A visitor comes.
You knew her once upon a time in another time and place. She was a colleague then and someone pleasant to greet and farewell each day. You have kept in touch sporadically over the years keeping each other up to date on big movements, but nothing intimate. Then she turns up on your doorstep with the intention of visiting for a few days.
As you talk over numerous cups of tea it becomes obvious that the two of you have nothing in common despite shared career, shared experience, shared cultural upbringing.
You become awkward and strange to yourself as your usual wit falls flat and as hollow as the empty tea cups before you.
You say boorish things, things that you don’t even think under normal circumstances.
You hear your accent – grating and broad.
You feel like hard work even as you work hard to be hospitable.
You thank god for Ruby.