Tattoos are just too permanent. [Unlike suicide]

Thursday, 24 August 1995 10:47am

Morning O’ Sis of mine,

I’ve been reading this Strachey book “Eminent Victorians” and there’s this biography of Cardinal Manning of the English Catholic Church, and you know, I think I would have been splendid in the service of our Lord – especially with my natural proclivity for abstinence from the comforts of the flesh.  Can you see me in those black frocks they wear, giving out Hail Mary’s (whatever the hell they are) and swinging incense to and fro.  But the best bit would, of course, be hearing the confessions. What an excellent idea the confessional is, it’s just beyond every gossip-monger’s wildest dreams!  Imagine hearing all that dirt, and then having a good cackle about it later on in the refectory with all the other black-clad brethren, exchanging juicy tidbits about the flock over the brandy they’ve paid for!  What a hoot!  And such a life of ease and luxurious comfort, just for standing up there and yakking about the Bible which is so incomprehensible that no-one would know that you’re making most of it up anyway.  I really have missed my calling.  I suppose I could still take up politics, which is more or less the same, but with my extensive history of crime and my time with the Committee for the Liberation of Imprisoned Turkeys (that’s CLIT for short) and the Underground Resistance Freedom Fighters for Justice, Peace, Self-determination and the Cessation of French Imperialism in the Asia Pacific (no acronym there), I guess that’s outta my reach.


Friday, 25 August 1995 9:11am

Woah, what a howling Spring morning.  The winds are moaning through Collins Place, each door a wind tunnel as the place tries to pressurize itself, kinda spooky when you think about it.

Spoke to Josh on the phone yesterday, about this Mr B thing.  I guess I was pretty flippant about it yesterday, now I’m all serious.  I keep imagining all those ruined lives stacked up on top of one another on the Scales of Justice (a bit over the top, sure, but bear with me) and Mr B sitting smugly on the other side.  You do realize he’s going to plead down most of the cases.  He’ll probably only go to prison for five or six years. He might get sentenced to seven, but I bet he’s out in five or six.  And because he pleads guilty, the court will only get to hear his side of the story, his terrible childhood, blah blah blah.  That’s so horrifying. I only realized after talking to Josh just how long he’s been at this, it’s like 20 years!  He’s probably molested people I sat next to in class.  And I keep thinking about the minutae of it all.  Like how he used to demand that all the blinds go down in his classroom before recess and lunchtime.  And how no-one was allowed into the classrooms during lunch or recess.  He even had the class captains sit as sentinels in the open area to stop people even getting close to coming in.  It doesn’t take much of a stretch of imagination to figure out why.  And I remember how he used to play guitar in class and get everyone to sing along, and how friendly he was – “King of the Kids” – God how sick!

Sorry, I realize I’m getting a bit carried away here, it’s just that schism between the perception and the reality, you know? How could I – everyone – be so wrong?  There are seventeen girls and women who are prepared to testify.  How many others are there? I mean, if there’s seventeen who are willing to go the distance and actually testify.  How many others are there?  Fuck, there must be like fifty or sixty ruined lives out there.  And what about his child? How is she going to feel growing up knowing that she shares the genes of a child-molester? Did his wife know what was going on? I wonder if it’s gonna make it to the papers? It’s the stuff papers love.  And I can imagine the current affairs shows out at our old school gates – “From the playground that fostered the likes of mass murderer JK, we have a new monster, Mr B…” It’s just too easy.  Sorry this is all a bit morbid isn’t it?  I must be getting old S, I’m coming close to caring.

Brett just called.  He’s invited me to his house tomorrow to watch his girlfriend Lara go over one of his tattoos to fill in the gaps.  Can’t wait, I want to see if Big Man weeps as the needle digs deep in his epidermis.  There’s a certain vicarious atavistic thrill to the idea of watching another get “inked”.  You know, the primitive man in his warpaint, the tribal symbolism and all that.  Of course, I could never bring myself to go “under the needle” and adorn my own particular temple, I’m way to fickle to stand by a deign though all the ravages of time. I know I’d hate it after three weeks.  You don’t have any surreptitiously positioned dermatographs do you? (I made the word dermatographs up you know.)  Maybe on some wild night out with your gal-palm you might’ve decided to seal your friendships forever with a commemorative tatt – tastefully done of course – on some part of the body where it wouldn’t be immediately obvious, say your butt?  Go on you can tell me. Go on, what’s it of: a fairy? a unicorn? a horse? a naked man astride an enormous canon with the words “Go baby, go!” inscribed beneath?  Nothing to be ashamed of you know.  Go on, tell me.

I’ll sign off and start a new letter on Monday.

Cheerio J

father J crop

Sketch by J

What’s it all about?

Wisdom of J

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