The Dewey Decimal System & Suicide

J’s Diary Entry

Thursday 9 Mar 1995

I got my annual slap on the wrist from Caitlin today. She said I’d been “drifting” since November. I agreed, of course. I found it a bit depressing really. I knew it was coming from a few offhand remarks Caitlin made in the last week or so. I told her that I have changed my direction in the last few days (which is true) and said I’d get back to her on the reasons for my lack of drive. What could I tell her? That I discovered the joys of drinking alone and I find it dismaying that I could be replaced by a carefully shaved and well trained monkey without anybody noticing?  I’m bored!   Maybe I’ll tell her I need some sort of change. Sure I’m getting help from Bev but I’m restless and I don’t know what for.

Josh rang and invited me to a movie tonight. I didn’t have enough money. I didn’t tell him about me not moving in with him and Leah. It’s the sort of thing you need to do over a coffee. Caught a tram to Puckle Street, Moonee Ponds, and joined the public library. Kinda stressful, it was full of whiz-kids on computers looking competent while I looked on, feeling like a dinosaur, contemplating the Dewey Decimal System and suicide.

Friday 10 Mar 1995

A bit of a disaster of a day. Spent most of the work day designing a company questionnaire. Worked hard enough I suppose. I felt a bit more driven. Maybe I need a kick up the bum more often.

Donovan met me after work in “Klicks”. We had two drinks and then left for “The Lounge” in Swanston Walk. It was 7:30pm, I proceeded to get pissed and got self indulgent and told him too much. I even told him about my nutty fetish for removing body hair, one by one with tweezers. He said I need to get out more. It was OK until about 10:30pm when the place started to fill with groovy people who were making me nervous. I was watching two guys (one really good looking) and a girl at the pinball machine. Then they sat right next to Donovan and he started talking to them. I freaked out and looked the other way, hoping they’d go away. I had a panic attack and then Donovan introduced me to the girl – STRESS!! I told Donovan I had to go, “I don’t fit in here, I feel out of place!” He looked disappointed, I dashed for the door and breathed deeply. I walked to the nearest tram stop, talking to myself all the way, and caught the last tram home. I feel like I did the right thing, the sense of relief upon my escape was palpable. I remember feeling the cool air in my lungs, a sense of expansion, unclenching.

Saturday 11 Mar 1995

Got out of bed early and cleaned up for Mum’s visit around noon. She brought me some pillowcases and plastic garden edging for my little garden bed. I put them down in the afternoon sun. It’s imitation interlocking, terracotta. It looks really nice, I’m quite pleased with myself. I did it right away without procrastination, and I did it properly. I want to put some more plants in now, spruce up the back yard a bit. I’m so houseproud.

Mum showed me a recent picture of S. Christ, she’s really pregnant, showing and all. Mum’s really lost weight, she’s seeing a nutritionist, she’s on some apple cider vinegar diet. Mum told me all about her work stresses. When I told her about Caitlin chastising me at work, Mum told me that she was like that too, that she works best under pressure. it was strange, Mum has never really told me about herself before. Curious.

Started my Voltaire “Candide” and Genet “Querelle of Brest” books that I bought after work last night. Couldn’t really get into either of them though. I couldn’t sit still for more than ten pages. How shall I amuse myself all day tomorrow and Monday. Damn these Public Holidays! I’ve next to no money anyhow. I hope Brett isn’t too pissed off with me for standing him up at his gig at Wall Street. That’s the second time I’ve done it. The phone rang out three times running today, I wonder if it was him. Maybe he’ll be so pissed off that he’ll never want to see me again. It would simplify my life further. I may miss the chances at socializing he provides, once I don’t have the opportunity to knock them back. Who cares anyway? I just want peace. I don’t want a racy, exciting life full of chance encounters and scintillating scrapes. I’d feel like a member of Enid’s “Famous Five” for fuck sake. I’m hankering for a contented tranquility, self-contained and aloof. I’m scared of meeting people (especially women) for some reason.  I wish I was sexless, hairless, ageless. Completely effaced.

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