Monday, September 11, 2006

what's in a name

Anyone notice I've changed the name of this blog? lol, who am I kidding?

What's 'CRUNT"? ... a mixture of 'crotch' and 'c*nt'. In my wild youth it was a favourite expletive, usually directed against me, of PK. More about our adventures another time.

Meanwhile, I've been wondering just how much our childhood fantasies about sex mean? Can you remember what your sexual fantasies were before adolescence? Did you have any?

About the only thing I can remember was having crushes on superheroes. Wierd? I'd fantasize about a little Superman, no bigger than a Barbie, that I could undress and 'play' with. Always a superhero and always about what I could do to him.

Thinking about it now, I'm not so much concerned about the content of the fantasies
as I am about having fantasies with a fictional character. Do they count?

Always about males, too. Wonderwoman got a look in briefly but it wasn't until full-blown adolescence that I really fantasized about females. Unfortunately that was also a time I was in the tender cares of the Catholic school system, who seemed to me to prefer 1. no sexual fantasies at all, and 2. if you had to have them at all, have them with yourself.

Technorati Profile

sometime after Father's Day

Dad, do you LIKE me
How would I know
I suppose that you LOVE me
'Least it's supposed to be so

You told me just once
I was little - remember?
That memory I've fanned
like a precious ember

But now you're too old
to change your way
and without being told
We know there's nothing to say

The ember is cold
and covered in ash
there's nothing to hold
save an emotional gash

Will I be the same?
Will my children wonder?
was it all just a game
or generational blunder?

Friday, April 14, 2006

Let's talk about sex, baby

One of the issues that seems to inevitably come up in marriage counselling is S.E.X. No surprise there, I guess.

My wife happens to think that there might be a good possibility that I'm gay. Why? Well, the fact that she's found some gay porn might have something to do with it.

Am I gay? True answer - it isn't important.

What is important is that I'm looking for, craving, love from a man that I didn't get as a child. Not sex. The problem is that sex can substitute for love. And nothing gets simple when you've been sexually abused.

Honestly, how do men show that they love each other? How can a man love a man as much as he loves a woman and express it? Without sex?

I don't go in for the male-female, two halves, missing piece theory that basically puts men and women together to become a whole. It's people I want to love first and whether they are male or female is a separate issue. But that still doesn't answer my question about how a man can love another man.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

unfucking myself

Sometimes I wonder how long it takes to unfuck yourself? All the money and time I've spent on personal development ... which I thought was worth it ... and now I'm in therapy! Fuck, fuck, fuck. Maybe I should have just started with the therapy and saved myself time and trouble.

So, why am I in therapy? Because my marriage was about to fall apart. Turns out my wife, me and our relationship all need therapy, separately. Time consuming and expensive.

Also worth it. I hope. At least now I can really feel angry about being sexually abused as a kid. I'm paying enough to!

Just not sure that I'm any happier, yet.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Defining Intimacy

My godfather died last week. I went to his funeral today. He was a lawyer, a solicitor. The church was packed with lawyers. I was very uncomfortable being around so many lawyers - people whose profession trains them to put argument above caring. The lack of intimacy made the church seem refrigerated, even on a muggy Brisbane day. But for those who judge, it was a 'good' funeral, a 'proper' send-off.

Even though he was my godfather, I didn't know him at all. Made me think about my own two godchildren - I know them well enough, see them several times a month now that I live closer, but I could do better. Ask them out to lunch once in a while. Just on their own. Show a real and consistent interest in them as individuals and not just the children of friends.

I don't think my godfather really was interested in my like that. When I was a teenager and my family was going through shit, he never called me. But then no one else did either. Would have meant a lot for just one of those lawyers (and believe me, I was surrounded by them) to once ask a simple, decent human question like "How are you going through all this shit?". Just because I looked fine didn't mean I was. I was feeling like dying.

My godfather spoke at my 21st. He spoke well. It was that good he could have been speaking at my funeral. I can still remember the gist, unsurprisingly I suppose, as it was in my honour. How I had distinguished myself in three areas - Spiritually, Socially and Scholastically. The alliteration also made it easy to remember.

It's more than 21 years since I was 21. I can remember seeing my godfather only 2 times subsequently. Once by chance in Queen Street and then again at my father's 70th birthday. He was a lawyer so we weren't intimate. Or perhaps by a lawyer's definition we were.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004


I’m not at all sure how this will turn out.

I don’t really know how to start. This is the most difficult thing to write about, and probably the most important. How do we ever know who our friends really are? Even in the bad times, some people help out simply because it is their nature. I suppose they are “practical” friends. They certainly are good friends to have around, but the problem is that I have moved a lot and long distances and I certainly don’t expect my friends to physically follow.

