Kicking the Wall, Drunk at the Dance & Moonlighting (26 October-1 November)

Monday 26/10/87

Well, that was one hard exam (3 actually: 15 min english, then 20min math, then 1¾hr fashion design/knowledge exam. HARD!!!) Jo & I then went into town, spent the whole arvy there and at 3:15 caught town bus [back] to school… went [home] on St’s bus ..no Philip C. Geoff was on it- I said hello & goodbye: thought “what if he thought I caught the bus to see him!” [You’ll never know, huh?] SKINT – [privacy omission] reckon’s he’s vain enough (to think it) Jemima & Anna & Danae knew about Geoff & me: gave me a bit about it: if all the Yr11 girls know -Jenny’ll find out for sure, GREAT. [Uh huh. I wasn’t sure whether we had kissed outside the club on Saturday night (see previous blogpost) because I hadn’t specifically mentioned it, but this makes it pretty clear. Jenny must have been his girlfriend? My bad.] Cameron came over this arvy- said he’s not going out with CB, Mima said Mark only talked to Nicole after school; Fiona didn’t see them at all, same as Cameron. I found out Chris likes me (Cameron said it then made it a joke – but I know he meant it cause he asked me what I thought..) Apparently that night Mark & Nicole went for a swim at Edge Hill State School Pool while Cameron & CB occupied a free house there. Cameron thinks [privacy omission]– but he wouldn’t know for sure.

A Life in Words
Unless my memory has failed me, this used to be the Park Royal hotel, on Abbott Street. It’s now known as the Pullman Cairns International.

So hot today! Got quite a few compliments today! Jo & I got 13 whistles, 2 catcalls as we walked past the Park Royale today!! [Wow, to be so excited by sexist heckling? I’m thinking the Park Royal – one of the first 5 star high-rise hotels in the CBD – was under construction at this point in tme… because I can’t imagine hotel staff or guests gesturing to two schoolgirls in this way…] Dad wasn’t there [at his workplace] when I went to get money so I didn’t get any. I could easily slip into the habit of missing school. 2day was fun! [hmmm, such rebelliousness…]

Tuesday 27/10/87

We got on so well today. I felt a little sick (jealousy) only once (or twice) when Nicole was around. Mark & her have hickies on their necks. Mark got embarrassed.. I kept poking them, so they stay longer. (Why the hell would I do that?) [Because you were enjoying his discomfort. It was a minor yet satisfying form of ‘retribution’…] Joking a lot – getting on so well! He said & did some affectionate things. Gave me songwords- to do with him being faithful? I don’t think he knows about Jeffry or even Stuart. (But nothing’s come of those …yet – Stuart.) A Life in WordsHad a modelling practise [for our CAD art fashion parade] today at lunch time. And Mrs McI visited this arvy. Didn’t see Phillip on the bus: (didn’t catch it ’cause had to take paintings to get stretchers) Saw Jeff tho. God he’s got beautiful eyes. when will I give Stuart his tie back? [LOL, that’s right! This was the fashion era of skinny ties for the blokes. Hilarious!] God I hope Phillip goes to the exhib. opening! [Within a matter of seconds I’d had three separate thoughts about three different guys. Distracted much?] Tonite I cut out the pattern pieces for my silver dress & sewed the lining to each. (took all nite) At one stage I got so angry, I kicked the wall (bathroom – outside) & the plasterboard broke – there’s a hole there now. Mum got so upset – I felt really bad. [I remember this vividly. Mum had pretty much always reacted to my temper so well (even though it had concerned her enough in my youth to warrant visiting a specialist and having an EEG to check my brain function…) but this straw broke the camel’s back: because the house we lived in was unfinished, the very last thing she needed was yet another expense to add to the list of unaffordable jobs. As I’ve said before, we were not financially comfortable. Mum worked tirelessly not just to support the three of us, but to build a home, and I was totally taking her for granted. As much as it pains me knowing I upset her, I’m thankful that mum reacted as she did, and forced me into a momentary ‘awakening’: surpassing my Ego to expose some Compassion.] SO HOT! A Life in WordsI am so behind. english ass., art ass.’s, study + revision, letters to write concerning unis & colleges .. I need more time & money . . . [First World problems. Seriously.]

Wednesday 28/10/87

The radio just said it’s 12:06. I have had such an unreal time! I am still drunk, excuse my expressions! Today was really good. Started off by seeing Stuart, although he didn’t look at me, as he talked (riding to school with jay) God, I could love Him! [Um, sorry, what? You “could love” someone who won’t look you in the eye when he’s talking to you? Elissa, come on. You are, however, writing this in a highly intoxicated state, so your comprehension is definitely compromised…] But Mark & I got on excellently. He hung around Nicole a bit, but he gave me a note tonite (“Mark loves Elissa 4eva”. WOW! I am so drunk. I got barely anywork done- I don’t feel like sleeping -just dreaming. Jeffrey was there tonite- don’t think he likes me much. [But that’s okay because I have so many other ‘distractions’…] I asked David to make Phillip come to the art exhibition. I went to Croc Rock with A. Marie, Megan Sharon (slept in the car) & Chris H. I am so drunk – I must ring Stuart in the morning- he rang me tonite. oh I could love that guy but I want Phillip too. I am so confused at the moment I need to sleep. I’ve had such a GREAT Day! (NigHt actually) A Life in Words[I’m fairly certain this was the one and only school dance I went to intoxicated. I have a vivid recollection of sharing a bottle of Stone’s Green Ginger wine (which I hated, but drank purely for the effects) with a couple of girlfriends on the Esplanade before heading to the dance at school. This is the only fragment of memory – I don’t recall getting to the dance at all…]

Thursday 29/10/87

It’s 11:12. I’m so tired, but I haven’t got even half of this assignment done I should get it finished, tho. (How?) I’ll have tomorrow’s lesson to write it out.) I’m so HOT. I had a good day. I rang Stewart [decided to spell his name differently today?] this morning – he said he’d just rung to talk. (I said I thought it was urgent – bad) & he said “the opposite actually. He drove me to school [oh again! That’s so cool…] we get on so well- so easy to talk. He said sorry he hadn’t rung earlier in the week – he’d been doing a lot of thinking. Now, what am I going to do? I’ve told him to come to the art exhib. open. (can’t wait! There are going to be tonnes of people there! I can’t wait!) left school at big lunch (got material finished printed in art) A Life in WordsBludged at home (should’ve started this damn assignment then) Only started after “MOONLIGHTING” [I loved this show. And it launched Bruce Willis’s career.] 9:30 Shit Thank god mum’s got a book on British History! [Yes kids, we had to use actual books for all our research in the 80’s…] so tired. so hot. I heard mice or rats running on the roof just a sec. ago. [We’d had a pretty gnarly experience earlier in the year (see this post) with the discovery of a dead rodent in a bagful of clothes, so I would’ve been a bit perturbed by the idea of these creatures infesting our house again…] I think I’ll go to bed & wake & finish this in the morning. I want to go out tomorrow nite – so bad! (Get Stewart to) Got on really well with Mark – I have to talk to him soon to find out what’s going on – I think he likes Nicole – I must make him “choose”. [LOL. So very naive…]

Friday 30/10/87

Boring. That’s all that can be said. Got to school rather late: Joannah wasn’t there: I went to the library for only 3 minutes! Did a fair bit in double english, but needed to do more work on the assignment – in art – 3rd, little lunch, 4 & 5th lessons! At big lunch Mark seemed in an untalkative mood. Then Nicole came up (Glyn first actually) & he was fine. He sat on the stone “bench” with his legs apart & she leant on the ledge in between them. when mum picked me up, I just about balled my eyes out. Then we had a 1½hr wait at the hospital, […for what?] before finally leaving to pick up Jules & buy some stuff for the exhib Back at clinic at 3:40, & got in to the doctor at 4:30. [hospital? clinic? doctor? What? Please explain! …I literally have no recollection of this.] Home rather late …few phone calls. Sharon & I went to Playpen (free) [free entry] Jo & Mark [B.] were there (Stewart worked tonite) Sharon & I left. House On the Hill was nearly just as dead. Sharon was drunk & cranky. Nigel took us home. [This next sentence proves I had actually written this entry the next day …which often happened when I had big nights out.] I bombed out & felt very, very tired in the morning. [ [“Very, very tired” on Saturday morning, when I woke up…]

