This is a love-letter eulogy for my friend Amiria. That's her in black on the right making herself a cup of tea at my art show at Newtown Library in 2010.
In my old age I find myself weeping a lot, beautiful music, fond memories, heart-rending news items, uplifting movies, sweet friends gone to dust, oh how painfully exquisite this phenomena called human life is. When I was a young wanderer in India in 1973 an old fakir on the street read my palm and told me I'd live till I was 87 and I thought, "How fabulous!" I overlooked the old sore that I'd thus have to watch my friends leave or die, one by one, and I myself drift slowly into infirmity and possible dementia, (oh wondrous Universe, take me quickly while I'm on the road with my brains intact.)
For all my queerness, many women played intense, influential roles in my human drama, there were 7 golden females in particular who found a special place in my heart and informed my soul. I've written about one of them already, Nicorette, Queen of the Zombies, maybe the last as I'm now tired and too fucked up to have time for any more Amazons. But I want to write of another of the 7, Amiria, who died recently, still young, beautiful, courageous, compassionate, and my life is depleted by her passing into the vale of shadows.
I met her in passing at the Piccolo Cafe on Kings Cross in the late '80s, we didn't particularly connect but had an affinity, she was a hardcore rock'n'roll gal, punk/metal, intelligent, tough and very good looking, a Maori escaped from New Zealand to try for a new life in Sydney. Then in 1993 my undoing unfolded, I was framed by two ugly, corrupt cops for an armed robbery on my local cake-shop which was my karma for being a bad cake addict. The pigs piled up lots of incriminating, circumstantial shit to hold against me when there was all the proof in the world that I didn't commit this stupid crime but the cops had it in for me because of all my "civil disobedience performance art" and being lazy, stupid dicks, they couldn't be bothered to hunt down the real perp.
One definite piece of evidence in my favour was a water-tight alibi, for at the exact time of the crime I was wandering about Kings Cross and just happened to pass by Amiria where she sat serving cigs at a tobacconists' shop outside the railway station. Thankfully I said "Hello" to which she smiled and returned my greeting. She then happened to look up at the clock to see if it was time for the commuters' rush, 3.45pm, and she remembered this clearly and swore she would go witness for my defense at my gruesomely grand trial. Most people don't want to get involved in others' troubles, especially when it involves the police, yet Amiria was a staunch defender of justice, she had to go to the copshop and give statements to the pigs over and over and she did this with amused elan, laughing at the pigs, twisting them around her little finger, the fools fell for her, she was twice as attractive as the two scrags whom they'd gotten to finger me in the line-up.
When I finally got a barrister Amiria attended his question-sessions unhesitatingly, charming him also, he was more willing to defend me pro-bono when he saw I had such good friends as her. After 2 years of house arrest and mental torture my trial came up and, without me asking her to, on day one when she wasn't needed to give testimony, (the trial was to go for 2 fucking weeks), she came all the way out to Campbeltown on the far edge of Sydney city to lend me moral support, and she was sorely needed. When I showed up outside the courthouse there was a pack of television cameras and reporters creating a huge ballyhoo and I thought they were there for horrible little me but my barrister just pushed me thru them, they parted like a shit-storm, ignoring me, they were there for someone else, Ivan Milat, the backpacker killer.
The monster was being tried in the courtroom right next to mine and all thru my short trial Amiria sneaked into Milat's undoing then reported back to me in whispers what he was like, what was going on, creeping me out and making it hard for me to concentrate on my own fucking make or break deal. The shop-assistant bitches who had colluded with the cops to frame me couldn't agree on the description of the felon who robbed them and so my trial only lasted the morning, Amiria didn't have to take the stand after all, I was acquitted and set free but eternally grateful to Amiria ever after for sticking up for me so resolutely.
And so we were best friends for the next 17 years, she bought me dinner when I was broke and hungry, soothed my nerves when I was having my 21st nervous breakdown and gave me endless gifts of treasures she'd bought at auction, for example my favorite framed print , a white stallion dancing by the sea on a stormy night by Delacroix. She was very headstrong, knowledgeable, and there were times we argued and fell out, over politics, philosophy, love, but always got back together again for we were kindred souls. She developed an especial affection for the Tibetan people and followed their version of Buddhism, meeting the Dalai Lama, working 7 nights a week as a nurse in Emergency at Prince Alfred Hospital and donating much of her wages to the Tibetan cause, establishing a temple in the Blue Mts or helping the downtrodden, ravaged people in their homeland, she was selfless and unstinting, and impressed me mightily with her dedication.
She came to my art show in Newtown to support me as she's always done, without me asking her to and, lucky for me, I took her to dinner not too long before I left on my latest sojourn to India and I got to smile into her eyes one last time. She was the definition of "friend", the Green One, and I will ever look into the passing crowd and imagine I see her and hope I can get to be in her presence one more time. Sydney already palls on me and now, without her, it will be that much harder to bear. The toughest thing in life is to say goodbye to a loved one, but if every sub-atomic particle has multiple histories then the multi-verse is a reality and there would be many versions of "us", so maybe we will meet again. In the quantum flux every particle is connected to every other particle, all is one, we can never be separated anyway. "Farewell Amiria, you are loved by many."
P.S. In the early new year I researched Tara the Green Goddess and was surprised my intuition of Her connection with Amiria rang true for She is the Protector from harm and ill will. A few days before I left India I watched as my last movie "Contact" on cable-TV, amazed at the synchronicity that has indeed followed me thru.out my life. For if you know the plot, Jody Foster gets taken deep into outer-space in an alien machine, thru endless worm-holes, and shown the vastness of the Universe, its infinite potential and beauty, and there she meets her dead beloved father on a sandy beach overhung with coconut trees. He tells her she is not alone, she is loved and will never be seperated from her loved ones for everything is connected and no energy is ever lost. This is very close to what I had written in this Blog, even the beach was similar to Vagatore in Goa where I felt her presence with me. I am a science-nut, as Carl Sagan was, but the rational Mind can't account for some mysteries of the Universe, some times it's inexplicable and magical, without being too woolly-minded about it. And I can't help being blown away by living, conscious, in an awesome world, that contains gorgeous souls like Amiria.