February 11th, 2008

Long Ago (and Not So Far Away)

Today I had a distinct vision of myself working in a provincial business office in the South of England, circa 1975. There was a lot of paper. The phones looked primitive. And the torpor in the smoky air was overwhelming. I often have geographically and historically specific fantasies, but this one stood out A) because it seemed so far removed from the realm of wish fulfillment; and B) because the precision of its details generated a powerful urge for flight. I suppose I could blame my vision on a youth in which I eagerly watched reruns of British sit-coms on PBS, with Good Neighbors and Butterflies being particular favorites. But then I realized how much the vision accords with my recent professional experiences, despite the temporal and spatial displacement. It's like I've been waiting for the Notting Hill riots to destabilize my conception of the world. My fear, naturally, is that the sweeping changes to come will turn out to have Margaret Thatcher's wiry grip on the broom handle.