When Michelle left me there was all this other stuff going down as well. I’d just written the final draft of my novel Manslaughter and was working on my solo album with Mark Austin. Ang was in Panama and I was living in the great house/studio I’d developed in Wigan Street that we had to sell as part of the settlement.
I hit the piss. Never having been a drinker since my teenage years I found a form of solace in going to the old Bar Bodega and getting drunk. It felt like the end of days but it also got me back out into the world.
We were about to carry that bar down to its new incarnation and that’s when I met Janey.
She swept me up into this new world where I was no longer a hermit – navel gazing my way to nothingness.
That first night together she blurted out that she loved me and we became a rock – a power couple.
This was early 2002 and huge changes were happening for her too. She was buying her first house in Mt Cook and the Dominion and Evening Post where combining and she was worried about losing her job as a journalist.
These huge posters appeared around town with her and Jane Clifton on them and it was a given that she would more than just hold her job.
It’s hard to explain the confidence she gave me and the belief in myself. She had always loved my music and songs though our paths hadn’t crossed properly till that time for some reason.
Her cat Benicio Del Toro bit into my foot on one of our early nights together just to check me out and I must have passed muster because we became firm friends after that – he could sit on my lap and let me stroke him – a big deal.
Janey reintroduced me to dancing and going out and having fun. We both had this work ethic though and that was one of the core principles of our life together. We both delivered the goods.
She absolutely loved my music and I wrote a whole bunch of songs about her – Be With Me, Verity, Foreign Agent, On A Need To Know Basis, Jennifer – such a great muse.
More than anybody – she had my back. When Ang broke his neck it was Janey that held my hand and helped me through an impossible situation.
My family just loved her – they could see how good she was for me. On one of our wild road trips together we visited Hamilton and my folks – her parting words were, “Thank you for having him”.
My dad said that she was a very good dancer and that was more than high praise.
When I met her parents in Christchurch, her mum and I fell in love with each other – she was bathed in this light and I saw that uncanny power that produced lovely Jane and her dad’s fierce intellect and wit that sculpted her.
We were born nine days apart.
I have a lot of friends but just a handful of really close ones who know me to my soul – Janey heads that list.