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  • Writer's pictureLeah Jones

Didnt we used to have deep conversations?

Last night I met my friend Marcelo for a couple pints in Covent Gardens. It was wonderful and slightly surreal. Once upon a time, Marcelo was the one who was local. He knew where everything was, never got lost, spoke with authority and only in Spanish. Now we are both foreigners in London. My spanish has gotten worse and his english has improved, but now we are very limited in what we can talk about.

I’m sure he used to advise me in matters of the heart, problems with school, problems with my host family. That he used to lead us around Argentina with absolute conviction and knowledge. That we were able to talk about music, tv, movies, friendships, philosophy. All in Spanish. He would correct my verb conjugations. I remember once learing how to use “Hacer que” with him, while I was trying to tell him something sitting in front of La Casa de los Tres Marcelos.

But now we are crippled by my spanish and his english. There was a lot more silence this time as we tried to find topics that we had vocabulary to talk about. It was so frustrating for me, because I used to speak with near fluency–at least the last month I was there. I tried to describe my current job and struggled to explain that it is a hard and easy job at the same time. I couldn’t explain boundaries and privacy and needs. I could only say there isn’t much work unless the students are bad.

We talked about our common friends from La Plata, but he had so many more students than just our semester. So without photos to back us up, it was very hard to place names with faces. If you are wondering, La Plata friends, he is still the stunning, attractive man we all knew. But there is a vulnerability that never existed in La Plata. We got lost and had to pull out his A to Z map of London. It was surreal, to be in a new place with an old friend in such different circumstances.

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