|Darby & Joan are the quintessential middle-aged British couple, characterised by knitwear, hours of scrabble, and a penchant for staying in on Saturday nights. Darby and Joan are, in fact, @calummcswiggan and me. Read the Darby and Joan back catalogue here.|
As I write this I’m supping an overpriced Chianti at the airport and waiting for my gate number to come up on the departure board. I’m flying out to Rome for the weekend. And I mean, woah, it’s my first trip back since I lived there so YUP. ALL THE EMOTIONS. But also? All the emotions because you’re a fuckhead and sitting here I’m just getting more and more frustrated at what a nob you are, when I should planning how to best eat all the rice balls without losing room for all the blue cheese gnocchi.
You’re really ruining my appetite.
Just kidding. Nothing ruins my appetite.
But you’re still a shit.
As I type and drink (and eat a Cadbury’s Cream Egg because HI EASTER TREATS IN FEBRUARY!) waiting to leave the country, you are flying into the country.
Yup. You’ve said for ages that you’d be hitting up London at some point this month, because you’ve got grown-up people’s business to attend to (I don’t know what that must be like, obvs). When you said that, it was friendship music to my can we watch clips of Cheryl on the X-Factor please ears.
I was excited that you’d be flying in from Spain and we could do hanging out, because literally not a day goes by where I don’t think, yeah, now I’m falling in love with London I kinda need Calum to do that too i.e. I’m ready for those imaginary children now. None of this is new news. I know.
Anyway, I did last-minute ticket booking to Rome after I saw photographs of all my friends from times past doing fun things THAT I WASN’T PART OF, and right after you emailed to say FIRST WEEKEND OF FEB! IMMA COMING! I was all like… Urm, yeah but… no.
But it is what it is. We both agreed that the universe has one funny sense of humour. That bitch.
Your flight should have landed by now, which means we are officially inhaling the exact same smoggy London air, and I’m just so frustrated that it worked out this way. How could we have made such an error in communication? How did we get to a place where we allowed this to happen? WHY DOES THE UNIVERSE HATE US?
I’m not sure how this is going to work. I mean, yeah, fine, we email pretty much all day everyday, and so that means you know what I eat for lunch and get real-time updates about whether that boy text me back or not, and I know exactly how many blisters you got from your run this morning and together we invent more Fake French than two people will ever need (J’love it).
All of this is super.
But what is definitely not super is that you will be gallivanting around my home city this weekend, and I’ll be gallivanting around my old home city. And when will we ever happily co-exist in the same place? It makes me wonder if it will all ever happen. Will we ever drink flirtinis together in New York? Make a documentary across Africa? Go back to the French bistro in Derby?
Because all of those things would involve being TOGETHER.
You told me that we’re the same person this month. That was nice. Then you were all, if only I were a 36 year old straight man and you were a nineteen year old gay boy, we could just cut out all the bullshit and have sex.
And then you were like, OHMYGOD WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN WHEN OUR FUTURE BOYFRIENDS MEET? LIKE, WHAT ARE A MIDDLE AGED MAN AND A TEENAGE BOY GOING TO TALK ABOUT? To which I pondered, “Oh hi, I was thirty years old when you were conceived,” and you were like, “But at least your boyfriend can babysit mine when we go out dancing,” except since we’re never in the same city at the same time this babysitting will have to happen over Skype and so now I come to think of it so will the dancing.
You see how confusing this is for me?
OUR LIVES WILL APPARENTLY HAVE TO BE A SERIES OF VIRTUAL DANCE PARTIES WITH IMAGINARY LOVERS WHO EXIST IN DIFFERENT GENERATIONS AND WILL BE REALLY AWKWARD TOGETHER AT SATURDAY NIGHT BOLLOCKS AND PRETEND DINNER PARTIES THAT ARE REALLY JUST PIZZA PARTIES FROM DOMINO'S.
Anyway, I have to go now because they are calling my flight to board. And I’ve finished this glass of wine, and think I might be a bit drunk. If I call you later and slur down the phone it’s really not my fault. It’s the wine and the missing you and the idea of us having regular sex in our future. Except… not with each other. That came out wrong. I meant... Oh. It doesn’t matter. You understand. Even from as far away as London to my Rome.
You always do.
J’should go now.
Forever yours sugarplum,