Email me

Sunday, February 27, 2011

140th email

From: Stacey Marchenkova
To: Dom Borax
Sent: Monday July 22nd July 1999, 20:21 PM
Subject: Elliot Smith

I love Elliot Smith.


PS and apologising in case you offended me is not an apology even it wasn’t your intention…it’s a safety response…

no rue…

and a slight, I reckon…putting it back on me…

it’s like when people say ‘I’m sorry, but…’

the but usually implies that you should have never been offended in the first place or that…it actually might be your fault all along…

“I’m sorry…but you’re a liar…’

If you know what I mean…

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

139th email

From: Dom Borax
To: Stacey Marchenkova
Sent: Saturday July 20th, 1999 10:21 AM
Subject: RE RE RE RE RE RE RE RE RE Had an adventure

Stacey, okay not sure what’s going on here but I feel I need to state; nay to stress that at no time did I understand your position (or understand why I used the word nay).

But seriously, I never pretended to understand nor did I secretly believe I did understand and was playing it down thus being patronising.

See that would be shitty and I am not a shitty person. No fucking way.
I suggest what you should do is believe that I truly didn’t understand – just like that great Elliot Smith song.

“You once talked to me about love
And you painted pictures of a Never-Never Land
And I could've gone to that place
But I didn't understand. I didn’t understand”

Because it’s true; I didn’t understand either. Really. Really. Really.
(And boy do I love that song)

Finally my offering of hope in previous emails was because I trusted you did understand.

I trusted you’d make the right decision for yourself.

I trusted you.

Anyway I apologise if I offended you. It was ne’er my intention (as is never using the word ne’er again)


Sunday, February 20, 2011

135th - 138th email

From: Dom Borax
To: Stacey Marchenkova
Sent: Thursday July 18th, 1999 9:01 AM
Subject: RE RE RE RE RE Had an adventure

So are you guys back together?

From: Stacey Marchenkova
To: Dom Borax
Sent: Thursday July 18th July 1999, 22:31 PM
Subject: RE RE RE RE RE RE Had an adventure

I don’t think so…I don’t think I want it…but things are different…he’s been staying here and not reading before going to sleep…sex is better and he shuts up when I tell him to shut up…

I am a little confused.

How’s things with Elsa?

From: Dom Borax
To: Stacey Marchenkova
Sent: Friday July 19th, 1999 8:51 AM
Subject: RE RE RE RE RE RE RE Had an adventure

Things are fine with Elsa. But we both hope that you’re looking after yourself. Of course we support you in whatever decision you make.


From: Stacey Marchenkova
To: Dom Borax
Sent: Friday July 19th July 1999, 21:05 PM
Subject: RE RE RE RE RE RE RE RE Had an adventure

Hang on a second… your email sounds final…I’m not making any decision here…

I’m not thinking of returning to Marcus or leaving…indeed this seems quite pure…we’re just in this moment together…yes it’s intimate…but I have found that sex is the closest I get to being in the moment…and if I shut out the fantasy and just focus on the physical it’s perfect…

I know Marcus isn’t quite in the moment…but I don’t care…he’s only a few beats behind or ahead…and we’re not fighting and I’m in control…

So to have you mention that I need to make a choice about being with him or leaving him indefinitely is really insulting…

And patronising…

I mean, come on, Dom…where do you get off? You’ll support whatever decision I make?

You sound like this councillor my mother made me see when I was fifteen…she wouldn’t take a position either…instead playing both sides in a crude attempt to make it seem that she truly understood…

…but she didn’t…she didn’t understand either position…but fuck me if she was going to reveal that…no…she had to stay that one professional step ahead of me because it made her feel better…

I still see her sometimes in the Library…and she pretends to not know me…

I’m going now before I get really angry…

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

134th email

From: Stacey Marchenkova
To: Dom Borax
Sent: Wednesday July 18th July 1999, 20:55 PM
Subject: RE RE RE RE Had an adventure

Thank you, Dom…but I’m not feeling unloved…I’m having great break up sex with Marcus…been going on a few days…



Sunday, February 13, 2011

133rd email

From: Dom Borax
To: Stacey Marchenkova
Sent: Tuesday July 17th, 1999 9:21 AM
Subject: RE RE RE Had an adventure

Hey Stacey, that was one of the nicest things anyone has ever said to me.

