It’s enough to turn you into a Socialist

Friday, 27 November 1992

Dear Sis,

So now I am twenty.  I don’t think I like it that much really, well, only when I think about it.  It doesn’t occur to me most of the time.  I don’t feel twenty, twenty years old, by twenty you’re supposed to be mature and all that shit.  I dunno, nineteen just sounds so much younger, you know? God imagine what I’m going to be like when I’m forty!

Thanks for the card, I really like it.  Oh, by the way, Mum saw the nipple warning on the back and says to me in her tersest voice, “Well, S must know about it” so I said “Yeah I told her.”  Ma says “Well I’ll bet she wasn’t too impressed” so I said “Mum, S has a sense of humour”.  Unlike some people I could mention.  Oh well actually while we’re sort of still on the topic, I got my nose pierced last Friday (one week ago today) on the right side (I don’t know if there’s any special sort of nostril etiquette that governs which side you’re supposed to get done or anything) at a chemist in Richmond.

I went down with Josh, he got his done there as well but don’t say anything to Mum because she doesn’t know and it’s not my place to tell her.  Actually he’s had it for months now but his Mum and Dad still don’t know because he takes it out when he comes back  home to Poo Town – too much hassle, you know what parents are like.  Josh has had his Learner plates for about two years now and they still won’t let him drive their car.  Anyway, I  got it done but the guy fucked up and the stud wouldn’t come out of the gun once he’d fired it, so I had to sit in the front window of this Chapel Street Chemist while he disassembled the gun rather tenaciously stuck in my nostril.  Anyhow, he got it apart, but still couldn’t get the firing mechanism out of my nose, so I had to wait another five or so minutes while they went through their stock of tweezers to find an appropriate pair with which to remove this bolt of metal glinting rather evily in the fluorescent tubes of the Pharmacy from Hell.  And I forgot to mention that all this time, my right eye is watering like crazy, all in the front window of this Chemist’s at 7 o’clock on a Friday night.  I had quite a crowd by the end of it all, well two people slowed down anyway.

So now I have a nose ring too.  Mum took it pretty well all things considered really.  She asked what it was I had in my nose.  I told her it was a nose stud.  She told me to take it out.  I laughed.  She ranted a little, I ignored it and that was it.  Dad wasn’t even game to say anything.  It was really funny, he picked me up from the station and I could tell he noticed it straight away, but he didn’t say anything, and on the drive home he kept sneaking looks at it, so I said something about it and he said “I’m not sure if I like it, Digger.”  (If he calls me Digger one more time I’m gonna scream. LOUD) and that was it.  I figure you’ve got to do these stupid things while you’re young, ‘cos I’d look pretty silly if I was forty and walking around with one.

So what are you doing? How are your pots going?  Do you really want to do that full-time?  That would be fucking brilliant.  I could tell people my sister is a ceramic artiste, currently in a residency in England.  You could stop wearing shoes, grow a beard and keep strange and exotic pets.

Oh shit I just remembered, I was supposed to ring Dad yesterday and tell him what I wanted for my birthday.  I was thinking of saying “Well, actually Dad, if you could just give me some money to put towards my trip to England, that’d be fine.  Yeah, Mum gave me three thousand dollars, so that should do it.  Beauty, you rippa, Bonza mate.”  Ha ha ha (maniacal laughter). Actually, did I tell you of the little coup I pulled off in regards to that gym set he gave me last year?  I sold it back to him for $400! SUCKER! I tell you, it feels good to be this nasty.  Heh, heh, heh.  But enough of him.

How’s work? Are the people there nicer?  Are the conditions any better?

I’m still sick of working here but at least I’m getting a pay rise today for my birthday, although whether it will be for two days or the whole week, I don’t know, but if I don’t clear over $300 a week I’ll be pretty pissed off.  Actually, in a few more months I’ll be lucky if I actually get paid.  The Liberal party got elected a few months ago (in Victoria) and so far they’ve scrapped Leave Loading, they’ve made striking – a fundamental part of democracy (when it’s used properly) – illegal.  They’re scrapping the award system and introducing individual employee contracts, so we have to negotiate with our employer a “fair” wage, they’re also giving employers the power to fine their employees!  That’s unbelievable.  Pretty soon I may as well be making sneakers in Taiwan.  I know lots of people have it much harder than I do, but that doesn’t make it right.  Oh, and by the way, they also voted themselves a pay rise into the bargain.  It’s enough to turn you Socialist.  Anyway, I’ve gotta go – we twenty year olds are always on the go you know.

Love J

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