Saturday, October 31, 2009

To my second daughter,
I have never been this happy. My new woman is amazing. We are planning on moving in together. I am going to have to get rid of the dog.
Your father.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

at times i am treated like a pawn in this chess game of life... used to better the position of the person whose fingers manipulate me...

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

To my dear eldest daughter,
Unfortunately, even though you will be in town this weekend, I cannot make time to see you. I know I haven't seen you or my grand-daughter for months... but I will be busy spending time with my new lover. I realise that recently I have been very demanding of your time during my period of lonliness (after my first lover left me)... but I am much happier now with my new lover, so I just can't fit you into my weekend. Have a nice time whatever you end up doing.
Your father.

Monday, October 26, 2009


Each phone call the same:
egocentric... droning on...
Foolish childish man.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A letter to my father's lover, or rather ex-lover


You are probably wondering how I know where you live, considering you were so adamant that dad not give any of your details away. I suppose if you make a habit out of messing up people’s marriages then you learn pretty quickly that you don’t want any of the family members knowing your contact details. Perhaps you have done this more than once? Anyway, the reason I know where you live is simply that when dad came back from overseas I had to drop him at your house so he could pick up his things.

So... You are probably thinking Why is this girl writing to me? Why should this girl be angry at me? Her father is the one she should be blaming. Well, of course I am angry at him too. But I just thought that it is ridiculous and unfair that you should walk away scot-free from the devastation which you helped to create.

Before you throw this letter away, please give me the respect I deserve and read it. You owe me this at the very least.

How can you live with yourself? How can you sleep at night? Oh hang on, I remember now, you sleep better at night when my snoring father is not there to disrupt your precious life. Yes, that’s right I forgot how you decided in the end that you only wanted him there with you on weekends to satisfy your sexual requirements, and then not at all.

Dad has told me you are a councillor, that you help troubled children. Actually he used to rave on about you – can you imagine that?! That I would have to listen to him droning on about you and your precious little “Bunky” and your wonderful, smart, pretty, headstrong daughter?! As if I care, when my own mother has just had her world ripped out from underneath her. Even if it was a difficult, unlikely, hard-going marriage – it was still a marriage and we were a family until you came along. Now dad is living all alone in a little flat in a horrible little town. How pear-shaped it all quickly became.

So back to your very important and stressful career which requires you get a good night’s sleep free from interruptions from snoring sexual partners... do you ever think, as you are counselling the troubled youth, that you have been an accessory to a terrible crime against the well-being of an entire family: two parents, their children, their children’s partners, and beautiful grandchildren? Do you feel guilty? Do you worry that you have helped to devastate all our lives? Do you worry that you have devastated dad's life. That he has been prescribed anti-depressants to deal with the loss of you! THE LOSS OF YOU!!!! Can you imagine how insulting that is?! That he should make the transition into lover/adulterer so readily and happily, but that when he loses his lover that that is the thing that makes him unhappy?!

Can you imagine the pain and devastation and trauma that my siblings and I are going through as we try to organise how to spend Christmas this year. Can you imagine that someone will miss out? That one of my parents will have to spend Christmas without their children and grandchildren?! Can you imagine that?!?!!? Can you imagine that WE children are the ones feeling guilty and worried and stressed about the person who will have to miss out??!?!!?!

I don’t care what dad told you when you met over organic garlic at the farmer's markets. I don’t care if he told you his marriage was essentially over. I don’t care if he told you that he and mum were not in love, that they should never have gotten married in the first place, that they should have split up years ago.... Whether or not these things are true is a 35 year debate that has absolutely NOTHING to do with you, or rather it shouldn’t. If the marriage was over then they would not have been living under the same roof. When a marriage is over, completely free of any emotional strings, both members of the marriage know it, have discussed it and have moved on in their own separate directions. (In your line of work surely you must realise this?) You know nothing about my family or my parent’s relationship. They have been struggling in their relationship for as long as I can remember... and that is no way to live... but it is pretty clear to me that dad didn’t leave because he suddenly realised he was unhappy... he left because of you.

I am not a fool. In fact, I know more about my parent’s relationship than any child should. And no-one deserves to be unhappy. But what were you thinking? That you would be his saviour? That you would come along and give this passionate man all the love and attention he was craving? Did you think it was the right thing to do? Did you think his wife wouldn’t mind? Did you think his children would be unharmed? Do you know what a mess it all now is? Can you imagine dividing up your belongings, the things you have shared with someone for 35 years? Can you imagine doing this by means of placing a blue sticker on half of the things and a red sticker on the other half? Can you imagine that your children would have to adjudicate this?! That your children should have to be there to experience the pain of tearing a single life into two?

