Enter Eighty-Eight: Heaviness, Holes ‘n’ All… (1-3 January)

This year will be a particularly difficult transcription for me, for a number of reasons:

Because I’d decided in ’87 that I needed more room to record, I didn’t buy a day-to-a-page diary. Instead, I started out with a little ring-binder folder (see Tuesday 29 Dec, in the previous post] but as it filled up within the first few months, my 1988 diary ended up scattered throughout various notebooks and writing pads. Thankfully I did collate and transcribe them by hand some years later into a thick A4 spiral-bound notebook (pic below).A Life in Words

Because I wasn’t confined to an allotted space, I wrote more. A LOT more (…and gawd, did I dribble on…) This is painful in itself: it’ll demand more time & effort to publish my weekly posts.

Because of the scattered entries, but also mainly because of my particularly frenetic social life, some entries (days) were lost as a result. I’m fairly certain this is the only year that has ‘holes’ in it. This would be one of the main reasons I reverted back to ‘day-to-a-page’ diaries ever after. The limited space also encouraged me to continue my routine: an open book (unlimited space) is quite intimidating and feels like a lot more work… )

And finally, to be totally honest, I just didn’t like 1988. I can’t really explain why: maybe it was simply the Real World, the literal end of childhood. I was now facing Real Life and Responsibility. It wasn’t an easy year for me; the whole world as I knew it fell away beneath my feet. I somehow found it traumatic, but in an entirely different way to the bus accident: it was more personal. There was no extraordinary tragedy/ies to which I could ascribe my feelings, my actions and reactions: this was me drowning (as it felt) in the face of ordinary, everyday life experiences.

Friday 1/1/88

Well at midnight it was hug like crazy. I hugged so many people and got some kisses too. I’m sure I could’ve kissed Philip (N) had I not pulled away in the first place. [There’s that inherent shyness that most people can’t see in me…] I was so hurt when I saw [privacy omission] and Jim … they went all the way. I really wished Mark was there then, but was O.K. Soon after, though, Megan Sharon & I left: got a taxi to the Hill. Wasn’t too bad in there, but all the sleazes were left. […as they always are….] I was in a real mood.. not really happy (very tired) and thinking one hell of  a lot about Mark. God I wish he was here. So much. Well in Smithy’s we sat (after Sharon & Megan “exploding”) [that is, after they each downed the particular cocktail we all favoured for intoxication purposes- aptly named ‘Explosion’. For those who missed the description previously, it was a glassful of straight spirits, set alight and consumed through a straw…] & I was real bored- that Darren S guy came up beforehand and was saying how he’d wanted to see me again after that night (I was so nonchalant) (almost bitchy) […yes, well, clearly not interested…] It was really boring (CB & I were dead tired Sharon annoying me so much ..getting shitty ‘cos I “wasn’t getting into it”. Anyway we left around 3:30, with [privacy omission]. Dropped Sharon home, then to a 24hr [service station …”servo” as we called them] Megan & [privacy omission] got food – CB & I nearly bombed [fell asleep] in the back of the car (talking a lot about [privacy omission] tonight she had Shane McM; bitch) so then [privacy omission] took us to Megan’s where we sat and talked for a while in the car. Finally they left (CB & privacy omission]) and Megan & I prepared for bed. A Life in WordsAfter reading Mark’s letter, it was about 5:30 and daylight was breaking. I woke a few times, but got out of bed at, get this: 1:00pm! Megan & I had food, a swim, food then mum got me (about 4:00) We talked a lot in between. I’m still worried about what to do this year. What will I do?? SHIT!! So I watched TV all afternoon. Mrs H came past (walking the dog, Gemma) and stopped to talk… all about careers & life after school. Megan forgot to ring me tonight ([privacy omission] did this arvy- she knew I was shitty with her about Jim) Just watched the 4hr AUSTRALIA LIVE show (bicentennial thingy) was quite good! Some things were really funny! Now I’m going to watch DR. ZHIVAGO while everyone else bombs A Life in Words(I probly will too) Have so much to do: get Mark a present, send him a telegram, [Ha, seriously? For anyone under the age of thirty, imagine going to an office in town to pay someone to send a text message for you. That’s pretty much what a telegram was…or IS if they even still exist?] decide about my QTAC, get Mark’s family a prezzy, clean my room, etc, etc, etc! …Ugh! Well Goodnight. First goodnight of 1988!!

Saturday 2/1/88

Well, I got to bed around 2:15 last night after Dr. Zhivago (which I really loved) deciding that Rage wasn’t worthwhile watching. I woke, god knows, to answer the phone (Joannah: [privacy omission]) around perhaps 10:30(??) I spent the day, well, most of it, cutting up magazine pictures (watching cricket) and was still doing that when Mike & Cynthia and Dougie, Thomas and couz Kylie & her best friend Nonie, arrived. I felt unsociable because of it, but I tried. Could tell they were bored. Sharon rang in the meantime & invited me to Green Is. tomorrow I said I’d ring her back. So I finished cutting pictures and cleaning out more drawers (and “regions”) of my bedroom. Taylors & Co and Sharon rang – I said yes. A Life in WordsTonight I have a rather large mess on my bedroom floor. It’s 9:30 or so and I don’t care if that’s the way it stays. […which is impressive considering how neat and organised I am – verging on OCD…] I need an early night. Gotta be up early tomorrow. God I’m missing Mark! Only 3 days left! Catching up my ’87 HW diary this arvy too – that took up time & space. [And was it really so important? No!] I have so much to do!!

