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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

110th email

From: Dom Borax
To: Stacey Marchenkova
Sent: Sunday July 8th 1999, 14:54 PM
Subject: Pancake thank you

Good Afternoon Stacey, thank you so much for the Pancakes. It was lovely.

Elsa is still sleeping when I got home. I did get a grumble that she hoped I had a nice time, though.

As it happened it was nice just hanging with you. We haven’t done it in ages. There always seems to be other people around. Not that I’m complaining. It’s just you’re so damn popular, girl.

Funny to see Marcus’s flat again - towels, bath mat, large framed and ironically expensive Posters that drip with Soviet aesthetics. I mean, jeez, who knew that Lenin was so expensive.

Anwyay – odd to see the flat again and man, it was a weird week I spent with Marcus last year.

And as promised - this is what happened that set me on Marcus’ couch. Reliving it earlier would have certainly ruined the pancakes.

So; it started with a girl. I mean it always starts with a girl, right?

See, I’d just split up with this girl. Her name was Therese. We’d been seeing each other since high school and had just started living together.

She was smart, sweet with a very strange best friend.

His name was Russell. He was a complete attention seeker. He was this wannabe actor with a passive father who raised Greyhounds and a domineering mother who looked like Elizabeth Taylor.

Fortunately Russell was amusing. But he was very possessive over Therese. They’d known each other since primary school and they often declared arrogantly that they were best friends to strangers. Russell sent Therese her first ever Valentine’s card and Therese had seen Russell naked “accidentally” on at least two occasions.

Strangely I knew and trusted their physical intimacy. He would often ask her to sit on his lap, braid her hair and pinch and grab her. He liked to gently bite her eyebrow and she often held his hand when we all watched a scary movie.

And I have to stress, it wasn’t romantic. Really, it wasn’t romantic.

Six months ago, he came out and it all made sense. He felt because of his choice, he had the right to be overtly physical with her. He felt he had the right to own her as sex was never going to get in the way.

And he worked it. Boy did he work it.

He made her laugh more than I did.
He was allowed to show more public affection than I did.
They shared secrets.

One night around November of last year, Therese and Russell went to Sydney for a trip to see another one of their tight-knit friends. They’d been planning this trip for ages. They saved up, caught the train and stayed with their mutual friend in her share house in Darlinghurst; 6 bedrooms - near the Taxi Club, from memory.

I was not invited to join them.

Russell had stressed that this was a Therese and Russell trip. He didn’t think I’d fit in with their Sydney friends and besides we were all getting that little bit older and this might be the last chance they had to share some quality time together.

After they went I spoke to her on the phone. She said she missed me and really wished I was there. She was certain her friend wouldn’t mind either. There was a couch in the living room big enough for two.

As she was talking I could here Russell in the background, holding court and making people laugh. He even interrupted our call pretending to be an operator demanding that the line was free in case of emergencies and witty banter.

The following day I bought a train ticket and went to Sydney to see Therese.

This really annoyed Russell.

The first night I got to Sydney, Russell had organised a dinner for Therese and some other friends.

I was not invited.

Therese thought it was poor form. But Russell said he had already bought the ingredients and there wasn’t enough food for me too.

So I spent my first night in Sydney, alone, waiting for their dinner to be over. I roamed around Circular Key, trying to make friends with the Buskers and counting the boats on the harbour.

Finally I went back to the Darlinghurst home around midnight.

The dinner had wrapped up and Russell was dressed as an old woman. The Old Woman was Therese’s long lost Aunt Maxine (one of Russell’s many characters. He liked to pretend to be other people.)

As Maxine, Russell wore this second hand lavender dress. He had this grey wig and custom made false teeth (from his Brother Dentist) that made him slur. His false breasts, made from stitched-in gym socks, rested on his hips. His heavy fabric pearl coloured tights had multiple ladders.

But all this design was nothing to the spirit of Aunt Maxine.

Aunt Maxine was filthy. And this night in Darlinghust was no exception.
Aunt Amaxine was on a roll, discussing the importance of genital hygiene and recalling bogus story’s of Therese’s lack of maintenance.

I tried to join the laughter but as soon as Russell saw me he turned his improvisation in my direction.

Russell (as Aunt Maxine): And here’s a nice clean boy. He washes himself all the time. He’s so clean; I can’t smell him at all. It’s like he doesn’t exist. As if he’s not here. And I don’t trust it. He’s like an intruder.
Everyone laughed. I even laughed trying to fit in.

But deep down I felt I was on the outside.

As the night went on, people dropped off, went to bed, went home. And soon it was only Russell, Therese and I. He had taken the wig off and his false teeth were floating in a small glass of Scotch.

Russell (as Russell): Well I’m going to brush my teeth. Are you coming Therese?
There was an awkward moment. I wasn’t sure what was happening.

Russell: Dom, there’s your couch.
And there it was. Russell and Therese had been sharing a bed and I was again not invited.

