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2007-11-24 - 12:04 p.m.

I don't know what to write...

Fordie deserves a touching bittersweet tribute full of Sydney music references, but I don't know what to write.

I couldn't even remember if she was at my 30th- mind you there's a lot of people that I didn't get a chance to speak to as much as I would have liked that night. But there she was in the photo with Lucy and Meegs, with her trademark grin, hiding so much pain.

She wasn't at the Rose on Wednesday night, although there had been a lot of emailing back and forth about whether she could or could not make it. It was noticeable, as there usually isn't a "could not" option when Bernie's involved. I took it for granted. When I was living in Stanmore and Jo was at Uni, and I figured "Hey, I live in the Inner West now- I don't need to organise to meet people at Berns, I can just walk up there" I knew that at the very least Fordie would be there. I'd walk in and try to surprise her, pat her on the back of the head and she'd turn around beaming and yell "Raji Taji!"

She wasn't there on Wednesday, but we were all talking about what Fordie would be doing if she were there. We figured she would be there next time. I always figured she'd be there next time. Next Wednesday will be the first time we go to the Rose thinking about what Fordie would be doing if she were there, knowing that she never will be again.

I said she was there in spirit last Wednesday- I was joking about Schiller's girlfriend having a crutch like one of Mel's, leaning against the bar. But really whenever she wasn't there she was there in spirit, and now she always will be. All her friends were there on Wednesday- friends that I've come to realise in the last couple of days were the most fantastic friends she could ever wish for. I'm so proud of all of you.

The pain was too much for Mel on Wednesday night and she died alone three suburbs from where we were waiting for her to turn up at the last minute.

On Thursday night I felt like a bit of an imposter. I didn't know her the way the girls did. I guess I was also unintentionally being strong for them. I've only managed to let go a bit while I've been writing this, but I think Lucy's going to break my heart on Wednesday.

I didn't know her that well, but she always put a smile on my face. I remember the shambolic Whitlams weekend in Melbourne in July 2002. Mel decided to have a 3 day bender, and I don't think I've ever seen her drink before or since. She pashed (tongue-raped) me, but I didn't feel all that special because she pashed everyone. She probably groped everyone too.

I remember giving her advice about boy troubles outside the Vic-on-the-Park, and getting a heartfelt thankyou email the next day. I remember huge indepth emails about her weekend sent on a Monday morning- and not group emails- she'd send them to each person (even if there was a fair bit of cutting and pasting going on).

I remember the time you were wondering why your guitar wasn't like Bernie's, because it had no place to plug a cord into it. And then you made fun of yourself some time later when someone was playing a guitar with a pickup and you said yours didn't have one of those either.

I remember Raji Taji, and Jo Schmo, and Lou Schmou, and Meeeeeeeeeeeegs. And Berns. And Berns. And Berns.

I remember going to see you play at the Lewisham Hotel, and thinking how brave and self assured you were, even when you were singing about not being brave and self assured, and how you put Bradley to shame.

Fordie- thanks for the insanity. Thanks for all the lifts home after Berns. Thanks for always having time for your friends. Thanks for the memories.

You touched so many peoples lives. Thank you.

Rest in Peace Melanie Ford, I'll miss you.

 

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