Fated friendships

I had dinner tonight with a friend whom I first met multiple times. The first of these first times was on the New York City subway. I had recognized him from a public access TV show he’d hosted, and I approached him to tell him how much I had enjoyed it. My friend does not recall this momentary meeting.

The second of these first times occurred some years later. I was walking down the isle of an airplane, on a flight to a vacation on a Florida beach. I happened to be wearing a teeshirt upon which were printed the names of contributors to Cahiers du Cinéma, souvenir of a trip to Paris the summer previous.

Seeing me pass by his row thus attired, my future acquaintance asked “Are you going to the festival?” Turns out there was an international french film festival in Florida that week, in the very city I was traveling to. He and I ended up becoming great friends, and have remained so for many years.

I’ve had a number of friendships that started this way — as though the Universe had decided that we were supposed to meet, and kept working to make it happen.

Could it be that some friendships are simply fated to be? The whole topic reminds me of the metaphysics of the 2009 Star Trek movie.

If you follow the logic of that film’s screenplay, it is clear that Kirk, Spock, McCoy and the others all exist in an infinite number of parallel universes. These universes differ from each other in many ways, and the lives of the various characters can be dramatically altered from one universe to the next.

Yet in every single one of these possible universes, the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise will end up coming together, to form the ragtag family we love. In a sense, that’s actually the theme of the film.

Maybe this is true in real life as well. If a friendship sees the light of day in even one universe, then in every other universe, the Sun also rises on that friendship.

In any case, as Papa Hemingway once said, isn’t it pretty to think so?

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