Testimony of Julie B., used to have several close friends in different cities or countries. The rituals when starting or finishing conversations participate to celebrate the relationship or to feel being part of a (micro)community. Redoing the usual face to face rituals despite the distance, together, helps here to fill the other absence, or even to feel his presence.
• “We used to walk round the table when talking to each other, we also do it over the phone, together, like the other was still here.”
• “With another friend we used to simply come to the other’s place to have a chat, drink wine and smoke cigarettes. It happens that we do it despite the distance (…) and like an old ritual we always begin the call with this quote from that movie, ‘le père Noel est une ordure’: ‘SOS amitié bonjour ?’”
• Asking over the phone “where are you in your home” and imagining the other in his context.
• Photos help to fill up the absence, of the one who are far, and the ones who are not here anymore—like in Asian traditions with “hotels for ancestors”.