I first met Nyel when she was the girlfriend of the bandmate of my friends and ex-boyfriend. Actually, her then-boyfriend eventually became my friend, but during that time, we (the guy and I) basically knew each other because of the band. As my friendship with the guy grew, I didn’t get to see Nyel at all – she was either studying, or working, or in Japan, or something. I had actually started to wonder if she existed at all, or if she was only a legend, that girl who had eaten at Scott Burger. (You know how you always see a Scott Burger but have never eaten at one? Anyway, it’s a long, private joke).
Then I discovered an earlier incarnation of her blog after googling myself (yes, I’m vain like that), where she wrote about something I had written (I think it was a review of the E-Heads, I can’t be sure) and was disagreeing with me. I commented on her blog, thanking her for her opinion and I think freaked her out. It was lots of fun and, little did we know, the beginning of a great friendship.
Strangely enough, it was only when they broke up that I started to really talk to Nyel. I really like her, at first, may I admit, because she reminded me of the giddy, optimistic art theory nerd I once was, who was passionate about places and food and life, you know before I transformed into the gnarly monster I am today. But that would paint an inaccurate picture of her. She is brighter than me, at least she lights up a room more than I ever did, because I was very caustic even during my sprightly days. She also sees the brighter side of things quicker, which I totally envy.
I also totally envy how much braver she is. Even in my youth, I was never that carefree, so I hope it’s not something that goes away with age. For Nyel to lose that part of her personality because she got “older and wiser” would be such a horrible thing.
Today, she left the country to study in Malaysia. Ironically, I was offered a job in the same university, but upper management was still reviewing my credentials. I guess I could have followed it up, but I just left it to chance because, well, I wasn’t brave enough. All this time, Nyel kept saying to me, “How awesome would it be if we were let loose in KL together?” It would be very awesome indeed. But you go ahead, chickadee.
When I start giggling with her, I remember who I used to be and long to be that sunshiney person again. We promised to keep tweeting, which wouldn’t be so different from our current relationship anyway. Still, I will miss you, Nyel. #solidtotheus