The evening ends in a packed tram train filled with at least a hundred German youths drunk on beer and sangria. Filled with that drunken expectation and excitement that they might get to kiss a stranger tonight they scream to each other across the long open train, sing loudly – and poorly, the taller ones bang their hands in the ceiling, and the contrast to the uncontrolled and unmotivated happiness is reflected in the few faces that, like me, did not expect this to be the ride home.
Exceptionally relieved that I managed to squeeze into the already filled-to-the-brim train (I had already waited for it for almost half an hour) I am closer to a larger number of people than I can remember being close to in a very long time. We are packed like sardines. Somewhere half way home the guy basically sitting with my butt in his face nudges my leg and asks me if I already got a ticket. Confused I ask him: “for the train?”, to which he responds with that drunken look that is freed of all emotion: “no, for the party”. I tell him that I am not going to the party (and I silently pray that the party is not going to me neither, or my station) and the interest he showed me is diverted once again to his friends. This tiny, pointless conversation with this stranger is one of those things that makes life so interesting and it adds spice to an already interesting evening.
A few hours earlier I left the university with my fellow Phd-student, my office roomate and my new bff. I tell her that I am hungry, implying that I want to get something to eat on the way. She tells me that she spend too much on food already and I assume that she is not interested in go with me. Just as she enters her tram she asks me similarly discrete that I am probably not interested in doing something tonight, “right?”, to which I respond “sure, we could maybe get something to eat?” I laugh inside at the change of words and the implications that just passed her by a moment ago and I am pretty certain that if reading this she will laugh at our lack of communication.
We end up at Sakura sushi bar. I swear, every city in the entire world must have at least one sushi place called Sakura. But this particular Sakura-sushi-bar is a pretty nice one. We sit by the sushi chefs, watching them as they prepare the sushi, how they place maki on tiny plates, and watch the plates float around in tiny wooden boats on a sort of converter belt made of water. The ceiling is lit with a constant but harmonic change of color. The surroundings turns into discrete tones of purple, orange, green, the change is peaceful, harmonic, it is like a flower blooming and fading – a fitting name.
Sitting there fiddling with our sushi plates, the soya sauce, ginger and wasabi, we talk about nonsense, about people around us and how we relate to them, about love – the comfort, the worry, the excitement, about the dreams that love carry and the dreams that I dare not expect. We talk about Germany – the good parts and the bad parts, about the university, about people we admire and about people we find less so admirable.
On that last note my friends brings up a common acquaintance. A person that I once considered a friend, followed by a strange kind of unpleasant inclination towards, and at the moment is mostly indifferent to. My friend on the other hand cannot stand the guy, and this dislike is done with such a high level of pleasure from her part that I laughingly feel I should come to this poor guy’s rescue. A few “he is not so bad…” and “he is at least kind of handsome…” later and even my reservoir of nice things to say run out and I let the bashing continue with sort of an amused “lets switch topic”.
I enjoy the evening very much. The sushi was delicious (However: note to self – don’t get the tempura shrimp maki – complete waste taste-wise) the environment is enchanting, the company – the best of all. Sitting there with her I am reminded how awesome it is to have that one close friend that you see everyday and feel like you can really confide in.
Ever since high school these rare kinds of friendships have come and gone lasting at most a few months – maybe half a year. Short intervals due to relocation, occupation, relationship status and all those other things belonging to an adult life. Now quite a long time since I could pinpoint a constant companion in the likes of my new friend I am filled with gratitude for this gift.
During dinner I tell her half joking and one hundred percent serious how nice it is to have that one friend again.