The World As Mare Sees It...
The Cast of London Summer'98 2002-12-03

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Geography is a bitch.

I called Wales today, and spoke to Jude. So glad I indulged the sudden craving to hear his voice. The only thing is that now I feel a little melancholy.

It's so, so hard having friends spread out all over the world. Most days are ok, because I've got compadres in Toronto that are near and dear to my heart, people for whom I'd lay down in traffic. I'm content knowing that everyone is living their own, full lives, and that we'll all catch up one day. But then something will happen; a random memory, something I see on television, sometimes even a stranger walking down the street that looks vaguely like a member of the cast of London Summer '98, and I'll get an almost physical pain from longing, from missing some very important characters in this strange show called Mare's World.

We come from different countries, different cultures, different ways of life. I'm halfway convinced that some of the people I became so close to in London come from different planets... but in then end, we were all strangers in a strange land, and so we clung and developed an affection for each other that will likely last forever. Here they are, as seen through the fuzzy veil of happy memories.

A Wee Bit Of The Cast of London Summer'98

Bette Parker, Iowa: Her love of, and similarity to, all things Bette Davis and Dorothy Parker, makes the name fitting. She's the most sensible, realistic and intelligent person I know, hands down. She's also witty and sharp; an acid tongue that could cut you in half with a random remark. I don't know how she does it, but Miss Pahkah can cuss, drink and smoke all at once, whilst retaining every inch of her femininity. She can recall every bit of print she's ever read, and can give an accurate history lesson, on demand, while brushing her teeth and getting ready for bed. Someone once told her that for her, the question was not whether the glass was half full or half empty, but rather, "What the hell is that glass made of? I'm not drinking out of that!"

Bubbles, Arizona: She's effervescent, like champagne. She's full of high spirit and animation, and she gets you in the mood quickly, making you feel giggly and light-headed with fun. And just like a bubble, she's fragile. Things just happen to her all the time! God knows, I'm clumsy, but man, she's got me beat! I can't wait to see her again; it's been far, far too long. The question in her life is not so much whether the glass is half full or half empty, but rather "Is this my glass? Is it Archer's? And why does it smell funny?"

Amazon, Vancouver: Incredibly tall and willowy. Heart-breakingly beautiful. If she werenít so much damn fun, I'd hate her guts. We met because I saw the Canadian flag on her knapsack on her first day in London; right in front of the house we lived in. She's got a low tolerance for stupid people, and for things that don't go her way. Her talent for putting away large quantities of alcohol is staggering, and her capacity for making men fall in love with her even more so. For the Amazon, it isn't half full or half empty. It's all about "Who the hell is buying me my next drink, and why isn't it here yet?"

Pip, Australia: My theatrical young friend. I once chased the same dream of treading the boards. The difference is that Pip actually had the moxie to follow his dream. I've nothing but admiration for him. Rumours of his living in semi-squalor, and alcoholic happiness ring true to form, so I'm not too worried that he's surviving down there on the other side of the world. He has a talent for lighting a cigarette for a woman, even if she's on the other side of room. And if she's exceptionally cute, he can be next door, and still be able to flick his Bic in time light her up. His glass? Always full, always with beer, and always with another one coming.

Daddy, Nashville: He's a gorgeous, singing, dancing gay man from the South. Fabulously camp and too hilarious for one person to handle. Totally devoted now, but once upon a time, he was known for pleasing a fair bit of the gay male population of London. "It's all about me, baby," he'd say, and we'd chuckle and look on in awe. Is his glass half empty, or half full? Oh, Daddy's glass, even in the worst of times, remains half full, but that doesn't matter too much. The main concern here was whether the bathroom in the bar had a condom dispenser...

Duty Free, Minnesota: Oh God, truly one of the prettiest boys on Earth. He once agreed to let me put makeup on him, which caused me endless amounts of pain, as he was transformed from merely pretty to downright gorgeous. He's got taste to rival any serious fashionista, and a touch of the romantic that keeps him down to earth. He'll make some lucky man a fine husband one day. His glass? Doesn't matter, as long as the cute barista behind the counter fills it for him.

There's more of course, and one day, I'll share. I miss them all terribly. But I'm also planning a five year reunion for next summer that promises to be fabulously exhilarating, a drunken orgy of food and fun and laughter; misbehaviour in the extreme, true times of insanity.

It will be wonderful.

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