108. Worms – Journal Entry 7th Nov 1982

Monika and I have had a range of discussions over the past few days: advantages and disadvantages of higher education, how to conduct arguments at the Parents Association meetings, borrowing money and the various types of Mills & Boon romance novels (M&B).
She told me about the M&B romances between a white woman with a black slave or a white man with an exotic slave woman. Even mum became involved in our M&B discussions and very kindly bought me a pile of old M&B books from a street stall in Mount Morgan. I was amused to come across phrases such as, “feeling the male hardness rising,” or others where passionate embraces extended below the waist: “Molding her to him with his hands firmly on her hip or lower back…” Quite an unusual practice within M&B romance fictions.

Our discussion about the inevitable conflicts that arise when working in groups, setting up meetings and generally getting things done in a group or organisation, such as the Parents Association, was interesting. Monika realises the importance of conducting a discussion coolly and articulately. She finds valid arguments when away from the group but doesn’t do well in the actual situation. The house discussions on such matters were quite helpful, she said.

I rang Karen yesterday to pass on Johnny’s thanks for her magnificent birthday present—a bottle of Courvoisier VSOP. We had a long chat and discussed the Christmas holiday camping plans. 
The most amusing bit of the conversation was on worms. She had worms, she said. 
“How did you know?” I asked. She told me Chris looked. 
“Why didn’t you look yourself, you nit?” I exclaimed and went on at great length about the modern toilets flushing away excrement which could otherwise be examined for such purposes and how the old latrines were best because the excrement stayed where it was dropped until one flushed it away. Karen interrupted my long speech to tell me she had not examined her excrement. 
She felt itchy, she said and suspected worms, so Chris examined her and confirmed having seen a worm. The three or four friends then took worm medicine. 
“What do you want to show your arse to him for?” I asked rather foolishly, laughing at the image and wondering at the openness of the present generation. 
My feelings on the matter are that incidents like shitting in the beloved’s presence or having your anus examined by the lover, decrease the mystery or romance of a relationship. Johnny doesn’t agree with me and yet he will not even pee in my presence. I don’t think it is because of my attitude. I think I even asked him once and he just said that was how our relationship was. 

I went for a long walk along Ritamada Beach and saw a young, stocky man wearing a black felt hat and white shorts, strolling along the beach with a fishing reel in his hand. I thought perhaps he was one of the priests staying in the seminary holiday shack nearby, but then I saw three cars parked in the adjoining land between Ritamada Beach and Fisherman’s Beach. Lounging on the cars were four young lads and the “priest” had joined them. They were very young and looked like they were recovering from a late night out. I decided to take a  detour towards the house on Vor’s point as they were blocking the narrow path ahead of me.
“Chinese,” said one voice and several of the lads whistled. I wore tight jeans and a black bikini top, they could not see the grey hairs in my long hair flying loose. I suddenly felt concerned that my shouts would not be heard by the occupants of the houses from the empty beach and could not laugh or raise a smile in reply. My detour veered towards them for a moment and the young Aboriginal lad seemed the keenest. Soon, to my relief, I was out of earshot of the group.

I was reminded of an incident a few years ago. A group of us were in the “club” of an Aboriginal reserve. The “club” was the grog shop in an enclosure surrounded by a high barbed-wire fence. We sat on the grass drinking beer and talking to a few of the elders. The noise around us seemed warm and happy. Children were not allowed into the enclosure and conversed with the adults through the fence. Some of the older children pushed prams and strollers while others ran after toddlers. The son of one of the elders decided to join us and sat right next to me. He had been drinking. Then he started gently caressing my hair. 
“I haven’t seen such long, black hair…you don’t mind me doing this darling? It’s sooo beautiful,” he sighed. 
His movements and voice were sensual and appreciative. It seemed so natural. Then he went further, putting his arms around me, telling me I was beautiful and asking if he could go with me. 
None of us knew how to handle this. Several times he begged, “Answer me darling.” The elders tried to discourage him with disapproving looks and by clicking their tongues, but he ignored them. 
I laughed and shook my head, no, I said, he couldn’t go with me and would he please stop stroking my hair. We decided the best course of action was to head for the gate. It was annoying to curtail our pleasant afternoon relaxation because of this tipsy and amorous, young man. When we were leaving, his father told him bluntly to behave himself. 
“But darling doesn’t mind, do you darling?” he drawled, gazing at me.
“I do mind,” I declared, unable to suppress a smile.
He didn’t follow us out and I’m sure he went back for another cold glass of beer, the lucky devil. 
We had to drink tea for the rest of the evening in the guest house kitchen.

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