Later, on the couch and alone, I couldn’t sleep. I felt betrayed. Therese was my girlfriend. We should be spending the night together.

Soon I became obsessed. I wasn’t going to take it anymore. I crept upstairs to their room and carefully opened the door.

I could see them, lying in the bed together. They were spooning and Russell was snoring. I whispered to Therese that I needed to speak to her. She didn’t wake up. I whispered again, a little louder. She stirred.
Russell stirred too. He told me to fuck off. He was tired.

I skulked out of the room. But in the corridor, anger started to build. This wasn’t right.

I re-entered the bedroom. But before I could get a word out, Russell let me have it.

Russell: How dare you. I am trying to sleep. You know I can’t get back to sleep once I’ve woken up. What is wrong with you? Not only are you not welcome in this room, but you’re not welcome in this house.
I looked over at Therese who was now sitting up.

Dom: What you do you think, Therese?
Therese blinked.

Therese: I’ll sleep on the couch with you tomorrow, okay?

I nodded as this great sense of loss welled inside me. I knew I was never going to win. And as much as it hurt, I couldn’t be with her.

I turned and walked out of the room, offering a passing and final comment:

Dom: Okay.
I went back downstairs and packed. I wrote a small two word note ‘gone home’ so they wouldn’t be worried and went into the kitchen. I stole some fruit from the fridge and quietly left the Darlinghurst house and walked to Central Station.

The next train to Brisbane was a few hours away; so I found a little nook near a 24 hour coffee shop and managed to get a couple of hours sleep.

A week later they returned.

Russell was bullyish as ever; demanded an apology for my dramatic and selfish behaviour. Not only did I impress myself on his friends; I also left without thanking them. Who did I think I was?

Russell: Also, Therese thinks it’s best if you don’t see each other anymore.

Dom: Is this your decision or hers?

Russell: Hers of course. Who do you think I am?
I turned and walked away. But as I turned the corner, I realised I wasn’t thinking of Therese at all. I was only thinking of him.

I was in a relationship with Russell all along!

How did I fall for this?

I felt for Therese then. She had to break away from this guy too. I needed to see her and offer one final plea for our escape; perhaps the mountains; perhaps an island.

She didn’t listen. She just directed me to her room. My belongings where stacked neatly in the corner.

Therese: You can’t live here anymore.

Dom: You know that you need to get out of here too. Maybe not with me, but you still need to get out.

Therese: But I like it here.
I left without saying another word.

I contacted Marcus. We’d recently connected at University over a mutual disregard for our film genre classes. I knew his parents owned the inner city apartment he was living in. And I knew it had a spare room because I’d stayed there a few months back when we watched the film I am Cuba together and got hopelessly drunk on Rum.

He let me stay until I got my feet back in the ground.

That was nice of him. We watched so many films that week. Mostly political in nature, though we did have one night where we watched some Ben Hecht written films and delighted at his subversive and comic disrespect for the American upper classes of the forties.

A week later, I bumped into Elsa and moved into her place.

So all said and done; it’s funny how our pancake breakfast made me think of this again.

And how much it seems in the past.
And how much I was hurt.
And how much I look forward to the future.

Oftenbark misses you already by the way.


PS Oftenbark thanks you for his reference. I’m not quite sure what he’s talking about :)


  1. And a quick shout out to all readers, friends and family in Brisbane. Awful floods but you are fine and strong folk. Thoughts are with you.

    You are inspiring. Truly. In so many ways.
    Keep safe.

  2. Dom has as much bad luck with women as i do, I feel for the guy. I didn't realize he and Marcus were such close friends. Really puts a damper on things.

  3. yes, definately a shout out to everyone i know up in brissi. Stay strong.

    i found it ironic how Dom mentioned how Russell liked to pretend to be someone else...

    This email just reinforces my thoughts on Dom. That he's not a confrontational person, definately not an alpha male and not the type that is going to attract females with that sort of personality.

    im just wondering if Dom was making a connection between Russell and Marcus. They both stole his girlfriends, and he got screwed over by an alpha male who knew what they wanted. Both times the girls had a choice, and both times they didnt choose Dom.

    this is probably the most pivotal point of the email

    "And how much it seems in the past.
    And how much I was hurt.
    And how much I look forward to the future."

    looks like being their stirred up Dom pretty well. So much so that he needs to get on with a nother relationship to forget about the previous one...or at least screw Stacey on it, and that'd wipe out the bad memory of the couch with a good one.

    p.s. i can definately connect with the scene of this story. I spent countless hours in and around Sydney's Circular Quay and Sydneys CBD. But damn, the walk from Darlinghurst to Central is one reallly long walk!

  4. Here's a repost of my last comment in the last post:

    "A cursory Google search of their residences in 1999, with pictures:

    Dom's place of residence in 1999:

    Stacey's place of residence in 1999:

  5. @ randall -- didnt stephen say the addresses were made up?

    @ Don -- oh how do I love thee... let me count the ways...

  6. "Oftenbark misses you already by the way.

