Wednesday, 16 April 2014

The Strangest Circumstances

In January, I stumbled upon this quote*: 

"Sometimes you meet someone, and it’s so clear that the two of you on some level belong together. As lovers, or as friends, or as family, or as something entirely different, you just work, whether you understand one another, or you’re in love, or you’re partners in crime. You meet these people throughout your life, out of nowhere, under the strangest circumstances, and they help you feel alive. I don’t know if that makes me believe in coincidence, or fate, or sheer blind luck, but it definitely makes me believe in something."

It resonated, because I have felt this with so many of the people here. That we get each other, that we are on the same wavelength.

People who will, on an otherwise unremarkable Tuesday, at 10pm, say yes to a game of pool and drive with you to the other end of town, for whiskey sodas and 80s music, the bright green of the pool table, the crack and scatter of balls. Who will make papier mache pig pinatas with you, whilst watching Mad Men. Who share the belief that there are few things in life that aren't improved by the addition of pineapple. Who on the day that the office air-con breaks down, and there is no running water, will jump in the car with you at lunchtime to go eat salted caramel ice cream, blackcurrant sorbet. Who will mirror dance in the reflection of the sliding doors, to Shakira, full blast, hair swinging, hips shaking. People for whom Graceland is also the album to be driving down African roads listening too. Who also get excited by the blue and orange lizards that do press-ups in the car park, by 3D Lion King, by the way the lightning zig-zags violently across the sky. Who will ask their families for inflatable pool animals for Christmas so we can have an entire menagerie on river trips. Who will go on the swings with you, gladly, and not think you are strange for asking, not think it is strange to still love the feeling of kicking higher and higher into the air, despite no longer being seven. Who will dance like crazy things, until 4 in the morning, but equally make you chocolate brownies and do a puzzle with you on your darn-it-fell-on-a-Sunday birthday, whilst drinking copious amounts of tea. 

Sometimes this amazes me. That it takes going halfway round the world to find these people. That when you share stories, of London, of your life back then, you realise you were all existing in the same spaces, without knowing it. Orbiting, circling, but never coming into contact, until now, here, in this place of hot heat, and violent rainstorms. That E and I both think longingly sometimes of Dotori in Finsbury Park, specifically, that umami-sweet-salt salad dressing. That M and I can recall exactly the cold, fresh hit of the Hampstead Ponds. That E and R lived for a time a stone’s throw from where I grew up, Chalk Farm, and remember ice cream from Marine Ices, walking with a cone to the top of Primrose Hill, sweetness melting onto your fingers. The others too, who I knew in London, but didn't really know fully, properly, until we all found ourselves here. 

That it wasn't whilst browsing the postcards in the Tate Modern gift shop, or whilst topping up drinks in plastic cups at a mutual friend's house party that I met these people.

Rather that it was only here, in this bonkers, brilliant, often frustrating, but never-a-dull-moment place that we have all come together, found each other. Friends, yes. But also a family, of sorts. 

*On Pinterest, so I don't know where it came from I'm afraid