Sunday 3/1/88

Mum woke me I don’t know when because I was tired and hadn’t finished my dream, but I got up at 7:38 anyway. Had breakfast, waxed armpits (!!) then rushed around trying to figure out what to take (& wear). Had nothing in the fridge I could take to eat, neither did we have any suntan lotion (only 15+ sunblock – so I took that) Got there just a little late (Sharon said she was beginning to worry→ panic) Bought tickets & boarded. Packed boat→ had to share our seat. Once there (long boring trip) found ourselves an area, swam then baked. A trip to the kiosk (and back for a swim & a bake again) revealed… NO spunks (unattached ones, that is) How depressing! So after another trip (to get lunch) then another bake (I felt I was getting burnt) we went, got a loaf of bread and Sharon fed the fish. She borrowed snorkels and goggles from this man and occupied herself . I sat, staring into the water, watching that man’s [the snorkel-and-goggles man’s] lady (wife!) having heaps of trouble in a canoe when I realised this most gorgeous guy (worked at the island) was sitting close by… laughing now & then. He made some comments and I laughed. A Life in WordsGod he was cute! Grant Kenny lookalike! [Grant Kenny (see right) was an Australian Ironman champion in the early 80’s] I said after awhile (Sharon had come up) “where’s the lady in the canoe?” and we laughed again (Uh, yummy!) So Sharon & I hung around, then went for our last quick dip (having gone back, gotten our gear, and placed it on our boat) Got on, then went off again to get food at the kiosk & on again & there he was! We went up to ask one guy some silly question just so we could perve. [Ha, teenaged girls…] Trip home seemed faster. God my legs are so burnt: so’s my stomach & lower back ..mph! Pain! Walked up to the Hostel, I rang mum & Sharon caught a Hayles bus home. [Hayles Pty Ltd was the company that ran the vessels to the islands at that time, and they naturally (a tourism essential) provided courtesy buses so she snagged a free ride home since one of their routes passed close by. Unfortunately, they didn’t ‘service’ my part of town.] Did nothing at home except worry about the amount of things I have to do tomorrow. Presents + telegram for Mark… clean room, go through QTAC forms. Oh dear! Watching cricket now – it’s depressing cause we are losing (again?!) [maybe that’s one of the reasons I’ve ended up with an aversion to watching it now?] and it’s about 10:00. So I might go to bed, now. Beautiful weather today. We were going to go to beach night but decided we were too exhausted. I’M BURN’T!! [I have no idea why I threw an apostrophe in that word. I did know better… sunstroke, maybe?]

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My Golf Debut, A Soccer Cork & People Smuggling (7-13 December)

Monday 7/12/87

It arrived today: a letter (8 pgs) from Mark. I was woken at 8:30 – a call from Cameron about golf . . I got ready & waited: didn’t even hear the postman go past – but checked around 9:20. It made me angry, most of it (all I could think of was [privacy omission] & his lie to me) Mima came. A Life in WordsAt Yorkey’s Knob (finally – around 10:30) golf was hot, but great fun. I got better as I progressed. [I’d hope so: from memory it took me 25 shots to reach the first hole. Classic! One of the boys actually made a hole in one later on.] Mark R was there (I didn’t recognise him – mima had to tell me. Wonder if he still likes me?) we only did one round (9 holes) then ate and went to mima’s. A quick dip in the pool, before had to leave. . Took Glyn & Cameron home before me. Wanna go to the beach tomorrow. Will ring her after 9:30 Forgot to ring Jo at all. Umah. [Privacy omission] confessed it was Fiona she was annoyed with on Sat. nite. God my excretory system has been [w]reaking havoc with me lately. [I’m surprised I didn’t go into more detail…] Got blisters today from my high cuts (gym boots) Played golf in socks mostly!! Wrote back to Mark tonite only 4 pages (rushed & messy at the end) will send as soon as possible. Mentioned I wanted to talk to him etc . . .

Tuesday 8/12/87

Guess what? I arise around 9:00, and the postie still hasn’t been (not that I’m expecting anything) he comes at 9:15-9:30 & we [my sister and I, I assume] race to the letterbox. Lo & behold, there’s another letter from Mark. It was better. the things he wrote sounded more sincere – yesterday’s sounded false & forced: like a boring chore. So anyway Fi & I went to town around 11:00 (11:30) (I’d begun to write back this morning – mum’d already sent last nite’s – nicer than the retaliatory one I’d written↑) [in my diary this arrow pointed back up towards the phrase “last nite’s” …so, in a confusing way, I was saying that the second letter I’d begun to writing was nicer than the first (‘retaliatory’) one I’d scribbled ‘last night’ …which, thanks to mum’s efficiency, was already on its way to him.] Initially looking for clothes & presents, we ended up scouring every clothes shop, handbag shop, shoe shop, leather shop, art shop, looking for a “purse-on-a-string” (had to be black leather too) for Fiona. Not only in town: Earlville & KMart too. Eventually bought a black purse in D.J’s & black leather thonging (for a strap.) A Life in WordsHome just after 5:00, I finished writing to Mark. Was so tired. Watched TV. So hot now. Am so sore from golf- my arms & upper torso muscles aching! (Blisters on feet & sore legs from all the walking today too.) NITE!!

Wednesday 9/12/87

Very bad sleep.. woke up occaisionally : but had to get up just before 6:00 -the headache was so bad. (Worse lying down) Complained to mum- took 2 tablets [painkillers, most likely paracetamol] – read the paper, but had to go back to bed- & fell asleep. Woke around 8:30-9 all better. I think it’s the heat : got it on & off all day as we went in aircond. to outside heat (temp. extremes) [Hmm, my guess now would be more dehydration than ‘heat stroke’… I never (very rarely) drank water back then *grimace*] Didn’t do photos . . no time (bumming around KMart Earlville & town.) Got the neg’s [negatives] tho’ from the dark room (to sort through & pick out what’s wanted) when Fi got her report card. Swim (& cleaned the car) at mima’s ..then indoor soccer. I played in the warm up/practise game – fun tho’ I had no shoes on – sore feet & I got kneed in the thigh (hurty!) went briefly to KFC, before picking up Sue. [Outside the drive-in] I got in the [car] boot (shit scared) & they hid her [under a blanket or doona I think. Smuggling people in to the drive in was relatively common devious practice apparently but this was my first time.] . . so we paid for 3 but got 5 in .. & we even won the 2 comp. tickets! (Ha, ha!) Lethal Weapon & Lost Boys (both AGAIN!) are excellent Am so dead!

Thursday 10/12/87

Well, I got up around 8:30 – later than usual (earlier, I mean) and I started to sort through the big carton of “stuff”. […the carton I collected from the school dark room yesterday, that I thought only contained negatives…] Only a small portion was negatives, but they took ages to get thru’? Then I looked through the rest of the box: old photos (’75, ’74, ’73 & ’72 .. some teachers were students then!! Mr Gross. looked so young in some!) & 1983 Euroka layout. [I’m not sure exactly why I wanted these negatives in the first place… I think it may have been to collect as many memories of my two years at Cairns High as possible – to print off pictures that I may never otherwise possess – nor even see – again.] After that, it was mid-afternoon & I bludged the rest of the day. Jo rang (both confessed we were nervous to contact each other in case were angry with each other!) […I definitely had been unhappy with her in the previous week…] & I asked her to (inconspicuously) find out if  Mark’s written to ‘Niccy’ yet. Went late night with mima, brent & fi for a very short time, then back at Mike & Cynthia’s to mind Dougie & Thomas. I tried to sleep after MOONLIGHTING. A Life in WordsThey came home after Dallas- was dying to get home. On arrival noticed one french door was slightly ajar: shit ourselves. Luckily no one had entered [….so I’m assuming we had left it open by mistake?]