I find it strange that you won’t eat meat because you are concerned for animal welfare, but that you would happily devastate an entire family of humans. By the way if you are really concerned about animal welfare, then you should not drink milk or eat dairy products. Dairy cows have a much worse life than beef cattle ever will. Most beef in sold in Australian supermarkets is from free range cattle, who essentially live a charmed life until that final slaughter day. Dairy cows on the other hand are enslaved and manipulated and bombarded with various antibiotics and hormone treatments for their entire lives; most of the male calves are killed before they learn to eat grass; and you should see the torment and pain experienced by a cow when her day old calf is stolen away from her. Oh it is a horrible thing to see the tearing apart of a family bond. Oh that’s right, you’re not worried about family bonds.

Divorce and separation are difficult enough. When there is a lover involved it is sickening, devastating and revolting. Do you care? Do you care? Do you care?

Do what you will. Live your life. Have as many sexual partners as you wish. Be as selfish and carefree as you want to be, but stay away from married men. I implore you: stay away from married men. You repulse me.

Regards, the daughter of your (now ex-) lover.

P.S. You will note I have included a return address on the envelope. I am not ashamed. I have nothing to hide. I don’t care if you know who I am or where I live.

Monday, October 19, 2009

from a poem by Yahuda Amichai...

"A man doesn't have time.
When he loses he seeks, when he finds
he forgets, when he forgets he loves, when he loves
he begins to forget.


And his soul is seasoned, his soul
is very professional.
Only his body remains forever
an amateur. It tries and it misses,
gets muddled, doesn't learn a thing,
drunk and blind in its pleasures
and its pains.


He will die as figs die in autumn,
Shriveled and full of himself and sweet,
the leaves growing dry on the ground,
the bare branches pointing to the placewhere there's time for everything."

A Man In His Life - Yehuda Amichai
My Dear Ex-Wife
Kindly disregard that last letter. All is well! I have found a new woman. We have been to bed together already. I feel fantastic. I can't believe I doubted myself. Good luck with your life.
Your Ex-Husband.
My dear ex-wife,
i have made a terrible mistake. do you think we could get back together again?
your lonely ex-husband.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

so dad called... he is desperate to find a girlfriend, a lover, a woman, whatever... said he is extremely depressed and lonely... it makes my chest constrict to hear this... of course he is depressed... he has completely fucked up his life...
the woman he left mum for, has now left him, it has only been ten months... but of course it's no surprise... except maybe to dad...
so now he racing around with mad desperation and in a great hurry to find a new girlfriend...
i hate all this pain... him, mum, us kids... i just wish i could make it better
To my dear ex-wife,
I have made a terrible mistake. My girlfriend no longer wants to see me. She has finished it with me. I am so depressed. You cannot imagine how terrible i feel. Now i have this new house, which i bought to be near her... and for what? I have nothing. I am so lonely. Maybe you would like to come and have lunch with me, or a cup of tea. We could discuss the final splitting of our superannuation. I am so low.
Your ex-husband.

Friday, October 16, 2009

a coil of barbed wire tightens around my throat at i sit with my phone pressed against my ear, listening to my father unburden the woes of his new love-life onto my shoulders...
listening as he talks about going to bed with this new woman... while somewhere my mum is cooking a meal for one in a little flat under someone's house.
so this is how it is now.
so now it seems i have to listen to stories about my father's love life over and over again....

