Funny how naive we were. We had dreams, goals, plans. We were so convinced of it. Do a trip around the world with the old VW bus. Only with a tent and a backpack. To be independent, to live freedom – for the day. To hitchhike when money is tight, set up a tent somewhere in nowhere. Both of us for eternity. So sure.
If we run into each other today by chance, there is nothing left to be felt. As if we were strangers. That’s not how I imagined our reunion. In the supermarket, between the wine and the deep-freeze shelf. Too late.
“Oh how beautiful, what are you doing here?”
We’re both standing there on a Saturday morning that could have started so beautifully. “And what’s so new about you?” I try to summarise the last seven years as briefly as possible, in the hope that I can still save the morning. He nods euphorically and starts talking. He leaves no detail out. Too bad I’m so far away from the wine.
Eternity is also only a phase of life.
“After my studies in economics, I immediately started an internship at one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in Germany, known worldwide. They’ll most likely take me on and then I’ll have €100,000 a year.” “100,000 euros,” I repeat unimpressedly. I can’t read the price of the wine. “And then Leonie and I want to get a BMW. I can’t see this subway anymore. These mass gatherings every morning, too much for my head.”
I have to smile. Wild festivals and cycling to protect the environment are probably over. My gaze wanders over the depths of the supermarket shelves. I didn’t even know that the Chardonnay was on discount right now.
“We just got back from New York and went to this expensive restaurant. Where was that?” His thoughtful and strained look actually looks quite credible. “Yes, exactly. It was on the crossroad to Columbus Circle right in the center of Central Park.” Please get out a map and describe the exact coordinates of the location. “She fell in love with the cook so much that we were eating there every day. I can’t refuse her any wish. As long as it’s just the food and not the cook.”
He laughs so loudly that I only wait for a final bow because the whole supermarket is turning around. One-man show is over. Thanks for the performance, I will never enter this supermarket again because of the shame.
“I have to go now unfortunately, Leonie gets angry and she can become quite dangerous, you know? He starts to grin and I just hope that he does not start again to laugh so cruelly. “I wish you all the best, we can meet for lunch on occasion”. Exactly, best in a
Restaurant of your choice where the bill is as expensive as my monthly rent.
How did it work out back then? I imagine how this self-portrayal will be reflected in the next meeting. Worse than a bad date, where you would use every opportunity to look for the emergency exit and flee.
Worse than a bad date, where you would use every opportunity to look for the emergency exit and flee.
We say goodbye in a bit too friendly and radiant way, with a heartfelt hug. How nice it is that we have remained such good friends and that it was so good to see each other again. It’s difficult to me to not show my sarcasm.
Everyone goes back to his everyday life and of course “friendship” doesn’t really become something. No star chef, no BMW and none of 100,000 Euros are waiting for me. I sit down in the full ring train and drive into my 5er-WG to Moabit. There, where every morning Cher wakes me up in a continuous loop, coming from my flatmate’s room. Where I fall asleep again to crooked karaoke singing and the expensive porcelain set from my grandmother is used for drinking games.
He was part of a time, my life stage companion. Now only the past. We have alienated ourselves. Alienation, what a funny word. A state between relationships in which the proximity that once existed becomes alien. The “we” becomes a standard phrase that begins with “then”, and of the “us” only an “I” remains. An inner change that leads to an interpersonal distance. Difficult to control, difficult to steer, especially since it sometimes even happens unconsciously. Grow together in decisions, changes and experiences or experience growth alone.
The ‘we’ becomes a standard phrase that begins with ‘then’, and of the ‘us’ only an ‘I’ remains.
You were a beautiful chapter for me and I thank you for that. But at this point I wish you, Leonie and your cook all the best! May the noise of the subway no longer bother you and may the future BMW only bring happiness and joy. But for my part I am happy when I can to start my Saturday morning without wine in my sights.
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