Friday 11/12/87

Well, we went in to do the photos & Ms. Marsland informs me that the whole school will be locked up at noon. So we decided against even starting the developing left everything in the dark room: ready for next year, then went into town. (Saw Mr. Gross. & the year 8 & 9 concert!!) stayed in town shortly – op shopping for mima’s trench coat for Europe. Then Fi got the car & we went to the Esplanade -had pizza & milkshakes. Took the video ONE CRAZY SUMMER out & watched it at Fi’s (she had to work). [That seems a bit odd…watching a video at your friend’s house when she’s not even home?] Then at 3:30 Mum, Julia & I went (back) into town to do xmas shopping. Got all Larcombes prezzies. I have to buy: Mark, Mima, Fi, Jo, Cameron, Mum, Julia & Dad. shit! I have no money! Anyway, home around 6:30, watched TV. Rang Deanne. Rang Fi She rang back “Yeah, we’ll go for a little while.” [go where?] .. I get mostly ready and she rings back – “a change of plan”. . . so I watched the (absolutely) PATHETIC movie “Great American Traffic Jam”. SUCKS severely. [Pretty much spot on there… I watched the YouTube trailer (below) whilst looking for an image and OMG it IS pretty bad. If you’re curious enough, waste three minutes of your life checking it out!]

I hate thinking about Nicole & Mark. I hate Nicole & I hate thinking about MW [Wow, such vitriol. I actually refuse to use the word ‘hate’ at all now, but then I usually don’t feel such intense negativity anymore…]

Saturday 12/12/87

It’s 2:30 (am) I’m in a very “bland” mood today, I went to work in the morning – for about 2-3 hours (did little work but got $10 for it) then at home, I did artwork all arvy (waste!) [How is it a waste if you don’t have anything else pressing? I wish I could make myself create something now; I literally haven’t produced any fine art in decades…] Sharon actually rang me: but she never rang back so we didn’t take. her to the party. Fiona, Sue & Jemima came around 8:30, or later (Fi & mima went back to get Fi’s shirt for me). The party was just slowly moving when we got here (lotsa people: no action) we went to the drivein bottleshop & I was left out. A Life in WordsI could sense a [privacy omission] togetherness practically as soon as they picked me up. [So got casks of ½ & ½ with Colleen, Lisa & [privacy omission] Didn’t [have] any affect at all. I was rather depressed. Jim C. was there with someone, Jeff M of course I didn’t talk to anyway, and … Stewart. God I want him. [The grass is always greener?] It made me depressed overall. We never said a word – but we both knew we were there. […were both aware of one another’s presences…] I got a mass depression (with Jude, Juliet, Colleen, Anna etc..) [Hmm, that’s interesting. Did I mean that my depression deepened being around these people …or were we all depressed together?!] Party broke up round midnight

Sunday 13/12/87

→but we stayed & mucked around. Liam & Aaron (K) are so funny! Woke around 9:00 (yep, that exactly, actually: mum woke me demanding to know whether or not I was going to do any pictures to sell at the Freshwater markets .. I said (grumpily) “NO!”) [Partly being rebellious, but mostly lazy. This is anecdote elicits a little melancholy because it reminds me how much mum believed in me, in my artistic talent. But the problem is, I didn’t – because I compared myself to others (something I still struggle with in some ways now). I even remember her suggesting I try to draw again a few years before she passed, when I was experiencing ‘purposelessness’ during a bout of depression.] So, I bludged the morning till 11:00 when I rang Jo. I got to her place before 12:00 and we watched the TV matinee movies .. Finally went to Palm Cove around 3:00 (2:30) Bludged – watching guys (bad weather Barely anyone there) then we shut up shop. . .went & had a cocktail at Ramada ..really relaxed me. And I went for a drive A Life in Words[even if there was a law relating to alcohol consumption for ‘learner drivers’ (these days there is zero tolerance) we clearly knew nothing of, nor cared about, drink- driving…] (laughed so much) then, stopped at Smithfield on way back . . Stewart didn’t look at me – say anything except goodbye. God, it hurts It’s not fair. Why can’t he fall for me? [Because… that’s life.] Solve all my problems about Mark. [Oh this naivety is just plain embarrassing!] Jo dropped me home round 7:15. Watched TV all night (Mum next door at Fishers again … drunk . . then sick .. then grumpy) as usual […um, the “as usual” makes it sound like she was a regular drinker but she most definitely wasn’t. What I meant was that when she did drink (she didn’t need much at all) she was almost always sick… sick “as usual”… and the grumpy part? Well… isn’t everyone unhappy when they’ve vomitted?!]

The Exhibiton, Its Aftermath & New Aqua High-Tops (2-8 November)

Monday 2/11/87

It’s 2:03 and I’m still drunk. Guess what I did tonite? I paid [privacy omission] back! I got with her boyfriend Stuart! [Just to clarify, my definition of ‘getting with’ is just kissing. I didn’t pass ‘First Base’ with anyone outside of a formal relationship. Well, not for some time…] Ha, ha, ha Bitch. Got you back! [Because that’s what Life’s about, isn’t it? Revenge, getting even? This is Tunnel Vision at its best: whether you believe in karma or not, vengeance will never truly deliver satisfaction, let alone ‘justice’…] Stewart nor Phillip were there (that I saw) I spent the whole day at home, sewing [and] preparing for the fashion parade. A Life in Words[The CAD Art Exhibition & Fashion Parade opening. What other reason would I be so intoxicated on a Monday, a school night? The funny thing is, I can’t recall at what point in the night I began imbibing enough to land me in this state. Check out my handwriting sample in the pic on the right. Hilarious.] At 7:55 I finally left home (everything was OK before then- but at the last minute we found the dress was too tight. I was  so   nervous before, [and] during [the] fash. parade. Saw Mark & Phillip N that was it. I think I have blisters. Wow, I’m drunk. Thought Adam was trying to crack onto me – but Stuart & I got together after visiting Scandals & the 24hr service stn then going to the beach. Stu & I stayed in the car. Uh-oh! What’ll tomorrow be like? [Well, that’s unusual: people don’t often consider the results of their actions while they are still intoxicated. I think we can put that down to my innate tendency to over-think. Hello additional Stress…] Uh-oh! Hell! I’d better be careful. [How exactly?] Must ring Jo early to see how she’s getting there. [“There” being a sort of exhibition-opening-after-party-come-Melbourne-Cup shindig at one of our art teachers’ houses.] God, I’m drunk. Feel so GOOD! […for now…] Jo told me she ran into Wayne C & he said Alan T likes me. Oh dear. [Oh well, you will run around kissing boys when you’re drunk…]

Tuesday 3/11/87

A Life in Words
That’s me in the flash spot, queueing up to model our Cup hat creations. Picture courtesy of a school friend whose photos were trapped behind glass; apologies for the quality!