You are one of my favourite things too.

And if things are still a little rough, the offer for a quiet dinner with loud company still stands.

I’d hate to think you’re lonely and feeling unloved.


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

132nd email

From: Stacey Marchenkova
To: Dom Borax
Sent: Monday July 16th July 1999, 23:29 PM
Subject: RE RE Had an adventure

Hi Dom, sorry I missed your messages yesterday…I had to deal with the fallout...

Marcus came over in the afternoon…he was in tears…

I tried to get him to leave but he was a right old mess…he wanted to know what he did wrong and why I was being so blunt…

I showed him the email I sent you…the story of Bill the blind kind woollen underlay customer… (as I’m calling it now)…so he could get a better sense of where my head was at…

He read it…he took his time…

when he finished I hoped that he’d see that my issue was beyond him…but instead he became jealous…

…he demanded to know why I was telling you the story before him…it seemed so personal…

I told him that I trusted you and that I know you’d understand…

This was the worst thing I could have told him…for I had ostensibly just told him that I didn’t trust him and he didn’t understand me…

Logically he was offended… (I actually feel bad for that one)

…he wanted to know how long I’d trusted you…how long you had understood my actions…

I told him that we kinda understood each other from the beginning…since we started emailing…

”Emailing… how long have you been emailing? How many emails?”

At this point I faltered…

“I want to read these emails!” He demanded.

“I’m not going to show you these emails.” I replied.

And as I was saying it…I realised how important these emails are to me...I would never share them with anyone else…they’re deeply personal…they’re the real me…

See… in real life…my emails are quite happy, generous, stupid even…I never tell people how I truly feel…I never share my insecurities…I’d never share my doubts…

“I want to read these emails. Now!” He demanded.

He started railing that I was being intellectually unfaithful and embarked on one of Marcus’ constructed and cruel monologues...

…but as he talked, I wasn’t listening…I was thinking of you…and how you’d seen me deeper than anyone…and though we’ve slipped occasionally…I considered checking into the Hilton hotel, running a bath and writing a list of my favourite things – placing you on top…


Sunday, February 6, 2011

131st email

From: Dom Borax
To: Stacey Marchenkova
Sent: Sunday July 15th, 1999 11:31 AM
Subject: RE Had an adventure

Stacey, oh man, you have had an adventure. My story about Keith seems so lame in comparison.

Are you okay? Do you want to meet up? Do you need some friendly faces? Do you want to come over for dinner?

Oftenbark is worried.


PS Yes I would love to live in New York or Iceland. There’s just something really interesting about Iceland.

Maybe even LA.

Actually to tell the truth I’d really like to live in LA – live the dream, write like Faulkner in a writer’s villa in a deco studio. Then retire, a rich man to a house by a lake, knowing that my stories made a few people happy.

That would be nice, don’t you think?

You could even come if you want.

PPS I’m going to give you a ring to see if you’re okay.

PPPS Ignore pointless post script above.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

130th email

From: Stacey Marchenkova
To: Dom Borax
Sent: Sunday July 15th July 1999, 2:51 AM
Subject: Had an adventure

Dom...I have to tell what happened to me today at work…

...there I was in the this large office in the Guide Dogs for the Blind building in Wharf Street…each cubicle was filled with canvassers guilt tripping strangers into buying junk… “You can see. They can’t. Buy a scented candle…”

Anyway…it was about 3:00 in the afternoon…I had my torn page of the telephone directory in front of me…I had a ‘W’ page and was systematically working my way through, scratching off each name with each rejection…

It had not been a good day…I had only sold a set of barbeque tools…and three calendars of posed Guide Dogs re-enacting scenes from famous films…you know…like…

--two guide dogs standing on the bow of the Titanic, looking toward their future…

--A Guide Dog, gumping it up in special man’s clothes, sitting on a park bench with a box of chocolates in front of him…

--A Guide dog poking his head through the axe splintered bathroom door like Jack Nicholson in The Shining…

Okay I made that last one up…but…

For some reason this day had been really hard…it was driving me crazy and I had become truly defeated and insecure because of the barrage of rejections…

I mean, I know it isn’t personal…canvassing is annoying and most people hate to be bothered with unsolicited calls…I do after all…I know what it’s like…

…but sometimes…on those grey days…it gets to you…

I mean…when over one hundred people…for a brief second…hate you …what’s a girl to think?

