She Called Me Paisa

My friend – photographer unknown.

She called me Paisa, respecting my PNG heritage before I fully did.

She was a proud Pom and had perfect Alexander technique poise.

We wrote in purple pens, a purple language, long before I knew of purple prose. Everything was ‘purple’ in our best friend world.  She introduced me to Prince.  Years later I would ask my eldest son to play me ‘Purple Rain.’

We played croquet as her brother played guitar. She was comfortable in her own skin, a stay up all night talker with a purple passion for life and chatter.

She loved photography and her dark room, and my simple one click, one setting Kodak felt like nothing in comparison. I wished I could be an artist like her.  Because of her I first began to dream of photography, a dormant dream that took many years to wake.

At school camp we belted out all the songs we knew under the moon, just teenage girls finding freedom’s voice unafraid of anyone hearing us.

My mum felt she might be a bad influence, but let me write to her anyway when she moved away.

Turned out she liked what some might call bad boys, and wrote me letters of all those she met and pashed, long before I even thought of boys much.

She was every mother’s nightmare. She wrote to me to let me know she ran away from home, a final letter with no return address.  I couldn’t write back.  She took a moment to say goodbye and disappeared with her boyfriend over and hills and far away.

She was every writer’s dream – the  friend who does everything you know you won’t and inspires you to create characters who don’t care what anyone thinks of them.

Everyone needs a friend who makes them unafraid of the world.  Who says ‘awaken and dream.’ She was my first real best friend.

She called me Paisa.

Inspired by the Who Shaped Me project for ABC Open this month’s  Pearlz Dreaming blog theme will be about the people who inspire me and there are lots of them!

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