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Sunday, August 15, 2010

47th email

----- Original Message -----
From: Dom Borax
To: Stacey Marchenkova
Sent: Sunday, May 23rd, 1999 11:31 AM
Subject: RE RE RE RE So sorry


When it all gets too much for me I book myself into the Hilton Hotel in town for a night. I’ve been doing this for the last year of so when the black dogs come calling.

I checked in last night.

I do this because I need to go to a place that is anonymous; a place where there is nothing of me to get in the way; a place where my smell is faint and the sheets are clean.

The first thing I do when I get to the hotel is run a bath. A really hot both. I take out my toiletry bag and remove soap, shampoo, shaving foam and razor.

Once the bath is filled, I don’t get in it. I let it ripple, close the bathroom door and climb into the king size bed.

Once in the bed, I ring room service. I order a club sandwich and a bottle of wine. Once it arrives I eat, drink and watch about half an inhouse movie. (Rushmore, if you’re interested)

All the while the bath is still filled and losing heat.

Once the movie is finished, I open my suitcase. Inside is a shine of cleaning products (not sure what the collective of cleaning products would be; shine will do for now)

I get my cleaning products out and then I clean the room. I know the room is clean, but I clean it again. I really clean it. I polish and buff. The windows become sparkling and each crevice and cornice is grooved with cotton buds removing any speck of filth.

Once the bedroom is cleaned I move into the bathroom. I clean there too. The toilet is scrubbed, the sink is scrubbed and the floor is mopped.

But I avoid the bath. It’s still filled with water; getting colder now. The steam is dissipating but there’s condensation on the white tiles.

I dip my hand in the water. I’m always surprised that it’s still warm. But I don’t get in it. I can’t get it. I want to so badly to get in it, but I don’t. I have one final task to do.

I leave the bathroom and return to the bedroom. I sit at the desk and take out some hotel stationary.

I grab a pen and start writing. It’s self addressed and the contents are a list of all the good things in my life.

The list always starts with Oftenbark and family and tends to make its way down to such things as my adequate way with words and my ability to make some strangers laugh. (In regard to making strangers laugh - I’m talking about this homeless guy outside Central Station who laughed at my unconscious impression of the arrivals announcement over the PA system. However he also laughed at his own middle toe that twitched involuntarily seconds after. But I’m still gonna claim this one for Dom’s house of chuckles.)

Then I take the letter and return to the bathroom.

It’s time to get in the bath.

I climb in, it’s colder now and my skin bubbles with goosebumps.

I clean myself first; I need to be clean. Then I read the letter out loud. And last night was no different, except for one key element:

You were on my happy list.

Oftenbark was there, my flat mate was there, my family were there and you were there. You were on my list of good things.

Thank you for that, even if it was just for one Saturday night, thank you. I’d so hate to lose you.


PS See I am a depressive after all; it wasn't just a costume.


  1. aaaaaaaaaaarghhhhhhhhhhhh absolute mind blow .


    I don't. know . what . to think . of this ..

    Is he being brutally honest.. or just begging for the biggest sympathy vote of all time?

    "..and you were there. You were on my list of good things.

    Thank you for that, even if it was just for one Saturday night, thank you. I’d so hate to lose you." is the killer.

    ..From my own experience.. it always is.

  2. GAH! That sounds like a ritual that a serial killer would go through before each and every murder!
    I like that he is seemingly trying to get her to feel even worse. At least by my interpretation.
    He still comes off as a bit crazy though....Just throwing that out there.
    I am interested to see how she takes this. Either she feels terrible about what she did and suggests they meet again....or she freaks out because she can tell that's what he's trying to do.
    Or neither, I really can't tell where this is going anymore.
    Either way this is kind of funny....

  3. Books Dom should read in the bath:

    Catcher in the Rye
    Seymour: an Introduction/Raise High the Roofbeams Carpenters
    The Diceman
    The Myth of Sysiphus
    Stories in an Almost Classical Mode

  4. Objects Dom should not pack in his suitcase:

    fresh socks
    chewing gum

  5. Novels Dom should write in a hotel room:

    Marmalade for Cows
    The Lemon Trees are Leaking
    Fresh Sheets and Obligations: a memoire

  6. Cynics who should not comment on Dom's hotel episode:


    Advice to Dom:

    Do, don't write
    Live, don't list
    Be, don't bleat

    Tragic flaws of Dom's worldview:

    He's a romantic
    Everything is romantic
    Despair is romantic
    Self revelation is romantic
    Romance is romantic
    Failure is romantic
    Stacey isn't romantic

  7. ahahahahah AHAHAHAHAHA i dont think the definition for LOL sheds enough light on how loud i am laughing right now Duncan. I am patiently waiting for Lance to come blow this shit right up out of the water haha i am presuming an implosion of fury at epic proportions!

