The song Black Flies by Ben Howard describes his view on a friendship that parted ways. It is a strange coincidence that I stumbled over this song just last Saturday. I usually don't show the public my very personal writings, most of which is done with ink and paper during late hours all by myself, but this time I feel like I have to.
Last weekend, a good friend of mine moved to Berlin to pursue her studies in biology and get her PhD. I encouraged her to go because she described the whole situation as the perfect fit, in terms of coworkers and studies alike. She would have been a fool to let this pass and I would have tried to force her to go if necessary.
But this does not mean that I am happy with the situation. We had a farewell party on Friday, where I realized, upon leaving the party, how much I will miss her and how much of a good friend she is. We share an awful lot of humor, have been in the same sports club for a long time and did a few crazy things together (Who gets up at 7 am on a free day to wield a wooden sword, seriously?). But you only know what lost after it is gone.
People tell me that Berlin is not far away and that I now have a good pretext to fly there. True, a flight is not dramatically expensive but experience warns me that our friendship might start to fade away now. I have seen this before with other friends of mine , some of them gone for over ten years by now, and I have no idea what they are up to nowadays.
The truth is, keeping relationships alive and vibrant over long distances is exceptionally hard. I had good friends in Vienna who never moved away that I haven't spoken to in years. Out ways just parted and I hate it when this happens. I will try to work against this happening again this time (as I always did) but the chances to succeed are slim at best.
A friend of mine likes to say "Life sucks, and then you die". There is a lot of truth in that sentence. Friendships begin and end all the time, but I really hate the endings. They turn the world into a harsh place.
I want this post to be a reminder that we have to try harder to keep our friends close and something that will nag me every day to do so. I already have a tattoo that does this but it did not really work out. Maybe this will.
Dear Babsi, I really really hope that it's different this time. I have rarely ever met somebody who connected with me on so many levels. I will dearly miss our discussions and beers after training, musing over music, University, jobs, TV, xkcd, flaming ice and, most importantly, chocolate. May all your walks be silly as hell. May the yip yips keep you happy on Tuesday and Thursday night. I hope you will have the best time of your life in Berlin and find bacteria that digest plastic. Or atomic waste. Or both, while producing black holes that allow instant space travel. Because that would mean you could maybe make it into training on Tuesday.