Embarrassment! Skint! I didn’t think it would be like it was: I was too “ashamed” to look at him [Stuart] even (let alone talk to him- tho’ it looked like he wanted to at some stages) He spent most of the day with [privacy omission] anyway which was good. I shouldn’t feel bad- she did it to me. (I guess I’m “lowering to her level”) (Apparently Jenny M. also knows about Jeff & I that nite, too, now.) [Talk about hot water. You’re really starting to boil your own bathwater now Liss, arncha?!] Jo picked me up around 9:30- got to town at 9:50- Jo bought shoes then, after some trouble locating it, got to Pugh’s… watching the exhib. video – up to Fash. parade. Jo had to leave to model. Jude & I made our hats : judging after the Melbourne Cup- I got 3rd! WOW! Jude & I watched the rest of the video + the CAD party video. Then went down[stairs] with “the guys” to make videos! FUNNY. Left around 5:00, as [we were] watching the day’s [as in, this very party we were leaving’s] video. . and Stuart was on the phone- I glanced – & he smiled & waved. So did I and I felt quite relieved after that. I think AM likes me. I think Elliot’s cute. Found out I have a chem. exam tomorrow – no study – I’ve failed! [Pessimism, or realism?] Dunno what it is about Stuart & decided it must be his smile. Lights his whole face up.

Wednesday 4/11/87

..But the saga continues! Today, Stuart came up (behind me) at little lunch (I was in the Yr 11 area with Jude) and talked to me! Then in 4th & 5th (I skipped english- 6th & 7th) we talked more. He does really (kind of) affectionate things – he came up behind me and grabbed (but gently) my shoulders; at big lunch in the art room, he did something to the collar of my shirt (for “no reason”) – his smile is so cute. [I’m a sucker for affection…] On the Mark front – I talked in biol. this morning, but that was it – I barely made the effort. It made me a bit sick [jealousy] to see Mark & Nicole…but, I don’t know, I’m getting used to it. [Drifting away?] Stuart said [privacy omission] was “a bit ripped up” about me & him & he told me how she told him about Mark & her & me (how many – lots-of times she got with him while we were going out.) So I don’t know if it’s worth going back to Mark. [Food for thought…] So many people say I’m better off without him. . but like Fi said – it’s so hard when he says nice things about me & looks at me all the time. (That made me feel better) And Stuart, by the looks of it, is at least a bit attracted to me (!!) [Ha! The modesty’s kinda cute …but on the flipside, demonstrates some lack of self worth.] He said today (& it shocked me) He thinks [privacy omission] are wierd. Went into town – saw Jeff & Jenny – Megan said she thinks he likes me – wish that was true. Jenny knows about me & Jeff now [Yes. You said that yesterday. It does occasionally happen: forgetting I’ve already mentioned something.]

Thursday 5/11/87

…And still it continues! Stuart broke up with [privacy omission] today. But he didn’t talk to me at all. Jude (& Jo, I think) heard Miss Marsland at lunchtime today, with [privacy omission] a whole  lot of people, say “why did elissa give Stuart those things on his neck?” (lovebites) Shit, I never saw them. So many people must hate me now. […this thought alone would be terrifying… for lil ol’ me who needs to be liked by everyone…] Mark said something about it this morning – [privacy omission] told him & he said “was it to get her back?” He was being rather nice this afternoon. But the strange thing is, he didn’t really turn me on. I hope Stuart was just in a bad mood like Jude said, and not hurt because someone said I’d used him to get back at [privacy omission]. I can understand how much that would hurt him, because it even hurts me. I really do like him. […despite the drunken spiel in the heat of the moment on Monday night, I never seek revenge. It’s just not in me. This was an authentic ‘co-incidence’ whether or not you believe it.] I’m so confused. I rang Sharon & asked her to ring Stewart & find out what he’s on about. [No contact = pretty obvious to me…] And Megan’s scheming about Phillip for me. [scheming? That doesn’t sound so good…] And Mark still loves me – but is such a bastard – A Life in WordsGod I’m so confused. All these damned guys in my life. [Life’s tough, hey? But you shouldn’t really be complaining considering how many years you spent wanting a love life. Wish granted! What’s that saying: “It never rains, but it pours”?] I need to talk to someone & strangely I’d like it to be Stuart (W) Hope he talks to me tomorrow. PS: got my formal photos. Someone rang this arvy but hung up before I could answer. wonder who?? [maybe just a wrong number… who knows? Does such an insignificant thing have to matter so much?]

Friday 6/11/87

Tonite is the first night in (the first Friday night in) approx. 5 weeks that I have not gone out. [I’m specifically talking about clubbing…. or somewhere that involves the consumption of alcohol…] Now I have the feeling that I’m missing something (like last nite- the first Thursday in approx. 5 or 6 weeks that I didn’t go late nite shopping!) [Interestingly, this feeling permeated my life pretty much right up until I moved away from Cairns in my early thirties. It wasn’t always present (there were definitely periods in which I enjoyed a quiet social life) but I’ve certainly had difficulty at times being content to stay home and ‘do nothing’. That’s certainly NOT the case now: I’m  a confirmed homebody – perhaps to a fault…] Too bad. Today was a downer. I didn’t talk to Mark at all (but that’s not the reason) A Life in WordsStuart still didn’t talk to me & even seemed to be avoiding me. It’s not fair- there’s something about him I like so much. I think about him more than I do Mark. That’s amazing! Jo & I went to see La Bamba tonite. Thorstein Darren & Alan D etc were there. After, went to Trinity Wharf, walked round Hilton till had to pick up Robbie from air cadets. Is approx 10:45 now. I’m tired – hope tomorrow nite’s party is “worthwhile” ie: Stewart or Stuart or Phillip. Maybe even Mark. Dunno. Got my deadly new aqua gym boots- [not actually Converse brand, but definitely replicas. Colourful sneakers were just coming into fashion in the mid 80’s in Cairns, at least…]  A Life in Wordsbit small… cause little “hurty” [I had a tendency to wear shoes a bit too small for me because I somehow had it in my mind that my feet were too big. Turns out, they’re actually a tad small in relation to my height. So all that cramping later resulted in a Morton’s neuroma in my right foot and bursitis in my left. Well done, Liss. A ‘win’ for Vanity…] Exhibition officially pulled down. Boring day really. Hope everything (or something) is sorted out 2morrow nite at the party – I’m a  confused little girl. The dream I had about MW yest. morn. I had one about Stew & Phil this morn. FREAKY. [Freaky just because all of my ‘love interests’ were appearing in my dreams: it wasn’t the case that I happened to be having the exact dream, with different characters. I’d imagine the chances of that happening would be pretty slim….]

