Tuesday, 1 August 1995 12:03pm
I did write half a letter yesterday, but the computer froze and I lost it all. Damn frustrating you know. I guess I’ll start by recounting the weekend.
Friday night there was going-away drinks for Keely, our longest-serving editor. She had been here five years, which is only one up on me incidentally. We went to “Klicks” and sprawled out over three tables. I watched my drinking, because I know how Keely’s Samoan friends can drink, and how disastrous it is to get caught up in buying rounds with them. Sooo I got merry, chatted to some of the new people in the office, and planted information in the office snitch that I wanted spread around. It lasted ’til about midnight, when everyone dispersed and stole off into the night, drunken avengers everyone of them.
I woke up Saturday morning with a slight hangover, feeling a bit sickly, but nothing terrible. What I find more debilitating is this pervasive depression that lasts the whole day after the night before. I just spend the entire day brooding and lying in bed. That’s why I don’t drink much anymore. Sunday was a much-improved 24 hours. I woke up feeling just super, and breezed through the afternoon like Doris Day on Prozac. I swept, I mopped, I did the dishes.
Yesterday I rang Josh, and he came into the City and we went to the Kino cinemas in Collins Place to see “Amateur” that Hal Hartley flick I’ve been harping on about. It was great, I really enjoyed it. What I like about his films is that beneath all the irony and detached dialogue, it’s romantic. Afterwards we went back to Josh’s house in St Kilda, got smashed and watched the new series of “Absolutely Fabulous” on his TV with its crappy reception.
Every time I go to Josh’s house (whichever house he’s in at whatever time), it always sends shivers down my spine at the standard of student living. Last night they decided to light a fire. Their fireplace has no grate, the fire is started with a shit-load of paper and logs on top, but then (and this is the good bit) they fan the flames with a hair-dryer. That’s right, a hair dryer. I couldn’t help thinking how primitive man would’ve found this adaption rather more expeditious than rubbing those damn sticks together. So one of Josh’s housemates sits there whilst we’re all chatting pointing the hair-dryer, which is going full-tilt, vaguely at the base of the fire while paper-ash swirls around the room like, ghostly, charred seraphim. I can still smell it on my jacket now.
Wednesday, 2 August 1995 9:01am
It’s one of those crisp, clear Winter mornings, just as the days start to lengthen, and the sun seeps through the tram blinds. I rode to work this morning next to a man who was reading a book called “The Bloodthristy Butler”.
Spent the evening on the couch proof-reading “Who the Fuck Cares” 1996 Edition and stuffing my face with yogurt and dried apricots. These things pass for junk food when you’re trying to shed your Winter coat.
I can’t get the sight of “The Bloodthristy Butler” reader’s hands out of my head. Pink and flabby, curiously bald for his great, shaggy silver head, and at the bottom of each nail, those white half-moons perfectly preserved from childhood.
Friday, 4 August 1995 9:09am
The “Who the Fuck Cares” proof is here, and Cav is leaving. He’s heading north, to work on the Canberra Times. He’ll be writing features for the finance section. Sounds dull, I know, but you have to see it in comparative terms. Jobs on dailies are seen as shining white beacons of hope, the golden ring which everyone is eternally trying to grasp; whereas this place is a black hole, a seething snake-pit, a salt mine, a Pakistani rug factory – I could go on. It’s sad to see him go, he’s a unique sort of chap, jocose but armed with a steel-plated intellect. I must admit that I followed him around like a loose-skinned puppy for a few months, hoping to blossom by osmosis, but eventually my stinging over-sensitivity pushed me back to a more dignified distance. The office won’t be the same, hackneyed as that sounds. Cav’s work was so good that he could afford to abstain from the servility that marks out the rest of the work force here, your humble writer included. I hate laughing at crap jokes. I have to laugh at so many crap jokes in the course of my day, just to stroke the egos of others. I suppose they do the same for me. I don’t want to think about how the office will be without his high pitched giggle reverberating from one end of it to the other. How depressing. And the worst part is yet to come: the goodbyes. The drinks over the road, the awkward exchanging of addresses that will never be used. The half-hearted “Keep in touch” as people split up around 11:30 to catch their taxis home and listen to the driver complain about his working conditions. I feel like I could sigh my insides out.
I’m sick of proofing, my eyes are sore and I’m grouchy. The early signs of Proofing Psychosis are evident, irritability, moodiness, constant spouting of inanities. At least I have the small satisfaction of kicking Arnold Julian Glass out of the 1996 edition. He’s a member of the National Rifle Association (that’s the right-wing fascist pro-gun lobby in the US, you know, the NRA) and lists his hobbies as “flying, big game hunting, car racing and snow skiing.” In my opinion this man’s penis must be so small, to have so many obviously compensatory hobbies. The fucker lives in Monaco too, cowering from the eeevil Tax Man who probably haunts his dreams. I hope he’s impotent and gets cancer in his eyes.
One that note, Ciao.
Photograph J took of Josh’s student digs 1995.