My backup plan: become a surfer-bum, cruising the coast with a car-full of defactoes and kids on welfare or perhaps start a pirate whaling operation off the coast of Indonesia.

Tuesday, 25 July 1997 9:11am

S,

Well you know I’m in a better mood this morning missy.  I’se be ridin’ that caffeine wave of goodness, surgin’ up and carryin’ me forth inta the day. Yessa.  Sorry, can’t help writing in South Carolina-speak, I’m in a good mood, and I’ve been reading the second story in that Kerouac book I bought. It’s called “Pic” and it’s written in that style. It takes a while to get used to, but then it’s quite infectious.  I’m nearly finished it though, and I don’t know whether to buy another book with my remaining weekly rations, or to see a movie I’ve been putting off for three weeks.  The movie is “Amateur” by Hal Hartley. He’s my favourite director, next time you’re at the video shop, look for a film of his called “Trust.” It’s fuckin’ ace. (There’s a recommendation for you, “fuckin’ ace”.)

Same day, 6:45pm

Ever get the feeling you’re being discussed Sis? I got it today. I was at my desk, and Jeremy comes in and somehow or other the conversation turns to me and university, and how both Julian and Simon think I should go back and do some course, that I’d “love it”.  Then Simon tells me how he thinks I have some “creative side” which hasn’t been explored.  This is not Simon-talk nor Jeremy-talk, it’s Cav-talk. I get the distinct impression that I may have been discussed over drinks Friday night after I left early.  That Cav was holding court, and pontificating on my malaise here.  So now I’m being prodded, my natural proclivity to flee this salt mine aided and abetted by my workmates.  I mean, I guess it’s nice that they care and all, but….  Anyway, there are so many maybes involved, it would be so traumatizing to go back to uni, that I don’t know if I could do it.  For a start, I’d have to move out of Mum’s rental house, and that’s hardly fair after staying only a year and a half. Secondly, only a crappy old BA (Bugger All) would cost me $8500 in deferred fees.  Thirdly, I don’t know if I’m predisposed to tertiary study, I may have lost the habit of study all together.  Fourthly, and possibly most importantly – what if I fail? What if I flunk out ‘coz I ain’t got the brains? (And that is not a veiled plea for you to tell me how smart I am, OK?) What if I can’t cut it and I’m back on the street in a year with a besmirched “permanent record” and no job?  The pitfalls, the pitfalls…. But still, what are the alternatives? Stay here forever, going slowly mad.  Leave and take up a crappier position in a bigger firm with more competition.  Maybe turn into a surfer-bum, cruising the coast with a car-full of defacto’s and kids on welfare. (Wouldn’t Mum be proud?)  Or worst of all… get a job at Dad’s car year.  O splendid youth, full of opportunities.

If I did go back to Uni, I’m not even sure what degree I’d go for. Cav thinks (through his Harbingers of Dissatisfaction, Jeremy and Simon) that I should do an Arts degree – a bit Mickey Mouse.  Maybe I could do Arts/Law, but then who wants to be a blood-sucking-ambulance-chasing lawyer? and how would I support myself? God, it’s looking worse by the minute. Your psychic didn’t happen to tell you what it is I’m going to be so successful at did she? Perhaps I’ll start off a pirate whaling operation off the coast of Indonesia. I’ll make out that whale-fat baths are rejuvenating for the skin, and I’ll have crowds of wizened old Hollywood hags lining up at my door, itching to pull the trigger on that harpoon gun…

And to top of this I have this Chloe “thing” squirming away in the back of my mind.  It’s so difficult, it goes against all my instincts, but I know rationally that I have to get out there and shake my money-maker or I’ll end up a pitiful old bachelor, shuffling over to the corner store every morning for twenty years to get the appear and then it’s back to the cats. I feel like I’m turning myself inside out here. It’s like choosing a method for your own death, it’s gonna be unpleasant no matter what you do. If I don’t take it up with Chloe, it’s the cats; if I do, it’s excruciating vulnerability. If I stay here at work, it’s forty years of predictable, infuriating tedium. If I leave, it’s a bloody great leap into the unknown. A leap without faith, I might add.  Fuckadoo. Bewildered by choice or stifled by security.  Fuckin-fuckin-fuck-fuck-fuckin.  How on earth do you come to decisions Sis? do you deliberate this much? How the hell did you decide to have a baby?  Christ, I’d need a goddamn Commonwealth Summit to chew that one over?

J

What’s it all about?

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