In my former life in retail – I loved this time of year. New shiny things arrived in boxes, new boots were put on sandalled summer feet, the shop windows of Bath took on a serious gloss, and every now and again, I would search for a new coat.
I would try them on. Wearing my sunny brown face I would stand in front of mirrors trying to imagine myself midwinter pale, hunched from the cold. They smelled new and different and of other people, other shops. I wanted to fit them, but they needed to fit me.
Well now I just wear the same old rubbish day after day and some of those coats look at me from the wardrobe as if to ask what they did wrong? Why don’t I love them any more?
The answer is that I have new coats now. Ones that come out of my head. It’s not just a coat, it’s a whole person I try on. Just as I would walk back and forth over the shop floor getting myself into the right jacket – now I flex my shoulders into a voice.
Does it fit me? Can I keep it going?
Does it fit the story? Will it be the right way to tell the story?
I’m trying a new voice just now. We’re still in the changing room. I might try her in a different colour.
She might not make it.
But then again.