I think I might have peaked as far as socializing goes.

Wednesday, 30 August 1995 9:23am

Great start to the morning, Sis.  I get in to work and there’s an invitation to a party on my desk.  Lisa (one of the other Editors here) is having a house-cooling (as opposed to house-warming party.”)  And – dammit! – they’ve given me too much notice to have a bogus excuse – “Oh sorry, the second of September?  I’ve got an orange-peeling class that night.  What a shame! I do hope you have a nice party.” It’s not that I dislike Lisa (actually she’s quite alright really), I just don’t feel like  “doing the party thing”, you know? I just want the quiet life Sis. I just wanna sit in my house and read.  I think might have peaked as far as socializing goes, I’m sliding into my middle age where life beats to a different rhythm.  Gone is the staccato jive of my youth.  I stroll ponderously to the slow, plodding time of the great wind-down.  I’m talkin’ crap here aren’t I? Just making excuses for my laziness.  As I said in one of my last letters, I value inactivity more highly than friendship – more highly than anything really.

Went to the doctor last night (waited over an hour – henceforth appointments are a must) and he had no idea what these bites were really.  He gave me some cream (God how hideous – I’m using creams! Decrepitude has swallowed this Jonah whole.) and more or less told me to wait and see. Wait and see?!!

Ever think about redemption S?  I was re-reading some of that Strachey book on the tram this morning and it was taking the piss out of the Catholic Cardinal guy regarding his pricks of conscience and I thought to myself “Redemption. There’s something I don’ think about much.”  It’s true.  Whenever I do something that I feel a bit bad about (like on the tram this morning.  There were two seats, one right near me next to a huge fatty who would take up most of the seat, leaving one of my buttocks dangling perilously over the edge of the seat, or there was one a few steps away next to a thin person – I walked fast the fatty and sat next to skinny) I feel bad only until something else comes along to distract me “Look! That lady just got run over! Do you ever wonder what drive the religious?  Why they feel so bad about themselves? So bad that they’re even remorseful about their thoughts for fuck’s sake? So then I start musing on all the horrible things I’ve done, and how little they bother me, and wonder if I should do something nice for someone just as an experiment.  But then I think “Yeah, it’s an interesting idea now, but what happens if I get addicted to atonement?  What if I start trying to make up for everything? Oh, there’s a pretty picture, J the Penitent – no thanks.”  It took up a few minutes of thought-time on the tram anyway.

same day. 2:24pm

Thinking about unemployment.  I was watching the “Simpsons” last night, and Otto (the bus driver) was saying how he was held back in the fourth grade, and look at him now, driving school buses (he said it like it was a good thing) I started thinking about how thin the division between prosperity and destitution is.  And about how crap my life would be without my job.  And how I’m likely to get another because I’m unqualified.  And what if I go back to uni and failed – unqualified and unemployed. How I quail at the very shadow of confrontation.  I’m worried that I’ll get nothing from the boss, and then he’ll get rid of me because he’ll think I’m gonna leave soon anyway.  And to tell the truth, I can’t really see myself doing anything else.  It’s weird, it’s like it’s not really work, it’s more like school here. I mean there’s even parties for Christ’s sake. How would I fare in the real world?  This letter has certainly taken a gloomy turn.

Both boss and 2nd in charge are at a book launch, some footy bloke.  Looking forward to the weekend, just to get through the week.  Need a holiday.  Need a new book.  Need some new glasses, new haircut…..

It’s odd not having my glasses.  When I’m walking in the street, I can’t read people’s faces, nor recognize them.and because of some embarrassing mistakes (waving at people I don’t actually know) I always avoid every eye on the street now.  It’s curiously isolating to stop that subtle everyday contact.  Might go down to the optometrist in Bourke Street and make an appointment for Friday.  Can’t take driving lessons if I can’t see.

J

 

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