Though I do not claim to be a wordsmith, or even deem my writing worthy of the status of a word smith’s apprentice, I’ve never really been in a situation where I am at such a loss for words as now. There are rare moments in life when you know you have met a truly beautiful human being. Someone whose aura exudes happiness that draws others toward them. Nic (I will refrain from using his last name) was one of those individuals.
The first thing that struck me about Nic was his smile. We all have to put on a happy face for show sometimes and some of us get used to wearing that face and it becomes ungenuine as the days fade on. Nic’s was not like that, his smile was more than just contentedness, it was full of excitement. After talking to Nic I realized just how well his personality fit the smile he was wearing. He was teaching kindergarten, had only been in Taiwan for two months and was loving every moment of it. We both came to Taiwan for the same reasons; mountains,beaches, and adventure. I told him that sometimes I really hated my students, he told me he loved his, I told him that Nankan was boring, he told me that he travels to Fulong every weekend. I was just struck by his positivity and how much lust for adventure and excitement we had in common. I was more than excited to meet a person who loved the same things I do, especially in attractive male form.
People say things happen for a reason, I think that is absolutely absurd. Life is cruel and harsh and there is no method beneath the madness. Cases like this one are proof of that. It’s more than just experiencing another harsh reality, more than realizing your college career was worthless and you will probably be living with your parents until the age of thirty, more waking up and realizing you just wasted years of your life in an awful relationship, more than breaking down on the side of the road right after getting a $300 a speeding ticket. I don’t believe in souls or spirituality (whatever was left of that died inside me that night in Fulong) but when a tragedy happens it changes you. Leaves you with an unfamiliar sadness that you can’t shake of, an internal coldness that won’t go away. I’ve never felt so vulnerable and helpless, my whole world completely shaken, because my whole world, my existence, was seconds away from extinction.
Nic and I went to put our feet in the water, he confessed he forgot my name and I made him guess until he figured it out. We laughed it off and walked down the beach talking about classes, and all the things we wanted to do in Taiwan, and the places we wanted to visit in Asia. We were both planning on going to Thailand for our winter break, Nic seemed to good to be true. He wanted to go for a swim, it was probably around 10:30 at night pretty dark, but the moon was out and our friends had a bonfire on the beach, the lights from the temple and the pier provided enough light to swim in. I should have said no, I should have just not jumped in after him and called him back to shore, I should have grabbed his hand and begged him not to go in the water. But I didn’t, I jumped in right after. We were swimming for a while, he grabbed my hand at one point and pulled me in close. I think soon after that is when we realized neither of us could touch the bottom anymore. I can’t remember if we verbally discussed we should start to swim back or we both just kind of knew. We just kept getting pelted by wave after wave, I started to panic. I was trying to tread water and getting smacked in the face by ocean and started to hyperventilate in the water. Nic knew I was scared, he grabbed my hand and held it above the surface, he looked at me right in the eyes and said confidently “We are going to make it back”. That’s the last I remember seeing Nic. Suddenly I was alone in the ocean, I couldn’t see Nic or the beach, I could only glimpse the pier on my left hand side. I tried to swim along the side of the pier and realized it was impossible. I had two thoughts right in a row “Oh my god this is it” and consecutively “No way, I am not going to die out here, I will get back”. I flipped over on my back and tried to float above the waves. I still have no idea how I made it back. As soon as my feet touched the ground I started to crawl up the shore and was soon dragged out by Micheal. All I do was gasp, “Nic? Nic? Nic” I thought he would have arrived before me, but one of his friends rushed up almost right away and asked the same of me “Nic? Nic? Nic?” He hadn’t made it back.I ran down the pier and could not see him. Then grabbed a life preserver and ran down the beach, while one of his friends grabbed the coast guard, as though I could somehow save him. The rest of the night was a nightmare I don’t particularly feel like sharing since I tend to relive it quite often in my actual nightmares.
The short time I knew Nic changed my life forever. Nic was the kind of person who lived every moment, and made the others around him want to do the same. I feel very strongly that now I owe it to Nic, and to the world to embody the attributes that drew me to him in the first place; to be a happier, kinder, better person. His memory and his existence make me want to be more like him.
And as I continue to toil through this Enigmatic Chaos that we call life, I morn the loss of one very remarkable individual that the world will truly no longer be the same without.
This is the last post I will be signing off Vhalar Morgulis, it has become all to relevant.
Nic you are well loved and sorely missed. RIP 10/14/13.