THIS IS ANOTHER OF THE LETTERS/WRITINGS MY BROTHER WROTE FOR ME (WHILST OUR MOTHER WAS VISITING ME IN THE UK), BUT I NEVER RECEIVED IT. IT WAS AMONGST HIS DIARIES AND OTHER DOCUMENTS I FOUND AFTER HIS DEATH, HE HAD WRITTEN “NOT SENT” ON IT. IT IS DATED 27 FEB 1994.
Dear S (Jack and Mum)
What is it with Melbourne that is so horrible that the WHOLE family (bar one) flee it with terror, either into the northern hills with yonder savages (The Father’s gone “Up North” again) or over the sea to the shining isle of Britain. I’m feeling almost quarantined! Seriously though, I hope you’re having a good time, both of you. At the moment I’m a bit run off my feet with work, they extracted the book from the data base yesterday for mailing, so now the real work begins. I actually worked over the ANZAC long weekend, doing despatch work (and am actually being paid for it). I spun the pointed headed bosses the story of how expensive it is to live by myself blah, blah, blah, knowing that Brett would be moving in soon to alleviate the cost. Ah, but how fate throws our fibs back in our faces! I don’t think he’s going to move in now, so this money I’ve earned last weekend, which I thought would be purely for spoiling myself, will probably have to go on essentials for the house.
I won’t go into why I think Brett won’t be moving in, it’s a rather long story, but to tell the truth, I think I’m glad. I like living by myself, for reasons I’ve explained in previous letters. That doesn’t stop me feeling just a little bit abandoned though, a bit like I’ve lost a contest. It doesn’t really matter, I can easily afford the rent by myself (though Mum seems to think I’m living on lint sandwiches) and the more I think about it, the more I like the idea of not sharing the house at all. I don’t have to put up with anyone, and they don’t have to put up with me. The place has a nice air of civilized bookishness (if that’s a real word) which would vanish under Brett’s rock-star aura and tacky music posters.
I’ve been reading a lot lately, I just finished this fun, but trashy, Ann Rice vampire novel (“The Body Thief”) and “The Bell Jar” by Sylvia Plath (really good book, she’s one of my favourites, her poetry is brilliant too, in fact, I’d say it’s better than the book) and now I’m onto a collection of her short stories call “Johnny Panic and the Bible of Dreams.” I liked “The Bell Jar” better. I am sick of crappy books and crappy television and crappy people, I’m going to stay home from now on and read, read, read. I’ll become a veritable tower of knowledge, culture and wisdom in my cosy little house in Flemington with no pesky eeeeediots (that’s Mexican for “idiots”) to get in my way. I should be more choosy with my company, I’ve decided. I think I’ll make them all sit an IQ test before I let them in the door. If they don’t come up to scratch, then they’ll be swallowed up by a trap door leading to a pit of hungry crocodiles. This trap door could also be handy for Seventh Day Adventist, though I have had any knocking on my door just yet.