A Life in Words
Cairns’ original railway station on McLeod Street was demolished in 1996 for the shopping complex Cairns Central, which houses the current station at its rear (Bunda Street)

Saturday 7/11/87

Boring. No, not at all, really! After seeing Ross & Thelma off at the train station (7:15 -erk! I was dead tired) went to Rusty’s Bazaar & guess who! Phillip C was there! YUM, YUM, YUM! Didn’t have time to stop & talk , but I sure made a point of saying hi. He is so gorgeous! At home, I set out to do study, but never got anything done. [Surprise, surprise] Tried to make a white skirt to wear out but it stuffed up around 5:00- too late to start again. phone calls all day. I went to Fi’s and got her black shirt. Seeing as I had nothing to wear (I thought a denim skirt would be ace!) Rang Jude. She had one (rather large for me, tho! Just like Monique’s. I got to Judes just after 9:00, and we waited outside till, get this: 10:15. Finally, at the party (we drank goon) [For those who aren’t acquainted with this alcoholic beverage, it’s simply slang term for cheap cask wine.] there weren’t many people there – Mark was & Stewart P. I was shy to talk to mark & also to Stewart at first, but then I avoided him – I was angry – hurt from what he’s done to me. […or hasn’t done, more specifically; no contact] (PS: Sharon still hasn’t talked to him I don’t think. What the hell is this guy on about??) [With hindsight (& some life experience) the answer is obvious: he’s just not that into you.] Anyway Mark came up to me because I didn’t go up to him. He said he was angry I was avoiding him & I said I was too shy we talked a bit … mucked around mostly. Just as (Jo’s) Mark (B) was about to take us to the Hill, he said he wanted to talk to→[next page…]

Sunday 8/11/87

→me. But we didn’t because I would’ve missed the others. He said “another time”. I worried briefly about what it possibly was that he had to say to me, but forgot at the Hill. Jude & I stayed there. A.M. & Gemila get there not long after us. Stewart was with Jay & Anna etc. and went home nearly straight away. He said hello at one stage, but I made it clear I wasn’t going to be a conversationalist. [Oooh big word! But in other words, you snobbed him…] They left. Adam M turned up & I remember talking to him about Stuart W., but can’t remember what I said. [oh dear…] Hope it wasn’t anything I’ll regret! (Jude & I had an EXPLOSION each -& were spinning) A.M., Jude & I decided on the playpen. Got a taxi to pick up AM’s car – got in thru’ Sequils for free. OK! danced a lot ..group of mods there (the ones who are always at the Hill on Fri. nites – Helen, Phillip) [a different Phillip to the other two I found so appealing…]+ 2 guys purity cute! [I meant ‘pretty cute’, but because I wanted to emphasise the word pretty (through a kind of drawl) my phonetic attempt resulted in a word meaning innocent, clean, fresh. Writing ‘perr-itt-eee’ would’ve worked better…] I ended up dancing with them (at different stages) The one in the white shirt was cute James. Steve ..I talked to & eventually got with. A Life in WordsAM dropped me home around 5:10, Mum was awake. Got up around 10:00. Got folio prepared all day – Did nothing else. SLACK. went to mima’s to take photo of Fat Ladies [artwork of mine her mother had bought at the CAD exhibition] – talked to her a while. Jo’s place later on in arvy – take photos of her work for her. […as well as some silly ones of ourselves – see pic] Big talk there, too. Late now. 11:40!! Been doing art dress (silver one) So glad only 2 weeks [of school?] left! Ring M. today – talk 2morrow at school →was a really great phonecall actually. Mima told me Steve the guy I got with (works at International Hostel – from Melbourne – finished Yr12 in 1986) is one Juliet likes. SKINT!! Wonder what Nicole did Sat. nite? Did Mark go over & visit her? Who gives a ___ if he did?. [The fact that you’ve bothered to write this proves that you were thinking about it, so YOU probably give at least a smidge of a “___”. But, it’s a valiant attempt to shift your attention from potentially morose thoughts…]

Indoor Soccer, Grass Cutting & Special Consideration (5-11 October)

Monday 5/10/87A Life in Words

WOW! What a day! It wasn’t too bad a day, so far as school goes. I got to school & sat in Yr11 area with mima, too chicken to go past Mark in the room. I didn’t make any effort to talk to him; tried not to look at him. I was so sure it was going to be ages before he contacted me. If ever, yet it looked like he wanted to talk today (sometimes) Angela & her “mob” I barely saw, but Megan, Michelle & Linda talked to me. (NICE people!) [Still resentful much?] Had AIDS talk in 4th & 5th (12B) [back then, it was all AIDS – HIV wasn’t fully understood by the public] so I missed art cos’ of that – didn’t get to play T.T.D’arby for Jo A Life in Words[ah, there it is: the Terence Trent D’Arby onslaught had not yet begun…] (or see Angie & Trish) Nicole I talked to today ..she had lovebites & I thought it was probably mark ..[privacy omission] but they’re too small, really. Still, some people (fucking Keith B.) will lie & shit-stir. God I hate him. So I talked to Chris this arvy (mentioned the Darling Downs Uni etc- he said Mark, Steven & Keith also wanted to go there, but in 1989.) so I rang Jo tonite as she asked me & talked – I was so confused whether I liked (missed) Mark or not [constant analysing!]. then around 8:40 mima rang. Brent had been talking to Chris & he’d said how much Mark was missing me. Do you believe it? I thought he’d hate me by now. Apparently he thinks I hate him, has been talking to Steven a lot .. waiting 4 me to call. [Uh, I don’t know about all this ‘hearsay’ aka gossip…]

Tuesday 6/10/87

I think I’m getting a stye. Well, I sent that card I bought on the holidays, this afternoon [to Mark, I assume]. He didn’t talk to me today either. And I, neither, to him. I was unsure at first – mima said “careful, it mightn’t be true”. [Wise Mima…] But why would those guys do something as low as that? [Boredom maybe? I clearly trusted in the ‘Innate Good’ in people. I couldn’t (and still can’t) fathom how others’ pain can be entertaining to some.] Chris wouldn’t (couldn’t?) tell me anymore. And I don’t want to start asking around (Steven especially) cos mark doesn’t like that, remember?! Boring-ish day. Am eating junk now that I’m back at school. A Life in WordsDon’t want to get fat legs again; must control myself! Went to mima’s indoor soccer finals tonite. They lost (they “knew” they would) 3 nil, no 3-1. They played so well, considering all the other teams are comprised of women, not teenage[d] school-girls. God, I hope mark takes notice of that card tomorrow (will get it tomorrow arvy, I think) [I can’t recall it at all.] Hope he talks or rings, or even just writes a reply→ that’s still good enough for me. But if he does nothing… well… CONFUSION! [And more Stress for you…waiting, waiting, waiting…]  Talked to Jo about sex this arvy. She thinks Mark’s 1st time was actually with [privacy omission]. That surprised me.

