lunes, 16 de noviembre de 2009

The last coffee talk

Image taken from here, no copyright infringement intended

There’s something I have always loved to do: to met one of my female friends for a coffee talk on the afternoon. There’s no way that phone calls, Facebook messages on my wall, chats over the msn or even video calls at Skype can substitute the pleasure of having a long and deep talk about love, life and politics; face to face in a table of any cozy café. But every day to meet those friends is getting harder and harder. And it is not only because we all now have jobs, busy lives and /or very serious relationships. It is because, simply put, they are leaving this country, one after one.

The first one was “Katy”, a girl I met thanks to some off curricula activities at the university. She was incredible talented and a natural leader but at the same time, she was humble, with real troubles, and totally accessible. I appreciate the perspective she gave to all my big or small girly troubles and stories that came out on each coffee talk and it was always fun to hear her stories, thoughts, feelings and views on love and life. Soon after she graduated, she got a job in México. I remember the last time we met for a coffee at a shopping mall. We lived near by so this mall was a logical place to meet. I don’t know what was the whole talk about exactly, it probably jumped from the guys we liked then (who are history now) to her expectations on this new job in an entirely different country. Then she had a good bye party and left. She came back over Christmas and met my boyfriend. We now talk when we can over g- chat, msn, skype or phone. But no matter how advanced technologies are, I would rather just call her for a coffee on a Wednesday afternoon because I’m in the middle of a personal dilemma than discuss it over Facebook.

The job was supposed to be for one year. But no one was surprised to found out that her contract was renewed and she stayed. The life standards she has there are impossible to reach here, not even with the greatest job so a coffee talk must be put on hold while there is no place in Earth where we can have both the talk and the professional life she deserves.

The second one was “Diana”. She was my classmate at the university – the first of my class - but we didn’t become close friends until the final years. We did a couple of papers for class together. The balance between her careful and measured methodology, her memory, her ability to connect different theories with my work disorder, my crazyness and my desire to cover too much; made a great academic match. Then her mom got a job abroad and she followed her. She came back for her graduation and then a few days over Christmas, was then when we had the last talk so far. She’s now in graduate school and also has a very interesting job. The comments of pictures on Facebook and the msn have become useful tools to stay in touch but same as Katy, I know that personal stories and comments about common acquaintance always sound better with no cables in between.

While I was exciting because both Katy and Diana are coming back home for Christmas, my Facebook told me that I have to be prepared for another “last coffee talk” with a third friend, lets call her “María”: “I got some exciting news” – She wrote on my Facebook – “I applied for a job in France and guess what? I got it. I’m leaving next year…” We are going to meet for a coffee some time during this week to talk about her new plans abroad and like always, life, love and politics. Her new job is not permanent but same as Katy, if her bosses are smart enough, they will renew her contract. She’s also the first of her class and graduated with honors, she knows several languages and for putting it in one word, she’s just smart, way too smart. But now she will live way too far way so that Venezuela can take any advantage of her talent.

There’s reason enough to expect more last coffee talks after María. For most of my generation, in their individual biographies, this country belongs to the past. This country is an illusion, long time ago defeated by the unreachable ranks of our expectations. This country is only a museum of nostalgia, of that special food that can’t be found in our bright futures well rewarded in Mexico, in Canada, in Australia, in Europe… This country is only the memory of those last coffee talks that will never come back in the same way.