A Life in WordsSaturday 31/10/87

Got up & went to finish buying exhib. stuff – I was so tired. At home, worked very slowly on outfits. [Sewing my creations for the fashion parade at the CAD art exhibition] Sat alone while mum & Julia were at Mike & Cynthia’s thinking about Mark & Stewart & Philip -getting all (very) pessimistic. Jo & Nigel came round & stayed a while – I was boring them. When they left mum & jules came home. I started to get really depressed so I rang Mark. I didn’t want to talk on the phone – he couldn’t get to my place I asked what he did last nite – said visited Steven & he & Cam. went to Deanne’s for pizza. When I rang cameron after, he said they went to Nicole’s. He said Mark does like Nicole (A bit more than a friend) so I only just got off the phone before balling my eyes out. Fi rang & I rang Jude. Picked Jude up about 8:15. Got to the Aboriginal party (Mooroobool) [Irene Street, for those who remember. I think it was literally at Kangaroos Leagues (football) Club…?] & heaps of people, but the party was DEAD. Mark, Nicole, Cameron & CB all arrived together in a taxi, so that really dulled my nite to start with. On the lookout for Stewart, but he never showed

Sunday 1/11/87

→Mark had to come up to me first. I was kind of pissed off or upset – I wasn’t going to talk first. Then, I kind of walked off.. he came up a second time, but I did it again. Then he seemed to be angry with me. He was kind of resisting Nicole must’ve said something cos’ she stayed out of his way a lot. Wonder if he was depressed about me? (Don’t flatter yourself Elissa) Brett took Jude & I to the Hill, Mark was in the car -left Nicole at the party. (That’s not nice, Marky) Wonder what he did after that? HOTH was DEAD too. I had the worst weekend – no one, no body, nothing- just wasted money. I talked to Dean L in Victor’s car (drank goon) a while before getting a cab home. Made myself sick, [as in, vomitted] then bombed. At school, I touched up paintings while Jude mounted her work. A Life in WordsJo came late: Jo, Megan, Jude & I went to Kentucky 4 lunch ..fash. parade practise for Jo at It’s Williams (boring). Our practise at school was FUN! After, mum took Jo & Jude here [to our house] too.. they watched TV while I sewed. I did a lot tonite – shoes done, bracelet done. Brown outfit almost totally complete. It’s really late now- & I’m tired. BUSY day 2morrow!!

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Heartbreak Week: the Bus Crash Inquest & the Inevitable Break-Up (14-20 September)

Before launching into this week’s entries, I thought I’d include a copy of a letter that our principal sent out to us in the previous week. It didn’t really apply to me because I was summonsed to appear – I had to go – but outside of that commitment, I think I managed to witness most of the proceedings. My mum had no problem with me attending either, because she spent as much time there as she could outside of her work commitments as well.

A Life in Words

I have also included, where possible, scans of news clippings related to the inquest that I’ve attempted (with my meagre means) to make as legible as possible in case you were interested in reading them. I apologise in advance if the quality is too poor.

Monday 14/9/87

At Steve S’s [my solicitor] at about 7:45, we started on my statement. I told him things (answ. his Q’s) & he spoke into a tape. Downstairs, around 8:30 I waited with Trina while Becca was up there. I hated my statement [the perfectionist in me: but I knew this was an extremely important document so had to relate my experience accurately] so, while Becca & Trina & Steve went to the Courthouse, I rewrote my statement & a lady typed it etc & drove me down. It was 11:00 & everyone was coming out – cameras everywhere ..Mr & Mrs Perrem, Strooper & Fisher [parents of the deceased] all trying to avoid them. Court had adjourned until Guy (the driver) could arrive (they’d waited all morning for him- wrong date issued on his summons) so, killed an hour with Trina & Edith. So, actually started again at 12:00 – stopped at 1:00 for lunch (so boring waiting- the detective on for that hour) Mum dropped me at school- got things from Ms. Forbes. Sat Yr 12 area. Mark went to drive in Fri. night & Tamara’s party saturday “Forgot” to ring me. That hurts. And all he could do is laugh. Mum picked me up at end of lunch hour – I bought lunch, then waited outside again (Glyn, Steven, Trina, Edith, Brian etc..) Finally, around 3:00, Yru first one in. In for 20 mins (shitting ourselves) Recess then Steven L, Sean D & me .. not really scary – I felt like laughing- [laughter is my default stress response…] wanted to be asked more Q’s ..got $31 for it! & photo for Courier Mail! News coverage wasn’t “hot” ..Steven, Glyn were in background!!!!!!!

Tuesday 15/9/87

A Life in Words
Part of Tuesday’s article on the inquest in the Cairns Post. Note Detective Brooks’ opinion (second paragraph)

Today, everything ran according to schedule. We sat in the hearing until about 11:00; the machinery inspector (an engineer) (inspector of bus remains) was in for all that time & basically what came out of it was that there was no handbrake at all, the rear brakes were not operational (the adjustment was very ‘out of place’ incorrect) [To clarify: the bus had, prior to its fateful journey, received a service by Northland’s mechanics specifically on the brakes only a week before, after the driver Guy had complained about them failing at an intersection in the CBD. The service (the ‘adjustment’) was improper; the mechanics were negligent] & the whole frame of the bus was rust infested (hence the roof slicing off) […and this was the fault of the previous owner of the bus (who appears on the stand later on). See the news clipping below Wednesday’s entry…] Did my biol. test .. it was rather easy for the little amount of study I did (some things I’d neglected to look at stuck me, tho I know I’ll pass at least). Didn’t talk to Mark at all at school .. went to Home Ec room with Justine & Fi & had some cake. Fi was really interested in what was going on. She wants a copy of the records, too (a manuscript) [I still have the a copy of the findings in my possession to this day…] I missed out on the guy who saw the bus go over the edge [there was only one witness to the accident, who wasn’t actually involved in it, that is…] & quite a few student testimonies, but after lunch another inspector (a mechanic) took up nearly all afternoon, just re-iterating what the guy this morning had said. Made news again tonight. I wasn’t in the Courier Mail today, maybe tomorrow. [Ah, the Ego!] Rang Mark this arvy . . talked long about (well jokes about) me being evil & horrid & satantistic & him being good & innocent (Bullshit!) Getting warmer (courthouse is airconditioned) [← believe it or not, airconditioning wasn’t standard in all buildings in FNQ back in the 80’s, unlike today. We definitely felt summer in our classrooms at school!] Got my shorts from Kaffa but they’re too short – take em back, but you can’t [I think I meant, I wanted to return them, but couldn’t for ? reason…?]

A Life in WordsWednesday 16/9/87

Well, Mark was the first up today; there were quite a few students today -Cameron, Brent, mima, Fiona, jason, bella, jaque & Mark to name a few. The courthouse was packed in the morning (Mark stayed for it) but spare seats in the afternoon – boring mechanic (brake specialist) testimony -went on for ages (he was being rather “evasive” – Mr McKenzie said when we talked to him at lunch & were filmed – yeah! I was on T.V.! (NQ10) Lunch went quickly. Still haven’t started my english assignment. SHIT. Due Friday. I rang Mark this arvy, cos’ Fi told me she heard Tricia talking about the Drive-In (I got worried) but he was at Terry’s. He rang back around 7:30 and it was probably one of the best talks we’ve had for ages . . I mean he was being really nice and he said “I love you” again, which made me feel even better. He said he wants to spend time just me & him together on the holidays.. which I also enjoyed hearing from him. Forgot to  take back the shorts from Kaffa today. Must do it tomorrow. […buuuut I thought you couldn’t?] Wore my white mini skirt in public today – actually felt more confident & care-free than I have ever!! [Perhaps because I was attending an ‘event’ that directly related to my scarring. If people saw it, they were more likely to “put two and two together”…and be compassionate. Not that anyone has ever been unsympathetic (or nasty) to me about my scar anyway…] WOW!! SO BORING IN COURTROOM – MAKES YOU SLEEPY!A Life in WordsThe tone of this article (a recap of Tuesday’s evidence) indicates the bus company and the mechanics were at fault: both a government engineer & a transport inspector saying as much.

