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.