Saturday, February 6, 2010

* Sunday 12 July 1981 7.30pm

Little as happened. There’s something wrong with my voice. I’m getting fatter and drunker. The Ovaltine advertisement has been completed.

It involved many hours of idleness.

I’m getting sick of P---. Gus is particularly dissipated. I’m getting sick of this diary and of spending all my money on heroin.


It’s been a while since I’ve pulled out the old green diary. Pity the next entry in line wasn’t more interesting.

But since, at some time in the future, my character will be judged by a jury of my peers, I wonder how wise it is to mention drugs? I can only hope that, if they happen to read this, they will see it in context.

During that Ovaltine shoot, the director had a lot of difficulty getting me to smile. Perhaps it was because I was wearing a frilly white shirt and jodhpurs. More likely, I just didn’t consider myself the kind of person who would voluntarily smile in front of the camera.

There was a gorgeous, olive-skinned female model working with me that day. I almost fainted, in my innocence, when she began swanning around the dressing room utterly naked.

The art director didn’t like my silver Latvian ring - the one my recently deceased father had given me. I took it off, gave it to someone on set for safe-keeping, then forgot to ask for it back at wrap time. Despite my frantic phone calls to the producer over the next week, the identify of the ring-bearer was never ascertained.

I was so angry with myself - and with the anonymous thief. My solution was to pretend it didn’t happen. I acquired another ring not too long after, made by a little Latvian handicrafts outfit run by smiling old ladies on the second floor of an old building in the city. (Rings are very important in Latvian culture.) My girlfriend of the time, Michele Hallgren, gave it to me as a gift, and to anyone who asked I would explain it had been given me by my father a long time ago.

Later, two and a half decades later, a guard at the Melbourne Remand Centre ground it off in a shower of sparks with an electric cutting tool.

I have yet to replace it.

Diaries - 1981

(Don’t forget to come to Poetica at the Carlton Courthouse on Monday night)

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