Thursday 17/9/87

A Life in Words
This is where the inquest seems to make a turn against the driver. Monique’s father questioned the ‘independant’ brake specialist and some of my testimony features in this article, although true to the media’s form, they spelled my name incorrectly…

A Life in WordsIt’s 11:00; I’ve just finished a few ‘choices’ for my english assignment (descriptive passages) Only 2 that I’m happy with, in fact. But it’ll have to do. Who cares? (Me, of course) Today, Glyn, Cameron, Mark came to see Chris (he wasn’t on til after lunch tho’.) (Cameron, Mark & some others were on T.V, too) Well the previous owner was on the stand today & the prick has pretty well laid the blame on Guy [the bus driver]. I heard Guy could get “manslaughter”. It’s not fair he doesn’t deserve it. [Obviously I personally laid NO blame at the feet of the driver …even prior to the inquiry. In fact, from the word go, I never felt an ounce of animosity toward him (and of all those I knew, neither did anyone else). Why? Well, it’s hard to fathom but I think it basically boils down to pure compassion. Knowing this man would live with the deaths of eight children hanging over him for the rest of his life… that burden would be insufferable alone. He didn’t deserve the added torture of others’ ill-will or negativity. I only ever viewed him as a victim, like us. It was the bus’s fault (and therefore the company’s) …not this man.] It’s because he was in too high a gear (3 hi, instead of 3 low) Big diff, huh? [Well, clearly enough of a difference to be used against the driver…] This shithead owner reckons he could’ve made the trip down safely. [Oh.. would that be the same owner whose incompetent maintenance in the rusted out chassis of the bus resulted in its roof shearing off? Not quite a respected person, in my books…] What a shithead. Poor Guy. [What I failed to mention here is that it only took ONE one hour lesson to get a bus license. This previous owner of the bus – who claims to have expertly traversed the Gillies in that very bus many times himself – also happened to have been Guy’s instructor. (See Friday’s clippings) What I really want to know – and it didn’t come up at least in my recollection – is whether any trainee driver would be instructed how to negotiate a mountain range in one one hour lesson? Somehow, I highly doubt it. Yes, clearly I am still biased towards Guy, all these years later.] Mark was being quite a sweetie today – smiling a lot, a little affection I changed those shorts (refund) & got an excellent pair for $36 at GOOD TIME, get this – with a free tan leather belt (after I forked out $12 for one – shit this free one’s even a closer colour to my shoes than the $12) Saw Vikki & Gemila in Big W this arvy ..they’re funny. Dropped ½ my lunch at the Esplanade today (made me angry) God I need sleep. Ate SNAKES in courtroom. Mark, Cam & Keith told to stop talking or they’d get thrown out.

Friday 18/9/87
[Articles from this morning’s Cairns Post, re-capping Thursday’s proceedings…and looking grim for the bus driver]

A Life in WordsA Life in WordsIt’s SHIT. Results of today were absolute SHIT. First, at inquest, we heard the addresses. It seemed certain Guy would get some charge- almost every barrister was against him. But his representative put up a good arguement. Then Mr McKenzie spoke, accentuating the company’s fault. [After all, had Guy not been made to take that company’s unroadworthy, malfunctioning vehicle up the Gillies Range to begin with, his driving skills would never have been questioned.] Mr Perrem & Mr Strooper also spoke (both nervous – Mr Perrem shaking terribly) After recess, the judge related his findings I cried at the mention of Monique’s form of death + earlier when  her death certificates were handed up as exhibits etc.) A Life in WordsThe stupid shithead found Guy to be driving recklessly, causing death [So the official charge against him was Dangerous Driving Causing Death] Cameras reporters outside. Mum was interviewed on FNQ10 News. [She expressed her dissatisfaction with the outcome.] NO ONE agreed with his decision: the mechanics got off SCOT-FREE IT’S UNBELIEVABLE. What sort of dick, prick, cunt, wanker is Trevor Pollock? [One whom I personally believe may have potentially been instructed by a higher power to find scapegoat. Yes, I have my own conspiracy theory, which I won’t disclose simply because it is – of course – conjecture.] Fi, Jo & I after dropping my eng. assign. at school, stayed in town all arvy.. I got some $15 jeans from KAFFA – need taking in at the waist, tho- but they’re great. Mum, Jules & I went late nite: I got a tape, too. See I rang Mark at home & he wasn’t in a good mood at all – last night [privacy omission] So apparently everyone’s shitty with Mark. not his fault. So I thought “great”, another boring night… depending on his mood tomorrow, we might do something sat. night SHIT

A Life in WordsSaturday 19/9/87

[I chose this particular news clipping from my collection because it was the most succinct article, but also exactly highlights the sentiments of the wider community about the inquest results: shock & disbelief that the mechanics & the bus company were liberated of any responsibility. Monique’s father poses the question that everyone wanted the answer to… see the third last paragraph of the article. (I’ve deliberately broken the  article up into segments (separate photos) so that the text can be more easily read.)A Life in Words

A Life in WordsA Life in Words

Today I did very little. . I re-arranged or, re-organized my drawers in my desk, then wrote the overdue birthday thank-you letters. [Yep, that’s VERY overdue: my birthday was in July.] I rang Mark around 3:00, he was feeling better today – [privacy omission] (Bad, huh?) He said he’d ring me back .. by 6:00 I thought I’d ring him, it was getting late. So we mucked around talking – he didn’t know what he was doing – I got upset -he said he’d ring back. I rang Fi & Jo & decided to go to Judd’s party with them. When Mark rang back he said they were going to Steve’s & then if they went out after, would I like to go? Well I said I’d be at Judd’s. Sure enough, they came & Mark was rather drunk. I kept my eye on him.. I noticed him kissing this girl at the bar & I got upset. He smoked a cigar & I was repulsed. To cut the story short; we argued & he broke us up. A Life in WordsI’ve never cried so much in my life. I begged, pleaded & threatened [crossed over to the next page…]

Sunday 20/9/87

him not to do it, but he .. oh shit, it hurts so much. There’s so many things. He kept saying he killed it: 9 months down the drain with [privacy omission] he doesn’t even know (well I know: Trisha F according to Deanne – St Monica’s slut. And I nearly hit her) […now that I can’t believe…] I tried my hardest to talk it out with Mark. [privacy omission] I had to walk home got to sleep 1:30, woke at 2:30, 3:30, 4 & got up at 6:00 – couldn’t sleep & had no appetite all day (did nothing ..some crash scrapbook) SO WORRIED. SO. DEPRESSED SO UPSET. I planned to go to his place to take his denim jacket back & talk. It was so hard .. he wasn’t going to change his mind. I couldn’t understand what he said. .he, I remember, “forget me, elissa. I’m no good for you. You’re making a mistake.” DON’T MARK. How can you say that? [Maybe because he was being honest?] Finally, I convinced him he said we’ll have a break, till he wants to get in touch again.. but I can’t handle even that. I need him. [Urgh. Those words most certainly do not exist in my vocabulary now.] I was looking forward to the holidays with him, so much. FUCK THAT PARTY. FUCK IT [Sorry honey, but that party – and everything that happened at it – was necessary…]

As an afterthought, I decided to include this article from Sunday’s paper, penned by the father of one of my Year 12 classmates (who obviously had a vested interest in covering the inquest) He highlights what is to me an exquisite and genuine human virtue: Selflessness Sun 20 Sep headline

A Life in Words

Mood Swings, Errant Incisors & The Jody Keen Memorial Trophy (31 August-6 September)

Monday 31/8/87

Well it’s 10:30: I have only ½ my english assignment done (if I don’t hand it in before school tomorrow I get 0/20) and I have ASAT (Australian Scholastic Aptitude test) tomorrow, which I haven’t even looked at the booklet, for. [See this post from a fortnight ago if you want a little more detail about the ASAT] Great, huh? I really felt conscious today about my schoolwork .. I’m going to work harder to get everything right for my exams – maths, chem & biol. next week. [Yeah yeah, heard it all before…] MUST do well. Got my art mark Got 16/20- I was disappointed: a few people got 20’s -about 5. But I made her [my teacher] ‘up’ my mark by one, so I’m a V.H now, at least. [Well …that’s interesting. I don’t remember that, and can’t believe I was that …”assertive”. Some assertiveness in other areas of my life would’ve been helpful…] God, I’m tired & I know I’ll stuff up the ASAT tests. SHIT. I won’t even get my english assignment done. God help me. I barely talked to Mark at all today. He’s really getting me down – he is so bored with me & that really does nothing for my ego. A Life in Words[And I was way too young to realise that Ego IS the problem…] Wrote a letter – not sure if I’ll send it yet. I’ll get Fi to read over it & tell me if it’d make him react wrongly (ie: MAD) [LOL, a ‘wrong reaction’?!] mucked around in biol. though I actually was a bit more bold & felt really relaxed around him. could tell he was still bored with me tho’. Please change back Mark – be romantic again. [Wanting or expecting someone (anyone!) to Change = nothing but Pain]

Tuesday 1/9/87

I arrived later than usual trying to get my english done (I didn’t) went up to do ASAT tests . . were hard, generally, although some parts were easier than others. . at little lunch I left straight away: finished my assignment at home then went to see the orthopaedic surgeon (Dr Bottoms) he talked a lot went in late, of course; came out around 1:35. . […and the result was? I can’t recall, or even guess, whether this appointment was actually for my personal ‘benefit’ or related to the building of my Third Party compensation claim from the bus accident…] got back to school near start of 6th period. Boring in art; did little in chemistry (Cameron distracting me a lot) after school, I went up to talk to Mark, for the first time of the day: “What’s wrong?” I said cheerfully. No answer “OK” I said & sat next to him. He said “Don’t ever say that to me again.” I was just shocked. “What?” “What’s wrong?” I sat really bewildered & depressed & upset – I moved over to Fi & tears sprang up. What the fuck had I done wrong? I was very upset. At home rang Fi – she said ring him – wasn’t home, so rang me back – seemed cheerful enough – said “I just hate people saying that – giving me sympathy when I don’t need or want it.” SHIT. OK. I fucking got the message. A Life in WordsWrote another letter -told him about them & I’ll let him read them tomorrow

