Friday 18 April 2014

#66 A familiar part of the city

"Hey!" I said, beaming, as my Turkish friend made her way into the bar. It had been more than six months since I first stepped through the door of her apartment. Tonight, as it happened, it was her that needed the hug. We pulled up chairs next to the group of friends that I'd abandoned a few moments earlier and ordered some obscure beers.

The next couple of hours were spent mulling and philosophising over the usual stuff; friends, work, relationships. Coincidentally, in his quest to find a pub serving a good selection of ales, Rich had picked one very near her building. She'd just gotten back from a date by the time I made the call. My friend looked healthy and seemed in good spirits overall. She'd had proposals from two gentlemen lately and I spent a comical couple of seconds over-analysing how impressed I should come across at the revelation but this was all good news.

"Don't spend too much time chatting online" she cautioned sagely, "cause you can never fully know a person that way. It's not a true interaction". I decided to try and keep my own counsel on the subject, on which I was also arguably an expert. I might even reach Gladwell's 10,000 hours of online chat in this lifetime. I also loved chatting online. It could at time be a strange, intense, habitual kind of love but this wasn't that what the internet was for?

Apparently her flat had become cluttered again, so I offered to help her with some of the lifting and tidying, my other area of developing proficiency. "It's ok for now. Maybe at some point" she said. As we walked out of the bar, I turned to say goodnight to a couple of other friends. When I turned back around, she had vanished. I gave her a quick call, just to say goodnight and that it was good to see her and jogged off to the tube station.

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