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Mikey’s dead and I found out about it from the ground, literally from the ground because it was written on the ground outside Te Papa because he used to be involved with that light show

Mikey’s dead and one summer we flatted together in Maarama Crescent after Griff moved out

Mikey’s dead and once he told me that if he liked a woman, she smelled like biscuits

Mikey’s dead and for a short time I was sleeping with his friend Symon in the flat in Maarama Crescent except Symon kept coming in really late which woke  me up and I wouldn’t have minded if he’d wanted to fuck but he’d just go straight to sleep and I’d be awake for hours and had to work the next day and one time after Symon had come in at three in the morning and gone straight to sleep in my bed I got up and mentioned it to Mikey who was in the kitchen and we had a cup of tea and after that Symon stopped sleeping in my bed

Mikey’s dead and after the flat broke up, I lent him my guitar for a few months, because he needed it more

Mikey’s dead and for a while he and our flatmate, Jane, had a thing going on

Mikey’s dead and when I saw him at the Girlies Project in Cuba Street that time, he told me Symon was dead, except Symon was called Patrick by then and it was suicide and I hadn’t known and I was sad

Mikey’s dead and I remember when he first started calling himself Mikey, and Greg and I were calling each other Greggy and Janny because we thought it was funny

Mikey’s dead and I remember him saying that the Turbines would be a good name for this band he was in and I said you might as well call yourselves the Combine Harvesters

Mikey’s dead and when I was flatting with him he used up Jane’s expensive hair products and she said not to and he said he would have shared his things with her and she said he didn’t have any things to share anyway

Mikey’s dead and one time I ran into him at a book launch or an art opening, I forget which but that’s mostly where I saw him, and he’d got this job taking wildlife photos on some island and he was planning to use a disposable camera and said they were just as good as ordinary cameras and years later, when I was travelling in America, I bought myself a disposable camera on the strength of that

Mikey’s dead and he was too young and you’re always too young but he was too young

Mikey’s dead and he told me once how he had a daughter and how great she was, I never met her but I feel sad for her

Mikey’s dead and I don’t know how he died, the message on the ground didn’t say, but I want to thank the person who wrote it because I wouldn’t have known otherwise

Mikey’s dead and I didn’t know about it in time so I didn’t go to the funeral and I wish I’d known because I would have gone, I would definitely have gone

Mikey’s dead and the last time I saw him was at Neil’s art opening and if I’d known it would be the last time, I would have talked to him longer, I would have said, Mikey , don’t die, it’s too soon, you’re great, Mikey, I thought I’d see you again

- Janis Freegard 

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