I thought about not writing this. I mean, it has been less than 24 hours since we figured out what had happened to Nick, and it still hasn’t settled in. I’ve decided to go for it – to vent a few feelings and record my memory of his life in some way while it’s still fresh in my mind. That’s the worst part about this in a way. The fact that this was so sudden, so abrupt. A perfectly healthy, active and intelligent kid taken from the world in a day. The words ‘it’s not fair’ don’t begin to do this situation justice.
I first encountered Nick in an official capacity in late 2018. It wasn’t the greatest first encounter – he’d just voted to reject Essexia’s provisional membership in the Grand Unified Micronational. Alas, I never held a grudge, and Posaf voted to admit us less than a month later. This will probably be the most profound impact Nick had on Essexia in a diplomatic sense. He was there during our inauguration into the GUM, an organisation which has fundamentally changed Essexia. He was with us every step of the way during the time we spent together in the organisation. We had the same opinions on existing micronations, the same basis for dealing with new applicants, we voted the same way on the vast majority of matters within the GUM and had even attempted to form a voting block. The peak of the Posafian-Essexian diplomatic relationship came upon the election of Thomas I of Hrafnarfjall as GUM chair; we were both appointed to the staff, myself for the first time. It was this trajectory, landing us both of us at the helm of the organisation, that really expanded the bilateral ties of our respective nations. Me and Nick had to communicate a lot as a result of our roles, and coordinate plans for voting and the course of action following several crisis’ faced during Thomas’ office. Through this, he as Prince of Posaf, and I, as Minister of Foreign Affairs for Essexia – saw our own nations bonds strengthened. The realisation of the compatibility of our common interests saw Posaf become one of our closest and most trusted allies. I am glad that my successor got around to officially cementing these ties through a Treaty of Closer Cooperation, a little over a month before his death. Essexia will treasure this partnership and the bonds Nick helped us forge for as long as we exist as a micronation.
Nick and I first spoke in a personal sense in February 2019, not long ago at all in the scheme of things – but it feels like a time long ago. He brought forward the idea of creating a micronational ‘Paris Agreement’ type treaty and asked what I thought, and if Essexia would be interested. The conversation developed and we began sharing political ideas and views. It was from the outset that I knew Nick had a good character, even if we came to disagree on a lot of things. He was stubborn – so am I – yet he had a sense of grace when debating and never let an argument get overheated. He was logical and rational, and brought humour into every conversation we had. I remember one particular instance when we were debating Trump and whether or not he was the right choice for America. Nick never lost sight in this exchange – he was about the only Trump supporter I know that didn’t blindlessly support Trump and could find ways criticise him. He had such a deep and intellectual understanding about the situation and could back up his arguments with evidence. This is truly an attestation of his character; wise and fruitful with knowledge – well beyond his age.
Nick joined Essexia at the beginning of the year. He was active in the chat rooms, and politically – joining forces with Nicolas Millan to create the ‘Novox’ party, meaning ‘new voice.’ He certainly was a new voice and a breath of fresh air to Essexia which had just opened up to having internationally based citizens. It goes without saying he had absolute adoration for Voss water, both amusing and driving many Essexian’s crazy through his vocal passion for it. When he stood for Parliament in March, his campaign was dignified and friendly, bearing a level of humour that is necessary to succeed in Essexian politics. He was one of the very few people that understood us from the outside. Evidence to this was his administration of the Essexian meme page, ‘essexia_unofficial,’ which provided us all with plenty of laughs and an insight into his deep-rooted beliefs of Ohioan supremacy.
I was one of the very few people who he told his real name to in the micronational world. I am glad he did, or I might have never known what had happened to him which would have burdened me for years. He trusted me to follow his personal social medias, which he was reserved about doing in a wider sense so as to keep a distance between his personal life and micronational life. This allowed me to see that Nick was a kind, popular and passionate guy in the real world, as well as in micronationalism. Though we’ve never met or spoken, and we share vastly different experiences of him, I’ve seen how his school friends share the same view as me that he was US presidential material. It’s the loss of his future contributions to society that most upset me, really. He had so much to give just like a lot of people in the micronational community. That’s a key thing here – people think micronationalists are nut jobs, failures and live in some sort of fantasy land. Well, while some of us do, people like Nick are proof that micronationalists have real lives with real potential. It’s not just about running a ‘pretend’ country either, it’s about forging experience and making friends. Nick embraced both of these aspects of the community head on, and my brief association with him is so far the greatest honour I have had in this community.
In his memory, we go on as he would have wanted us to. We embody his determination to make the community and world a better place, to have gentle and calm discourse instead of anger and dispute, to laugh and enjoy the lighter side of micronationalism rather than take it staunchly seriously. We will drink Voss in his name, keep our Snapchat streaks going unrelentingly, and above all else, remember what he said in the Essexian discord server less than a month ago;
“If you want to feel happy, feel happy, and don’t let sadness go autopilot because you are the true pilot in this ride call life,” – Nicholas Randouler.
The Essexian Post sends its deepest sympathies to the family and friends of Nicholas Randouler for their tragic and irreplaceable loss.