  8. awesome lists btw, Duncan. Gold.

  9. a man who carries cleaning products and likes cleaning toilets... now there's a novel idea! But seriously ASD or OCC I'm afraid. is he going for the sympathy fuck?

  10. I think he needs to make up his mind. I mean, what does he want?

    a girl?
    to write?
    to despair/feel (limited definition of "feel" for Dom, I fear)?
    an audience (of one? jeez, Dom, get some ambition!)?
    to love (not convinced)?

    I just realised that if I was ever to meet my younger self, I'd beat the shit out of him (sorry younger self, not impressed)

  11. Hiranga, I know I was worried about this posting. I think he's being brutally honest. but he is letting her know he's hurting - but perhaps he's addicted to hurting.

  12. Steph, that's really funny. It does come off as a serial killer riff. And if Dom read that he'd be moritified, I think. He's so not wanting to portray himself in that way. I think he so wants to be seen as tragic.

    If it helps it gets back on track but their flaws are ever present.

  13. Duncan, so much to comment on. I love your replies. Though I don't for a second think you or Lance are cynics.

    Also I suspect Stacey is romantic and Dom passionately is hanging onto this. As one commenter said, she always replies.

    And I adore your listings. It's like you're channelling Dom and being annoyed at the same time. Indeed it would be annoying to channel someone who could be a little like yourself.

    Finally; your 'hate to meet younger self' comment is gold. But if it helps, I'd like to meet your younger self and protect him in the fight that's coming.

  14. Noosa Girl, very funny. This comment alone has made me question Dom's actions.

  15. Yes. A little over the top. But it's all just window-dressing for the fact that he is accepting that it (whatever it is) is over. He should have moved on from her after the last email. Though I like Dom a lot more than I like Stacey, I'm liking them both less and less each email.

  16. more bonkers than i my first response.Also he is not spellchecking/ year of so and run a both!...therefore crie de cour? ( or however that is spelt)...his heart cries out in anguish?... i think it does but his mind is there too, note the collective joke..a tentative thread to better days,a tiny hook to reel her mind in again, to make her smile.
    Actually with the bath and the list ..I am so there with dom.. maybe my craziness and his have some similarities. he loses me on the cleaning tho..i agree with steph I am thinking serial killer wierdness... but then i think maybe I could afford to clean more, bring more order to the world... who am I to disrespect this guys particular way of getting through the day..And i am amazed that he shared it cos it is very not ordinary, very not pedestrian... and maybe that is why he doe it... to share ones real self is the romantic dream and what has he got to lose..WW..

  17. Stephen, do you know if the real Dom and Stacey have been keeping up with unfolding events? Feel free to ignore this question at your discretion.

  18. ps... duncan, i love: do, don't write
    live, don't list
    be, don't it....but not the diceman !!!! what are you trying to do to him???!!!! WW

  19. Hoping the angst is all going to be worth it.. Trying to think of love stories with aspy's (Aspergers) or OCD folk that work... Jack Nicholson gets away with it in 'As good as it gets'.. but he is Jack Nicholson.. Josh Hartnett and Radha Mitchell both on the edge in 'Mozart & the Whale'... guess it's possible... i keep thinking the razor references aren't going to be good.

  20. Chris, I know what you mean, but I found I when read them thay my feelings bounced back and forth between them both. At one pint I liked Dom - then Stacey, then neither, then both.

    Eventually I enjoyed their honesty and flaws. I related in part and like Duncan saw my younger self in the characters.

    To answer your question if I've heard from the real folk; I think I'll keep that one a secret. Sorry.

  21. You know WW, I agree with you. It might seem a little bonkers but I think he's just working it all out. he has rituals that are actually quite healthy. It doesn't hurt anyone, he does soem cleaning and puts his thoughts in order.

    Some people run marathons
    Dom does this.

    It's so damn private. I wonder if he'll regret telling her.

  22. Nossa Girl, Woody Allen's stories generally don't work out well in the end and there full of Aspys.

    And I'm kinda amazed by the razor reference. I never noticed it.

    Do yout think Dom was thinking of doing himself in? Is this why the ritual? Is this a process of him convincing himself not to?

  23. Wow, that scared the hell out of me.
    I thought he was going to mention suicide or something. It was overly-dramatic. The back and forth e-mails between them is like torture now. They're torturing each other, trying to grasp something out of each other. Stacy probably still wants an apology and probably still wants to hurt Dom -- because he didn't persue her quick enough (which seems like a stupid reason)? And Dom wants Stacy to see how much she has hurt him and trying to show her how much he wanted her to begin with.

