Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Here & there

I’ve already spent too much time on Skype this week talking to my friends back in London. They ask if I’m homesick and I can honestly say I’m not. But I wonder what would have happened in the days before Skype, before email, before Facebook. These wonders of the technological age sate the longing for familiarity, for the feeling that I belong somewhere else.

But I do love the ritual of the long ‘phone calls from England in the mid-afternoon when my London friends have settled in for the evening with a glass of wine, and are ready to gossip. They call and I perch myself on the fire escape balcony, under the directed breeze of a huge floor fan, sweating slightly and drinking iced water through a straw whilst they tell me about rain and pubs and babies and work.

Still, being English, pretty much the first question anyone, male or female, asks is Boys? Action? So I tell them I’ve been dating, tell them that of late I’ve been attempting to further Anglo-American relations with a vengeance, tell the single girls that if they are experiencing a drought to get their arses over to Manhattan tout suite because New York men are like buses after dating in London: nothing for ages over there and then they all come along at once over here. The married friends are keen for a bit of vicarious action. I hate to disappoint but, frankly, I’m too old for the hackneyed run through, so I heavy breathe down the ‘phone and they laugh and know that that’s the best they’re getting from me.