The peculiarities of our troublesome Father.

Tuesday, 14 May 1996  8:30am

Went to the “Empress of India” in Carlton.  I was meeting Scottish Lisa from work and a few other people, all of whom I’d met before (bar one).  There were seven of us, we sat around just drinking and gossiping.  I must be getting old S, I spent a Saturday night ‘just chatting with friends’ (sounds like a coffee commercial) and I really enjoyed myself.  We didn’t go clubbing, didn’t watch a crap band play too loud in a pub with sticky carpet, didn’t trash someone’s house at a party.  Just sat, seven of us around a six-seater table, the thick end of a pool cue sliding between our heads every now and then from the game going on behind us.  Oh well.

Anyhoo, I found out some serious office gossip…a guy at work (let’s call him Starch, never know who might get their hands on this) made a full-on pass at a girl from work (Let’s call her Lactose).  Lactose was pissed, and was fending Starch off, but he offered her a lift home and ended up staying the night in the same bed, pawing at her, giving protestations of love, devotion, admiration… It’s very embarrassing for both parties, and they seem to be pretending it never happened with great aplomb.  I would never have guessed that something of this magnitude had taken place.  What makes the situation stickier for me is that one of Lactose’s friends (let’s call her Gluten) was chatting with me in the tea room on Friday afternoon, and looked at me with a cocked head, a smile playing at the corners of her mouth under lowered lids saying ‘There’s some serious secrets right near you J, and you have no idea, do you?’  Of course this was a red rag to a bull material, and I set about on Friday afternoon, determined to work out this puzzle.  I drilled Starch (good guess it turns out), but about the wrong girl, dammit.  So he answered my questions about this other girl, in this measured, sombre kind of tone, eyes lowered to his desk, asking where I’d gotten my suspicions from.  Stupidly, I told him.  So now, he’s gonna have a go at Gluten for spreading rumours.  This is where it gets worse.  I can’t stop Starch from having a go at Gluten without giving it away that Lactose had told me the full story, which I simply cannot do, because she made me expressly promise to never divulge it.  Hopefully they’ll hate me behind my back.  This is what you get for gossiping I suppose.

Dad called me yesterday.  He’s back from Pomona with Damien Green and co.  He had a go at me for not ringing Nana on Mother’s Day. Personally, I don’t understand why we have to do that.  It’s not Grandmother’s Day is it?  It’s one of those peculiarities of his clan, a cloying excess of sentimentality.  Anyway. Then he asks me if I saw Mum for Mother’s Day, and I tell him how I took her out for lunch and all that he he says really quickly ‘Oh that’s good, I didn’t realise you were keeping up contact, that’s good.’  I didn’t really catch on at the time, but later I thought ‘What does he mean, “I didn’t realise you were keeping up contact”?  She’s my Mum, I’m renting a house off her for fucks sake!’  Stupid, isn’t it?  I felt like ringing him back and telling him to go and get fucked, and to never talk to me again. Hateful, hateful man our Father. But you know that.



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