Me and my friend Mary love to go to Scotland in August for Edinburgh Fringe: an arts festival for creatives to showcase their work in every little kinda venue that Edinburgh has tucked away in its nooks and cranny’s. Luckily, there’s a lot.
Last year, we texted each other at 2 am, half way through Fringe and both said we were sad we were missing it as there was only one weekend left. Almost instantly, I cancelled work, and we booked train tickets there and spent all our money in the last 2 days watching an array of eclectic theatre, musicals and comedy acts, all saved till the last weekend.
We drunkenly planned our very own fringe show till 5 am in the smoking area of the club, hive till five. The show is still in pre pre-production due to unforeseen circumstances of us being too drunk to remember all the ideas we had.
This year, Mary was working in the festival and I was all the way in London. But as tradition dictated, I booked a train last minute to meet her. I’d like to say we had a big production meeting about our future show but we just got drunk and scraped together a name.
But this isn’t the story of “Mar(le)y and Me”, you’ve got to wait for the 2084 Edinburgh Fringe.
This story is about a guy who I had dated called Christian. At this point, we had decided to be friends. When we were dating, we were constantly in that weird stage where I’d probably refer to him as a ‘thing’, so he’s not an “ex” but not a “fling.” We’d send memes but not baby names YGM?!
We were an on and off and on and off, then slightly dimmed woah, full beam kinda situation but decided to go our separate ways, because the electricity bill (Me) was taking the brunt of it.
Anyways, Christian was performing all month at the festival in a comedy trio with his friends in a show about them starting a cult; just your standard Edinburgh show.
On the second day (no Jesus jokes TY), Mary and me had a 6 pm slot, and we went ’round in circles about who we should go and see. I chose a female comedian over a man because ‘I wanted to support female comedians’… not because it was cheaper (hope she got paid the same).
We walked into the show late and ran straight to the back seats before the lights went down. Right on cue, I heard, ‘Dani!’ whispered several times. I ignored it. Probably there’s another Dani or something, or the voices in my head as usual.
It was not. It was him; front row, with all his family and friends. Damn supporting women comedians.
But the show had started, and I wasn’t about to go have our reunion in front of the audience, plus the comedian would’ve made jokes about us for the whole hour. It’s Fringe after all.
The show ended, which ironically ended with the Celine Dion song: “It’s all coming back to me now”, and I go over to say hello, nervous as ever. I accidentally spill his entire drink over the floor. Cider on my already sweaty hands, cool cool cool.
It was nice though, we joked about it being !fate! and secretly stalking each other, then went our separate ways again.
Civil. Sensible. Sweet.
What were the odds? Of all the shows in Edinburgh, and all the world, I just had to awkwardly run in late to his, and whatever the rest of the cheesy quote is.
We text a little later to be nice, but it was all kind of left in the air as we were both quite busy. That same night, Mar(le)y and Me (2019) went to a half-way party for the theatre company she was working with.
There I was dancing, mesmerised by the revolving lights and 7 pound SINGLE! rum and cokes (it’s Edinburgh not The Shard, thank U). I saw a long-haired guy who looked like Christian, I laughed and thought to myself, ‘HAHAHA imagine a second meeting’.
Then the lights shifted and I realised, oh, that guy dancing with the long haired was none other than him.
We danced a lil’ and joked a lot about it all, discussing our entire dating history and decided this probably wasn’t fate. He’s a comedian and OBVIOUSLY would be around, and I’m (not) a stalker, and we decided we should definitely just be friends and leave it at that.
The next day I went to see his show alone like a little fan girl. That was when I realised, I was in the queue with actual fan girls asking me about the show. WE LOVE TO SEE IT.
The show was eventful with all the casual cult references and personal jokes you could dream of. Loved it.
At one moment, I thought he might bring me up on stage as person they’d ‘sacrifice’; they’re big on audience participation. The show ended, we caught up more, left it at that and it all felt very mature and lovely. Proud of us.
Sometimes a ‘random bump into each other’ situation on the other side of the country is just what you need to rekindle a romance-turned-to-friendship? It doesn’t have to be all dramatic and classically rom-com like I always seem to make things. It can just be whatever it is.
If he did bring me on stage FYI… this wouldn’t be so nice of an article.
And the rest, as they say, was “fringe”.