    PS Oftenbark thanks you for his reference. I’m not quite sure what he’s talking about :)"

    Signing off like that is such a lame move. He doesn't have the balls to say it his own damn self.

    I was hoping that the Oftenbark e-mails were just a way of bringing up certain truths about the relationships between Dom, Elsa, Stacey and Marcus and that they'd be left alone once the breakfast meeting was brokered, and Dom would take over and seize the fucking day (pardon my french)

    Dom clearly didn't bring up the references — the list of reasons why he and Stacey dig each other — during their face to face meeting.

    I'm disappointed that he did nothing more with Stacey than 'hang' and then chicken out of opening up to her with the couch story. Of course we'll never know what was said at breakfast, but it seems to me that Dom is retreating behind his keyboard.

    "There always seems to be other people around. Not that I’m complaining. It’s just you’re so damn popular, girl."

    This line seals it for me. Dom is hopeless, floundering and lacking any observable willingness to grab the bull by the horns.

    He should complain!! It might actually get him somewhere!!

    More so than usual, I await Stacey's reply with baited breath.

  7. Chris, Dom does have bad luck with women. I guess he's trying to work it all out. And I wouldn't worry about his friendship with Marcus. I think Marcus has already defined it by his actions and lack of respect for Dom.

  8. Nabs, I'm really enjoying your comments. But I wonder about your term Alpha male (or alpha mail - sorry) I'm curious about how you define alpha male and if Russell or Marcus fit into it.

    And yes the walk from Darlinghust to central is a stroll - but I've done it. Many times.

  9. Randall, that's great. But as Ipshi said I did make up the addresses. That being said I didn't think they existed. So it's thrilling to see them in the flesh. Indeed as far as I'm concerned they do (and Stacey's would be under water as we speak due to major floods - keep strong Brissie)

  10. Ipshi - miss your words and kindness. Hope all is okay.

  11. Anon (9:08), man - give it up to Dom.

    I have to repsond to these dissenters.

    I think Dom is saying it. He wrote it.
    He's being romantic and metaphoric. But who out there doens't love aq good poem ir piece of art of pop song. All metaphor - all indirect all swoon inducing.

    Anyway sorry for being blunt - just throwing it out there to be torn down by thoe more clever.

  12. and those that can type!!!
    (Man, so many typos - sorry)

  13. To those in Brisbane- stay safe! And with this post, it was nice to see Dom open up again, about being hurt in the past. Kind of sheds some light with how he acts w/ Stacey and Elsa. Thanks for posting, Stephen!

  14. yes dom is being romantic... hes putting his heart on this line like so many times before... even though he knows that stacey will hurt him like so many times before... but even knowing that can't make him stop being true to the person he is...

    a little lover boy... someone who believes in the truth of being true no matter what... o how i wud kill to be stacey

  15. true ipshi

    ..but i wouldnt kill to be Dom!

  16. Being Dom is no picnic... Been there done that. Could write a book. Ipshi you and I have discussed openness many times, I believe all things should be out on the table, sometimes though everything isn't always black and white. As far as the alpha male comment, I think I know what you mean Anon, I mean Dom is letting her know in a round a bout way what he feels. Where as Marcus just stepped up and did what he wanted. The guy in this story, was seemingly just a jerk in every since of the word. Seems like Dom kinda gets screwed over by them a lot.

  17. All that story tells me is that this has happened before and he didn't learn a thing. He should have taken that experience as a sign that he needs to stand up for himself and what he wants more often especially in this kind of situation. I agree with Anon and nabs, he needs to grow a pair.

  18. LOL hmm hearing women tell a guy to grow a pair haha, I think i'm in love lol.

  19. Lol Uh Oh, didn't mean to make anyone fall for me there, just agreeing with an opinion. I have witnessed and experienced too many guys who won't stand up for themselves or won't make a real move and it usually doesn't work. Indirect approaches are never a good thing, they usually only lead to the friend zone and situations like this one.

  20. Exactly, Steph. I was thinking further on the trials and tribulations of Dom and Stacey during my evening commute home from work and foresaw the same result for our Dom. Friend Zone looms large.

    But, the thing is, this correspondence keeps on throwing up surprises, so we'll have to keep on waiting!

    My ideal scenario, played out in the next couple e-mails:

    Remember, these last few e-mails were exchanged early July 1999. From here Dom and Stacey agree to meet again this week, but Dom pushes for a neutral place this time - be it a bar, restaurant, museum, bowling alley, cinema, wherever - and he puts his heart out there to Stacey, and she does likewise.

    Then, the next we hear of this will be an e-mail in a couple of weeks (in our timeline) dated August 1999, where Elsa and Marcus are a thing of the past and D & S speak of their love for one another, because of course they've had no need for e-mail conversations the last month for being stuck together at the hip.

  21. 100,000 hits are looming. I think we all need to spread the word! And yes, I'd love some of those aftermath emails we had in the early days!!! Come on, Dom. Sack up.


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