Wednesday 7/10/87

Well I got no phone call. I’m so nervous about tomorrow. [This is a perfect example of the Buddhist idea that Hope creates Suffering. I was living in hope for a response, so the entire time I waited for a response, in expectation, I was stressed…suffering.] Will he talk to me? Oh, Jesus! Today was pretty bad, actually. (But not SO bad, in a way) A Life in WordsAt lunchtime, Steven threw Mark’s crushed up corn chips at me, and when I was talking (laughing at) the Year 11 girls, someone threw an apple at us & called us poor bitches. So I didn’t feel too good. [SO sensitive… bordering on paranoid…] This arvy, Nigel drove Jo & I into town, in Suzette’s car (with her & Deena) mark watched it all the way (nearly, apparently) [“apparently” = hearsay = high potential for inaccuracy = misunderstanding = pain. How’s that for an equation?!] After Jo got Anna & Colleen’s presents, we caught the bus (town was packed with Saints guys -Philip N Geoff M, Aaron K, Brendan L mmmmmm!) with Geoffry & Adam G. Did nothing at home – bludge. HW tonite Um, my throat’s been kinda funny lately mucous congestion + kinda sore (but not, sometimes) Getting hotter, faster: God this week’s gone fast!!!! Wish me luck for tomorrow. God knows I’ll probably need it (Why didn’t he call me??) Uh-oh… So many people today commented on how much weight I’ve (apparently) lost- I can notice it in my face!

Thursday 8/10/87

Well today I felt more depressed than I have in weeks. I got to school late as possible (that Julia & mum would let me) and stayed in the Yr 11 area. Mark said nothing to me all day. (I saw him looking sometimes- Gemila also, said to me, everytime she looks at him, he’s looking at me.) I got depressed (disappointed) I thought he’d try to talk or say something. In biol I asked if the chair next to him was taken and he kind of grunted a reply. Then again most of the day I didn’t really give him a chance to talk to me. So I was quite depressed this arvy & early tonight. Asked mum to take me late-nite [shopping] (to get out & stop thinking about him). Was good. Geoffry M (YUM) Adam G (cutie) and Philip N (YUM!) were there, and we all said hello. I would’ve stopped to talk, had I not been with mum. A Life in WordsSo I’m O.K. now, thinking of Philip N’s gorgeous smile & him looking at me!! Did no HW- first time this week! Caught Saints bus home (no one on it -that I like, that is) God I need some questions answered. Hope I see PN or PC or GM on the weekend.

Friday 9/10/87

Well he seemed pretty depressed today.. on his own a lot. I had a pretty good day, despite the tiny nagging feelings of anxiety beginning to show themselves. He really was DOWN; I can’t believe it. He did look at me. But, of course, that was it. I did nothing really un-boring (exciting) at school, except at lunchtime Chris, Cameron, Glyn, Fi & a whole lot of us mucked around (laughed so much!) Caught the bus home: so excited about the Pancake House. Were late into town ..I left my wallet in mums car & freaked out cos I thought I lost it ..but mum bought it back in for me. Pretty unexciting at the Pancake House. Jo, Sharon, Colleen & I went with the guys to Playpen I wasn’t really having fun. We were on our way to Croc Rock when David had a crash. (not really bad) so no one went but Mark B took Jo, Col & I up. Boring! Stuart P came & took us back to the playpen. I was so worried at the Hill- I saw Sandra W. and she avoided me – did not look at me at all – straight thru’ me . . I was so worried Mark’d said something to make her hate me. [Really? Guesses and assumptions are so useless and downright stressful.] Anyway at Playpen again (Sharon & Nigel wo!) [←I’m assuming this means they got together] told me Stuart liked me. But whenever he touched me, Joannah touched him. Eventually we were “all together”→A Life in Words

Saturday 10/10/87

type-thing. It felt yukky (sleazy) to me. [I’m certainly not into group things…] So I left Stuart with Joannah. Sharon had said to me “don’t let Joannah get him..” too bad. [This was a comment of resignation, meaning “I’m not going to fight over a guy”, especially one whom I knew at some level wasn’t really into me. If he was, Jo wouldn’t’ve gotten a look-in…] We went to Holloways Bch (his place) & walked on the beach. I lay staring at the moon thinking of Mark while Jo & Stuart got together. [Awkward.] I don’t believe she took him from under me. And she had the audacity to say we were best friends. Not likely. [Yeah, this is a tad confusing (!) but it’s actually easy to break down: I experiencing conflicting thoughts and feelings – honesty versus indignation. I didn’t “believe she took him from under me” because I knew deep down he wasn’t really into me: if he was, he would have rejected her advances. But I was at the same time bothered that her words and actions seemed so contradictory, because in my books best friends shouldn’t “cut your grass”…] Anyway, he dropped us home, just after 4:00. I woke quite early – 8:30 I got up. Not hungry. Anxious, worried about Mark. Rang F. Rang Cameron (he said “ring him”) Rang Chris (not home) Rang mima (she said “ring him”) I cried so much. But eventually rang and arranged to meet him 1:30 at the mall, before the Fun In the Sun procession. Fi took me in (for something to do). We barely talked to start with – he said he’d been mad with me for (supposedly) talking about all the girls he was with. It wasn’t too bad .. he couldn’t believe how I could change in 2 weeks & he couldn’t (live without me – missed me. Wow – I found out lotsa nice things.) In the end, it swung around (the “tone” of the conversation) and, we decided to keep talking. He looked at me so sweetly as we said bye I felt like kissing him. I felt his eyes on me as I turned and walked away. [A very romantic notion, but how do you know if you’d turned away? …oooh cynical me…] A Life in WordsThe procession was boring compared to all the other years (short!) but we had fun with water pistols – shooting people! At Munro Martin→ [next diary page…]

