Two affairs – one a little messy, one oh so VERY messy.

Friday, 26 July 1996  2:10pm

Hey S,

Went and saw Othello with Pippa at the Capitol cinema in Swanston Walk.  What a great cinema.  I remember it dimly from childhood.  I remember the freaky ceiling (all geometric with coloured lights.  Sounds tacky, but it’s not).  Lawrence Fishburne was better than I had hoped, and Kenneth Brannagh was good too.  One of the cast members was the lead in Brannagh’s Midwinter’s Tale that I saw about three weeks ago.

Bought some more of that Royal Sateen bed linen.  Got a valance and two more pillow cases.  Now I’ll have the full set.  Can’t wait.  I’ll be able to lie in bed and feel truly luxurious.

Well, I s’pose you’re waiting for me to get to the dirt, right?  The formerly apocryphal girlfriend that Fat-Head Dad blabbed about.  Don’t try and tell me he didn’t say something.  The timing of his call to you to whinge about not getting any photo’s of Brady’s first birthday party (he did whinge about that didn’t he). Dovetails too neatly with your call this morning to masquerade as a coincidence.  It’s my fault I guess.  I should have stuffed her under the bed when he came over.  Stoopid me thought it might be insensitive.  How I regret my folly now.

An Affair to Conceal

Well her name was (I’ll use past tense here. The lady in question is not dead, but past tense is convenient and lends the tale a wistful bent) Mia.  Red of hair, blue of eye.  He has no photo’s, unfortunately.  He thought of asking for one after the split, but it seemed a bit like shutting the gate after the horse had bolted.  It might also be misinterpreted as trophy hunting.  You know, “Can I have have a photo of you. And a pair of your knickers too, if you please.”  Decided he’d have to rely on his wobbly memory in his dotage.  Besides, he can idealize her more readily without hard evidence.

She was 24, and a textile designer.  What’s a textile designer?  I hear you ask.  Well, look at your curtains.  See the pattern?  Someone like Mia drew that, made prints of it, turned it into fabric, turned it into curtains (well someone else makes the curtains).  She had a job with Pacific Dunlop which she hated and wanted to leave.  Too much administrative work, not enough designing.

She was about five feet, seven inches tall.  Slim, and wore her loosely curly hair short.  She had nice teeth and drank her coffee strong with Vegemite crumpets and eggs in the morning.  She was hard of hearing and, if no-one else was about, would use an earphone to better hear the television.

She attended yoga classes and liked Agatha Christie novels.  She likes movies with subtitles because she wouldn’t have to listen too hard to the dialogue.

She lived in a double story terrace-house on Punt Road, just opposite the MCG.  You could hear the football crowd’s roar on Saturdays and Sundays; see the opposing tribes stream into the Colosseum in their woollen finery.

He met her through work colleagues, (Paige and Lisa) who set it all up for the feeble boy, who’s too much of a social cripple to meet girls on his own.  It was at a Vietnamese restaurant in Victoria Street, Richmond.  It took three dates (for want of a better word) before the relationship was cemented.

They were together for about six weeks.  He initiated the split, but was aware of it hovering on the horizon.  I won’t go into the gory details about the whys and wherefores.  Some occasional contact is maintained between the two.  They run into one another at social functions (Sophia’s birthday for example) and remain on reasonably civil terms.  She will occasionally have a go at him for some trifling matter.  “You never wanted to do anything when you were with me, and now you’ve got this roaring social life!”  He’s not bothered by it. He’s rather placid in these matters.

Well, that’s it really.  Six weeks on, six weeks off.  I’m rather philosophical (read: uncaring, apathetic, cold, distant, selfish…  Just pick one) about the whole thing.  I kind of wish I hadn’t done it because someone ended up getting hurt.  It was mean, albeit unintentional.  The path to hell, paved with good intentions. Can’t help feeling I laid another paver in my red brick road to perdition.

PS Sis, I am sorry for what Jack has done to you and I’m sorry that I was of no help, whatsoever, when you rang.  I am more than familiar with my own pain and misery but to hear you so upset threw me, I just don’t know what to do with the other people’s pain.  I wish there was more I could have said. Other than Dad, that level of betrayal is not something I have experienced first hand. I have done nothing but think of you and still, I don’t know what to say to you. I’m sorry.

Love J 001



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