So it was with this lump of loss that I cautiously rang BC Williams in Paddington…

As he picked up, I knew he was going to cut me off in seconds and onward I’d go into this severing hell of continuing low self esteem…

So – with no energy and a pitchless tambre…I started with the sanctioned and mandatory introduction constructed by some Guide Dog Bureaucrat…

I knew it by heart now…

“Hello, Mr Williams? My name is Stacey and I’m from the Guide Dogs for the Blind. How are you this afternoon?”

Now at this point I usually hear the click of the phone hanging up or a multitude of replies based around a common and vulgar goodbye theme…

But this time, I got a different answer…

“I’m good Stacey. How are you?”

I couldn’t believe it…someone was being nice…so I quickly put down the hovering pencil that was close to scratching his name out of the telephone directory and replied…

“I’m good…thanks so much for asking…no one ever asks…usually they hang up…”

“Well that’s not right.” He says…

“No it’s not, Mr Williams…” I reply.

“Call me Bill.” He says. “So how can I help you this afternoon, Stacey?”

“Well, Bill…I’m trying to raise money for the Guide Dogs. It’s for training. Would you be interested in making a blind person’s life a little easier?”

“Of course I would,” says Bill, “What would you like me to buy?”

“Well you can make a small offering and buy a set of beautiful, specially designed tea towels. You get three for thirty dollars and they’re really tasteful…I have some in my own kitchen.”

“But will thirty dollars really make a difference?”

“Every bit helps, Bill.”

“What’s your most expensive item?” He asks.

“Well we have this cotton underlay from Jason that keeps you warm in winter and cool in summer.”

“That sounds good. How much is that?”

“Three hundred and fifty dollars.”


“I know it’s a lot of money.”

“I’ll buy two.”


“Okay make it three.”

I couldn’t believe my luck…I quickly got out of pad and starting taking his details before he changed his mind…I got his full name, credit card number…everything…and in one short call I had made well over my daily quota…

After I finished gathering the information, I prepared to say my final thanks when Bill said…

“So has that made your day a better one?”

I replied that it had and launched into my final thanks.

“That’s good. I am so glad to have done something decent on my last day. Thank you, Stacey.”

And he hung up…no goodbye…he just hung up…and I was left with the declaration that this was his last day…what did he mean…? Last day for what…? Last day of the holidays…? Last day of smoking…? Last day of life?

My God, was BC Williams of Paddington trying to kill himself?
Was this his call for help?

Am I meant to help him? Is this what this day’s about?

I quickly rustled through his details and got his address…I handed in my sales dockets to the manager and checked out…

I didn’t have much money…just enough for a taxi…I jumped into the taxi and anxiously pleaded to the driver to make it quick…

Soon after I arrived at BC Williams house in Paddington…it was a nice house…a renovated Queenslander decked out in federation colours with a well kept wrap around veranda…the Garden was decent too…a green thumb with a lovely sense if symmetry had obviously beavered away here …

I slowly moved through the garden and approached the front door...but as I reached it…I thought; am I crazy for doing this…? It is a little obsessive…what if it was nothing…? What if it was innocent and now this sad sack from Guide Dogs was about to invade a stranger’s life…I should leave…I should leave now before it gets truly mad…

I started to back off…

…but as I did I thought… if he is trying to kill himself…I might be able to help him and if I weigh it up…I’m willing to be viewed as a stalker on the off chance that this man was preparing to truly slip away…

So I knocked on the door…I waited…I could hear the soft slap of loafers as they padded down the wooden hallway…they neared the front door…I took a breath…the door opened…

“Bill?” I asked.

