Nineties Friend


It was 1990. Just a random year. Because they are when you are – as I was – waiting in the wings before the big. final. year.



Primary School.

I was in Standard 4.

And when you’re in it, that is the biggest thing you’ve had to look forward to – ever.

Will you be made Prefect? Will your friends be made Prefects? And if you are not made a Prefect, will your friends still be made Prefects? Where will you go to High School? Will your friends go to the same High School?

These are big-deal things that are well-suited to being on the brink… waiting in the wings of the big. final. year.

And you’re eleven going on twelve, so you know.

Transferring into our school then, came one Pam Doyle.

She was a cool-nerd.

Can’t be sure how, but I could tell straight off.

She was.


And, as life has shown – has done well therein.

Because it has been scientifically-proven that cool-nerds are far cooler – and with more longevity (at all sorts of the all sorts) – than just ‘cool’ or just ‘nerd’.

We both ran for Junior Mini City Councillor.

I didn’t get it.

And because I’m so all-encompassing and stuff, I can’t remember who did and what they did about it.


We did both go to the same High School though.

And as she grew up (which I am yet to try), she demonstrates exemplary patience, grace and benevolence for keeping me close inside her orbit.

Not every day.

But in every way.

Always interested.

Always willing.

Giving. Of herself.

Her ideals. Ideas. Perspectives. Personhood.

Never nagging.

Always genuine.

The nineties too often miss out on what we trump in the throwback, because the eighties usually win out – and then came that boom of everything we’ve known since.

But it was a great time!

People said hello and listened for what you said when you answered back. We had MC Hammer and twins Boudine and Gerhard Hametner with Candice Hillebrand and Jenna Dover for our go-to every afternoon on K-TV. You were allowed to like Gloria Estefan – for more than the time it takes to type a tweet stating same – the Prince was Fresh, your Garden could be Savage, Mariah was all only about talent, and the kind of silence you sought was Delirium’s…

And the friends you made we’re keep-worthy.

Maybe because how you made them was based on the ways in which they still connect with you?

Through considered, conversation.

The last time I was at hers, dinner came in this box:


Cool packaging, but they obviously have no idea how holistic happy can be.

Pam – for a million-million reasons and more – you are my soul sista! And when I say ‘soul-sista’ – I mean SOUL. SISTER. The blessings of your being here and on this journey at a time with me and mine means that what I get for it is beyond beautiful.

Moreover, you are my reminder that faith in humanity still has its place.

Ergo, 1990 was very far from random.

I love you like Light.

© Dylan Balkind

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