Blue sky, green grass. Gray.

“I thought maybe you need to hang out with your friends more. The 2-1 kids had a get-together at _______’s house,” he mentioned the name of one of our former classmates, “It was fun, you know.”

I didn’t answer, just kept running. Left right left right.

That morning, two old school friends and I were doing a simple morning jog around some blocks in southern Kassel. Occasionally interspersed with brisk walks, then back to jogging. It’s been a while since I saw them like this.

“You didn’t come on purpose, did you?” he asked, grinning. “Oh, that sounds judgmental, sorry…” of course, I knew he was only kidding. We’ve known each other as close friends for over a decade, so we’re used to talking openly about many things.

“Fun for other people,” I replied. “I wasn’t invited.”

What I knew was that some time ago, our former classmates held a small reunion. I don’t remember when exactly or how many of our classmates attended, but it wasn’t entirely my concern.

I can’t remember if there was any further comment after that. All I remember is that I just kept running, and when I realized I stopped near the intersection, my friends were quite far behind.

The trees and green grass sway in the wind. I feel my breath slightly rushing. My hair is a bit damp.

Let me tell you more about me and the two friends I met – all three of us were in the same year group during high school. Some of us were classmates during our sophomore year, while others were during our freshman year, but we all knew each other well. After finishing college, we each went our separate ways to work, but we still talked often years later.

“Let us help you. Just wait for it,” those were the words I remembered a few days earlier. We were talking on the phone, mostly about my situation after a lot happened last year. I said that I was a little reluctant, and even though things were generally good for me, I didn’t want to do much lately.

Which brings me to the statement above.

Sometimes you need to force yourself to do things you need, they say. That’s something I understand, too. So, in the end, I decided to accept their invitation.

Women’s intuition, maybe. With a little persuasion that may be necessary.

After jogging a few kilometers with some brisk walks, the sun started to rise a bit higher so we returned to the starting point. Concrete blocks and grass, blue sky and thin white clouds. We were at the parking lot. The weather was clear.

“I remember I used to ride in your car,” I said to my male friend. “But it seems different now.”

“When? Before the pandemic? It’s been four years. It’s already paid off!” he replied while laughing.

“Last year, right? We met up and walked together. I got off behind the hospital______,”

near HCU and the chemotherapy unit – uh.

“But I think maybe I’m wrong,” I added while laughing, “Too many things, my memory is a bit poor. Sorry.”

“So, what do you want to eat, big brothers?” said my female friend, “There are some places here…” she mentioned several places, “So just look for whatever promo is available. Like that…”

I remember saying ‘whatever’ (which was not accepted as an answer), so afterwards I just named a place that was good enough to chat while having breakfast.

“I don’t feel connected to having studied there,” I said as we sat down for a relaxed break. “Except for some people – two of you guys – outside of that, I don’t identify myself and my past there.”

“There were others too, weren’t there?” my female friend interjected while mentioning several names. I responded briefly with ‘that’s true.’

“It’s the same with yesterday’s situation,” I continued, “I learned a lot there, grateful for that, I won’t deny it, but I don’t identify myself and my past there.”

“Because of yesterday’s situation? I think it was an extraordinary situation. Everyone was affected. Especially in that industry. Many good people I know have also experienced it. Not just you.”

“Maybe. Could be. I don’t know.”

“But whatever it is,” I said, “going back to your earlier statement. ‘The second-year kids met yesterday’. ‘It was fun, you know.’ What I’m thinking is, ‘I don’t have a place there.’ ‘Fun, yeah. For other people.’ It may sound like I’m jaded, but it’s something I can understand. That’s how it is in reality.”

We still talked about quite a few things afterwards. About what we’ve been through this year, career and family, some slightly personal things from each other since the last time we talked like this.

“They say you seem happier than the last time,” she said. “Well, that’s good.”

Maybe she has some women’s intuition or something.

“Maybe,” I replied, “but who knows.”

We were at a minimarket at the time. Neither of us was shopping, so we were just waiting in line with our friend. I noticed some stacks of bread and syrup on the shelf near us. The sound of the receipt printer and occasionally the sound of someone using the ATM coming and going.

“I heard a song yesterday,” I said. “Wonderful World by James Morrison, and I thought, damn, it’s so true. There are so many good things in the world, I know, but maybe I just can’t see them right now. No matter how good or bad they are.”

“Something like, ‘well I know that it’s a wonderful world, but I can’t feel it right now!'” Even though when I tried to imitate the husky voice it felt far from accurate, “sorry about that. But something like that.”

She just laughed. A few moments later, the three of us were outside again. It was already noon. When I looked up at the sky, it was a clear blue. Thin white clouds hung like cotton.

We parted ways a few minutes later. They still had things to do together afterwards (“Okay, we’ll head out first. Let’s talk again sometime, stay healthy!”), so I continued on my own. As usual, as expected.

A bus stop in the distance. Cars in the parking lot. Some people passing by. A motorcycle entering a turn and disappearing from view. As I walked, I looked around my surroundings.

Green grass. Gray blocks. Blue sky. White clouds.

…It really is a beautiful world.

Even though maybe I can’t see it right now. Maybe later.

error: Alert: Content selection is disabled!!