Strangers become friends

When we met, I was doing yoga in the smoking area.

Our eyes met, but I averted my gaze, quickly. I was a little embarrassed.

There were four seats to choose from, but you sat close-by. It was raining outside, on the rooftop, and my room-mate was asleep. I didn’t want to complete my practice just yet, nor did I want to shove my bum in your face, which inevitably would’ve happened as I completed my sun salutations.

I’d hoped that you would see that I was in the midst of exercise, and would smoke elsewhere. It was wishful thinking. You lit a cigarette.

In the middle of a twisted-back stretch, I saw that you were staring at me. I turned around.

‘Where are you from?’, you asked.

I told you.

‘Ohhhh…! You have great philosophers in your country!’

Then, with great enthusiasm, you rambled off a long list of philosophers.

‘Nietzsche…do you know?’

Of course, I told you.

‘Goethe…do you know?’

Of course, I told you.

It went on. Unfortunately, beyond the names of philosophers, our common language of understanding – English – was terribly insufficient for conversation. We could not understand each other. But we both liked philosophy, and smiling. That was enough.

We laughed a lot, and rephrased things again and again in the hope that the other would finally hear, and understand, what was being explained. Of course, this did not work.

I told you that you were beautiful, and you said that you loved me. Rudimentary words, but said with heartfelt meaning.

We said goodbye, hugged, and separately went to do whatever it was that we had planned for the day.

Ephemeral, but wonderful.


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