There are people I miss, but not all of these would I call friends. Some of them I appreciate for their qualities and the times we have shared together when circumstance has made it possible. And when circumstance has made it impossible we just understand and let it be.

But I just don’t know. Nor do I know why. I cannot recall ever looking for friends or trying to cultivate them, but thank god, I feel that I’ve always had them. And in the most natural way, some people have always made an effort to really communicate with me, and vice versa. Some people seem to have simply liked me, cared for me and accepted me. I suppose they are the friends. Some of them have even loved me – special friends.

Perhaps I best came to understand the meaning of the gift of friendship in Kenya. For quite a while the Masai Mara was my spiritual as well as physical home. I was very attached to the place and the people, the Kenyan tribespeople I worked with. There were two in particular – Kiprash and Nabaala – who had no education and knew nothing of my world but they accepted me into theirs. I basically hung out with these guys, drank their curdled milk out of smoky gourds, ate their roasted goat, slept in their huts made of mud and cow dung. We even had a herd of sheep in partnership although none of my sheep ever seemed to get pregnant while theirs all multiplied. I suppose that mine must have been either frigid or lesbian. But at least I could help them in someway. In these circumstances we became friends.

One day I made Kiprash a gift of my Akubra which he had often admired. It was a way of marking our friendship, when even at the best of times our spoken communication was limited. The next time I saw that hat was on the head of a scrawny, near-naked Masai I didn’t know and it looked as if every cow in Masai-land had pissed, shat and trodden upon it. At first I couldn’t believe it. Was that what Kiprash thought of our friendship – to just give away the hat I had given him? And to see it in that state. Last time he’s getting something from me, I thought.

Then I realised it: I had given him the hat. It was now his to do what he wanted with. And I saw that that was what real friendship was, too. You give it and what the other person does with it is up to them. Gifts should come without strings. Kiprash had taken my gift of friendship and passed it on. I should be grateful. I realise that it doesn’t always happen that way, but how funny that it should happen in the middle of Africa. And when it doesn’t happen that way what can you do but give it to someone else like my black friend with no education who knows what to do with it.

I may never see Kiprash again, I don’t know. My life is a long way from Africa now in the crowded wastes of Europe. Living here it isn’t hard to imagine how two world wars could have started in the vicinity.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

I want to tell you a bit about my family.

The details are easy enough, what I know of them.

My father is 70 this year. Before he retired he was the senior partner of one of the largest law firms in the state.

My mother is from Europe and she emmigrated to Australia just after the Second World War. She was born in Czechoslovakia, the Sudetenland. I don’t know a lot about her experiences during the war. Even at the best of times she never spoke much about it, and when she was at her best I wasn’t son enough to be interested. She once told me not to complain about the taste of some food, as it was better than the taste of dog. And I also found out only a year ago that she never knew who her father was. She has 3 sisters and apparently the man I knew as my “grandfather in Germany” was their father but not hers. She said it made no difference.

My mother was a beautiful woman in her youth. The pictures prove it. Our daughter looks a lot like her and I’m happy about that, although I hope that our daughter has a better life. My mother must have been pretty brave, too, because after having been re-located several times during and after the war, she came out alone to Australia. I hate to think what she must have had to put up with at times due to her accent. For some she would have been a Hun.

I don’t even know how my parents really met. I will have to find out. As far as I know my mother was working for my father’s family as a domestic help. My father had been some years in the seminary but had left.

In any case they married and I came along 9 months, just, after the wedding. Apparently I was conceived during the honeymoon at Palm Beach. My brother came along 18 months later.

By the time I was in grade 8 the four of us had flown first class around the world. We lived in a house with a pool and a full-sized antique billiard table. We had a lot of things but only things. Things are not the same as family.

My mother was mentally ill for a long time and back then the treatment was new and inhumane. She went to hospital several times, received shock treatment and had pills which she didn’t take. I don’t blame her because there were side effects and she must have felt like shit. It was a pretty black period for years. Her behaviour was erratic and she would wander off periodically. She forgot all sorts of things, rarely remembered to pick us up from school on time, and although she could be a brilliant cook more often than not she let food burn on the stove and then blamed “ the satellites” or “Queen Elizabeth” or sometimes “Mary Kostakides”. Sometimes I thought she was suffering so much that it would be better for her if she were dead – I certainly thought that the day I helped carry her out of the house on a stretcher in a strait-jacket. The men in the white coats really did come that day.

