"See you," I said.
He hesitated. In that fraction of a second I knew. I used to find it funny too when someone said "see you" but you both knew it probably wasn't going to happen.
And that's how it goes. You're roaming around on your own and you cross paths with hilarious people with fascinating experiences and the craziest stories to tell, and you spend a couple of hours together braving the rain with no idea where you're going, or checking out the old men doing Polish punk rap in their striped polo tees and bermudas, or standing by the river at midnight, and you're just laughing about everything in the world. The conversations take you places - you're in a bar but you're also watching Black Swan on the Swiss Alps, getting mobbed in Vietnam. But you also know that once the night is gone, so is he. You know that if you happen to meet again it's out of the norm. And so you treat each goodbye like a last one.
And you think, man, if only he were born a couple years later, if only we were born in the same country or went to the same university or whatever, if our paths had the opportunity to cross more often, perhaps we would've made great buddies. Perhaps he'd be the one you'd go on night walks with, or the one whose room you'd crash with a tub of ice-cream. But fate doesn't work that way, and sometimes its fragile fleetingness is all the beauty it can ever offer. Maybe it will catch you even more unaware than you realise - maybe you scheduled to meet again, but he doesn't turn up, and you're wondering why but you have no way of contacting him; you realise you don't even know his name.