I’ve been in the US now for getting on 6 years. For most of it, I’ve had very little contact with people back in England and while I think I’ve probably passed the age where I’ll pick up an accent, I’m certainly less English than I was 6 years ago. I’m in the process of applying for my permanent work visa and I’m 37; mid-life looms and I have to choose a continent. And right there is where suddenly I discover facebook and old friends I haven’t heard from in anywhere upto 18 years suddenly get back in touch covering my life from Grimsby to London.
On the one hand, there’s an ounce of smugness – talking to people who laughed at my fascination with people using computers to communicate … over the internet; and most of them immersed in the whole facebook/myspace/etc stuff beyond my comprehension.
Then there are the good friends I shame myself by not having kept in touch with – Simon, Alistair, Tony, Tracey, Joanne. I’m very good at making friends but I’m lousy lousy at being a friend long distance.
And then I find myself talking Grimsby with people I knew 20 years ago back at school, find myself using words like “lass” that I probably haven’t said in 15 years… And things get a bit woozy. Suddenly I’m having the most lucid memory of my life: (Dad, skip this paragraph, eh?) looking up at the Mr Head, the German teacher, unable to lift my head off the desk, the room swimming, and the resulting bewilderment by all my classmates as it dawned on them I was smashed out of my head. They had a really hard time believing that not only had I been to a wild party, but the parties were actually happening at my place :)
Home made brandy… That was the poison. One of the guys brought it and we drank it out of little glass cereal bowls; there was an impression of one of the bowls on my night-stand where it took off, or at least weakened the white paint. It smelled like grape juice so I knocked it back and it knocked me back and out not really regaining full consciousness until Mr Head was demanding to know what was up with me…
I guess what’s confusing is I don’t remember changing and yet it feels so easy to slip back into that place and time which makes me question if I did actually change, or if I’m just an act (it would explain a lot).
Awh crap. Here comes a fully blown dose of homesickness, I think…