Wednesday 2/9/87

Fucked up day. Pissed off cause stupid bitch wouldn’t let me go for my learners cos I only had I.D. no birth certificate. Then I went to courthouse to get it & found out I have to send away to Brisbane (will take ages) then I get home this arvy & mum finds out I’ve got it after all. & tonight I’m really shitty about my teeth The fucking gap is growing bigger, still. soon it’s going to be just the same as it was – fucking mile wide. [For those who haven’t been following my ‘story’, I’d grown up with an impressive sized gap between my teeth – as well as a decent overbite – which I hated (see my post Welcome to My Life for more detail & a picture) but had to wait until I was about fourteen to receive the quite complex & lengthy corrective (orthodontic) treatment I desperately desired. Once I was permitted to ditch the final piece of oral apparatus – my plate – I didn’t realise the stubborn gap would slowly, sneakily open up again. It certainly didn’t return to its original size, and I don’t recall being overly conscious of it, but years later I finally discovered the cause: my ‘frenum’ – the tissue connecting my top lip to my gum – was so thick and large that it forced my teeth to separate again. A Life in Words(My sister had the same problem: thanks for those genes, mum and/or dad!) Needless to say, my dentist at the time performed a ‘frenectomy’ (ASAP!) to remove the offending tissue and my incisors slowly shifted toward each other again. Yay!] ASAT finished thank god. Saw Mark’s photo’s from (before) the formal. He got my letters but hasn’t read them yet. Bet he did tonight & I’ll bet he’s shitty tomorrow or something. [That’s positive thinking!] He’ll probably say “stuff you bitch – I won’t go out with you anymore then.” PISS OFF. I’m in the worst mood. [No?!] He was rather nice today tho’. Made an effort, kind of (Are you sure you didn’t already read those letters??) Wierd. Hot weather – but still cool at nights & in early morning (to about 9:00) Don’t be angry Mark – I love you too much. [Illogical reasoning! The act of loving someone bears little influence on their moods.]

Thursday 3/9/87

Well we had a parade this morning – Mr McKenzie received a certificate for the crash (or something) [I can’t recall this, but I am certain it would have been for his amazing conduct, leadership & compassion during and after the bus accident] and, Mark seemed O.K. today. He gave me the formal photos from his dad’s camera. This arvy I got upset a bit because he resorted to the usual “I don’t like you & I’m never going to talk to you again…” routine I’m sick of it [again; you DO have a  choice…].. and I hate, detest hearing it from him. Jesus. My english exam I found pretty easy- I know I’ll pass, but don’t know how “well” I’ll do. My appointment with Ms Forbes [our school counsellor] was a waste: she was busy so I had to see that guy Mr Inskip & I forgot all my material anyway so it was a waste. […of time. And we know how much I hate ‘Waste’…] A Life in WordsI was rude, I think – it was so tired. Finally finished copying out M’s & C’s letters. [Mark gave me these to read the week before. I must’ve found them so entertaining that I wanted to make copies. Go back to Thursday’s entry in my previous post if you want to know a bit more about them.] It’s 10:37. I’m dead! Wonder if Mark’ll talk to me tomorrow. God that hurts. I’m so sorry I’m a sook.

Friday 4/9/87

A Life in Words
Jody at our leadership camp, just a few hours before the bus crash that took his life.

Well, we talked a bit, but after school we had a big talk. It lasted about 45 mins and, had I not been out picking Julia & Cherie up from the movies, and doing quick grocery shopping with mum, he would’ve rung & we would’ve talked more. He doesn’t know what to do about our relationship: he, oh, I don’t know (either does he) [hmmm, I’m not sure about that…] Boring day. My appointment was another waste of time today – Mr Inskip hopeless. Did QTAC forms this morning period one (the day’s timetable was totally rearranged) [The Queensland Tertiary Admissions Centre (QTAC) is the organisation that manages student course applications for pretty much all tertiary education centres in the state. You can imagine it’d be a pretty complex task…] God I’m tired. We lost the Rugby Union Final. Brothers (Saints) defeated us 14-4 & took the (new) Jody Keen Memorial Trophy. [Jody being one of our fellows killed in the bus crash. I remember feeling a bit disappointed that our CHS union team failed to claim a trophy dedicated to one of its own students, in its premier year.] P.N. spent lunch CH M,M!!! Said Hi this arv. too! [Crush, much?] Need to get to sleep soon: mima & fi & I going to town tomorrow, then Mark’ll ring or visit (he left a message on machine tonite). We’ll do something tomorrow night (He & Keith are moving into David’s (Keith’s brother’s) house for 2 weeks while he’s away) → (has no phone on) we still need to talk a lot.

Saturday 5/9/87

I slept very badly last night (Waking frequently) Woke around 7:00 this morning unable to fall asleep again, I got up. Around 8:45 mima & fi picked me up- we went to Earlville first (PN not work.) then into town.. not really exciting, but a good way to start off the weekend; just wish I had money to buy some clothes. At home, did chem, as well as resting a bit. Mark & Keith came around 3:00, we went for a drive (hockey fields) took Glyn (B.) home & then me. Jo rang tonite, after Mark; they came around 8:30 & we went to the House on the Hill. EMPTY!! Glyn came down; she had to be home by 10:00- Mark drove her. (Played pretty cool music, towards 11:00) When he came back ($ drinks) sat in Smithy’s till 11:45. (Mark was being really nice – that stuff I said about romance & chivalry might’ve got thru’ to him, because he was so sweet .. and I laughed a lot- couldn’t help smiling – even tho’ we didn’t dance (much), it was probly one of the best nights, up there .. music & Mark – the way he was!) Picked Glyn up [continued next page:]

Sunday 6/9/87

→again and back at David’s, we tried (supposedly) to sleep, but mucked around. I could never get bored with the ‘foreplay’ Glyn left around 3:00 – came in, & let us know she was going (!!!) […hmmm…] Slept – so tired. I woke around 6:00. . couldn’t sleep again for a while (wanted M. to wake but he wouldn’t) so eventually I dozed off. around 9:00 we were both wide awake & mucking around again. Keith “chucked a fit” around 10:00 (“Get up – make a move”) A Lfe in WordsAfter one crumpet, they took me home, where I dozed & slept till about 2:00 . . Mark rang, mid afternoon – sweet! I was surprised he rang “for no reason” – just to talk. And that we did (not a long phone call- I don’t like long calls anymore after that arguement he had with his folks that time) so I did chem. before going to dad’s. [Aha… Father’s Day] We sat for ¾hr waiting before going home again (where I tried to do maths) He rang about 8:30- said he only just got home. Too bad – he’s coming ‘fore school 2morrow to get his prezzy. It’s almost 10:00 now, I must get some more sleep!!! I ♥ MARK.

Ringing Ears, Ticklish Spots & Roses for Monique (24-30 August)

A Life in WordsMonday 24/8/87

It’s 10:50. INXS was cool! I had a really great time despite the lack of people I knew [Why do you have to know heaps of people at a concert? Aren’t you just there to enjoy the music? No; in case you hadn’t previously gathered, I preferred social events to involve lots of people, and particularly ones I knew, because I’m innately shy. Another fact, which no one seems to believe…] .. Jo came, tho (late, but) Sharon, Sandie & Donna were there – Sandie hung around Jules & I. It really was a cool rage!! Now my ears are ringing bad & I’ll never wake up in the morning!!  The drummer [Jon Farriss] looked so much like Mark – was unbelievable. Sometimes he didn’t, but lotsa times he did!! [And it wasn’t just ‘infatuated little me’ that thought so: my friend Jo agreed wholeheartedly.] Speaking of whom – we got on pretty well today, considering. […considering the way things had been between us for the previous 3-4 weeks…] (I’m into running writing at the moment) [This comment isn’t so random in context. Basically, I wrote this entry (and the next 3 days) in my diary in ‘running writing’ – the Aussie term for longhand or cursive script. I considered including a snapshot of it but it’s not terribly attractive (neat!)] Talked a bit (at big lunch I was in A block room for careers meeting – not many people in the group turned up – including Mark.) No HW done again (To be expected) Mark’s really bored with life- wants to move out of home- live in Keith’s caravan by himself. Oh dear. Must get to sleep! Nite!!

