It’s the type of voice that sours milk, makes fruit fall from the trees, send a babe-in-arms cross-eyed.

Thursday, 2 November 1995  4:28pm

Howdy Sis,

Dad just came in and met me for lunch.  We had bagels in Collins Place.  He asked me what “baggles” were.  I talked him into trying one.  He went for the Hawaiian. I think he wants to make this lunching a regular thing, which worries me a bit.  I don’t know if I can come up with half an hour’s conversation for him every week.

God, it’s been a boring day.  I’ve more or less finished everything I can do, I’m waiting for another proof from the computer guy here.  It’s really stuffy in this office, 24° today, but it was 28° yesterday, and the days pile up upon one another like bad farts, one hot day mingling with the remnants of its predecessor.  I wanna go home and sit on my back doorstep, my bare feet on the warm concrete as my loads of white washing flutter in the warm north-easterly wind that has wound its way from Darwin to my backyard, pregnant with pollen and dust to make me sneeze.   I’m in a lyrical mood Sis.

Ms X has been in my ear all day, I hear her calling out to the despatch guy every time his phone rings to check if he’s there to answer the phone, it’s inane. Every time “There Mick?” in the exact same intonation. Time after time after time. “There Mick?” “There Mick?” It makes me want to scream. So it gets to the point where I can’t stand it so I go for a walk around the office.  Then I get back and she’s sitting in my seat, waiting for me with the rigid-spined attention of a child.  And then I can smell her on my seat for the next few hours. There is no respite.

 

Friday, 3 November 1995  3:22pm

Friday, blessed Friday.  So glad to be seeing the tail-end of this one. Though it’s not really the tail-end.  I was offered some overtime (paid, oddly enough) in despatch for tomorrow, and seeing as how my little shopping expeditions have eaten into my saving so voraciously, I took it.  I’m coming in tomorrow with Habib. We’ll be packing “Who the Fuck Cares” books, about one hundred of them, then opening return-to-sender mail.  I don’t really feel like it, and if I thought I could get out of it, I probably would, but I do need the money. Since I stopped saving (about a month ago) I have realized how little money I earn.  I mean, I always assumed that I was going without because I was saving.  Now I realize that even if I don’t save, I’m still going without, really.  If I wanted to have a normal life, with socializing and everything, maybe eat in a restaurant once a fortnight, buy myself some clothes now and then, maybe something for the house – I would need an extra $60 a week. No kidding.  Dammit S, I don’t work like a low-income earner!   I’m just so sick of it. Sick sick sick.  I get like this every year about this time. Perhaps I’m just not cut out for this type of stressful work. Perhaps I should move into the fast lane of librarianship or something.

At least I have four days respite from Ms X. She left at 2:30 and wont be back until Wednesday (Tuesday is Melbourne Cup Public Holiday). Thank god, I need a rest from her voice (“There Mick?” “There Mick?”).  It’s the type of voice that sours milk, makes fruit fall from the trees, send a babe-in-arms cross-eyed.  Still, her absence means that I’ll have to do the final proof of Volume 1 by myself.  I can see that I’m going to be a barrel of laughs at drinks tonight. Think I might leave early like I did last week.

Went to the bank before and got served by the Cute-Girl. Cute-Girl is leaving, she’s off to a year’s work experience for her Architecture Degree. I discerned this from her chirpy chatter with the customer before me.  I’ve never actually spoken to her, I only speak to the old, ugly ones.  I never speak to cute women in a customer service type situation.  I always feel like some fat old businessman has deliberately hired them to lure men in, and I don’t want to make the fat old businessman right.  On the way into the bank I noticed a discarded shoulder pad lying near a marble bench in Collins Place. Just one. It made me smile.  I thought, “In a park you get squishy condoms, in Collins Place you get lonely shoulder-pads.” Somewhere in Melbourne there is a woman with very lopsided shoulders.

Well Friday is nearly done Sis.

J

 

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