I mumbled like you’ve never heard a man mumble before.

Fax from J to S (J always posted letters, to receive a fax meant it was an ’emergency situation’


Friday 7 June 1996  17:16

Hey Sis,

Mum took off about 40 minutes ago, so you’re probably all excited and everything, and I don’t mean to bring you down, but I’ve got this kind of emergency situation goin’ on and I could use some advice.  Ok, here it is…

Wednesday, having lunch with our Father, discussing my career and blah blah blah (It’s all in the letter I sent a couple of days ago, which you wont have yet) and Dad says “Geez, you know the mining industry is really taking off, a fella could make some real money there, and there’s alotta opportunity.  Very broad range of jobs in the mining industry”. Then I say “Yeah, yeah” and slag off the mining industry for a while.

Then Dad says, “I’ve got a contact in the mining industry, quite high up.  I’m sure he could give you some direction.”  And I say “Oh yeah, right” ‘coz I’m starting to go cold on this idea, imagine some guy high up on the tree drilling me about my career when I’ve got no idea what I wanna do.  Then he fixes me with this steely stair and says “It’s Stuart, Lilith’s son.  Do you want his number?”  Of course, you know what I did, right?  I mumbled and stumbled and said “Geez, I’m not too sure, I don’t really know what I want to do just yet…” and so on, so Dad keeps up the stare and just repeats “Do you want his number?” another two fucking times.  So I keep looking down at the table and say “Yeah, why not, I’ll see what happens.  I’m not sure what I’m doing just yet”.

So we part company and the next day he calls me and gives me Stuart’s work number, home number and his wife’s name.  I go “Oh yeah, thanks Dad, I’ll keep it in mind…’  being as non-committal and negative as I can about the whole deal without actually telling him to get fucked.  You know how I can’t be direct about this stuff, and so does he, and I reckon he takes advantage of it, just pushing and pushing till I reluctantly acquiesce, more through default than anything.

So then he rings me again today, and says “Stuart will be down in Melbourne for a while, he’s coming over for dinner on Wednesday night, do you want to come over?”  Of course, I drew the line there, I mumbled like you’ve never heard a man mumble before, and he knew he was taking fucking liberties.  He said “I’ll understand if you can’t, Digger” and that was that (though he did offer to drive me there and home).  What a lovely car trip that would have been!

And still he goes on about Stuart getting in contact with me, I think he even talked about him meeting me for lunch (I can’t be sure about that, I am so enraged that I can hardly remember any more of the conversation) and then hangs up, me still muttering about not being sure.  He fucking well knows the score.  I reckon his slag Lilith is behind it, I really do.  Trying to drive a larger wedge between me and Dad.  It makes me so tooth-grindingly mad, I can’t stand it.  After the phone call I had to leave the office and march around the Treasury Gardens for half an hour, swearing to myself through clenched teeth to calm down.

How on earth did he think anything like this could take place?  How am I supposed to go on bended knee to this guy (who might be quite nice, I’ve nothing against someone I don’t know) who knows damn well that I can’t stand his mother?  That wouldn’t be awkward at all, would it?  Oh yes, just fuckin’ dandy.  And then there’s the concern that he might put the hard word on me as to why I don’t have anything to do with his Mother, that’d be nice too.  I mean, who knows what this guy’s been told? He might think his Mum and I are best buddies.  FUCK FUCK FUCK.

So anyway, to get to the point of burdening you with all this crap (and I do know that this is all crap, life is just a sea of crap) is that I want some advice – WHAT THE HELL DO I DO?  How can I slither our of this without having to take a stance, something I am most loathe to do at the best of times.  He’s really pushing it S.  Really really.  I’m sure she’s behind it.  What do I do?  To not meet him seems outlandishly rude and will require further explanation of “Why not?” and I don’t want to do that.  I’m not sure how long Stuart will be down here, I did think of going to ground and pulling my phone out of the wall, but I’m worried he’ll pull some stunt like just turning up at work.  It just never gets any fucking easier.  Give me a call tomorrow at home, in the morning. I’m going out tonight to get plastered.

Emergency fax 001

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