Sunday, October 21, 2007

* 10 february 1981.

Over the course of my life, I have kept diaries. Sometimes in beautifully bound journals with marbled endpapers, sometimes on butcher’s paper. I start them, stop them, and start them again. Most I have preserved, and all, to my [almost] certain belief, have been read by no eyes save my own.

From time to time, I will include them in this blog. I’ll edit them as little as necessary, and provide an epilogue to put them in context.

I will begin 26 years ago. I am 20 years of age and in love.


February 10 1981.

It's nine in the morning; I am tired and disinclined to leave my bed. Christine has recently departed for her job. She is a nurse. I am contemplating what I can do with my day - perhaps paint? My bathroom's gaudy colour scheme is almost complete ... Perhaps I’ll call my mother and go shopping with her.

I am obsessed, to a degree, with my flat. I think that somewhere, deep down, I believe my mental and social state will improve as it improves. As Dick Hamer furnishes Victoria with Olympic bids, Art Centres and underground rail loops, so I will furnish my rooms.

Most likely I'll ring Lewis [Mick] and arrange a band practice, but first I shall certainly lie in bed and finish Deus Irae [by Dick & Zelazny]. Existentialists believe we may infer our states from our actions. Mine must be a ghastly and dissipated state indeed; unrelated actions leading to no common goal, executed with no conviction. But then, 'What takes place in love is beyond good and evil' And I am certainly in love. More intensely and more bewilderingly than ever before.

It has initiated some confusing changes in me. I am now a victim of such frustrating emotions as jealousy & masculine pride. [Not since my times with Margaret Waldron in the sandpit, have I felt driven to shield a girl from danger] Christine [Harding] is actually Margaret’s cousin and knew her well. Margaret is recently married. [She couldn’t have been more than twenty]

I more or less live with Christine at the moment - a new experience which has thrilled me, but also caused me to doubt. It's been so long since August 30, 1980 - almost 6 months have passed. So, thenceforth this shall be known as my longest and most important relationship…

… I have been contemplating writing a story, perhaps this diary is my way of getting round to it... But Terry has bookings already for after Cathy's return, and we're mixing down our tape on Thursday - things will start rolling again soon.

Last night I cooked a meal and my hands still smell of curry. I do things like this for Christine. My manners, my personal habits, are becoming vastly more sophisticated.

The day before yesterday, I came home sweating, and cleaned the whole flat in anticipation of Christine’s return from work. As I cleaned the fireplace, I continually glanced over my shoulder, hoping she would not come till I was finished

Where is the old scrambled, confused, palpitating Sam? He is still there, I think. Only he is happy.

But he’s neglecting his god-given gifts.


I can actually remember how good I felt the day I wrote that. And I am still trying to make women happy by doing housework. It is a technique that has rarely failed me.

The flat was in Milton St, Elwood. I moved there from the Berry St house immortalized in Dogs in Space. A friend, Leigh Hooper had been the previous tenant

Leigh was in with the Turkish Book Club who imported Turkish language books with the centres cut out and filled with heroin. One time, someone on the Turkish end mixed the gear with something brown that became a silty gloop when mixed with water. Strictly speaking, it was uninjectable, but that stopped no one. It became known as The Mud. For a time, peoples arms were covered with hideous weeping sores, Leigh’s more so than anyone’s. She appeared to have advanced leprosy. [Those interested in strangely adulterated drugs, click here.]

Anyway, the flat was on the ground floor of a once magnificent mansion. It was in pretty bad shape and the odour of Elwood Canal emanated from the sink, but I loved it. A gay couple lived at the back, and Troy was my immediate neighbour. Troy, I will speak of again, and soon. [He has recently perished from AIDS]. A warlock lived in the mansion next door and his crow could often be seen, perched at the front of our drive.

The band referred to is The Ears. Cathy McQuade was the bass-player. Terry Rogers, the manager. The fireplace had beautiful green art deco tiles. All gone

Diary of 1981 - index

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Anonymous said...

So that makes you 46, almost as young as sk...hee hee
I can't believe 1981 was 26 years ago! Don't tell me you were on heroin when you were in Beargarden and the Ears, so young, so naughty Sam! I'd love to hear more of your life in the eighties, the bands you were in and the other bands you knew and what you got up to (well not EVERY nitty gritty detail!). And when/how did you meet the talented and gorgeous Steve Kilbey??
The Ears picture is THE same vinyl I mentioned that I have, I have to find it, I even think it has the same kind of stains on the cover...oh memories, I can't believe I'm writing to you sometimes jsut like I can't believe I write (silly) comments to Steve Kilbey, my idols from the eighties, 20+ years down the track!
I look forward to more of SS's secret diary.
Love Amanda

lily was here said...

Dear Sam, I've had trouble logging in. Thank you for sharing your diaries! .. honesty, embellished or not, is such an aphrodisiac. Some stuff made my skin crawl with horror, the Mud story!! but reading your memory of love & Christine, so sweet. I regret not keeping my own notes, I used to burn them after I’d written them down. And oh Sam, youve been taught well :) your housework technique would work here too , ha ha... the magic dishtowel spell, it never fails. And to think of all those uneducated blokes without a clue. Im looking forward to more! So many questions now, but carry on. Hope the pinata engineering is coming along well.
Sue x

lily was here said...

ps im really blonde underneath.

no just kidding.

Thats what happens when youre trying to write while the pollies are on television and youre listening to the stereo at the same time

This ones not for moderation either :)

Chris Boyd said...

The best thing that can be said for my own diary for 1981 is that I wrote about each and every day... something I did for 25 years. Sadly, the writing for the first dozen of those years was awful .

The highlight of my day? The 1969 film of Hamlet with Marianne Faithfull as Ophelia (she was not much older than we were in 1981) was broadcast. Woo bloody hoo.

steve kilbey said...

love the word "ghastly"

public savant said...

This is very, very cool. These posts are precisely what this medium should always have been about.

I wonder if 20 year old Australian males are ever like this today or ever could be again? I see no cause for hope anywhere, but then the blinding playgrounds and four-year-old birthday parties - not to mention the fluoro lit tomb in which I attend something someone has decided to call "work" - hardly constitute the sort of circles where sightings of renaissance (young) men might take place.

I myself first became aware of the singular approbation that could be wrung from an unsolicited bout of house cleaning when I was thirteen and staying with my older sister and her friends - alternative music scene hipsters from central casting c.1984. They would return to the house after a night out cooly carousing where they would find me having not only got my two-year old nephew down to sleep but also to have scarified every surface with white king. Much love flowed my way; much love, strongbow cider and euphoria from the greasy spliff that passed my way on its epic circuit.

The only problem I've found since: the very goal of these exercises - so often not just love but ultimately love-making - tends to be stymied by an overwhelming smell on my person of bleach. That first caress is broken when I reach for my beloved's cheekbone and she grasps my hand and sniffs it disbelievingly. Never mind.

Sam Sejavka said...

Lily, I may have mucked up which comments to moderate & which not to. Forgive my addled mind.

If my memory serves me correctly, I met Marty before I met Steve. I think he was attracted to my girlfriend of the time. Steve was a dreamy, slightly aloof figure, who was merely an aquaintance in those early days.

lily was here said...

Thats ok. Can you put back the comment I wrote with 'ghastly' in it? :)
Good description of sk.

Sam Sejavka said...

Lily, dreadfully sorry, but I appear to have deleted the 'ghastly' comment. Again the addled maind...

isolde said...

hello sailor of oblivion

your diaria is exquisite