Today I went to Lady Dinah’s cat cafe. I was already running late and then the train stopped at a signal. After a few minutes, the guard apologised. After a few more minutes, the lights went off. People sighed.
After a short while we were told that there was an obstruction on the line and it would be a few more minutes.
I had been thinking about quietly resting on the train journey. I had closed my eyes and was quite enjoying myself. As soon as the train stopped, I felt a need to start reading or playing a game. When we were told there was an obstruction, this need popped up again. “Why?” I asked myself. “Because the journey is now longer,” said my brain, very happy with itself.
But I’ve got better at spotting answers like this for the total bollocks that they are. What was really different? And it’s this. When the train was moving, I was on a journey. I was going somewhere. What happened when it stopped? Well actually, in reality, nothing had changed. My intention was still to get to Lady Dinah’s and the best route there was still to sit quietly in this carriage.
What had changed was my belief about whether I would get there. I was no longer receiving evidence of the progress of my journey and consequently I had lost faith in whether I would reach my destination. I reacted by needing to calm myself with a distraction.
This felt like an interesting metaphor for my acting career. My acting career is developing slowly, and sometimes I have to just sit there while an obstruction on the line is cleared. Perhaps I don’t need to panic at that point, I can just close my eyes and rest until it starts up again.
Zoe is an actress and sci-fi writer currently appearing in several short films on the festival circuit.
Online you can see her in the short film Symptoms free on Amazon Prime or in the first episode of the Silent Eye sci-fi show on Amazon.