Maybe that’s why when I call those of my friends who supposedly live here, they all answer things like “I’m in Berlin for a couple of weeks” or “I’m in Tunisia watching the revolution” or “I’m in London till Easter.”
I have Roman friends in Amsterdam, Paris. Also one friend who does live here, but says things like, “Life is elsewhere. Let’s move to Copenhagen.”
In my first years in Manhattan, I was befriended by a band of Israelis. They were all traumatized by the things they’d seen and done in the Occupied Territories, and had fled as soon as their military service was over.
In New York they worked hard and did a lot of drugs, but even so, they couldn’t help remembering the war. Eventually though, one by one they returned to Israel, where they joined kibbutzes, had children.
In LA, I was befriended by a band of Texans. They took me under their wing, invaded my house with cases of beer, took me to no name clubs in Silver Lake to see bands like the White Stripes before they were famous, also to Mexican dives featuring Chicano drag queens.
Later when I moved back to New York, I was befriended by a band of Oklahomans. We’d met in London, but Manhattan was where we really bonded.
Like my Israeli and Texan friends they were a passionate, affectionate, boisterous and hard-drinking people. They nursed me out of my post-divorce stress syndrome, invited me into their homes, took me to see the Flaming Lips in Prospect Park.
Ian Brown says Home Is Where The Heart Is, Stendhal says Home Is Where We Meet Those Who Resemble Us. If that’s the case then mine is wherever the free spirits roam. Also wherever they are being held against their will, like jafar panahi’s prison cell in Iran.