October 23, 2017
I like to write fiction for fun in my free time. In one recent story that I’ve been working on, however, I’ve had my doubts about how realistic the main character is. This is because the primary motivation of the character is the words and actions of a person she only knew for one day. I found myself wondering if it is really possible to be so significantly affected–to have your whole world changed–by someone that was in your life for such a short amount of time. Days, months, and even years can go by so fast, and sometimes one day looks no different from the next. Can small, or perhaps a better word would be subtle, events really impact us that much? I know now that the answer to that question is yes, but I hate the way I learned it.
Nikolai, who was a fellow cruising kid in the 2013 French Polynesia kid group, died two months ago. We didn’t know each other for that long and he was closer to Colin than to me, but we were still friends. He was a cruising kid, and cruising kids have the ability to bond in the deepest and most meaningful ways in the shortest amounts of time. It doesn’t matter if we haven’t known each other that well or for that long; we can still come together and have fun as well as any good friends can. The cruising community is family, and the bonds that are forged in it aren’t easily broken. I always say that cruising has changed my life, but what I don’t say enough is that the people that I have met along the way make up a large source of that change. Nikolai was one of those people.
When I learned that he had died, it had been days after it had happened. I went down to my room and in the next two hours wrote down everything I had been thinking at that moment. What I wrote is perhaps selfish–as much for me as it is for him, but it is honest, which I believe is especially important. So, Nikolai, this is for you: Personal Journal Entry #31 (located in Justine’s Log).