At A Loss

Nicholas Quirke was devastated to wake on 3 July 2020 to the news that the beautiful, luminous actress, Polly Swinscoe, whom he had directed in The Tempest and Heartbreak House, and whom he was proud to count as a friend, had died. It was news of yet another shining light being extinguished, that for second time since he had been in China, had left him feeling bereaved and at a loss. The day was consequently spent with him feeling inattentive and unsettled and ultimately he was unable to get any work done. He went out after lunch to buy some new underwear as his cotton draws were too uncomfortable in the humid heat he was living through. He headed to Joy city at Xidan and was pleased to see Uniqlo had a sale and he was able to get some very light nei ku for his trip. He felt obliged, as Peng was now working from home with his new role, to stay away and so cycled to InWe at Beijing fun for tea. It was busier than usual and he was intrigued by the gentleman at the table next to him who was using a hand fan and reading a book but was stood up and wandering around as he performed this task. There was also a couple whom had set themselves up in front of a camera and were talking. He was trying to edit a film which was not downloading from iCloud and had now been infuriating him for weeks and continued to provoke annoyance. He had agreed to another haircut with Peng and headed home where he spent a sad but lovely and reassuring talk with Sophia, who gave him the details of Polly’s tragic demise。 The barbers were closed and they had to try another branch of Mobe where he was delighted to see they recognised him and said hello. He had however decided to leave it for another couple of weeks before getting shorn again and instead read and waited for Peng. They went for a supper of noodles, a bun and a delicious desert in a fast food Chinese restaurant. They then came home where they watched the lighthearted animation Spies in Disguise. Disconsolate from the news of the day he took to bed.


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