You were young and beautiful. You were sassy and courageous, and wicked smart. You swore a lot. Wore loads of silver jewelry. We had a Norse mythology course together and you were into women’s studies. We had coffee together, and lunches.
You introduced me to Dave, your boyfriend at the time, who was one of the gentlest guys I’d ever met.
You guys offered to get me high, in your cute little apartment with altars and weird art. Shivas and Kalis and Bob Marley, scarves draped over lamps, incense. I don’t remember all the details. I just know I’d never been in a home like yours before.
You were wild and wonderful, a force of female energy. No denying it. No need to.
You were my Hecate sister, my Artemis, wise beyond your years and more concerned with being free and thinking free, so that caution wasn’t a concern.
You were not afraid of the dark.
You gave me a beaded Scorpio bracelet. I still have it.
You wrote poetry and articles—a “zine” we called it back then. For a few years after I moved away, we stayed in touch. You sent me some of your work. I missed you terribly.
And we met again in 2011, via Facebook. I had searched for your name repeatedly over the years, and then finally one day, I found the right Amanda. In Sacramento!
You came to my home and met my family. You and Ian used to know each other, when we were in college together. You met my kids for the first time.
You were still wild, and now with an edge. A little more darkness and pain. Probably a lot more. I didn’t know how you could fit into my domestic bliss. I was a little afraid of your brand of crazy.
But your voice was the same, and I was thrilled to know you again. It felt great to hold you in my arms when we hugged. Your voice—I can hear you speaking in my mind even now. I will never forget your voice, Amanda. And that you helped me learn how to use mine.
How are you gone? I found out through Facebook, which is a shitty thing to find out no matter how the news travels. But because of Facebook I knew within a day. My friend is dead? Is it some kind of sick, inside joke? Not real?
You are – were 42 years old. Too young, my dear. I blew it, Amanda. I’m sorry I didn’t really understand how tough life was for you. I wasted too much time, when we could have been talking on the phone, or meeting for coffee. I could have …
Now I wear your Scropio bracelet that you gave me 20 years ago. And I hear you in my mind sometimes. And I stalk you on Facebook. I read the things that your friends are writing to you and about you. I’ve written to you there, too—how I really wish things were different.
Your wall is the weirdest and newest kind of gravestone. This now-ubiquitous technology has allowed people who don’t know each other to connect, share stories, and to mourn. I read what’s written there, and page through your photos. I’ve stolen some because I don’t have any of you that I can find; we were friends before I used a camera constantly. The photos are little pixels of you. They are not enough, but it’s what we have.
Ours was and is a mediated relationship, and I am sorry for that. Your horoscopes come up in my newsfeed, as if you were still using them, sharing them. I think you might like that these weird astrological messages come from the ether on your behalf. Through Facebook I have learned that your friends are holding a memorial for you tomorrow in Sacramento and I cannot be there for it. I am hoping that those who go will post photographs, and continue to use your FB wall as a way of showing and sharing our love for you. I hope this digital tribute, this little slice of your life will continue. It is weird and wild and wonderful.
Like you. Magic.
Too soon, my Hecate sister. Too soon to fade into the night.
I’ll see you again someday at the crossroads.