In some sense I think my father made a choice. He once said to me something like “ We could have had it all … good house, holidays overseas every year … only your mother wouldn’t co-operate”. I can remember thinking at the time that she was ill and wasn’t capable of bloody well co-operating and what about love and that all those things didn’t count for shit if you didn’t have love and a family. I suppose he was just hurting in some way, too. Perhaps it was just beyond his emotional ability – he had been in boarding schools since he was 5 years old and then went to the seminary for 7 years I think. He had an institutional emotionality.

And he probably had all he could handle in making his way to the top. Maybe there wasn’t enough left over at the end of the day to cope with what was happening at home. Anyway, he didn’t choose to reduce his ambitions, he choose to spend less time at home and then one day he chose not to come home. I was fourteen.

I spoke to him for the first time about it last year. You get a lot of courage, and fear, when you have a child of your own. Courage to sort things out because you fear you will make the same mistakes as your parents did if you don’t. I told him that on the day he walked out I had asked him not to, begged him not to and cried for him to take me with him as I hung onto him. He didn’t. I was amazed at the emotion still within me, previously unreleased, when I spoke to him. I cried then like I cried all those years ago … and I had my baby in my arms.

What hurt me most then was the total abandonment. I couldn’t understand how he could leave someone he loved in a situation that he couldn’t stand himself. How could he expect 2 kids to cope with what he couldn’t? Lawyers are very good at rationalising. He told me that he didn’t think my mother would attack us children the way she attacked him. Did he think that her illness discriminated? I went to boarding school as soon as I could. And I tried to be the best boy I could, because if I was then perhaps my father would love me enough to take me with him.

Monday, September 20, 2004

I want to avoid being revisionist and always analysing with the benefit of hindsight, but on the other hand I suppose that what you know about yourself now is what makes some experiences stand out more than others. Still, the experiences that stand out are also the ones that seemed to have the most effect at the time which makes what I just said seem specious.

But not really. At the time going into boarding school (sounds a bit like “going into the convent and becoming a nun!”) was probably the best thing, short of going to another school, that could have happened to me. Looking back, I think it took me a long time to get over it.

I was in the rather rare position of having been a “day-wog” and become a boarder. It was a bit like going over to the other side, or coming to the promised land depending on your perspective. For me it was the latter. Still I was able to understand both sides of the school and in some sense I felt like a bridge. Not that it meant anything, I suppose, except it was as if I was growing into something. Not too much later that would re-manifest itself by taking another step and trying out the seminary in what seemed to me a logical step.

But we are here for the story, and the story at this time was principally my love affair with the school. In a slightly warped Catholic sense I more or less sacrificed myself psychologically for the place. It was a good thing I did, otherwise I might have sacrificed myself literally. I think I was pretty desperate about my family breaking up, but I never really talked about it to anyone because I didn’t really know how to. And none of the adults ever asked.

Now I know I must have been pretty fucked-up psychologically and I don’t understand how no-one noticed. There must have been signs. But then apparently they didn’t notice all that child molesting going on either so it isn’t really so surprising. I just can’t understand how they could let kids bear so much on their own. After all, that’s all we were – kids. I coped by playing the part I thought was expected of me. A good boy.

“The College Family” was now my only functioning family, so the relationships there were very important. And for a maturing boy the relationship with his father is paramount. My father was busy. So I focused on the ‘father’ of the college, the principal Br A***.

Those last two years of school were both amazing and awful. I can remember coming back after a free weekend and going straight into Fr M***’s room and telling him I wanted to become a priest. I was serious, of course, but the amazing thing was that he took me seriously. There couldn’t be too much wrong with me if I wanted to be a priest, to sacrifice myself. The awful thing was that I felt this was almost expected of me.

I was elected the college captain. At the beginning of the experience I didn’t know if I was the right person for the position and by the end of the year I was certain I wasn’t. There were other kids who would have done a much better job in my opinion. I thought it would please my father, however, but all I really remember him saying about it was that now I should aim for a Rhodes scholarship. Still not good enough.

Being college captain meant that I would probably have a different relationship with Br A*** than other students. Perhaps. I used to go down to his office sometimes and ask him how he was, if he was alright. I guess that I thought it was part of my job to support him in a personal way and that was how I expressed it. No doubt he appreciated it, at least I hope he did, but I think he might have appreciated it more if I had been the captain of the First XV.

Nevertheless there must have been some concessions to the position. I asked Br A*** to let me drop a subject. I seemed to be so much busier now with non-academic duties that I didn’t have time to maintain the seven sevens of grade 10. It was a crazy request in the sense that firstly, I should basically have been at school to do as well as I could in my studies, and secondly, only having 5 subjects was quite a precarious position to be in regarding later options. He let me drop the subject – after all, I was going to become a priest.