Thursday, October 15, 2009

To my dear ex-wife,
my new girlfriend and i are very happy. we really enjoy cooking together. and the sex is amazing. i feel like a teenager again, at 66! it is fantastic. she is an amazing woman, she is a vegetarian, does yoga, is a social worker and raised her daughter on her own. (oh and her daughter is so pretty.) she has a cat called bunky and i even like the cat! can you imagine?! i am sure you will find someone too. how is the house hunting going?
your ex-husband.
so we got a sheet of blue spot stickers and a sheet of red spot stickers and a sheet of green spot stickers...
the red dots were placed on the household items that mum would keep
the blue for dad
the green for things that belonged to us kids, or that were undecided
my brother and i adjudicated the traumatic event
my brother got stoned to lighten the dark dark day
and it worked quite well in the end...
so now everything is divided
strange the things they argued over... drawings we had done as children, lamps, kitchen knives, the toaster
To my dear wife,
a while ago at the markets i met a wonderful lady. she was buying organic garlic. the same garlic that i have been trying to tell you about. we have been meeting at the garlic vendor each market day for a few weeks.
so now i regret to tell you that i am leaving you for the garlic lover. i don't think you and i ever really had enough in common anyway. you will understand. you're a good woman. i think we could still be friends. but you need to get on with your own life, because i am in love with the garlic lover.
i will be keeping the dog. how can you expect me not to? i have had the poor mut so long now that i can't imagine giving it up.
it is for the best,
your (soon to be ex-) husband.
what keeps us going? what makes us get up out of bed and form our body into a shape... and then form that shape into an action ...and then form that action into the things we do with our lives...
what if we just didn't do anything?
what if tomorrow i just didn't do anything?

but it's like grooming your eyebrows... life, yes it is like grooming your eyebrows...
sometimes in life we must pluck...
sometimes we are lazy or reckless and leave our brows to grow wild and free...
sometimes we pluck too much, leaving only a thin barely recognisable vestige of what once was...
we pluck and primp just because that is what society expects us to do...
shaping ourselves into an acceptable shape,
occasionally we might accidentally leave a stray hair or two...
and if we go too long without plucking, it gets harder and harder to return things back to "normality"...
so we just pluck a little day by day by day...
sometimes we focus in on one hair and puck and pick and scrape until we have made ourselves bleed...
obsessiveness indeed can lead to injury... in life and in eyebrow grooming

so tomorrow i will wake, stretch, drink water first, then coffee, go cycling for an hour, eat breakfast, brush my teeth, and then begin.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

i can open a page.
i can read what they think i think i want.
i think i want to change the subject,
to find a spot where i'm comfortable,
hold it steady, keep my eye on the target.

Don't be so fucking predictable.

Don't lose your balance
don't lose your mind
lose a little fat and you'll feel fine
lose some more and you'll feel better
but if it comes back to find you, it'll drag you through the gutter.

Don't be so fucking vain.

So close the pages. Don't read anymore,
change the subject, listen to the radio,
let the voices soar.
If you make it loud enough you might find the spot where you're comfortable
where you're steady, hold it steady, keep your eye on the target.

Don't look down now, the future is below you.

Don't think about it
because it will only harm you,
don't sit there staring, not thinking will kill you,
we're all slowly dying, it's fucking pathetic,
just go and do something or you'll die to regret it.

Don't look away now or you'll never get it.

In the Mornings...

How long do I have left with my constant companion?

Each morning I rise, hang my head over the side of the bed and watch for his chest to rise. It does, and he senses me watching him, so stirs to life. He stands, stretches as though in salutation to the sun, and moves with stiff and stilted steps towards my hand which I have stretched out from beneath the covers to greet him.

He licks my hand a few times, pauses as though reflecting on his thoughts, then slowly paces around the edge of the bed to where you are getting out. He stops, sniffs your knee and waits for you to open the bedroom door. Now you do and leave through it, calling to your little mate to join you.

He moves towards the door, pauses at it and stops to look back at me. Off you go I say. So he goes. I lie there listening to his toenails tapping their unsteady rhythm down the wooden stairs.

You made it You say gently. You are making breakfast coffees. I hear the tap filling, the kettle switch turned on, the spoon in the porcelain cups. And now human footsteps toward the front door, which I hear open.

Now tick tack tick tack tick tack. Little paws across the wooden floor. Off he goes. Out into the street to survey his territory: Cat food next door, dry leaves and long grass in which to poo, street light on which to cock his leg, building site for the sound of men’s voices, their work boots, their pats, their left over pies. I follow his path with my ears, listening to the jingling of his dog tags.

By now I have joined you downstairs. We are sitting sipping at hot sweet and bitter coffees. He returns. Tick tack tick tack tick tack on the wooden floor.

You’re back I say. He coughs, coughs, coughs, wretches, hacks. He walks directly towards me, moving then to underneath the table and between the legs of empty chairs to stop at my legs. He licks my knee twice. Pauses momentarily, then eases his weary body down onto the floorboards. His head, he lowers to the floor with a thud. He sighs deeply, passes wind and begins to snore.

You and I smile and shake our eads.

How will the mornings pass without him?

He sighs again now, on the floor just behind me, waiting as I type. My constant companion.