I went to live in Buenos Aires for a couple of months. I had come to what seemed like a dead end in my relationship, and I wanted to write a novel. I lived in a small and dark room in this city full of light. I wrote in the morning and went for long walks in the afternoon. When I didn’t write or walk, I spent my time being miserable. An old friend from Berlin picked up on one lonesome night via Skype and urged me to meet a friend of hers. She was coming to town on a trip through Argentina. I met K and we went to a bar.
After the first bottle of wine we started telling each other intimate stories about failed relationships and family dynamics. It was the first time in weeks I spoke to anyone face to face for more than five minutes. By the time we had finished the second bottle, the bar was crowded with locals. An old man walked in and started singing. It was the saddest music in the world. We stopped talking and just watched him perform. At one point I looked over to K and she had tears in her eyes. We ordered another bottle of wine.
I still don’t know how we got home that night, but the next morning we met again and went out to the Tigre delta to go on a boat ride. We were a pitiful sight, totally hung over. As we strolled through Tigre, we went into a sort of antique shop in a garage. Among many other treasures, the vendor had a box of old photographs. I picked out these two. I look at them now, years later, and I see K and me at the beginning of our friendship, serious, bittersweet and a little bit sad.