Found amongst J’s correspondence. He has typed it on his typewriter. I’m not sure if it is a Diary entry or if it was meant to be a letter, to me or someone else. I know I never received it. Think this may belong in the UNSENT file.
What: Paige’s Party
When: Friday, 18 October 1996
Who was there: Me, Tariq, Simon, Jeremy, Lisa, Darren, Henry The Brit, Vanessa, Neda
Who was not there: Pippa and her septuagenarian boyfriend
Simon picked me up around 9:30, and we headed straight off. We stopped at a bottleshop in Hawthorn for some booze. I opened the car door and with my foot already in the gutter, I turned to Simon and said:
“Well, what’ll it be?
“Half a dozen Light Ice, thanks. Here’s ten bucks.”
“Oakely dokely.” I chirped bouncing into the bottleshop.
As I entered, I realized that I was intending to have six Light Ice myself. Hmm, going to a party on a Friday night with nothing but Light Beer. Not very rock ‘n roll is it?
“What’ll it be, Squire?” asked the moustachioed innkeeper.
“Err, ten Light Ice and two Heineken’s, thanks mate.” I replied.
I couldn’t walk out with nothing but light beer. It’s this strategy I have now. I get mostly light beer, and then two “boutique” beers to nurse through most of the evening to look hip. I am a slave to popular opinion.
The Innkeeper (I love that term, it makes me think of medieval pubs where they serve mead or something) passed the bottles over the counter to me… in a Light Ice carton. Just super. So not only would I be walking into a party with mostly light beer, I would be advertising the fact with a whacking great box with “Light Ice” written all over it. We ditched the box on the way in.
When we pulled up, we saw Darren outside, hands jammed deep in his pockets against the chill. Simon wound down his window and slurred in a mock-wino drawl:
“Aww, gudday maaate. Iz there a paarty ’round ‘ere?”
“Aw, thank God it’s you” shivered Darren. “I’ve been standin’ out here for twenty minutes. I didn’t wanna go in in case there’s no-one else there I know.”
“Yeah, well, we’ll just find a park and you can hide behind J’s skirts” sniped Simon.
We found a park about thirty bloody miles down the road and came back for Darren. The front garden smelt like cat piss, but the house was just loverleee.
It was a bit quiet at first, and I was worried that it was going to turn into a typical work party, where we all (me included) sit around in a little huddle and don’t mix. It livened up as the evening progressed and the music got louder. With hindsight, I think I’d even go as far as to say that it was the best work function I’ve been to. Pleasantly crowded, nice people, good music, and I didn’t get appallingly sloshed.
Simon and Jeremy spent most of the night genuflecting at the feet of Vanessa, this new girl who’s really quite attractive. She just broke up with her boyfriend too. I dropped in now and then to provide a counterpoint to Simon and Jeremy’s blokiness, but I felt a bit self-conscious, kneeling on the carpet next to Julian, with Vanessa in a chair. It was a bit obvious for my taste.
Nathan got quite pissed, it was a bit like old days. He even trotted out the “Well may you say…” line. Simon and I split around 2am after Vanessa and her companion (who was a bit sexy too) left. Simon was shattered, the wind taken from his sails. Jeremy left at the same time. He wanted to go go go though. He was pleading with Simon to go with him to some club or other, but Simon was deflated, and wanted to go. And since I was trying hard to make it an inexpensive evening and didn’t want to fork out a cross-city taxi fare, I was going with him. We promised Jeremy a big Saturday night after Pippa’s party at the “Spready”. Geez, we’ll really have to deliver now. Wish I could get my hands on some artificial joy. It’s Spring and I feel like goin’ out and socializin’ and goin’ ’til dawn. How may apostrophes do you think I can put in one sentence?
Friday, 18 October 1996 7:30pm
Warming up for Lisa’s going way party. Wardrobe check: brown and black airwalk trainers, taupe cord flares, blue Adidas t-shirt. Hair: slightly quiffish, a good half-inch re-growth. Scent: CK One. Nails: clean. Breath: good. Prospects: middling.
Oh, most excitingly, I’ve actually taken a step towards University. I called them on Thursday and asked about that Community Access thingy and they sent me some papers on it. It’s costly, but I’m a bit nervous about committing fully to even a part-time degree. I think I’ll probably take Modern Literature. I’ve already read about four of the set texts, and of the others, I’ve read something by the authors at least. There’s a course thingy, to help people get used to studying again too. It costs $70, and I might bribe Leah to do it with me. I’m so chicken-shit. The more I read and re-read the stuff they sent me, the more I reckon I can do it. Geez, I don’t think I’ve been this positive about anything since, well, since ever really. I better have a good night tonight, I feel like having a good time. More coffee! Caffeine buzz will do, in the face of a shortage of the real thing. The real thing being coca cola, of course.