I woke up just on the cusp of a hangover.

Monday, 19 April 1999

Dear S,

Weekend.  Friday night, left work drinks at 6:30, walked home to get ready for housemate Eddie’s birthday dinner at Kake di Hatti’s in Brunswick.  Cabbed there, very nearly got run over crossing the road to the bottle shop.  Beer, wine, ouzo au go go.  Sit at the table, we were the first lot there.  I sit next to Caleb’s girlfriend (can’t remember her name) who offers me tequila and luke warm water.  I accept graciously and drink only half, palming it off on Paige who sits on the other side of me.  When Eddie notices the seating arrangements he hollers “What’s with the seating? You’re meant to have an empty seat beside you!”  The empty seat for Iona, my potential paramour.  The glitter gal, remember her from letters of yesterweek?  I shook my head from side to side and swallowed hard, greasy tequila in the back of my throat. Paige then joined in with Eddie, I hissed at her to be quiet.  “I don’t want it looking obvious, goddammit.  She can sit opposite me.  Anyway, I’m stronger from front than in profile.”  Paige replies “Of course, your face is your fortune.’  Cruel isn’t it, how your own words come back to mock you?

We wait and wait and wait, and eventually everyone else shows, up to an hour late in some cases.  Eddie gets messy on ouzo, I share the wine with Paige and make witty light-hearted banter with Iona.  Best line of the night:

Someone else:   “Must have been a slow news day today.  Did anyone see in the paper that article about the horse that was struck by lightning?  the one that played Phar Lap in that film?”

J: “Yeah, shame about its name, Towering Inferno. Kinda prophetic, eh?”

Someone else: Snort. “Quite! If I had a horse I’d have to call it Immortality.”

J: “Do they still use horses to make glue? They could have shipped Tower’s body to the glue factory for his follow-up feature: ‘My Friend Sticker.'”

Of course, it doesn’t seem so good now, but humour is as easy as virtue when you’re slaggered.

After dinner (so cheap, so good) we piled into more cabs and headed off to “Dream” (a nightclub) in Carlton.  I was feeling about fifty years old Sis, but I was drunk enough to put the thought in concrete shoes and sink it to the bottom of my brain’s booze-pool.  We got thru the door cheap coz Eddie knows the DJ’s and bartenders.  I monopolized Iona for most of the night.  She dances better than Jennifer Beals.  I sat at the bar looking nervous, afraid of the disco demons that threatened to burst from under my skin and lead me to that dance floor on sinewy puppet strings.   I made better friends with Eddie’s friends.  I watched somberly, discretely the dances of a wheelchair bound woman, she was amazing. We stayed ’til late, not sure when, then headed back to my place with Paige, Alex, Iona and I in Iona’s car.  We got in, drank ouzo, drank coffee, chatted until Alex started to nod off.  Iona got up to go, gave Alex a hug, gave me a hug (ooh-wooooo!) and bounced into the night.

Saturday night was Lisa’s housewarming.  She lives with a real-life lesbian called Bella who’s really nice, good taste in films.  She laughed at my veggie burgers. (It was a barbeque.) The cops were called around midnight, but it was OK coz one of the people there had slept with one of them.  No wuckas, mate.

Paige got absolutely bladdered.  She was drinking Fruity Lexia.  (We used to call it Fruity Apoplexia).  I had a good time, got slaggered myself, talked to Jess Butterworth who’s really good friends with Louise, so I needed to be on my guard.  Especially seeing how I hit on Jess’s housemate about a fortnight after I broke up with Louise. But we got along really well. Ash (girl-Ash) was there too.  She also lives with Jess.  She gave me a lift home with Ash (boy-Ash).  The four of us stopped at Hungry Jacks on the way home, me in fine form, gettin’ the laffs but I can’t remember how exactly.  I did sleep in my clothes tho, so I’m guessing it wasn’t thru nudity.  Sunday morning I woke up just on the cusp of a hangover at 9am. Still drunk tho.  I could feel it pressing, the hangover.  Like in horror films how the nightie-clad heroine sits up in bed and holds her shivering shoulders, looking about her, not seeing the monster that’s pushing thru the wall behind her, above the bed. But she feels it’s imminence. That’s a long winded way of saying “Hangover ahoy!”  I lumbered out of bed, gulped down some more water, cooling my brow with the glass just like they do on the adverts.  And back to bed.  Boy-Ash was sleeping in the lounge room.  He’s living out in the sticks with his dad, between houses so we let him stay over all the time.  He left a PlayStation game for us but left one of the discs at his place. Frustrating.  It has one of the worst names for a game hero I’ve ever heard – “Solid Snake.”  Yup. And his evil double is called “Liquid Snake.”  Sadly, the Benny Hill possibilities of this are never explored.

Spent Sunday just lounging around, picking at the platter of food that Paige brought home from the second party she went to, a 21st.  Eddie’s friend Boz came over, we played PlayStation games, drank coffee, they smoked cigarettes (so much for Eddie giving up), Paige made chips with blue cheese sauce (bit rich for me).  I didn’t set foot outside the house all day, not even into the backyard.

I applied for a job on Thursday.  Assistant Editor at Pearson Educational (part of Longman, which is part of something else, ad infinitum).  It’s probably a bit below me, but it’s good to get into a big company like that, room to move, good experience.  And I just can’t stand it here without my much-mourned headphones.  Just the act of applying for this job has lifted my spirits no end. I’m terrified I might actually get it, but I reckon they’ll give me the over-qualified line.  (If I get the under-qualified line I’ll just die.)  Let me tell you Sis, I am relishing the idea of telling my boss that I’ve got another job, and he doesn’t have enough money to make me stay.  Or that I’d stay for an extra $10K and the removal of the collar and tie policy.  Saint J, vanquisher of the overlord, liberator of the mufti!

I bought Saturday’s paper also, but I haven’t looked through the employment section yet.  I have to be in just the right mood.  I’ll do it tonight, after a movie.  Monday night is the Arthouse cheapie night.  Tuesday is the mainstream cheapie night. “Tight-Arse Tuesday” they call it.


Tuesday 20 April, 1999

Skived off work two hours early yesterday to go shopping with Paige.  It was great. I was looking for a purple open-necked satin shirt, white belt and white loafers to go with my gold suit for a cocktail party this weekend.  I didn’t find the shirt the shoes or the belt, but I did find a dreadful brown suit, single-breasted, two button.  The pants are a little short tho, so I’m getting them let down later this week (do it gently, J).  And I bought some absolutely cracker ties.  I got this spiffy little Givenchy number: pink, white and black stripes, about as wide as a new tube of toothpaste.  A flat orange one (goes nicely with the suit and the bone shirt I bought).  A brown one, similar width to the Givenchy one.  The the piss da resistance.  A British Racing Green number, a bit wider than the palm of my hand.  It has small dots and flowers on it in lime green and orange. In Dick’s [our father] highest accolade… “Superb.  Absolutely superb.”

Gotta run Sis.

PS Mums birthday 001


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