    This is so messed up.
    And maybe a little petty to have a fight through e-mails. I was pro-Dom earlier. But now, I'm neutral... until I see any improvement.

  24. I think life is over dramatic for all of us, it is in our nature to make something larger out of things that could remain small to add excitement to our lives. Though on the other side of the fence the pain is all too real and although the heart can take a beating, it is best to avoid it, like trans fats and alcohol. I am in love with this story, and Dom is an amazing person. He's a romantic, possibly eccentric at times but a true romantic and a similar character I strive to resemble. She broke his heart with the previous messages with those unnecessary details. It would break any mans heart, it broke my own heart for a moment, we are strong, but not stone.

  25. Stephanie, I think your thoughts about how they're torturing each other is really fascinating. It's so true. It made me ponder - wWhy do we torture others?

  26. HaveIMetHer, firstly welcome to the comments. Great to have your voice in the mix. It's funny; 'trans fat and alcohol' and heartbreaking. I agree, I think Dom is an amazing person. I think he's flawed, funny, romantic, vulnerable, manipulative at times and truly sensitive.

  27. Woah. Like Stephanie, I was pro-Dom and am now neutral. I have a BIT more sympathy for Stacey after this. Talk about not leaving out details! Hey Dom, Hypocrisy alarm is going off on Floor 12 of the Brisbane Hilton! I just don't think Stacey's last mail was heartfelt and fair enough to warrant this kind of self-revelation. Including the depressive bit. I think he should keep SOME kind of self-protection.

    Plus, the fact that he in that hotel feeling depressed presumably partly related to Stacey...why is she on the Good Things list? She hasn't made him feel good for like 5 emails now. You're right Stephen, he's addicted to hurting. And to risk writing too many details myself, I think that's probably quite typical of a depressive.

    (Admittedly though, I also love the anonymity of hotels, especially staying there alone. The cleaning products is another matter).

    So, MissyM's patented scoreboard analysis (hard to formulate for an email like this though..):

    Hypocrisy -1 Dom
    Romance +1 Dom
    Cringeworthy and verbose details -1 Dom
    Possible serial killer tendencies -1 Dom
    Our natural sympathy for someone in pain +1 Dom
    Watching Rushmore +1 Dom
    Stacey being on the Good List -1 Dom
    Using the term "Dom's House of Chuckles" -1 Dom

    This one goes to Stacey.

  28. This e-mail just comes off as very manipulative. It angered me, partly because it's similar to letters I've written in the past, of course, I don't quite have Dom's gift for writing, haha.

  29. MissyM, i actually liked Dom's House of Chuckles! :) ..but perhaps that's just quietly because i have my own Hiranga's house of Chuckles. Don't tell anyone - No one gets it anyway, and i always end up being the only one chuckling. :P

    I too was also thinking this was some kind of lead up to a potential suicide note.. I was expecting him to end up typing and a death-by-email-to-lover-in-bath-tub situation to occur or something equally poetic. ..And that part about it angered me too - cos he probably just told Stace all that just to make her feel bad.

    His list thing does seem like some sort of ritual to straighten out his thoughts.

    It's getting very messy.. the whole scene is just too morbid for me to make up my mind on any solid judgement.

  30. Missy M, I'm loving your patented scoreboard. Very funny.

    I too like the anonymity of hotels. There's something uncluttered about them. Dom must feel some kind of ease there. I however think it's a cry for help in a way. Please be kind to me, that's all I ask. I have faith that Stacey will read away the indulgence and offer some olive branch.

  31. I think I might have written a whole bunch of rubbish then. Sorry. Think I'm coming down with the flu.

  32. Jay, I love your confession. Made me chuckle.

  33. Hiranga, it is messy. I agree.

    I guess it makes their love story that little bit harder and real. Perhaps they have to get over themselves to find honesty - stop being the depressive and the nihilist - love will help S and D - I promise.

  34. I'm starting to believe Dom added a little bit too much information in that Email, his final point didn't need to include his entire ritual before hand.

    If anything is going to ruin things for ever, its probably this email.

  35. Guilt Trip. I think he's off the deep end. Stacey probably is just going to be creeped out by this one. Dom is like Mulan fighting an uphill battle against the Huns, except Dom doesn't have a cool dragon, or any hope for winning.

    I'm tempted to print these letters out, and anonymously drop them on my Language Arts teacher's desk. I think this would be more interesting to argue about than "The Glass Menagerie".