Sunday 11/10/87

Park after, was packed. Had gelati before going home. Hurried & got ready . .picked up Jo. I felt sick at the CAD party drinking .. the ice cream wasn’t enough in my tummy, but I wasn’t sick thank god. Jude & Jo were drunk. Danced, mucked around with the video: Filming each other. And (believe it or not) spent a while getting stoned. Yes, me, that’s unbelievable. [Yes, very much, considering how much I hated smoking in general (and still do).] The only thing is it didn’t work very well (at all) on me. [Now this is a funny statement. Firstly, I have to wonder if I was even doing it right (that is, inhaling properly!) and secondly, and most importantly, I have apparently been ‘guilty’ of claiming this at various times in the future, with other substances. I don’t seem to feel any effects, but witnesses usually tell a different story…] At croc. rock, was dead, so we went to Jo’s. Fell asleep and I woke 4:20.. got home 5:00. Did nothing today. Auntie Thelma, Ross, Mike Cynthia & Dougie came over. Honestly, I got up at 10:00 ..and the only thing I did was cut up some material to take to school to print on for art. What a waste. And it’s 10:00 now- I needed an early nite (too busy & shitty (!!) writing the “special consideration essay” for QTAC form [This was pretty important. Being absent from school for seven weeks – almost the entire first term – after the bus accident would definitely have had an impact on my Tertiary Entrance (T.E.) score. I needed to apply for ‘Special Consideration’ for a better end result… I included a copy of my essay (as printed up for me by school staff) below] Gonna be weird at school tomorrow. Mark, I mean. No, elissa. Remember: you’re in control: don’t matter what happens [poor grammar, not like you Liss…] – don’t put him first! He doesn’t want it (God, some of the things he said or told me Saturday really were amazing and nice (some, not many, bad)) WOWEE. I hope it’s Great this time!! It will be! [….umm, did I miss something? Wherever was it mentioned you’d be getting back together? I don’t think it was, Liss. You could be setting yourself up for another fall….?]A Life in WordsA Life in Words

Popularity, Pottery & the Technicoloured Dreamcoat (19-25 May)

Monday 19/5/86

Yet, there is hope. In maths, Chris K reckoned that he knows about 15 guys who like me (& Ben P. knows another 4) all his friends. A Life in WordsChris reckons I’m the most popular girl now. (On the bio excursion “all the guys were coming upstream just to see me.”) Guys say “Have you seen that Elissa? She’s beautiful…” Skint. [Ok, not to belittle myself, but….seriously? Even with hindsight, I’m unsure of this guy’s motivation. I think ‘story-teller’ Chris was being relatively truthful, but… why bother telling me all of this? To put me on the spot. I have a feeling that my bashfulness and modesty was so overt that it was worth the effort to make me uncomfortable, for sheer entertainment purposes.] And also, ‘everyone’ (at least, Sharon, Fi & Mima) has organised a surprise for me at Angela M’s next party. Cos its in June (holidays) I think it’d either be to do with my birthday or what Chris was saying in maths. (Hope not the latter.) But it feels kinda good to be “popular”. [Ego!] I don’t quite believe it actually. I thought he really was bullshitting. [Hmmm, yeah, go with your Gut] 9:30. Talked to Cameron (back seat) of bus today. Pretty good day. Enjoyed it. Am so tired now. Riding 2morrow. Did no HW. Umah.

Tuesday 20/5/86

Ratshit day. Found out the surprise was a surprise party for me! Ha! [Weird, my birthday is in JULY…?] Now they won’t have it!! Also Alan C told me that Peter P likes me (I knew anyway) YUK. And then ‘everyone’ found out. And wouldn’t shut up about it. I HATE HIM SO MUCH. [Well that’s hardly fair is it? “Hating” someone you don’t know at all because you don’t happen to be attracted to him? Is it because of the unwanted attention drawn to you as a result? I think so.] I wish Mark liked me (I have a feeling he’s not one of the 19 who like me) I know 3 of them now; Dwain, Peter & Greg K (??) not sure about him. But Chris told me about him. Rode today too. MARK’S BIRTHDAY♥♥ Never to forget. Fi’s birthday Thurs. what’ll I get her?? 8:42 Early night for once?? He is the cutest (Mark that is) oh, love him, love him love him love him him ♥ mark for me!! [Oh PUR-LEEEEEASE…]

Wednesday 21/5/86

I’m ready for the cold!! Tonite’s min. is expected 13ºC!!! pottery wheelWas cool all day today too!! Didn’t have to do fabric painting today- had a go on the pottery wheels until Megan & this other girl started smoking [IN the classroom…]. Mr Pugh came in & told everyone to stop & pack up. [No doubt he’d’ve smelt it from another room] Megan & Joanne owned up much too late. So we did nothing for the rest of the time. Couldn’t get Fi a present, so went to speech, then bought a cake from Freshy & am gonna take it (all iced up) tomorrow, then I’ll give her a prezzy after school (when I go into town & get it) Cake is choc. covered in pink icing saying “EAT ME! Fiona” With yellow & green & orange squiggles. Really cute!! and yummy I’ll bet!!! Dunno what to get for a present!

Thursday 22/5/86

FI’S BIRTHDAY Oh, I wish Mark was having a party. A Life in Words I feel like partying this weekend. Oh well… ate Fi’s cake within 3 minutes this morning (“everyone” pigged out!) Gave her a “toblerone” & swatchguard tonight at Smithfield’s concert musical “Technicoloured Dream Coat.” (Was alright for a first; glad I go to CHS; smithfield “friends” are biggest snobs out – melissa b, natalie w, ian c, kel b &  shane s) Erica & Adrienne were excellent in their dancing parts!! Laughed so much at their mistakes! (not Erica & Adrienne’s… the actors!!) Today, also, Ms Marsland talked to me about yesterday afternoon & about how Ms Black & Mr Pugh were a bit cheesed off. Suggested I apologise. Told mima & Fi too. They went together. I had to do mine alone. [I’m not sure why we had to apologise when we weren’t the offenders… unless it was because we failed to ‘out’ the smokers, which could have been read by the teachers as an act of  ‘solidarity’? Beats me.]  10:07 by Mickey Mouse watch (my digital one’s stuffed→ battery’s flat or something.)

