the geography of friendship

In medieval times, most people lived and died within 8 miles of their birthplace, unless they were Crusaders (great travellers) or enslaved to peripatetic masters. Anyway, the average person had little opportunity to expand his horizons, I guess even less if he was a she.  We take it for granted now that we can have friends in other cities, even other countries, and expect to see them, keep in touch. I know people, both married and un-, who maintain a close relationship for years at a time, sometimes without even seeing each other in the same  room, or bed.  Phone sex, of course, has been around for quite a while; I remember one movie (The Truth About Cats and Dogs) in which the pivotal base of the relationship hinged on a phone sex scene.  I suppose these days Skype would make  it more fun, certainly more graphic.  I'll think about that later.  I want to tell you about a dear, close friend who is gone now, out of range of the phone or Facebook or Twitter or Skype, and who was never close geographically or otherwise, not close enough.  Our relationship had  a great potential that was never realized.  It was like that song with the line about a promise to see each other: "I know we'll have a great time then."  But there was never enough time or space for us to fulfill the promise. It's not fair. I met someone on a trip who was realistic about long-distance relationships.  We met on a cruise and spent a lot of time together talking, walking, eating, enjoying each other's company.  At the end of the trip when we parted she thanked me for being her ship-friend and adding to her good memories. Ship-friend, not friendship.