"Your ability to see the sun is amazing!"
How did he react?
He hasn't yet. I will forward him this.
Update: He writes, "Omg! Thank you so much! I wanted to write something cool and witty, but sometimes thanks should just be enough. So thank you again!"
How did I feel?
I first met Max 1.5 years ago. We studied together in Bonn. Brainstorming about alien sitcoms and nude yogis we weirded our screenwriting class out. It was awesome. A crazy coincidence made both of us move to Berlin and start studying at the JFK last October. Today I know: Max is not only a talented writer but also a reliable guy. Toting my furniture he saved the day I moved.
A week ago spring break started. I was just about to drown in paper procrastination when I got an email. It said: None of my classes have been accredited this semester. I had failed to do one click in the beginning of the semester. No one had told me the platform I should have clicked on even existed- so today I ran from one office to the next, trying to persuade secretaries to make an exception. The response: Head shaking, some shrugging, a lot of "I am not in charge!". The German culture bursts with beautiful things. Its fetish for bureaucracy is not one of them. When I left campus at noon I was-- well, let's just say I'd had my fill. On my way to the subway I ran into Max. I recognized him from 300 feet away. It was his dancing ponytail.
"Hey there! How are you?"
"Eww.. I'm tired."
"You are not tired. You are awesome!"
"You're cute. Thanks. What the heck are you doing here?"
"I'm on my way to lunch."
"During spring break? At school, voluntarily? Seriously!?"
"Look at you, all grumpy! How's that? It's spring!"
"Told ya, I'm tired. And I'm annoyed."
We chatted for a moment. He told me the reason he was headed to the Mensa was a friend. The guy was writing a paper and spent all day at the library, so Max figured it would be nice to go and have lunch with him at school. Our school's pretty far out. I was impressed. I told him I thought he was being a great friend. And that I had to leave for an appointment in the city. We said goodbye. I got going. Max stopped me:
"Hey, Rosa, one more thing: I've been meaning to tell you this: I've been reading your compliments and I really like the way that you take the time to reflect each time, sharing your thoughts... So precious! I think that's what makes this project of yours extra special to me."
"Wow, Max, thank you so much! That means the world to me! Thanks!"
In two minutes Max changed my mood from pissed off to happy. How? By continuously seeing the sun and expressing that. Everywhere: In me, in spring, in his friend waiting at the Mensa. In life. To me, that's Max. Always chatty, always ready to point out a piece of beauty somewhere. He does so in his unique way; He talks faster than anyone I know. Sometimes the beauty he sees lies in the mere fact that it is spring. More often he'll see greatness even weirder than aliens and nude yoga sitcoms, especially if he writes- which I appreciate immensely. Once he pitched a story whose content I did not understand a word of but I could tell it burst with creativity. I'm all for weird. When I die and look back on my life I want to be able to say: I was always a bit strange. Never made it to normal, thank god. Of that I'll be proud. I hope Max will be, too; And of his amazing ability to spot greatness everywhere.