I could go to Uni, pass, get a great job and then get struck by lightning. It’s all very risky, isn’t it?


Friday, 31 May 1996  8:30am

Dear S,

Went and saw a film last night.  It was Kenneth Brannagh’s Midwinter’s Tale.  It was OK.  A bit predictable in places, a bit cliched, but at least Kenneth managed to keep his fat head off the screen for once.  Decided while sipping a coffee in Cafe Ritz (an embarrassing sort of place, on the corner of Exhibition and La Trobe) that it was time I went on a diet again.

Tuesday, 4 June 1996  8:04am

Hmm.  Not sure if the system is working properly, it flashed up some dodgy message about some CPU clock not being set when I logged on.  Anyway, at least I’m bright and early, oh yes.  Diet’s going well, I was only 200 calories over my goal yesterday, and I spent last night leafing through my vegetarian cookbook working out the fat and calorie contents of each meal, looking for some low-fat food (soups seem to be the best).  So much oil!  I’m gonna go buy a non-stick fry pan today so I can use less.  I’ve got my whole low-fat shopping list worked out.  I always get like this, all excited and keyed up in the first few days.  Sadly, the novelty fades so quickly, oh so quickly.

The non-TV thing is going well.  You know, I’m at the stage where I’m starting to wonder how I ever got anything done with it constantly beaming out those deadly rays of complacency at me.  God, how much crap I must have taken in over the years, for how many thousands and thousands of hours have I plonked myself in front of it?  It can’t be healthy.  And not just from a lack of exercise but from a radiation point of view as well.  I sit in front of this screen all day, and then go home and sit in front of another, all of my own choice.  I scurry from one building to another – I’m barely out of doors for more than half an hour.  It’s a very strange and unnatural way to live, don’t you think?  but, I guess we’re an unnatural species.

But my TV-free status is now under threat.  Dad has this spare TV and video left over from one of the businesses he’s sold, and he wants me to have it.  He says he has no where else to put it.  I’m a little worried he’s gonna appropriate the Phillips out of some revenge on Mum thing, but how can you turn down a free video?  I’m gonna dub all my favourite videos, then sever my antenna connection so I can only watch videos and use it only when I’ve actually got something specific to watch.  I am a bit worried though, I have done this before, gone without TV.  And as soon as I got it back on line, it was as if it had never gone.  I was back up to six hours a night in no time.

Outta bed before the crack of dawn today, which is not so hard in Winter, but I still feel virtuous.  I even exercised this morning.  Not much, I’m afraid my frail old bones aren’t up for much strenuous activity these days.  I imagine I’ll get better.  Actually, I know I’ll get worse.  I know exactly what will happen.  I’ll do my exercise for maybe a fortnight, and then one morning, mid sit-up, I’ll stop and look at myself and say…  ‘Why? Why are you bothering?  It’s not like it really matters.  A good body isn’t really going to get you anywhere.  The difference to your appearance when fully clothed will be minimal. And if someone decides to bonk you, they’re not gonna turn back at the last minute just because you’re three kilo’s over weight.’  And there it will finish.  Besides, it’s such bloody hard work.

Dad’s coming in to meet me for lunch today.  Shit, I’d better think of somewhere to go.  Somewhere different.  I’ll ask around.  Gotta finish off that Gunter Grass novel, I’ve had it for two weeks, it’s so slow.  I wish I had some sort of essay questions that I could do on the books I’m reading.  I reckon it would get me ready for uni, you know?  It’d make me take in the books a bit better too.  I kinda feel like studying something.  I can’t believe I wrote that.  But it’s true, I feel like doing something with my brain.  Hmmm, it’s all so risky.  Risky, risky, risky.  I could go and fail.  I could go and pass, and still not get a job.  I could go and get a job that’s not as good as the one I’ve got.  I could go and pass and get a great job and then get struck by lightning.  It’s all very risky, isn’t it Sis?  This does make me think that I ought to work a little harder on this edition of “Who the Fuck Cares” though.  It may be my last (how often have I said that?) and it needs to be up to scratch.  It’s hard to keep motivated though, when you’ve got people strolling past your desk all the time, asking you if you feel like a coffee, asking how you’re going, how was your weekend, how was that book I loaned you…..

Ms X is on the phone.  She works for Legacy.  Amazing, eh?  I can’t imagine ever doing something for someone else for free, can you?  She was just on the phone giving some sponge the hard word, saying ‘Your costs are too high, if you want more money we’re gonna have to take out a loan against your house’ and apparently that broke her.  Now she’s on the phone to her legacy boss, telling (with a note of pride in her voice) how she ‘broke that ‘dizzy blonde’, that ‘shame to the female race’. I guess that’s charity for ya, eh?

Just listening to Ms X deal with her charity cases on the phone and then call her supervisor (or whatever the correct term is), I see a queer duality.  I see the Christian goodness in helping, but the way that help is metered out, it’s with such a sneering condescension, almost ridicule.  I wonder if it’s a survival instinct?  If their naked need is so heart-wrenching that you have to look down on them to give yourself some distance and not get lost in their (presumed) misery and hopelessness. Who knows.



Scribble by S


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