I was speaking with a friend on Skype this morning. Well, it was “this morning” here. Over in Texas it was still yesterday evening for her. This massive time zone difference still freaks me out a little. But that’s beside the point. What freaked me out even more was when we started talking about people from our school days and we worked out that we have been friends for something like twenty-five years. I do not feel old enough to have been friends with someone for twenty-five years. But when we did the maths, that’s what it was. (Perhaps, then, I am entitled to the occasional groan when I get up after sitting too long.)
That is a long time to be friends with someone. Granted, in that time we lost contact for a few years. She moved to another city with her husband. I got up to a bunch of stuff, got married and moved to Ireland. When we made contact again it turned out she had moved with her family to London. One hop across the pond and we hooked up again, like we’d never even skipped a beat. And then she moved to Texas. And I moved to Australia.
The pond is a little larger than a mere hop, now. But thanks to the wonders of modern technology (now I really sound my age!) all I have to do is press a button and there she is on my computer screen and we can talk for ages without it costing a cent. Seriously, is that not amazing? Sometimes these clever little things still blow me away.
So I guess I’d like to say thank you to the people who figured out that we could talk to each other in real-time, with video, over a line buried under the ocean. Or do they use satellite these days? I’ve no idea. All I know is I can speak to my old friend again, like we’re having coffee together in the same room, and for the length of the call I get to feel like I’m not so very far away from the girl I once was and all that I knew.
‘Cos I gotta tell you, sometimes I feel like we’re perched on the very edge of the universe, down here in Oz.