Home To Come To Me

Anna and Rob just got into the cab after their week with me here in Wellington. They’re probably rounding the bend bythe Mt. Vic tunnel and heading towards the hill right now as I write this, on their way to the airport. They haven’t even paid the cab or gotten their bags out of the trunk or checked in or bought New Zealand souvenirs or anything. They’re still here, driving along the streets, still in the city. I’m sitting barefoot on the suede couch in our lounge, empty for the first time in weeks, wondering why I just spent the last hour of their time here watching Iron Chef America and cheering aloud when Mario Batali won (as I knew he would).

The reason is, of course, that when we see each other we just tend to do the things we like to do, regardless if I go to the ABL or they come to Seattle (or the Southern Hemisphere). In some ways we’re still hanging out at the 5C campus, laying around in the Gravity Well and talking about Richard Feynman and swing dancing and cute boys, sneaking into the swimming pools at night to go skinny-dipping and reading plays aloud to each other. I’m nineteen when I’m with them, no matter where we are how much has changed in the decade-plus we’ve known each other. They used to be my new friends and now they’re my old friends, still, always, still.

So we did the things we always do, the things we’d do (we now have proof) anywhere in the world: go out for breakfast, out for lunch, out for dinner. Look at art. Walk around. Talk about the origins of the ampersand; the difference between “hire” and “rent”; the rules of cricket; why chocolate fish taste like Peeps; the compelling nature of androgyny; why Anna believes I should grow my hair out again; driving on the other side of the road and the other side of the car; boys and why they are dumb; yogurt and its unmitigated excellence; the fact that “they don’t believe in switchbacks in New Zealand;” the ways that taking public transportation rules over driving; scandalous gossip about people we know; my inability to find a bra that fits in all of this entire city. Last night when I got home from an Italian party they hadn’t wanted to attend they were watching the hilarious UKTV channel, laughing at the dire British sitcoms and clicking around to find funny commercials. I settled down on the couch and went “See! That’s what my first month and a half here was like! It makes me want to put the kettle on right now!” and we said some lines from Eddie Izzard and shook our heads at the repressed English people on the screen.

They’re at the airport now, settling in for the afternoon because Anna insists on getting there three hours early. We didn’t manage to get any pictures of all three of us together, I don’t think. I’ve got a bunch of laundry to do and am planning on enjoying the novel quiet of a house to myself until A. gets back from Wanganui tonight. I turn thirty-two in eight days, and will be celebrating with people who don’t know me well enough to get me a stripper.

I don’t want to go home—I think I just want home to come to me, sometimes.

Anna Comes To Visit


  1. Oh no, I have to vehemently disagree here. I’ve had chocolate fish (white and pink) and I’ve had Peeps (when I first arrived in the US in 1998) and peeps are just rank! They made me feel very unwell. and the good chocolate covered marshmallow fishies have *never* done that!

  2. It’s good to have proof that your friends are still your friends even in another hemisphere and their abiding interest in providing support in your life, whether it be through actually supporting your arm on the couch or empathizing with your lack of support (in the form of an elusive bra in all of this city) shows that your friends will always be a home to you, and for this you are a v. fortunate young lady.

  3. aww. old friends are, well, GOOD. i had my three oldest friends here in the last week, and i agree: it’s like i’m still 19, like we’re all still 19. in the best way imaginable.

  4. I don’t think chocolate fish taste like peeps either. Peeps fight back when you bite them and taste of chemicals. Which isn’t to say that eating a peep doesn’t become an oddly compelling proposition about once a year.

    Re bras, have you tried going to kircaldies and consulting one of the old ladies they still supply for bra-fitting purposes?

    Amy (who has only two tim tams left, and zero toffee pops or jaffas. waah.)

  5. I just microwaved a peep. (A yellow bunny, for those keeping track.) It didn’t taste like room-temperature, one-atmosphere-sized peeps do. (It didn’t taste chocolate-covered, either, though.) It had a slightly different artificial flavor, as if some chemical taste components were minimized and others given their chance to stand out.

    I had just heard that I did not get The Perfect Job, but I should apply again when the next round of (slightly less-perfect) jobs opens up. Story of my life: first runner-up.
    So eating a cruelly deformed, hapless peep made me feel much better.
    Although thinking about it makes me feel wierd, because Peeps Research (do check out the fabulous website above) is so sociopathic.

    I will miss your birthday brunch this year. You kiwis, take good care of her!