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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

270 and 271st email

From: Stacey Marchenkova
To: dom borax < >
Sent: Monday October 27th , 1999 10:11AM
Subject: A thought

Okay…I’ve been thinking about your options after our call and for what it’s worth…I think you should try your luck in the east…

Go to New York, I reckon…they’ll understand you more…you can write about truth…you can watch Woody Allen play his bassoon every Tuesday night…



From: Dom Borax
To: Stacey Marchenkova
Sent: Wednesday October 29th, 1999 3:21AM
Subject: RE A thought

This is not a bad idea. I’ve always had some kind of love for New York. And it’s not all cinema based. See I have an uncle in New York. My Father's Brother. His name is George and he went to New York after he did National Service to carve out some kind of future – to enter a city that would allow him to rise above his class.

And he did.

His did it by managing to fall back into the old family trade – he went into the rag trade.

See my Father decided to do one of those family tree things a few years ago and what they discovered was his side of the family had been London folk for a few generations.

Prior to that they had come from Germany.

Upon arriving in London around the mid 30s they fall into tailoring – based on generations of skill - and for the first time they had success. They actually made some money.

And Uncle George had followed the path.

Now when I say rag trade in a New York context, I mean more the fashion industry for Uncle George. It was high rise buildings; some design and a lot of marketing.

See he was one of the people responsible for coloured nylons.

It made him a lot of money.

So he became an aesthete, populated his small Upper East Side apartment with high end Asian furniture and became friends with Tuesday Weld and Jane Fonda.

He also fell into a deep friendship with a fellow named Carl Stanojikov (who for interest sake was one of the first artists for the Spiderman strip)

Now when I say deep friendship; you can make of it what you will. It’s just my Father can’t quite accept the potential and only refers to his brother as Bachelor with very high tastes.

Now I’ve only met Uncle George a few times.

The first was when he visited when I was about 5. He was a generous man and bought me the most elaborate science kit and spy disguise box. I enjoyed them both very mush – mixing the gifts and creating my own narrative where I played both hero and Villain – secretly mixing formulas heroically and skulking around the house as a spy trying to steal them in shortly after.

I never caught myself and inadvertently ended the world when I crept into George’s room and found what I later realized was gay porn.

The second time I met Uncle George was when he flew all of us to New York to spend a week with him. We stayed in his second apartment (yes he had two) and took us out to a number of Broadway shows and introduced me to BBQ spare ribs in this fanciest of Chinese Restaurants (served by this waitress with the longest black hair I’d ever seen in my life – pig-tail to knee)

The final time I saw Uncle George was back home again when he travelled to us, this time with Carl (His good friend). They were on a world tour as Carl was quite sick and they wanted to see the world in case he passed.

This was a great few days. Carl drew for me and George cooked while telling the filthiest of jokes.

I was sad to see them go.

And now, as you’ve suggested, I should see him again. Carl’s health has deteriorated and I can maybe even help my Uncle out.

Okay, so now I’ve scribbled I am convinced I should go.

Booking tickets now (or at least asking my father or even George to do so)

The big apple, here I come



PS Woody plays the clarinet by the way.


  1. I love Dom's carefully crafted stories about his uncle, giving everything and nothing away at once. I'm excited to see where he ends up next :)

  2. And for some reason, the S&G song The Only Living Boy In New York started playing in my head.


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