Tuesday 25/8/87

OK day. not great; rather hot in the afternoon. Got on rather well with Mark today – talked a bit more than usual (or at least hung around him more) we’re going to movies Saturday night. Boring day actually – nothing worth noting. Hung around cameron a bit too, today. (Lunchtime) Jeez, I’m into running writing lately (it’s messy- but, well, I don’t know why I like it!) [….and it takes up a lot more space. It’s just as well I didn’t have much to say: check out how ‘short’ this entry is …thanks to my big, clumsy longhand writing.] It’s 9:00 – need an early night cause school dance tomorrow night. My ears were still ringing this morning. Had a parade in the new covered area, tho’ its still officially out of bounds. [Still technically a construction site, I guess?] God I’m tired. Hope someone goes tomorrow night (the guys are – I know that) [Someone WHO? It doesn’t sound like I was referring to Mark because I’m quite sure I’d include him in ‘the guys’…] Justine visited this arvy – she’s got a bad habit of talking all about herself !!! […..ummm…..?!]

Wednesday 26/8/87

O.K. day again. I talked a bit more to Mark, tho’ I saw him less- pretty affectionate (compared to what we’ve been over the past 2 weeks (or 3??)) at the dance (which was piss-poor for an open [meaning open to students from other schools] dance) Went in this arvy & bought 12 red roses (for delivery to Perrems tomorrow) [it would have been Monique’s 17th birthday] + another 3 to put under the [memorial] tree at school. + at home, we rang Cairns Post & placed the ad in (I’ll cut it out & stick it in) [Because the lyrics resonated with me, Chrissie Hynde’s track ‘Hymn to Her’ became one of my anthems for Monique after her death and since they were so apt, I chose them for her birthday message. See Thursday’s entry (below) for the news clipping.] It’s 11:45 & I’m not even tired. So hot for summer. At soccer, our teacher wasn’t there, so we mucked around playing silly games (fun!) The walk was long & hot & boring! I’ll be glad of the sleep tonight. Did no HW again – so rushed! Tomorrow I’ll have to go late nite to get mima’s present + I have an english assignment + a textiles minor [assignment for art] due Friday. SHIT! So tired, now.

A Life in Words
My birthday message for Monique, followed by Mima’s and one by Elizabeth, the Year 9 student whose own sadness made me tear up.

Thursday 27/8/87  monique’s birthday

I almost forgot the roses: we had to turn around at Stratford & go home to get them- there were lots of flowers under the [bus crash memorial] tree by the end of the day: (& notes) I cried a bit in the morning – then Elizabeth (Gr 9.) made my eyes water when she came up to me after big lunch (crying) I sang Happy Birthday to her 3 times. Mark (& quite a few others) didn’t know it was her birthday. I went into town at big lunch & got Jemima’s present – 2 charms. (Barely saw Mark today- but he gave me Cameron’s & his silly letters & stories – I read them this arvy) [These guys had very vivid imaginations and interesting senses of humour so these made for entertaining reading…] Got started on my art tonight (the printing material was excellent but) – I stuffed up the sewing: total waste – so I didn’t even start my english- will miss double english 2morrow – going for 3rd period on – give me time to do my bag [for art] & make mima a card etc. Mr & Mrs Perrem rang tonite – thanking me for the flowers & message in the paper. (mima put one in too) [Aunties came 4 tea] [This little sentence was fully bordered: an impossible thing to reproduce in here in print…] Auntie Ruth bought my old diptych from the art exhibition last year – $80!!!

Friday 28/8/87

A Life in Words
All ‘cosied up’ at mima’s birthday sleepover party

MIMA’S B’DAY Well I missed not only double english, but also 3rd & little lunch. Got the bag sewn roughly together then Mrs Marsland said she wasn’t looking at the stitchery anyway. So by the time I talked to Mark it was big lunch & he barely spoke at all. I saw him barely at all. He seemed to be not talking only to me. So I spent nearly all the day with mima & fi & the Yr 11girls (& Jo) Mima’s cake was yummy. I went with Fi to her shop after school & we had to wait till 5:20 before Martin brought the car back, then trying to find Thorstein’s place, we got to Rugby Union around 5:45 (started at 5:00) Mark hurt his knee – but talked a little more to me. At home I got ready [for Mima’s birthday party] & made a card. The party was quite good, indeed! Quite a few people turned up! […including a number of fellas I found attractive!] Philip (N), Glyn & Thorstein found my ticklish spots 2 [‘too’, not literally ‘two’. There’s definitely more than two!] that was unreal [I’ll bet! And you’d’ve absolutely cherished the attention…] – I laughed so much! Fell asleep during a video after 2:00 (the guys left – they had to) [a parental order] Slept badly – squashy, hot (now & then) between Juliet & Jo

Saturday 29/8/87

Woke around 7:00. So tired. Everyone left pretty early (for work etc) Mum came and got me around 9:00. Bad news from the plastic surgeon- he reckons the scars will fade & flatten, but the dents & actual scars will never disappear. I found it so hard to hold back the tears till I left the surgery. [Kudos to me for even doing that. While I am usually pretty hard on myself (especially my younger self) I can’t put myself down for this. It was a huge deal. Realising the permanence of this huge deformity goes beyond simple aesthetics: similar to the loss of a limb or the loss of use of regions of your body (think blindness or para/quadraplegia) there has to be a corresponding mental & emotional adjustment that necessarily involves grief: I would never be ‘normal’ (as I’d experienced or defined it in my life up to that point in time) again …even though I have gone on to achieve things I’d never have dreamed possible – especially at that very moment in time – how was I to know?] At home, Keith rang & they (him, Mark & Glyn (B)) took me to the beach. Only one problem (fucking big, tho)- Mark was back to not talking to me. Why? Keith reckons (all night, too) that I’ve done nothing.A Life in Words BULL SHIT BULLSHIT – why will he only grunt when I talk to him? Sometimes he wouldn’t even answer my questions. We went to my place, Mark’s & Glyn’s – we got stuff for the movies ..at Keith’s I slept – had nothing else to do-Mark being like that. (My affectionate advances fell flat, too, except at the movies: we held hands) But after, he still seemed so bored, moody or angry .. that, when they dropped me off – I simply said goodbye. I think he was waiting for me to give him a kiss, but I couldn’t. Now I feel sick sick & upset with worry. I’ll have to ring tomorrow & apologise, [are you serious?] but I’m POSITIVE there’s something concerning me, wrong.

Sunday 30/8/87

I did nothing today- felt nothing but sickness .. a kind of nausea. Wasted away the morning – talked to Amanda when she came up, then slept when she left. At 4:15, I rang Mark & (it was very short) asked him if he could come over. He came around 4:30 I think – the talk was absolutely fruitless. I wish I could give up & just leave him. Why does he have to be so [physically] attractive? He says I’m crazy to like him – he doesn’t know why. Well, news for you; either do I. All I know is that I can’t [break up with him]. Now that must mean something. Of course it does. [Yep…] I fucking love him. A Life in Words[Nope. It just means you’re ‘hooked’ and afraid to let go. You’ve created a pattern based on an Attachment to something/someone you Desire and like the majority of people on this planet, you’ll (continue to) endure Pain rather than face (the) Fear (of relinquishing your ‘Need’).] When was the last time I wrote something cute or nice about him? He’s bored, so bored & it’s rubbing off on me. [Oh rubbish.] I want the magic and romance, but it’s just not there. [If it’s not there, it’s just not there…] God it hurts to realize this. So Mark left around 5:45. I did no HW. I’m really in a very deep rut & I can’t, won’t get out. Warmer weather. Ate only 3 meals today – no snacking- wow. What the fuck can I do to make our relationship exciting? [Not much if there’s no reciprocated effort or interest…]

A Gas Explosion, ASAT Rehearsals & Something is Up (17-23 August)

Monday 17/8/87

Had a really good sleep last night – long! I woke around 9:30 today. (and spent nearly all day in bed anyway). [Still ‘off sick’ from school?] Still didn’t do any of my english assignment ..nor any study for my biology exam. But I’m taking tomorrow off, too: Nana’s funeral is at 10:00 – then at home I’ll have to get myself into gear & really work. [Uh-huh…] I did feel much better today – the chest region is much less blocked & I’m coughing a lot less. I only feel “off-colour” now & then, esp. when I eat, although I do have some sort of appetite back (I’ve lost 2kgs since I got sick!) [Yep, reducing caloric inatke will usually do that…] still can’t believe Mark was “worried” about me. He said that Sunday (after the Smithfield formal party) he couldn’t play baseball, because he was sick with grief at the thought that I’d leave him when I heard about him & Angela. I’m extremely flattered (for once!) [Oh my god.] In a way, it worries me, though. I don’t know if he’s over it yet. [You’re misreading your gut instinct…] BIG gas explosion in town today near Mike’s work – we heard it here!! A Life in Words[Freshwater (where we lived) is approximately 10 kilometres from the explosion site and there’s a mountain range separating them so that’s pretty impressive. (…but what do I know about explosions?) It was the result of an LPG storage unit catching fire and killed one person, injuring twenty-seven. Here’s a link to a public government record of the incident. There’s not a great deal of detail, but the comments provide some perspectives.]

