The next letter I received from J was dated from 4/9/95 to 27/9/95 it was 23 pages long and just over 10,000 words, he named it “The Monster Letter”. I have broken it down into days for posting here.
Monday, 4 September 1995 9:18 AM
Oh God. God God God. How do I begin this one? Maybe with a swig from the neck of a Vodka bottle, that’s how it started in the first place. I went to that party on Saturday night. I got so drunk. So drunk. I can’t remember much, and nor do I want to. I’m so embarrassed S. I’m more than embarrassed, I’m actually ashamed. I feel like I’ve hitched up that self-loathing a few more notches on a permanent scale. If I wasn’t so earnest in my ignominy, I might write you another “piece” similar to the one that opened last week’s letter. Perhaps I could entitle it “Pisspot’s Finale”, because that’s what it was. My alcoholic finale: no encores. I wish I had the moral fortitude to never go out with my workmates in a social context again, because I can’t seem to limit myself to social drinking. I always slide into vodka swilling like some Botany-bound sea shanty singing rough-nut. I’m so ashamed. All I can remember is vomiting in their backyard like a dog. Hopefully I didn’t follow the metaphor completely through and eat it afterwards. Let’s reconstruct the evening in question.
Simon picks me up around 8pm. He’s a bit late, so I’ve been swigging my White Jesus for about half an hour. I only bought a medium size bottle of Smirnoff, knowing that I couldn’t get too blotto on half a bottle. Simon arrived, had one beer and we were off. We stopped over at an old workmate’s house in Richmond to pick up some more passengers. I got drunker, sitting on the beige carpet watching the new TAC ad. (Do you know about TAC [Transport Accident Commission] ads? They’re these incredibly graphic, mini pseudo cinema verite ads showing car accidents. Specialty: kids going under 4 wheel drives.) So I swigged my vodka, probably thinking that I looked real tough, Marlborough Man style. We got back in Simon’s car, went to another bottle shop, I bought another medium bottle of Smirnoff, and we arrived at the party. From there it’s a blur. Grubby vignettes flicker through a greasy TV screen of recollection, but I’m too afraid to delve any further. Simon tells me I kept all my clothes on. At least that’s something. I should have had a meal.
Same day, 1:00pm
Well, it doesn’t seem too bad. People have been dropping by, tantalizing me with their own little J stories, and none of them are indictable. I mean, I didn’t pick a fight, I didn’t sleaze on to anyone, I didn’t do anything really dumb (like climbing up on the roof for example). It’s just embarrassing. (How many times have I used that word in this letter?) I am aware that I really went over the edge this time though, let’s not get carried away with the revisionist reassurance here – I did a bad thing (shades of Hugh Grant). I know I was really bad because my hangover did not follow the established pattern: sickness, regret, housework. There was just regret. It was like a cuckoo pushing all the other sensations out of the nest. At least now I have some idea of what out-of-body experiences are like. I was at that party in body only, Sis.
I wish I could just regress back to childhood. I wanna be a kid again, carefree. I’m sick of worrying about my job, my social standing, my future. I’d just like to lay idle by a riverbank, straw hat tipped over my eyes, no-one within fifty miles. I feel like going for a swim. (Maybe it’s an “unclean” thing, or a “womb” thing, who knows, much less cares?”) I feel like just flying away, floating up and never coming back. Maybe I could take up a career as a cloud or something. I’d like to rain frogs in the mid-west Bible Belt of the USA, make ‘em think it’s Doomsday. I think it’s the self-effacing qualities of clouds that I really admire. I’d like to wipe my whole personality clean and start again.