Thursday, July 31, 2003

Farewell, Aubergine

July's nearly done and — for me, anyway — so is London. I have only one day left with the people in my program, one day in the fanciest places I have ever lived, one day with free internet access, one day in the country that gave the world Jack the Ripper, Johnny Rotten, and Camilla Parker-Bowles. Then Kristen and I leave England, leave Uncle Andy, leave the beaten prostitute district and see the other side of the water. London’s nearly done and I think I’ll miss it.

I will miss Hyde Park Gate despite its dated plumbing fixtures. No, more than dated: radiocarbon-dated. I will miss its proximity to Hyde Park, an expanse of green and brown and blue that the residents of London and their dogs enjoy proudly and every day. I will miss the creaking floors. I will the Dutch embassy and the neverending line of people in the visa application line. (Do that many people want to smoke hash?) I will miss our group’s shared delusion that nasty lurksex toxified the couch in the living room.

I will miss the group.

I will miss Ben’s disinterested stoicism. But I will miss the harem, too. I will miss Chelese and Megan and Apryll-with-a-“y” and Lily whose last name was Field which made her a compound noun. I will miss Melinda/Matilda’s conviction that despite her tiny stature, she can still fit a soul in there. I will miss Tracy’s iconic double ponytail — surely not pigtails. I will miss Shannon’s indomitable optimism I will miss Jihan’s dedicated liberalism. I will miss Kristy’s ready-to-explode nymphomania and Molly’s inky blackness — an entity which only Shannon’s cheerfulness could survive — and Shawna’s drunken inability to hold her loosemeat sandwich. I’ll miss the whole group, excluding the bleeding red thing.

I’ll miss Airplane Window.

Farewell Waitrose. Farewell maple yogurt — no, yoghurt. Farewell lamb and mint-flavored potato chips and physalis and locally brewed Guinness and Tango and — fucking hell! — Cadbury’s creme eggs 365 days a year!

I’ll miss frontal nudity on basic cable after midnight.

Riding subways in other cities won’t have the same Canterbury Tales-like procession that I watched everyday. Chasing pigeons won’t be the same. I can go to other Italian restaurants. Shit — I can go to Italy! But never again will Princess Diana’s favorite one be around the corner. I know I'm never going to be able to bidet my troubles away. Besides, I’m just getting used to colour and honour and programme and those fucking two pence-pieces.

I’m honestly going to miss London. Farewell, aubergine.

It’s the end of July — only two months of summer left. Happily, I can answer the question that has dogged me since college started: where do I go from here? Easy. Munich.

ADDENDUM: I have an unanswered question after all: Who the fuck is Armitage Shanks and why is his name on my toilet?

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