Salut! Camarade.

Every four years, February 29th rolls around. It’s a day I remember an old buddy, a former partner, a fellow comrade in the trenches of the Sydney goth scene, and particularly in the audience participation cast of Rocky Horror Picture Show – Sharon Droscher (Née Hedley).

Not that I would ever expect any of the folks from Friday Insanity, or as it later became, Fun In The Dark to come across or read this, but for what its worth, Sharon and I were wrong, you were right. Trying to enforce a higher standard of “quality” onto a group “fun” activity, to chase a dream of a kind of professionalism that wasn’t a dream everyone on the cast shared, and trying to impose that dedication, was the wrong thing to do. In this, I allowed my loyalty to a person to supersede my loyalty to the group. That was my failing, and I’m sorry for that.

Anyway… like she was odd in so many ways, and seemed destined to be one of the weird who turn pro when the going gets weird, it was appropriate that Sharon’s birthday was February 29th.

We had a tumultuous relationship, a fairly acrimonious parting, and a sometime uneasy friendship afterwards – but she went on to be happy, I was chief bridesmaid at her wedding to Simon, with whom she moved to Canada, until cancer claimed her a little under nine years ago.

So every year I metaphorically light a candle on the 28th, and every fourth year on the 29th, light a bunch. I pour a drink, and try to remember to be gentle to the memory of who we all were when we were younger – full of fury, inarticulate and uncareful.

And then I remember when we all took acid, and walked from the warehouse in which we were living, under Glebe though a disused rail line tunnel with only cigarette lighters for illumination, then out along the viaduct crossing Wentworth Park, before making our way back to the warehouse (and peeling the stripes off a speedhump along the way). The night was ended with hours in the warehouse’s gallery, watching reflections from shattered pieces of mirror on the ends of springs dance about on the joists and floorboards of the level above, which formed our timber sky.

Happy 13th, Sharon.