    I haven't been commenting as much because school has started up, and it's been crazy.

    --Jonathan H.

  36. Yay! Team neutral (for now), Missy! :)

  37. Yay! But....where's Lance? I would love his take on this. Dom's ASKING for it this time...

  38. Team Neutral FTW!!!

  39. Dux, I know how you feel. I was really nervous about posting this email. But I read it a s cry for help and have faith Stacey will read it too.
    I refuse to let it be ruined forever.

  40. Jonathan - welcome bacl. I had noted your absence and hope school isn't too crazy.
    And go ahead - print out emails. I'd love to hear what your language arts teacher would say.

  41. Arghh, I thought Stephanie and Steph T were the same person. Sorry. Seems Missy M's team nuetral is gaining momentum. Anyone wanna make the T-Shirts?

  42. i don't want to disappoint anyone but i thought this was Dom's finest moment. the ridiculous absurdity of it all. this was definitely the most entertaining email of them all. i've read it 5 times now and each time i laugh harder. some of these lines...

    "a place where my smell is faint and the sheets are clean."

    "I order a club sandwich and a bottle of wine."
    (i lose it on club sandwich every time...the fact that he specifies it has to be a club other sandwich will do...God i can't take it..."i order a club sandwich" - that is just amazing.

    "I clean myself first; I need to be clean."

    "You were on my happy list."

    - So many classic lines. the whole thing was so silly it's hard for me to comment on the whole dom/stacey thing as if it's real...but i will say that my take is that Dom realized he lost her and it's over and he thought "fuck it it's over, i might as well have some fun with this and just go bonkers" (which i admire). what's the worst that could happen? she doesn't fuck him again?

    admittedly i thought we hit a high point when Stacey wrote that brutally honest email about fucking Marcus. after that climax i started to lose interest (i can only invest so much time in 2 people i don't respect - hell i've spent more time thinking and communicating about dom and stacey in the last 2 months than i have spent communicating with my friends and family in 2 years. also i think a part of the reason i feel my interest fading is that i dont know how much longer this will go...when you read a book or watch a movie, at least you know when it will end - i mean, will there be 100 emails? 1000 emails?)

    however this recent email (and Duncan's awesome comments) were definitely an adrenaline shot into the series. i do hope it continues on this surreal path. i don't want stacey to be worried about him or take him seriously, and i want Dom to keep going with the OCD suicidal stalker angle. basically keep it entertaining guys (not really a fair request since the two of them didn't know they were writing for an audience).

  43. um, this mail and all the following comments have completely confused me...
    the mail itself made me think that Dom was opening up the dark side of his depression and letting someone in

    but then the dark side of perspectives clouded my vision... is he being manipulative? trying to gain sympathy? trying very hard to show he's weird and unloved? and the worst question of them all... is this how i come across to people when i open up bout my dark clouds?

    then i read duncan's comments about the books Dom should read and the book he could write, (especially Fresh Sheets and Obligations: a memoire!!) and as a person working with books, it just really made so much sense to me. Duncan has pretty much summed up all of D's passive aggressive insecurity, his moldering and odd laughter as a defense mechanism ruse and all that he wants to portray but isnt able to... hes like the geek in school who knew to do stuff but nobody wud let him so he's trying and trying to get attention

    thanks to Duncan i also understand lance's point about the silliness of this post... its just so melodramatic for the sake of being melodramatic... why else wud he share something so incredibly private with a girl who wrote the last email?

    @stephen - thanks for mentioning me, i cannot believe that u missed me between all of these amazing voices... that alone has made my day.

    @missy - your list is so so amazing, it really made me smile

    special thanks to Duncan for the most thought provoking comments -- intelligent beyond belief -- i feel like a baboon that is just trained enuf to pick up a banana (well not really but u know what i mean :)

  44. Lance, classic as always. And I think it's amazing that you have invested in these two more than your family. I feel for them, hoever missing out on your voice.

  45. Ah Ipshi, we did miss you, we did.
    I love that Duncan's comments have elevated the post; a post I have to say made me nervous.

    Personally I'm conflicted about the intention behind it. I think Dom was showing her his dark side but his sense of audience was misguided. It feels contrived and indulgent.

    If it helps tomorrow's post is easier and sorta sad as Dom tries to back peddle.

  46. contrived - exactly! thats the perfect word for what i feel about this too! wow, stephen, u hav such a way with words...

    by the way i respect the secrecy behind the real ppl thing but will u tell us once this is over? please? pretty please? prettiest plz with sugar on top? :)

  47. I agree with Lance here... for probably the first time. I think this is Dom's best email... I like it, brutal honesty...


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