To: Stacey Marchenkova
Sent: Saturday August 3rd, 1999 1:25 AM
Subject: RE RE RE RE RE I actually feel a little guilty
Stacey, I’ve managed to sneak away from the party and steal into Elsa’s father’s office. They’re all singing and Elsa is dancing with her second cousin who has wonky eyes that keep trying to look at each other.
Anyway, in case someone approaches and I quickly have to sign off and send this email, I’ll say a quick goodbe here.
So see you tomorrow at the party and if not a kiss I will certaintly slowly brush past you a couple of times during the night.
PS and the place is called abhaile – two thumbs up for you, Ms researcher.
From: Dom Borax
To: Stacey Marchenkova
Sent: Saturday August 3rd, 1999 1:45 AM
Subject: RE RE RE RE RE RE I actually feel a little guilty
Okay so there’s my goodbye in case there’s email interruptus.
God I don’t want to be here. I mean they’re nice people and all.
But there’s always a moment around 11:00 pm when everyone’s a bit pissed and the argument happens.
It usually starts over something political. Elsa’s parents are conservative and their children aren’t. I’ve always thought this was weird. They come from a working class background – and were certainly leftward in their youth.
But when they came to Australia, they abandoned their beliefs and voted conservatively. I’m not sure why. Is it because Australia offers new hope and with new hope comes a new form of government? Is it because they feel betrayed by the homeworld system and see a happier life with lazy thinking and less worry? Is it simply about money?
I don’t know. This always confuses me. I simply don’t understand the moment you abandon social justice for better tax breaks. Seems all fucked up to me.
(As you can tell I rarely enter the Family political debate and feel the
brief need to expel it with the above two paragraphs)
Anyway, it was 10:30 and Elsa’s father was already drunk. I could sense him gearing up for the debate. And sure enough, bang on 11:00 it started.
But tonight’s debate wasn’t about politics. It was about Elsa. It was about me.
See, Elsa’s folks had discovered that we were seeing each other and they didn’t like it. They didn’t approve of my nationality or my faith, not even my politics.
They admitted they liked me and enjoyed my company. They thought I was smartish (her mother’s words, not mine) but I had a sense of entitlement.
Elsa flipped out. She yelled that it was her life and she could be with whomever she wanted.
Her father fought back – yes he agreed in theory but he would much prefer it to be a good Irish lad.
The brother’s jumped in at this point. They defended me and Elsa. They thought we were the perfect couple; so desperately well suited.
Her mother jumped back in. She again offered a back handed compliment to me, saying that I did feel like part of the family but as a friend, not blood.
Elsa wailed at this one – threatening to never see her family again.
And me, I stood in the middle as this barrage of bombs exploded around me.
I have to admit, I felt a little impervious to the violence; I felt strangely invincible for as much as the shrapnel flew through the air, nothing hit me. I didn’t bleed, I didn’t fall over; I just stood there watching the war like a ghost.
Of course in Elsa’s true family tradition, come midnight, the argument was over and everyone was embracing. Her parents had accepted me into their flock and were deeply apologetic, confessing that they needed to yell it out so they could find happiness. I thanked them for their honesty and thought of you. And then he said:
Elsa’s Father: So when are you going to ask her to marry you, Dom?I didn’t know what to say and I have to admit, I mumbled a truly weak reply.
Stacey, I can’t believe I said it. I could’ve been honest. I should’ve been honest; but all I said was ‘soon.’
Anyway, I’ve said my goodbye already. So I’ll just sign off. Miss you,
See you tomorrow at the party.