New York City, late March. It has just snowed earlier in the week, and dry cold seeped through my old coat and deep into my bones. I made the acquaintance of an Australian girl, and together we braved the metro system at 11pm just so we could see the skyline at night. We talked about our love lives, our careers; she laughed at my inability to open doors, and I at her deep seated belief that Starbucks was peak cafe culture (the Colombian coffee snob in me was outraged!). She made this new and cold and rainy city a little less lonely.
We were together for less than 12 hours.
Fleeting connections like these are so beautiful precisely because they don’t last long: you meet each other when you’re both a little bit lonely, a little bit more open, and then just as fast you bounce away like marbles that collided with each other and now are thrown apart, the blast too strong. It’s the law of physics.
I personally find these connections rather bittersweet: I think about all the friends I was with for a day, a week, a month. The short-lived but powerful memories shared together. The constant text exchanges brightening up my day even when I was no longer in the same room, the same city. Then, slowly then the texts become less frequent, then they stop completely, and I didn’t even realize when this happened. Life got in the way. We both let life get in the way. It’s the law: you shall never ignore life.
When I realize this happens I sometimes feel angry, sad: did this connection mean nothing to them? Did I let nostalgia get in the way away, like a blurry filter that makes everything look much better than it really is? Will we meet again? Why did I let this friendship fade away like billowing smoke? The truth is my feelings on the matter are irrelevant: I have other, bigger priorities, and so do they. And I must remember: it’s okay. It’s okay to let go.
But for a moment, when we most needed it, the Universe conspired to bring us together. And it doesn’t matter that it’ll be temporary because time, when you really think about it, is a relative concept. Sometimes people teach you more in a minute than most will in a lifetime, sometimes they can make you laugh more than you have in weeks, sometimes they can make you feel more-more deeply, more clear, more intense- in a night, and you’ll wonder if you’ll ever feel like that again.
So even if I am sad they ended, I cherish those connections and I hope they found the same kind of solace I was able to find in them.