Tuesday 18/8/87

Am feeling much better today. Eating is a bit easier – don’t feel as ill when I eat (ate a lot today!) I still cough – but only ’cause’ of the chest phlem. [Yep, I spelled it wrong] Still, I get very tired. I had to rest a number of times today & actually had a sleep. Nana’s funeral was at 10:00. It was quite short & I didn’t cry. I can’t. Because I’m happier that she’s gone – she’s not in pain ..she’s with grandpa at last, too. [I’d never known my maternal grandfather – he’d passed away during my mother’s childhood.] It’s a little sad thinking about how she was, knowing I won’t see her again, but I’m just glad she’s resting in peace. I just wish she didn’t go out the way she did..that’s the sad part. [I’m not exactly sure what I meant there – whether it was referring to the ‘humiliation’ of being a morphine ‘vegetable’ or the rheumatoid arthritic disease experience as a whole. Either way, the attitude I’d developed towards death is obvious: not afraid of Death itself, but the way in which we meet it. A Life in WordsPrior to the bus accident, I’d always believed the only way to ‘go’ was to pass peacefully in your sleep (being unconscious of it). After the accident, experiencing firsthand the power of Shock; the body’s incredible hormonal response to immense trauma, to ‘thwart’ the conscious Mind, I’ve come to realise that the death experience can be – if not ‘peaceful’ – at least ‘tolerable’ in wider range of scenarios. Nana effectively died peacefully because the morphine interfered (greatly) with her consciousness.] Mark didn’t ring again tonight. I’m sure now something’s still up. I have a strong feeling he’s letting me go (cos he thinks I don’t love him.) He is all I think about! [That ‘strong feeling’? Listen to it.] All the aunts (Joy, Nancy & Ruth) + Cynthia & Dougie stayed all day. Hilary is going home tomorrow: stopping in Brisbane to scatter Nana’s ashes (hopefully with grandpa’s) Is 9:43. Take tomorrow off [school – that’s been quite awhile, now…] to study biol & do my eng. assign. (I’m still too tired in the day to go back) [oh I see…]

Wednesday 19/8/87

What a waste! I’ve written 2 sentences on my assignment & done no biol. study, watsoever! [Surprise, surprise!] A Life in WordsI read Julius Caesar today, but that was about all I did. I’m going to die tomorrow- I’ll be so behind- this weekend I’ll really have to knuckle down & work (HA, HA) [Even I don’t believe myself!] Mr. G will kill me. Oh dear; that’s all I can think about. Auntie Hilary left today (I ate so much today) was rather hot, too. Auntie Joy’s going tomorrow. It looks like we’re off to Brisbane for xmas!! (Great! Hope I can go while mark’s out of town) Wish Fi could come, or something. She’s having trouble with Jemima (it’s got to do a bit with me & everyone really) she’s just sick of all the Grade 12’s. – sitting with Yr 11 girls. Fi came round this arvy to talk – she got her lisense today! Still no call from Mark. Am hesitant about seeing him tomorrow. Will everything be O.K.?? Will have to get up early, I suppose, to do my english. Great. SO DAMNED BEHIND!

Thursday 20/8/87

Got over my assignment hassle O.K (didn’t get it finished – just talked my way out) But was supposed to have it done for tomorrow’s double lesson- & of course just like me, I didn’t bother to do any (any HW for that matter) of it. Will have to wake early tomorrow again to finish it Have only just under one page to write. Barely saw mima or fi for that matter but I know they weren’t together. Had ASAT [Australian Scholastic Aptitude Test] practise tests today. [These national exams are meant to determine each Australian students’ achievement at the completion of secondary schooling. Their applicability is becoming a societal discussion of late.] I only got 15 questions answered, but of those, I got 11 right! (Hope I can do as well, or better in the real ones) [Duh…] Read my ’83 & 84 diaries this arvy – so funny some of the things. [….try reading them in 28 years later!] 10:35 – yet another late nite. I told Jo about Adam M’s friend that likes me & she said “Philip N” I said “WHAT?” she said “He works with Philip..” my god that would be totally incredible. [Obviously I misheard Jo and got excited… a little crush, ya think?] Barely saw Mark at all – talked even less. I’m sure something’s still wrong. A Life in WordsGot Cabaret [Cairns High’s musical for the year] tickets- will pay Nigel tomorrow. Had to do thing about Monique for the Euroka this arvy- (Got photos of my leg too) Nigel read my eng. assign. on her & cried (I got 19/20 for it) [I don’t remember that… jeez, I wish I still had it… as well as all those photos of my leg…] am worried about Mark.

Friday 21/8/87

It’s 11:00. Can’t wait for tomorrow night! Got my english done (not before school as I’d planned, but during my english lesson. OK. finish, not great tho’.) Barely talked to Mark again… I’m positive something’s up: the same something as we talked about? I don’t know, but it gives me the shits. Tried to ring tonight (for once) but he was at Keith’s – too bad! I watched the movie & am now “dead”!! Tomorrow night’ll be ace! Cameron & I fighting in chem – he kicked me in the same place (left shin) 2 times- now I have a very sore lump (egg) [My shins have always been super-sensitive. I bruise really easily everywhere and often don’t know how I get a lot of them, but my shin bones… there’s NO way I’d be clueless about any damage sustained to them…] went into town with Jo & Fi after school …stayed in there for ages- Mr C dropped me home. Looking at all the great clothes (& shoes) in there (drool, drool) P.C.supp. (car) [← but I have absolutely NO idea what this cryptic wording means. I’m wondering if it’s related to the other Phil I had an interest in; Phil C.? Maybe I glimpsed him in a car? Pfft, who knows?] Bludge day, really. Pretty cool weather (about 27ºC) fine (sunny) I eat too much (fattening stuff) Must do lotsa HW tomorrow. Think I know who/that “guy” is. yukky Year 11 CAD guy. (I think that might be him cause I’ve noticed he’s nearly always around) YUKKY Mark, please get over this “phase”… it’s awkward for me. [LOL.] TIRED!

Saturday 22/8/87

A Life in WordsThe day at home was boring .. I listened to records/tapes while doing my art (weaving) – no HW (set HW) done Beautiful weather. . a little cloudy. Fi visited me late this arvy (Mark rang and it wasn’t a good phone call seemed so bored.. I felt really down after it) to borrow my black shirt. My hair was tied in rags [to create the messy wavy-crinkly look that was so hot back then!] (looked funny) Ran late of course: dinner at 7:15 – they came when I was just taking the rags out. CABARET was cool! Mark didn’t seem impressed. In fact he didn’t seem anything. I really don’t know what to do. Anyway I felt sick during last part (after interval) right up until 1:00 or so.. I lay in Fi’s car, then in Peter’s room. [There must have been an after-party…] I’m sure I was just sick from worry about Mark. [That’d be no surprise…] Jason got him to come in & we talked a little.. he thinks nothing’s happening.. so he left the room & I came out soon after .. just as well I did when I did because we left for the St. Monica’s party (Deena B) soon after (& Fiona was gone somewhere…

Sunday 23/8/87

→ I saw her ages later at the party. It was just as boring really. .had to pay for drinks etc (I couldn’t be bothered) I hung around Mark a lot in an attempt to change what has been happening all last week & the week before : that is: nothing. But I still got the feeling he didn’t want me near him. [What a waste of energy] I was especially upset when I showed him some affection & he totally ignored it. I left with Fi, very confused & slightly angry. – very hurt. Got home around 5:30, after hearing about Jo’s, Fi’s, Brendan L’s & Jason’s “problem” [??] wasted the whole day – weeping & thinking about mark. He rung in mid-afternoon. We had a very long D&M (deep & meaningful) was it meaningful? Um, yeah I guess. [….and? what? Clearly no resolution…] Tania visited just a few minutes ago (holidays from uni …didn’t know what to say) […well your sociability would have been compromised by your emotional state…] mark’s going through a “nonchalant” phase: not caring about anything. A Life in WordsI’ll just have to sit it out .. be patient as always. & hope it’ll pass soon. We talked a lot about breaking up & that worries me. [It must have been my tenacity, my resolve to not be ‘the ‘bad guy’ – the one to call it quits. I mean, it’s as obvious as a punch in the face that he wanted out, surely? I was clearly gullible, but not stupid.] NITE.