The most awful thing to happen was Dr S***. I can’t believe such a person existed and I can’t believe he was actually employed by Br A***. Dr S*** was supposed to be some sort of psychologist / counsellor but he looked like an extra from a Frankenstein movie. The bastard could hardly walk and had difficulty with any co-ordinated movement at all, arms or legs. He was missing an eye and wore a band-aid instead of an eye patch. And he was seriously disturbed and disturbing. Sometimes I wonder if he was real at all, like a nightmare. I don’t know what hold or power he had over Br A*** but there must have been something.

One free weekend Dr S**** took two of us out, supposedly to do some sort of charitable work. He used to drive an old white Daimler and we took off in it to the St Vincent de Paul hostel in the city, I think. Dr Stewart’s car’s brakes were in about as good a state as the bad doctor himself and we narrowly avoided a collision at the bottom of the hill at Edward St. This so shook us all up that we decided to abandon the trip to the St Vincent de Paul. The other student was so shaken up that he decided to take off altogether, so it was just me and the bad doctor who suggested that we go back to his place before going back to the school. Once at his place we started drinking rum and coke. I swear this is all true and I swear that I was this fucking stupid. And I swear that I was fucked by the bad doctor.

This must have happened in grade 11 because I remember calling my father to come out and talk to me. I begged him to let me finish the last year at a co-ed school. I couldn’t tell him why – who believed those things – and he couldn’t see why.

Later on, while Dr S*** was still around, some of the younger kids came and complained to me that he was asking them questions about masturbation. You can imagine how concerned I was and I raised the issue with Br A***. His response was “That’s why we have good, strong seniors like you … to keep an eye on him.” So it was all my fault.


There was a lot of bitumen there. Lots. Most of the time when we were in class it was empty, except for the crows (feathered variety) that scavenged around. The crows made it hard to keep awake in hot still summer classrooms, the way they caw-cawed in a harsh dry lullaby. <>

From 1968 till 1976 I never really felt comfortable in the yard, never belonged. And I think I really wanted to. It would have been great to feel part of the “touch” crowd but I don’t remember playing a lot. The one time I do remember playing – and scoring, I didn’t because I was so happy about it that I “touched” twice and someone on the other side claimed it was a double movement so it was disqualified as a try.

At the far end of the yard were the cricket nets. There must have been twenty or more. I wanted to play, to be good at, to belong there, too. The one day I remember playing there a cricket ball hit me fair in the head. I started to think I was “ball jinxed” so I didn’t play that again. No one encouraged me to, anyway.

There were also basketball courts and tennis courts but I’d had enough of balls in the schoolyard or almost anywhere else. Even my own balls were in on the conspiracy.

Between the two main school buildings was a covered area called the undercroft. I don’t think I’ve ever heard that word used except in connection with catholic schools. It was a pretty dismal area, actually, but not many of us were really into aesthetics then. What was amazing was that every so often the place used to get tarted up for a dance. If you can imagine having a dance in a small concrete covered car-park with similar acoustics you will get the idea of how incredibly intimate it wasn’t. But it was hot and stuffy because the place was under maximum security. After all, there were boys and girls in there together. No one got in or out, no air got in or out and when Mick D*** ate sulphur before one dance none of his farts got out either.

One way or another I actually spent a lot of time in different parts of the schoolyard because often enough my brother and I were the first day-boys to get to school. My father used to drop us off on his way to work and as he was aiming for the top of his profession he used to get to work early. So we got to school early as a consequence, too early. Sometimes we had to hang around for an hour and a half before school started. In the perverse way that people who have no control try to cope there was even a rivalry between the kids who for one reason or another used to get to school early. “I got here before you!” I think we though it was something to be proud of, how much time we spent at “The College”, instead of realising what poor buggers we were.

What’s more we (my brother and I)used to cop it at the other end, too. Until I was in Grade 8 we lived quite close to the school, but then we moved to a suburb more in keeping with my father’s aspirations. It was two buses and at least an hour each way away. It would have made some sense to change schools at that time (but then I probably wouldn’t be writing this so it’s a good thing I didn’t) but my father had apparently changed schools several times during his youth and he was against it based on his experience. After the move we still continued to come to school with him in the mornings but on the days that we didn’t catch the bus home because of football practice or something we had to wait for our mother to pick us up. She was totally unreliable and it would often be
six thirty or later before she would finally appear. After having spent eleven hours or more hanging around “The College” I began to think that being a boarder might be a good option. I was practically living there already. And then I might really belong! <>

For me, it would have to be better than what was going on at home.