Bill stood in the doorway of the home. He was a man in his early forties…

…he was little portly.

…his clothes where neat and perfect.

…his hair was shining in the dust infused afternoon sun that echoed
through the hallway from the rear living room window…

…his face was kind and recently shaved with two small patches of stumble below the chin.

…his nose was strong…roman strong…

…and his eyes were cloudy…the colour had gone completely…

He was blind.

“Yes.” He said.

“I’m Stacey.”

Bills eyes shut a little trying to place the name, “From the Guide Dogs.” He said ”Yes, Stacey, of course! How lovely to meet you. Are you here to sell me dog this time?”

Bill’s eyes opened. The gossamer sheen lingered.

“No.” I said a little nervously trying not to look at his milky eyes.

“Are you here with my underlays? That was quick.”

I started to feel awkward. He didn’t seem suicidal. He seemed normal, happy even. What was I doing here!?

“I’m not here with the underlays.”

“Do you want more money? If it’ll make your day easier, I’m happy to buy a couple of tea towels too.”

“No, I don’t want more money. I just wanted to ask; are you okay?”

“Well I’m fine. Thank you for asking. But you didn’t have to come all this way to ask. You have my number.”

At this point I heard a woman’s voice calling from the back of the house.

“Bill, make sure you have your passport.”

A woman, also in her early forties emerged into the hallway…slimmer than

Bill…she was also perfectly groomed with just the right amount of design in her fashion…

“Darling…this is Stacey from the Guide Dogs for the Blind…she popped by to ask if I was okay. Stacey this is my wife, Katherine.”

I started to feel awkward as Bill’s wife approached me.

“That’s kind of you. I didn’t realise Guide Dogs had such great customer service.” She said.

Bill put his arm around Katherine and smiled genuinely at me.

“Well to answer your question, Stacey. I am fine. I’m a little sad. You probably picked that up on the phone didn’t you?”

“I did.” I replied. “Why are you sad?”

“It’s my last day in Brisbane.” Bill said.

“He’s going to Berlin.” Katherine clarified.

“Work. And a new life.”

“He loves Brisbane.”

“Love and hate it.”

“And you’re sad because you won’t be together for a few months, right.” Said Katherine as her eyes peered over her glasses, wryly challenging.

“Of course, darling.” said Bill playfully.

Katherine hit him on the shoulder with the affection of a wife and true friend. Bill laughed.

“So why aren’t you going with him?” I asked Katherine, starting to feel a rush of embarrassment.

“We just sold the house and I’m waiting for settlement. Then I have to finish up with my job. Get the kids out of school. Fix up the Storage. Wait patiently for those woollen underlays to be posted.” Katherine said, again looking over her glasses at Bill as he stared ahead.

“Ah, but those woollen underlays will come in handy for the Berlin winter. They really keep you warm in winter don’t they, Stacey?” asked Bill.

“Yes they do. They do.”

We talked for another five minutes…all very polite…eventually I quietly excused myself with a lie…

“Well I should get back to work.”

Bill and Katherine nodded. They thanked me for my concern and waved me goodbye as I walked out of their property and back onto the bustling gentrified streets of inner city Paddington.

And as I passed the large Antique Centre…I started to cry…a sense of sadness welled over me unlike I’ve ever felt…was this my lot? Was this it? Did I truly have to manufacture drama out of other’s people’s happiness just to make myself feel alive…?

So I rang the guide dogs…quit my job…I can only take so much rejection…

I then called Marcus…met him…dumped him…
I mean it’s only been two months and it’s already hard work…

I then rang my father…told him that he’s one of the worst fathers ever…

Then I rang my mother and told her I loved her…

Finally I came home…counted my money…worked out I needed just a little bit more for a one way ticket to Asia and started writing to you…

And now I feel happy…I really feel happy…


PS I wouldn’t mind living in Berlin too…one day. Would you like to live anywhere else?
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