Sleep Struggles, Cramming & My First Monique Dream (15-21 June)

Monday 15/6/87

Today was non-stop for me! I had an extremely restless night – finally got to sleep round 11:30 then woke up a number of times during the night .. so tired this morning. [Stress will do that to you…] At school, when Mark came we sat & talked a little – he’s sick again. .. the headache & mainly very sore throat. After parade, had double chem.. catching up on pracs. then maths I busily worked fixing up [computer] programmes. . even worked into little lunch, trying to catch up on one programme (with Mark’s printout) so ½ way thru little lunch, I drop my bag at artroom & race off to give Mark his printout, before he left ..walked back with him to artroom (he needed paint). He left during 4th ..double art I did a bit of painting when Ms Marsland finished talking to us; that (painting) went into lunch hour, so went up to computer room & tried a few little programmes. Bell went; in english I copied out notes on novel & play for revision, then in bio got test (mark) back & fixed up all mistakes. A Life in WordsMum took me home . . I sat studying maths till about 6:30. Rang Mark briefly, then watched TV the rest of the night. So it’s now 9:45. And I’m not at all ready for this math exam(s) I really should’ve tried harder to catch up. my fault. [Ownership!] Big failure tomorrow.

Tuesday 16/6/87

A Life in Words
This isn’t the original portrait, but it certainly is yet another failed attempt…

Man, am I in a great mood! I just had a big (and I mean MASSIVE) attack of laughter (not giggles . . it was cackle) Man, was it fun! I don’t know why either! [And it doesn’t matter! It was scientifically verified quite some time ago that Laughter reduces Stress thanks to ‘positive’ hormonal responses = lifting one’s mood!] See, Maths Prac.. I think I’ll pass (just) because I managed to learn trapezoidal method before we went in .. & that happened to be the Q. [Oh and have I ever needed to refer to Trapezoidal Method again in my life (to date)? I’ll give you one guess…] But, after 2½ hours study time after it (& for lunch) I wrote out the rest of my maths I [this ‘I’ denotes ‘One’ …as opposed to another separate subject, known as ‘Maths II’ …or Maths ‘Two’…!] notes (programmes etc) But to no avail. Come the test, Elissa leaves at least 5 Q’s totally blank & writes crap for all the rest. Fact was ..I wasn’t even worried cos’ I knew from the outset I’d fail (but by how much? – HEAPS, I think) [Lower expectations = less Stress?] Then again So’d everybody else.. not many will pass that exam I think. Talked a fair bit to Mark, “in-between” ..being “sweet” today.. liked it. This arvy (Jason drove us home) did artwork of Monique & Erica, but is nowhere near them, like Mark is of his portrait. [Photo-realistic artwork can be so hit-and-miss…] so I rubbed them out v. angrily. wasted the arvy & night will have to cram for english tomorrow morning. just, really, have to learn quotes, poems & read over examples & notes. BASIC! (Ha, ha) Is 9:10. GOD, I FEEL GOOD!!

Wednesday 17/6/87

This morning I spent trying to find quotes and it was pointless. At the last minute, mum took me to school. Mark came late & sat on the other side of the room  I did not do well at all. It was a very hard english exam (of the 3 I’ve now had at CHS, [one per semester so; two in Year 11 + this Yr 12 first semester = 3] it’s the one I feel worst about.) Oh dear; I’m not doing well! Mark barely talked after – left almost straight away – his sinuses are playing up now. That’s probly why. [Another confusing statement, thanks to poor grammar… I’m thinking I meant he “probly” “barely talked” to me because of his “sinuses playing up” This composition doesn’t really help to illustrate how good an English student I was, huh?] Mum picked me up & took me home. This arvy, I did almost nothing. Tried to do art, tried a little bio study but I was too tired- lay down all arvy. And watched TV tonight (the movie too – umah! it’s 10:10 too late!) Fine today (hot too) Oh, I’m tired – what a fool I am. Thinking about Monique a lot today (dreamt about her for the 1st time since the crash, last night) Dreamt her ghost was with me – everywhere ..we talked & did all the things we would normally do. It’s not fair. She shouldn’t have died. She didn’t deserve it. I didn’t deserve it. I need her. I want her. [Wow, SO many things to address here, relative to the beliefs I have formed over the years: firstly, Death is only ‘undeserved’ if our perception of it is a Bad Thing. And I now think it’s not at all. (Perhaps the way you end life is more frightening than Death itself?) I believe wherever we ‘go’ after is actually our true ‘Home’. A Life in WordsEach life is a journey (of tests and/or merely ‘Experience’). So maybe she DID deserve it? Maybe she had served her purpose and deserved to be free of her “meatsuit” (body) and the trials of mortal life? We (me, her family et al) who she left here could certainly feel jibbed because her physical departure is our loss. The truth is, no one needs anyone. We can certainly want them but the Futility, that only perpetuates Pain…]

Thursday 18/6/87

Well, I’m bugared. It’s about 11:10. I just got told by Julia that it’s time to go to bed. [A wee dig at my little sister, for “bossiness”?!] I am tired, but I bet I won’t get to sleep soon. My sleep has been terrible for the last 2 weeks, or so. And it’s not doing me any good. Well, I stuffed my biol. prac. no way I could pass that (except for a miracle) that’s why I think I “knuckled down” tonight – gotta do ‘excellently’ in my theory to keep me up there. I wasted this morning – didn’t get to do any of my art because there was an art exam in our room. SHIT! I spent the time in the library, doing biol instead. Mark barely talked, but I know he’s not shitty with me. Anyway I rang him tonight – about 20mins- we got on O.K. He’s getting better finally … just his throat (& that terrible cough) now. Good-o! Boring day. It actually fined-up, but raining few minutes ago. Well 11:15 now. TOO LATE A NIGHT! Please God, help me do exceedingly wonderful[ly!] in my biol. theory!

Friday 19/6/87

It’s 10:00 now. I’m not in a great mood today well – I’m a little depressed. Mark barely talked to me today. It’s getting me down; he’s not shitty or angry with me, I know, but he barely talks to me. Anyway, after the biol. exam, he went to study & that’s the last I saw of him. I went to the art room at finished my painting. [“at finished my painting”? No, not a typo, I actually wrote that in my diary.. not thinking clearly?] Left school around 2:50. He was still in his exam. He didn’t ring me tonight (this arv.) So I rang him, around 6:50. Very short phone call. He was going to town with Keith. I can’t explain why I felt so miserable – I was ready to cry. Why didn’t he want to spend the night with me? I’m feeling neglected. I want to be loved. I haven’t had time with him for around 2 weeks.. doesn’t he miss that? I can’t understand how he feels. Jesus, I need a better diary next year. . so I can write as much as I want -2 or 3 pages. Now 10:30 -movie is finished. Got to sleep around midnight last nite (as I thought) &  woke at 6:30 this morning. What’s wrong with me?

Saturday 20/6/87

I wasn’t excessively worried, but a little disappointed (yet just as I had expected) when I didn’t get a phonecall from Mark. I spent the whole day talking to Julia, Amanda (laughing!) watching TV (the sat. morning music shows), after reading the paper (believe it or not) [Even now, I hardly watch TV news let alone read newspapers…] Well, I decided not to vege out at home – rang Fi – she was out, so rang Sharon. I went to her place then we left for the pancake house. Long talk! A Life in WordsLots to catch up on! Then to see Les Patterson Saves The World and Playing For Keeps. Les Patt. is very sick humour – Playing for keeps is O.K.!! At her place, had hot chocolate then bombed! I was so tired! – 12:45. (the day had fined up! sunny! Yay! I did no. chem. study – umah!) thought about Mark a far bit esp. trying to get to sleep- but I always do!

Sunday 21/6/87

Woke around, god, can’t remember, but I had a good sleep there (if only it could’ve been longer ie. gotten to bed earlier! My black bags still haven’t gone – big as ever!) Well, after brekky, went to Holloways Beach for about 1½hrs. (about 10:30-12:00) The back of my right leg is burnt! (scars pink!) Saw Giles S and Brendan L. Talked a little (about the crash) at Sharon’s, before she got ready for hockey and dropped me home on her way there. I knew it – I dreaded asking “No phone calls?” Nope. So I spent the rest of the afternoon doing nothing- the weather was beautiful – mum’s room so cool: I just sat lazing. It was great! Tonite I rang Fi …she said I should ring him. I wanted to, anyway but wanted her opinion. He was in the shower -rang back about 30mins later (I was annoyed!) Talk was O.K. Not exciting, but he wasn’t shitty with me. We are going to the movies tomorrow nite – I had to organise it as usual. Mima & polly just “dropped in” – walking with their family.. embarrassing – I had only my P.J. shirt on – my fat legs showing!! [I wonder how ‘fat’ they actually were? I’m skeptical about that, because of my poor self-image] Watching mini-series now. It’s 9:20 will be another late night.

