As goslings grow into geese
The proud geese which were once herding their flock of grey fluffy offspring around the ferry pier, stopping the morning traffic with their slow squats across the asphalt at random intervals, are now accompanied by goslings almost as large as themselves with the grey baby feathers streaked with a mature black band around their necks. The geese display no sign of fear as they contentedly dot the car park with green ashen poop regardless of the people walking or parking their cars. I was surprised to see how quickly the goslings had grown.
But then, humans change very quickly, too. It had only been two years - a blink of an eye in terms of the Earth's 4.5 billion years - since my friend and I had seen each other, but we immediately yelped in surprise at each other's appearances.
"You've chopped your hair off!" I gasped. All this time I had remembered her to have shoulder length hair. She, on the other hand, had her eyes wide open at me.
have long hair? Since when?!"
They say I can talk the hind leg off of a donkey. Well, my friend L. can talk the ears off of one, I'll bet. It was twenty minutes before we could finally stop to give our orders to the waitress who had been walking to and fro.
A true friendship is one that, allowing for passage of time, enables the friends to see each other as they are, without resorting to past memories or diving into the different present in order to construct a good idea of what the friend is about - each friend has a clear understanding of the essence of the other. With L., it is easy to understand what she is about. She is one of the few people I know who does something for a living that genuinely betters the lives of others, and despite her initial shy demeanour and physical frailty, is an active political, intelligent yet uncynical person. While talking to her made me cheerful, it also made me slightly sad as I realised that I was listening to a fair amount of heartache condensed into several of her sentences that I had not known about. We talked until late, but it was not enough, so we resolved to talk more tomorrow.
"Don't you feel that you've changed a lot since your early twenties?" she asked as we dug into an overwhelmingly chocolatey dessert.
"Of course. I mean, I'm so different compared to what I used to be like even two years ago," I said.
"There's still so much I want to do," she said. I nodded.
How much will we have changed in another two years' time? Will we recognise each other still then?