It saddens me deeply to be writing this small piece on a web page tucked away somewhere in the corner of cyberspace. Rose deserverd/deserves so much more than this.
Rose was a vibrant young woman who wanted to be a star. If she had been patient and dedicated to this end, she had the talent and charisma to make it on the world stage.
In her teens, Rose wanted to enter the NIDA School For Dance in Sydney, Australia.
The Photo is a scan of Rose and my son James in about 1994 or 1995.
Unfortunatly, circumstances do not always allow for our dreams to go the way we want.
I was so excited for Rose when she began her travels, as I knew that she was a special butterfly that was not to be contained… (I was relieved when I heard that she was serious about her partner Alex; – although we have never met)
Rose was always flamboyant, and it is interesting to read here that her taste in clothing followed through from her teens. Let’s just say that Rose’s first visit to Kings Cross had me very worried; as I was a lot more conservative than her.
Rose was a great sparing partner for a good debate… we had many… and then a hug always ensued.
Although I have not seen Rose for many years now, she has always wandared in and out my memories, and I hoped that I would see her one day with (I assumed) Alex, and some children nipping at her heels….
There is at least one other person who will remember Rose fondly.
Photo from about 1994/95 with my son. 5 years ago
I picked up the sign, and it looks alright.
We’ll have to pick a day when it’s alright to give the whole ninja job a go. I am quite excited. It would be nice to try this in the coming week, as it will be the fifth year since Rose left us, coming wednesday. I won’t have the day off, but we will be doing this quite soon, in any case. 5 years ago
I ordered the sign. The shop down the road is always closed when i cycle past it, but yesterday, I had taken the afternoon off, so I found it open and jumped right to it.
The sign is going to say:
Rose V. Tenace
She lived here and I loved her
I can pick it up on Thursday evening. 5 years ago
The whole metal sign idea is quite pricey, which is why I am opting for hard plastic. It’s not as beautiful, but I guess it’s the thought that counts. If I go for the one I’ve “designed” on their website, it’ll cost ‘round EUR 40, which is about the amount I had in mind.
I still need to go and check out the place to find a good spot to mount it.
Today my manager pointed out that since I have taken holidays around Easter and thus won’t be working on Good Friday, I’ll have to work on Rose’s “anniversary”, Queens Day, 30-04.
This is a holiday of great proportions in Amsterdam.
I was already wondering if it was a good idea to do the sign thing on QD, and now I know it’ll be a different day, about 600.000 people less to worry about in the streets, and no party people right on top of the bridge in question. The smaller the audience, the bigger the chances of success. I don’t want to be interviewed by anyone while doing this. But since I don’t have a boat, I’ll have to do this in daytime so I can rent one. 6 years ago
This is the plan I’ve been hatching:
I’ll order one of these metal signs with a text along the lines of:
“Never forget Rose.
She lived here and I loved her.
Once I’ve got it, I’ll rent a canal bike (boat) and get under the bridge (see pic of my last entry).
Then I’ll take out my huge tube of superglue and stick the thing on a flat surface under the bridge.
This way, I know where it is (and hopefully will remain), only a renovation worker will ever find it (the bridge is very low and not many boats pass under it) and the whole activity is so up her street ninja style it best honours her memory. She would have loved it! 6 years ago
Today, I went to see my shrink and she had a thing or two to say that hadn’t ocurred to me. I shed a few tears while telling her about Rose. Actually, once the dam had broken, I cried a lot. I told her about how the three blocks between the place where Rose and Alex lived in 2001 and the bar/theatre where she worked (Boom Chicago on Leidseplein) were my epicentre of this very important year of my life.
What my shrink pointed out was that as I am preparing to move away and Rose is buried in Australia, I am about to lose the focal point of my grief, Amsterdam.
There is no gravestone, no memorial for her here, only in my mind, that street with the small canal is a monument to a short but intense friendship.
I once laid flowers on the bridge in front of her house (see picture) with a small note attached. I think I will do that again this year on Queens Day (30-04), as it is the 5-year-anniversary of her death.
On the picture, you can see us on Queens Day 2001, waving from the bridge to the apartment window where Alex was taking our picture. At that point, we had been already up all night dancing madly in the Korsakoff, drinking Absolute Vodka/cranberry and cycled to Amsterdam North and back to see a big flea market. The DJ (with tarpolin) in the foreground had started blasting his decks early in the morning, so any chance of catching any shut-eye was completely out of the question, anyway. 6 years ago
Part of the uneasy feeling when posting this is that I still haven’t come to terms with my idolising her while I knew her, despite the fact that she did some things (and substances) she maybe shouldn’t have and that in the end she made the ultimate and unforgivable mistake.
I thought she was the woman I wanted to grow into being myself, expressive, flamboyant, artistic, creative, loud but sensitive and always in the centre of the action. I didn’t realise (or maybe ignored) that she was a manic depressive, as I rarely ever witnessed a down with her. Her bf Alex had to deal with that and ultimately couldn’t anymore, as it seems.
“Most people will go to their graves with their music still in them.”
- Benjamin Disraeli
Rose was desperate to bring her music out. I am convinced she took most of it to her grave. 6 years ago
She gave me this photocopy of a picture of her before she left.
I think it was taken in Australia, but I can’t be sure.
She was into flamboyant dressing and when she hit town at night, what she wore always took immaculate planning. She expressed herself with unusual items to wear, from net stockings to little woolen hats. When I knew her, she was into heavy eyeliner, mascara and glitter pencil.
I admired her guts to express herself that way and took to more expressive clothes when taken under her wing. Dressing up with her to go to a party almost felt like getting ready for fancy dress.
Man, she rocked so hard!
For the laugh, she called her friends (warning!) “cunts”. That was her term of endearment.
Edit: that first cheer was given before I added the last two sentences, hehe6 years ago
We met in the bar of the Boom Chicago theatre in Amsterdam, about two meters to the right of where we are sitting in this picture.
It was a day in early march 2001 and Rose was tending the bar I frequented regularly. I sat at the bar and ordered my “usual”, a hot chocolate and we soon got to talking. How I was a student of music in the conservatory a few blocks away, and how I was struggling to put a background tape together for my final singing exam, as I didn’t know anyone who could sample a particular sound for me to paste it up into one continuous background. Her then-bf Alex was THE man for the job: an accomplished sound engineer who had his equipment in their appartment just two streets away. She invited me to come over to their place sometime that week, and from that day on, I saw her and Alex almost daily.
I always refer to this meeting as “love at first sight”, as I felt a great connection with Rose from the start. She was so enthusiastic about a lot of things, mostly music and the performing arts. We shared some of our musical taste (especially Björk).
It turned out that Alex, by some weird coincidence had also attended the same club as I had on my 27th birthday, the week before.
This first week in March 2001 was the beginning of a roaring time with her in Amsterdam. 6 years ago
...was a young lady I befriended in Amsterdam in 2001.
She was born in Australia, where she unwillingly returned to in 2002, and where she tragically took her own life on April 30th 2003.
It’s been nearly 5 years, since, and her life (the short time I got to know her) and her death still touch and move me.
I wanted to create this goal ever since I joined 43things nearly three years ago, but I never had the guts to actually do it.
I sometimes find myself googling her name, just to see if anyone else on this planet found her significant enough to post about her. I seem to be the only one so far, so here goes.
I will scan the few pictures of her I own and post them here, or on my facebook page and/or my flickr.
Just writing this makes me sigh and wonder about all the opportunities she missed out on because of her decision to end her earthly existence.
This is the first person I personally knew who committed suicide, and hopefully the last, as well.
I loved her so very dearly. 6 years ago