Venom, Pedestals, Bruised Fruit & Bed-Swapping (25-31 May)

Monday 25/5/87

Well today was different. Got on really good though. (Though?) Yes, “though”. (Though, what?) [Love the conversive story telling? One might relate it to a touch of schizophrenia?] Well, there’s rumours he got with (you guessed it) Nicole. I don’t want to believe them. See, I didn’t think Mark would get with anybody – it didn’t cross my mind once I trusted him. Then these rumours: I chose to disbelieve, but more evidence against my opinion .. I am too afraid to say anything to him in case he gets angry [Alarm bells! If you fear ANY kind of interaction with a partner, should you be there at all?] .. he can’t see that I do trust him, but I wish (if this did happen) that he would tell me . . be honest. Going behind my back destroys trust… A Life in Words[um, so you are saying you accept cheating …as long as you’re informed of it? It’s certain that a lack of honest & openness is not conducive to trust but, well, I certainly wouldn’t accept certain behaviours from a partner now even if he was open about it…] but I think he didn’t tell me because (1) he was afraid of losing me because of it.. and/or (2) he knew it would destroy what trust I had in him, totally. [Ya think? Analyse, analyse, analyse….] But I’m all worked up. [Privacy omission] broke up. He got with Nina Nina admitted it to Julia. She & [privacy omission] and Nicole & Mark. I HATE that Fuckin bitch. [Ill-begotten blame: it takes two to tango, young Lissa…] Oh Mark. Why are you doing this? Why did it happen? How could you let it?

Tuesday 26/5/87

I got to school and no one was there (Fi, mima that is) so, Cameron talked to me. And he told me nothing happened. And I knew he was right because Fiona had seen Nicole go (so how could she possibly have gotten with him “in the last 5 minutes”? as Seigi said.) Mima said she didn’t think it happened after all. I AM A FOOL to let it worry me. [Worry is your middle name, girl] Nicole WISHES. She spread rumours herself. And it backfired. SUCK IT BITCH. I hate you & am gonna see your dreams get squashed. [Wow, super venomous! There’s some serious hurt, insecurity & fear on display there…] You’re trying (in vain) to break us up. Boring day at school. I think it was because I spent most of it with Mark. I mean, I like spending time with him, but the less time we spend together, the more special our moments together are. He gets bored too easily. A Life in WordsToday he even said I was boring & predictable. [a hint?] I should take it as a joke [should you?] ..but sometimes I wonder. [hmm, that’s related to gut instinct…] He is so gorgeous!!! […despite it all, I clearly had this guy on a pedestal; a very high pedestal. No one belongs on a pedestal, and amongst all the lessons this relationship presented me, this was one of the most significant.] There’s a new record out (compilation album) & it’s got Favourite Waste of time on it. I HAVE TO GET IT!! Oh I’m tired! [privacy omission] are “on the rocks”.

Wednesday 27/5/87

I did a lot. Well that’s what it seems like In fact, I did very little. Biology HW & that was it. I should have done my english. I now have 1 day to do 2 assignments. Well done, Lissa. And with all my other work, that could virtually be regarded as impossible. Oh dear. It was rather dull today. I ate a fair bit. (Just killed a gi-normous mozzie) Gi-normous spider last night, which we killed thank god. It was a “whopper”! [While I’m not into killing, I have to admit I still can’t allow living creepy-crawlies to share my house. If there’s no one around to remove them, I admit that I will terminate the creature’s life.] Can’t wait for the weekend. To spend with Mark. Hope he doesn’t get sick of me. Worked out today was our 18th week together: just over 4 months. Also worked out he’d been with Trish & Nicole for only about 7 weeks each! Ha, ha! Thought Mark might’ve rung me ..forgot to ring him anyway He probly doesn’t mind. wonder if he’d come late night shopping tomorrow night (again?) He’s probly getting sick of that, too. [Good god, the analysing! It’s so much more about ME than it is him…] God I wish winter would come. It’s normally rather cool by now. NOT FAIR. Oh I’m tired. 9:50. Late! Need lotsa sleep.

Thursday 28/5/87

Fi went home early today. She was so upset: her grandfather died last night. A Life in Words[Fis’ grandfather was a lovely quiet, soft soul whom I recall used to shuffle around the house in his slippers, and kept smarties in his trouser pockets, which he would then proffer to us with a cheeky grin, as if collaborating against parental authority.] Boring day today really. Mark came late. Looked grumpy, but was O.K. Did very little in art: made a stretcher; put on canvas & painted it white. Big lunch I did bio prac. then went up to room A5 to see about trip to Snowy’s. [The Snowy Mountains in NSW] I can’t afford it & it’s certain dad won’t pay. [It sucked being low-middle class – or upper-lower, whichever we were: I never went on one long distance excursion in all my years of schooling.] I said something to Mark later & he said “right that’s it; we’re not going out anymore. I’m not taking you to the formal.” I know he was joking [really? with the benefit of hindsight, I’d say a glaring hint…] but it hurt. He Went for driving lesson straight after school so I didn’t see him. I did a little english tonight. Nowhere near enough Mark rang: carrying on his jokes. They really do hurt me. I’ll have to let him know. He’s “bruising the fruit”. Gotta be careful not to “squash” me. [Not saying it was the case (how am I to know what someone else is or was thinking or feeling?) but perhaps he was trying to encourage ME to end the relationship?] Dad & Jenny’s wedding photo was in the Cairns Times. Whoopee! My bio assign. seeds are growing so fast!! Am dreading tomorrow. My english is unfinished. must wake early to do my assignments. Is 9:40

Friday 29/5/87

Mark seemed in rather a dull, shitty mood today, but he wasn’t angry with me. I guess it was the usual boredom of school. I got to school later than usual; just in time for form: had to go into town and get photographic paper. Got 1st assignment written out & 2nd rough copy started in double english: Elisia & I stayed in the darkroom -doing english all day! [And so begins the habit of last-minute assignment productions! I thought this behaviour had begun at Uni but I am clearly mistaken…] Handed mine in after going to the library for about 20-25mins at lunchtime… then went to Fi’s grandpa’s (Da’s) funeral. (He died at 9:00 at night) It was small & short. And I thought mostly of Monique. Why her? [Not so much, why was I thinking of her at another’s funeral, but rather asking the Philosophical ‘Why’ with regard to Death, yet again: why was she taken from me?] Back at school, for ≈ 15 mins of chem. talked very briefly to Mark before leaving with mum. A Life in WordsRang him around 4:30.. got ready around 5:00. . . picked him up at 6:00 . . walking round town (bought that excellent record (tape) I told you about – it’s 2 actually) Looking at clothes, mainly Then after dinner – to the Capri. Mark loved JUMPIN’ JACK FLASH. But we were both bored to tears during ALIENS …seen it too recently before to enjoy it again. Then we caught taxi to his place. (my gear I left there when we picked him up.) We lazed on his bed: talking & mucking round- listening to the new tapes…

Saturday 30/5/87

→ stayed up till ≈ 4:00…kissing (cutest – love it!) [So, “All is Well” in the world again?] Fell asleep then & I woke to movement at 6:30 (“Uh-oh!” I think, “Sandra knows I’m in here!” – she went to her room, I heard her. She would’ve known I was in Mark’s room. So I got up – got a drink from the bathroom tap, then went to Sandra’s bedroom; into her bed (well, under the top blanket) [oh Liss, that only makes you look more guilty!] slept & dozed till about 11:00, no 10:30. After brekky (Keith came) we lazed in his room talking (kissing) again, till about 2:00. I got changed and they dropped me home. . there’s this really big red hickie [lovebite that is, in case this slang is too ancient for some readers?] on the front of my neck.. shit ..it’s bad (Keith gave me heaps about it imagine school on Monday – oh no!) Spent the rest of the day listening to music, mainly. Rang Mark’s place – he was at work. Rang him at work – he said to ring him at home after 9:00. It was a short, but sweet phone call. Oh, I so badly wanted to see him tonight. Hope I can tomorrow. I Love You, Mark. So very much.

Sunday 31/5/87

A Life in Words
I bought the cassettes and they copped an absolute flogging in their lifetime!

JULIA’S B’DAY! BORING! No! I woke & wrapped Julia’s present – just in time! (Julia walked in from Amanda’s just as I finished!) Listened to my (our) tapes this morning (Hungry for Hits that is) Played Triv. Pursuit with Jules when Amanda came. Around 2:45 Mark rang. Nana came so I had to ring him back (3:30!) Michael (mum’s couz.) & Cynthia (wife) came over. Played a little Monopoly during the day, too. Was boring for me. Till about 5:00 I got ready (rush!) And Michael took me to pick up Mark & take us to work. Watched ½ of About Last Night & ½ of some other one ..forget it. Keith came too- his car’s fixed. So drove me home – they had coffee. Didn’t get to kiss Mark enough. And he’s going away next weekend. My God!! How will I ever make it? It’s never boring at work with him- it might sound boring but I’m never bored when I’m around him. It’s late: 10:25. I think I know when Mark first saw me.. he said 2nite the Xmas hol’s ..after the CAD parents meeting (Dec. 3) & had to be before Dec 27. (cause my hair cut short then)