Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Flat of Mirth

My daily routine of lounging in bed while eating bon-bons and drawing sickeningly sweet greeting cards was delightfully interrupted over a week ago when my friend Josh came to visit London from New York. Josh is a close friend and one of those few people who has the uncanny ability to utterly sync with my sense of humor. Get us within speaking distance of one another and we conjure up storms of abstract humor that have enough crackling kinetic hilarity to kill a cat!

Honestly, we couldn't pass anything as mundane as a traffic signal without making up some extraneous joke. For instance, we were at a crosswalk and my instruction "wait for the little green man to tell you to go" managed to become banter about how in Britain all crosswalks are, in fact, overseen by hideous little green gremlins working on the public payroll.

As you can imagine, our constant hysterics could be a little -- too much. Strangers frowned and waitresses rolled their eyes, but nothing could stop our constant stream of ridiculousness. Granted, we weren't continuously giggling like a pair of ninnies, but the joke-making was relentless. Luckily, Richard didn't suffer from us, since he is of a similar mind. When Richard was around, the boiling abstract humor storm would simply grow in intensity.

Josh was staying with us for a week, so I had to reshuffle my usual schedule. Since Richard works for a PR firm in the City, I usually spend my days quietly working alone at our apartment. Working at home has been exacerbated by the fact that our building has been covered in scaffolding for the past three months. Between 8am and 4pm the scaffolding is full of workmen. So, I would keep the curtains shut in an apartment that would normally be flooded with lovely light that is friendly to the creation of art. Anytime I would be inclined to work with the curtains open, this would happen:

Therefore, Richard would come home most days to stumble upon me as though I were a cave creature in the film The Descent.

As luck would have it, Josh arrived a day after the scaffolding came down. I would wager that this contributed to my overall lightheartedness. Not only did I no longer have to work in a dark pit, but I also had an old friend with whom I could galavant around London. Aside from having to finish up two projects at the start of his visit, I was able to take Josh to various places of interest.

Our neighborhood:
Richard and I live in Fulham/Parson's Green and despite being a bit too quiet, it is very green, quaint and beautiful.

The Saatchi gallery:
Josh really wanted to go to the Saatchi gallery along the King's Road. It is a wonderful depository of modern art and I was eager to show him the room that is entirely filled with a pristine pool of petroleum.

Harrod's department store:
Although we did get in a few museums and saw the major sights, I was very keen to show Josh a true London attraction, Harrod's. We delighted in the sheer gaudiness and outlandish tack of this massive palace of consumerism.

Also, to dispel any ideas that I spend my life in London holed up in a cave sobbing over photos of my New York friends, I took Josh out on fun-filled nights in Soho and Shoreditch with my fabulous fellow-expat friends.

After a week of indulging in London's offerings, Josh departed to Berlin for the second half of his European vacation. Although I would have been tempted to ask Josh to leave behind a spare clone of himself, Richard and I are enjoying being on our own again and being naked in whatever room of the apartment we wish. Nevertheless, Josh delighted us while he was here and instead of coming home to me gloomily hunched over a desk, Richard would come home to a mirthful hubbub of laughter and inside jokes.