Over the summer of 2012, I was able to meet a great guy named Michael Greening Page. We both had a mutual friend who owned an anime store at our local mall and set up a booth at the Anime Expo in Los Angeles and asked us both to help her out. That as where I met this Scottish aspiring film maker who is quite possibly the nicest guy I have ever met. This year at the expo, it was set right across from the X-games, and boy were there issues. You know how in high school there were jocks vs nerds? Well apparently, people haven’t grown up yet. From what I heard, X-game fans were raging and throwing things at the anime people. So much that the police had to be there to make sure no one got hurt. Now I’m not trying to point fingers at anyone to say who started it first, but I do find it hard to believe an otaku going up to a sports-fan and telling him “get a life.” Anyway my point is, though Michael was a victim of name calling, and apparently someone even tried to roll a skateboard in front of him to try to trip him, when we came back to tell everyone this he was not even the slightest bit mad. Honestly, I would at least be piss, but he was genuinely not angry.
I’ve only had a couple of run-ins with him since the expo. He tells me he does some film things, and I have mentioned we should hang out but it never really happened. He was the first one I was able to talk to about the card game Cardfight Vanguard and I bought my first starter deck on his suggestion at the expo. Now I’m practically in love with the game. It wasn’t until some time in November when I went to the midnight premiere of the Vanguard booster pack 4 when I saw him there buying a box. I greeted him, we talked a little and eventually we went back to his place to open up our cards. He really wanted to make a Shadow Paladin deck, and he wasn’t too fortunate with opening up his packs. I was able to get more of the key cards he wanted. I traded almost all of them to him because I knew he really liked them and I was glad to finally have a friend that I could play with. I only had 1 other friend who played Vanguard with me, but he went into his own thing and we haven’t played with each other since last summer. At first, I felt a little bit of regret because I traded him a lot more cards than I received in return, but I was just being really nice. And looking back on it, I don’t regret a thing anymore. Because what’s a few cards compared to a friend. Btw, we ended up playing card games until 4am! haha. I also found out that night that he was going to be going back to Scotland in early February. It wasn’t great news to me as I finally made a card game friend, and he has to leave in a few months.

I was able to hang out with him a few times afterwards. We played cards, he showed me some of the series he made with his friends, played Paper Mario, and talked about Power Rangers and Kamen Rider. He absolutely loved Kamen Rider, and he made me fall back in love with Power Rangers all over again. He had a ton of interest that I had as well and I was happy to meet someone who I felt I could share all of my nerdy interest with. He was a real, down to earth, genuine guy and although I don’t know how much of an influence I was in his life, I feel he had made a great impact on mine. I felt myself trying to be just as nice as him, feeling that I don’t have to try to hide my love for the nerdier things in life, and felt great to just have someone I could share a bit of my world with. I was finally able to hang out with him again properly a little bit last week. I chose to hang out with him and working a shorter shift at work. And I did the same thing yesterday as well. I actually was feeling conflicted because I could have really used the extra money. Last week I worked a 3.5 hour shift because I used up  most of my day hanging out with Michael and I took the rest of the week off after that to prepare for my dance competition. This week, I wanted to work more hours so I could make up for last. The though of making more money because it’s honestly a resource we all need to survive, plus I don’t really make a lot of money to begin with,  was starting to get the better of me, but how I feel about it today, I don’t regret a thing. I couldn’t believe myself that I would even begin to feel the slightest bit of remorse about making money compared to spending my last days with a friend. (Just so people know, I currently am paid under the table for $8/hr with around 20 hours a week. It’s something, but it’s a ton of money, and I have run through it a bit fast for gas, holiday gifts, and financing my dance endeavors)
In the end, I was glad to have chosen my friend over a few dollars. We both gave each other a final present. I gave him a One Piece patch, which he loved, and he gave me a Power Ranger key, which I have dedicated to keeping in my car forever now. And with that, we said our final goodbyes, and I went back to work. I felt pretty sad yesterday to be honest. I felt that I was loosing a good friend who I wish I got to spend more time with and have gotten to know better. A friend who unknowingly helped me rediscover my inner self and made me happy just being me. And although it’s not a final goodbye as thanks to social networks I can still keep in touch with him, I still feel like I’m loosing a nice part of myself with his departure.

Today’s blog is about the random friendships you meet life, and how it’s important to cherish them as much as possible. You never know how much of an impact they could have on you, and like wise in return. And also, I hope that as I get older, money will never change me. I hope that when it comes down to it, I will always choose friendship over cash. I realize that no amount of money can ever make up the friend I’ve met, or the experience I’ve had with him.

Goodbye Michael. I don’t think you’ll ever read this blog, but if you do happen to stumble upon it one day, here’s to you my friend. Thanks for everything!  – “Now stand up my Vanguard!”