Diet coke drinking, Marlboro light smoking, risk taking, cackling Alex. Until I moved in with her she had been the coolest girl I’d ever met who was younger than me. She didn’t ever really seem to give a fuck, it was seductive and contagious.
She had a car.
An artist, an actress and dancer; we studied drama together, worshipped Seinfeld and bitched about our tutors on fag breaks. Together we felt powerful and I was eager to live with her along with another cackling, powerful friend Clair, who I’m sure, will get her own story at some point.
Some boys across the road nicknamed us Octopussy because we lived at Number 8 and you know, were ladies…
We had some wretched parties involving gelatine and porn, didn’t do much house work, a muddle of parents were paying rent on our behalves and days were wasted with playstation test games in the shopping centre, eating the cheapest, grimmest food from Aldi.
As always happens in groups of three girls’ allegiances were formed and the messiest of the trio scorned. Basically, Clair and I got a bit fed up of Alex covering herself and the rest of the house in charcoal.
We bitched and cackled.
We quietly worried about her having an eating disorder.
Alex brought another girl to live on our living room floor who we despised; she ate our food and paid no rent. In turn we bullied her. Alex started spending way too much time with older bloke up the road who was dealing weed.
It turned out that Alex’s Dad hadn’t been paying her rent and everything fell apart quite swiftly from that point. My mother was pretty scathing about having to bail us out of arrears.
Alex’s room got trashed, broken glass, half a wardrobe and charcoal everywhere. She owed my Mum twelve hundred Australian dollars.
I never saw her again.
Years later, through the power of facebook I found out the she had moved to Melbourne and was attending a prestigious modern dance school.
Shortly thereafter she died of a heroin overdose.
I’m used to hearing about clients passing away and have a pretty sturdy professional armour. This went right through. I never saw it coming, even though you can map the trajectory in hindsight.
I regret constantly bitching about the money she owed my Mum and am terribly sad that such a vivacious creature came to such an abrupt end. Like I said, she was the coolest girl I’d ever met who was younger than me. High praise when you’re 17.