Bookmark #918

The pleasure of meeting a friend in a different city is under-celebrated. To see someone you last saw many years ago in a street you have never seen before brings upon a side of them you could not have imagined, even if you can imagine the wildest of things. It is beyond the most abstract of thoughts, the most faraway truths, the most absurd creation you can think of. Only when you experience this can you know how intimate, how personal, how soft the feeling is, and how wonderful an aftertaste the conversation leaves as you walk home. There are fewer things so simply pure that a person can experience, and this is one of them.

Perhaps it is the soft blemishes on time on both of your personalities, of how it shaped you and sometimes knocked and dented you out, how it changed them, and how they, too, have had their knocks and bruises. Perhaps it is all that, and then, the decisions: the paths your lives took, and how the paths crossed again.

“Look, we met so long ago, and it was goodbye, it was almost goodbye; for all our phones and messages and our million ways to stay in touch, we could not have known this would happen, that I would see you again, and yet, here we are.”

Perhaps it is just that and nothing else. It is the improbability. To see someone again is never a given. When we leave or when someone else leaves, we make our promises and vows. I have done this before, and I am sure you have done it, too. But we hug goodbye, and all regrets begin and end with fading footsteps because it is virtually impossible to meet someone again. And that it happens is an exception, not the norm, and so many people we miss not because we want to but because we once saw them in the flesh, and then, we never could again. Something came up, and life happened, and there was always something else more urgent, more important, and “I am not in the city on those dates” and “Will you stay till the weekend?” It is all this and so much more, and none of it can be held against anyone, and no one is to blame.

And yet, it does happen now and then. You plan to meet at the cafe, and you walk to it, and through the glass, you see them sitting, waiting for you.

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