Both myself and Kanrei had been pestering Ben to visit us in Leipzig, each unaware of the other’s lobbying efforts, and both seemingly not expecting it to actually happen.
Ben, unaware that myself and Kanrei were living together, also, upon announcing his plans to visit each of us, did not mention the other.
And, with the best of intentions, me and Kanrei made our plans in such a way as to not interfere with the out-of-town friend the other was expecting. I would be meeting Ben in the early afternoon, and Kanrei would be meeting them in the early evening.
It was by chance — which by now has become the central theme of my life — that we learned that our visitors were one and the same. This revelation was amusing, and served to highlight how easy it is for lack of communication to result in missed opportunities. Missed opportunity is one of my most feared things, and I was both grateful to have avoided it, and horrified at how close I came.
After a brief Telegram chat — one of mused ponderings, of possible activities, to occupy this beautifully mild, relaxed Saturday — the plan was made.
The plan was not to plan.
It was noted and acknowledged that planning is a thief of joy, and that most of the best things happen when simply allowed to happen.
The word of the day was “happenstance.” We would explore Leipzig, fortuitously: meet somewhere, and wander off in a direction, and see what happens.
What happened was discussing psychology over coffee and cake at a vampire themed lounge in Zentrum. Shopping for handmade perfume at a boutique in Peterskirchhof. Rejoicing at the mere existence of the extremely relaxed, carefree atmosphere provided by a bustling playground in Clara-Zetkin Park. Wandering in circles, for hours, while debating the fictional uses verses practical applications of quantum entanglement, at the Palmengarten, in Cottaweg. Sipping hot drinks, at a chocolate themed café, in Schleußig, only leaving once it closed. Wandering slowly and aimlessly, through fields and parks, by military barracks and sports arenas, past idle, seemingly-abandoned construction sites plastered with endless streams of incoherent graffiti and street art.
Exploring the selection of what is believed to be Europe’s only furry retail store.
The evening culminated with four of us, dining on exotic fare by candlelight at an Indian restaurant in Mitte, reflecting on the warmness, openness, friendliness, sometimes shameless, and general goodness of humanity and fandoms.
With so much negativity in the world, it was a refreshing change to focus on the good, and to be reminded of what a functional society looks like. Today’s conversation contained many gems: multiple casual, effortless quips of notable, quotable insights, each individually suitable for a blog post or perhaps even a whole book, but the mood of the day was so relaxed and lazy that nobody could be bothered to write any of it down.
As the day was reaching its end, I opened Telegram and composed a message to Meta Ravi. “Ben,” I concisely wrote, “is another furry science fiction author I met. You may want to open a dialogue with them.”
Some time later the reply came in.
“How do you meet such people? You are awesome!”
How do I meet such people?
I simply allow it to happen.
I plan not to plan.
I wander off in a direction, and see what happens.
I travel, fortuitously.