About Friends

An old lady shared her fortune cookies with me. We read the texts to each other. Mine was: "Ein gro├čartiges Schicksal ist ihnen geweiht, warten Sie geduldig." Your destiny is great, be patient.

Hers read like: "Wenn Alle gehen, dann sind die, die bleiben Freunde." When everybody leaves, then who stays is a friend. At first she was disconcerted, bemused. Then she became quiet and obviously pondered the oracle. After a while she said, right, actually it is true.

The literal meaning of the cookie text is paradox. When everybody leaves, then nobody is left, not even a friend. As long as people are around, not everybody has left yet. But how would you know which one of them is a friend? She might leave any time.


p. s. in retrospect: The text was more likely: "wenn alle anderen gehen". When all others go. But I feel the story is valid in itself, and I won't revise it just to fit the formal facts. The uncertainty persists anyway.