Sometimes, people come into your life, maybe for two minutes, maybe for two hours, they touch your soul, they leave, and you might never see them again. But they made you richer.
May 22, 2013. I’m in Berlin. Business. I planned to spend the evening with a friend but he cannot make it. So what to do alone in Berlin? Yeah, why not going to the opera, maybe there’s some remaining tickets. Quite naïve – to think there are remaining tickets for The Flying Dutchman on Wagner’s 200th birthday at the Berlin Staatsoper. For about one and a half hours I stand outside the theater, 12°C, rain. I am offered some black market tickets but I have to decline.
I start to think about what else to do – a bar, TV in the hotel, just wandering around. Ten minutes before the performance starts, a polite young man approaches me and asks whether I am still looking for a ticket. I say yes and he offers me the seat next to him to an incredibly cheap price. »It’s the last row, that’s why it’s so cheap. We’re gonna sit together…« I don’t even start to think how lucky I became, he continues »my partner died, we had a subscription together… none of my friends had time to come tonight, so I thought I’m gonna go and at least make someone happy tonight…«
I am chosen to be made happy this evening. I am stunned and deeply touched. We walk in together and take our seats. They turn out to be like a little loge, being slightly separated by a handrail and an aisle. Never before, I have taken a seat in a theater with more humility.
»At least I make someone happy…« There’s great tragic in it, but also a profound goodness in this man. The Flying Dutchman is fabulous, but more touching than that are the circumstance under which I get to watch it. I am happy about an opera evening and far more grateful for a lesson in life.