To: Stacey Marchenkova
Sent: Tuesday August 18th, 1999 17:25 PM
Subject: RE RE My new home
Hi Stacey, just got home from a couple of quiet drinks with Dad at the Johnsonian club.
It’s a strange establishment named after Samuel Johnson, the guy that compiled the dictionary.
Anyway this place is small – on the third storey of an unassuming building near the top end of town – near Guide Dogs for the Blind would you believe.
I’ll have to take you there.
You’ll love it, I think.
It has a small smell of pomposity, but the food is good and it has a bar. It also has pictures of Samuel Johnson all the over the walls with some framed pages of early copies of his book.
It’s also the haven for grammar Nazis and wordophiles (I’m sure there’s a real word for wordohiles but I’m going to be stubborn and anarchiac as an act of defiance against the grey dusted members of said club.)
Actually I’m painting a Public school-like boys club with pre warmed toilet seats and ready made school tie auto- asphyxiation cubicles.
It’s not like that at all. Well not quite.
It’s actually a Smokey tragic rumpus room with a second hand full size snooker table with worn green felt in the middle.
This table is the main attraction for my father. Well this and his delight in mingling well above his genetic class.
One of the things I do love about the club is I can cause a modicum of chaos with scuffed and holed Dunlop Vollies as I linger near the bar.
See, I do adore standing next to an affected pup who’s neatly shined, pleated and pressed; a lawyer in waiting already plotting an early stroke to get away from his wife who’s cream-like turned past her expiry date (or so he thinks).
While waiting, I consciously look down at his shoes, then mine. “Tassels instead of laces” I will ask provocatively before giving a small smile to ‘Leonard’ the man behind the bar; the man I generally speak to especially during Toastmasters.
Anyway, here I was at the club playing snooker with Dad. He’s mean with the cue, always has been.
I did not inherit his natural ability with all things pub-sport. He has and will always beat me. And to be honest I like it that way. It makes the world seem normal, familiar and right.
So there we were, father and son. He’s fifty points ahead, aiming for the pink. I’m waiting contemplating some sort of distractive tactic (soft squeal, gentle stumble, tell him I’m gay). He takes his shot. Holes it, and then looks at me.
Dad: So Stacey seems really nice.
He says. I’m delighted he’s brought your name up.
Dad: She really likes you.
Dad: And you like her?
I nod as I raise his points on the metal board six more places.
Dad: I think your mum will really like her.
He says as he wanders back to the snooker table and aims at a red ball hovering near the back left hand pocket.
I smile as I watch him take his shot. He holes it of course. He always does. He never misses.
See you Thursday
PS Also met a guy at the club who’s just come back from Los Angeles; working as a PA. He’s the son of one of Dad’s