no photos allowed, and the delightful company of Jackie and Wendy added to the magic. It was alo lovely for him to renew some friendships he had forged with members of ATC. Jackie, Nick and Nate, whom he had met and shared Christmas with when he had been in LA in December. In the early hours of the morning, he found himself reflecting on the wonderful experience he was having and what going home meant. The purpose of the odyssey had been to breakout of the routines and self imposed constraints of the past 20 years and he had undoubtably achieved that. He was going to have to give more time and thought and allow himself the space to work out what the future construct of his life would look like but that was going to have to wait till his flight home stated on the next day and it really was Journeys End. Who knew what the next day would bring for him.
And so the Odyssey comes to an end ready for the next adventure to begin x
Look forward to seeing you back in the UK soon…