Friday 23/5/86

Just watched Flying High. A Life in WordsGod it was funny! Really boring day today. In fact probably the most boring day I’ve ever spent at Cairns High. 10:42 (my watch is fixed→ the new battery cost $9) Jeez I am tired. My eyes were really straining to stay open during the movie. Have to do a lot of HW this weekend; english, chemistry especially. Mark is yum, yum. Oh I wish more than anything in the world (??) that he was crazy about me; totally flipped over me. I like him so much. [I so want to scream at my younger self: “You don’t even KNOW him!”] Theatre Night on Saturday night (theatre kids perform) Hope he goes (cos’ I think I am) I’d love it – not that I think anything’d happen – never does. OH I WISH….. Night, Night!

Saturday 24/5/86

“Flashdance” just finished – it’s 11:21 – I am tired – and have a full day of HW & study ahead of me. Exams start this Friday – Chemistry on Friday for me (PES for YKW) Worked all day (well, 10:15 till 6:00) on labels (worth $31 – but got only $30) [Love how my Dad decides on a whim that he’ll change the pay rate or under-pay me whenever he feels like it.] Boring. Rushed home at 6:45 got ready & went to theatre night at CHS. Mark wasn’t there. In fact, barely anyone was. (‘Twas quite boring actually) Eyes are sore. Gosh I’d love another party (wished Mark’d have one for his birthday – maybe he did & I wasn’t invited) OH I AM TIRED. Boring. Absolutely Nothing exciting happened today. (My teeth are getting a (slight) gap between them again) OH NO. Mark 4 me! (Got a new desk 2day, too)

Sunday 25/5/86

Wanted to do lots of HW & study today. Ended up spending ‘whole’ day on my english assignment & even then, didn’t finish it. Ratshit. A Life in WordsWanted to get quotes for english & do all my chemistry HW, revision sheets (as well as maths). Mucked around a bit too. Oh shit. Is 10:07. Watching the Black Stallion on TV. (Hopefully) will finish soon. Am bugared. Chemistry exam this FRIDAY. Shit, I’m gonna fail, severely. Oh what am I gonna do?? [It’s called study, and being Sunday, you still have 4 days left in which  to do some. SUCH a Worry Wart!] Ate a fair bit today – 4 fish fillets, cereal, mandarin sultanas, 3 biscuits, bowl of chips & 2 pieces toast. Howz that? (Sickening) God I’m tired. And a bit worried too. What the hell’ll I do about Chemistry? (And English? And maths) Aaaarg!! [Say no more!]

 

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Valentine Mourning, 1986

At times in my teens, and even into my early twenties, I would write to ‘purge’ and this Valentine’s day was one of the first… or at least, one of the oldest ones I have retained. It’s probably a good thing that I felt the urge to do this (as woeful as it is) since writing is often considered cathartic…

IF ONLY…

It is 6:01 [PM I will assume] on the 14th of February, 1986: St. Valentine’s Day. I am 15 yrs, 7 months and 4 days old.

I know depression. Loneliness. That is just a form of depression, with which I am well acquainted.

I (along with others, I know) received no gifts.

However, I (along with others) gave no gifts.

Is it my shyness?

Is it my imagination which makes me think (hope) I’ll get gifts? And is it my imagination which makes me believe boys like me?

What is my problem?

Am I fussy? There are those who have shown their attraction, yet I rejected them.

If I am fussy, there is no hope of my changing. It would only make me more unhappy.

What is a kiss? I am 15½ yrs old and never been kissed.

That may not seem bad to the older generation, but to those of mine it is saddening. Is there any hope for me?

I wish someone, someone to whom I am attracted, would show a mutual interest. It would be so very fulfilling for me. It would relieve so many anxieties withheld each day.

I could no longer be ashamed or feel sorry or pity for myself.

That is what I feel. So sad. So sad.

So depressed.

Especially, on this day.

St. Valentine’s Day is, for everyone, either the most beautiful, rewarding, touching or the most sad, depressing day.

The latter I have experienced every February 14th, every year.

It must change.

It must change.

It MUST, MUST, MUST,  MUST, MUST, MUST, MUST, MUST, MUST, MUST change.

But WHAT do I do?

Do I ignore my imagination; being friendly & lively instead of shy and withdrawn to those to whom I am attracted.

It is easier, much, much easier said than done.

It is a terrible, lonely feeling which I am experiencing. I know many others (many?) know the feeling all too well, too, but it is something that one choses to believe is happening only to him.

It is indeed, a selfish attitude, but a true one, one that cannot easily change.

Those may try and brightly say “Oh well! Plenty of others know this feeling too.” But within, there is pain. Loneliness.

That type of depression is ….heartbreaking. That is perhaps the best word describing the feeling.

Heart-breaking.A Life in Words

Oh!

If only…

If only…

If only I could change

If only others could change.

If..

If..

If.

This depression is tiring. depressing.

God, how I hate that word.

I feel I could cry my heart out.

But.

But there are no tears. Just a sinking feeling. Blue. That’s how I feel

Down.

Down in the dumps.A Life in Words

Blue

Heartbroken

sad

and

Depressed.

God how I hate that word.

What’s the use of being a ravishing beauty if there is no bright, bold personality to match?

I am not a ravishing beauty. Yet, I know I am no cow.

But I have the personality of one. I lack sincerity, individuality.

I have no personality.

I have no personality.

I have no personality.

I have no personality.

I have

NO

Personality.

It is 6:30, now.

Life Begins at Cairns High & Winifred Blows In (27 January-2 February)

Monday 27/1/86

Woke later this morning – 9:00. Camp was too short. SCHOOL TOMORROW. OH NO! Tanja, Mima, Fi & me (& hopefully Sandra B) will be a group. [The little Cancerian, driven by the desire to feel Secure.] Anyhow, cleaned up after a Gigantic brekky of pancakes again. Went for a swim. Others got 2 paddle boats, left us (4) behind. We swam out & they paddled away. BITCHES. Sandra felt bad – we understood her. We were half-drowning. Cooked big lunch too – soup, custard, popcorn & damper. [Yuk!] Then left at 2:30 in combie. Tired on way home. A Life in WordsBut had fun. Exhausted now. Beka rang to wish me good luck. Felt guilty about not seeing her before school like I said I would. Am almost composed (I guess) [I can imagine how nervous I would have been feeling] Is 9:34

Tuesday 28/1/86

Today was…. quite….. UNREAL!! I’m in 11B with mima, Fiona, Tanja, Lynette (G), Brent, David S, Cameron McK, Mark F, Kevin L and a few more. Great huh?!! English – I’m with practically no one; Bio – Angela J; Maths – Fi; Chem – Fi, Mim, Lyn & (everyone else) in our form; Art – Sandra, Astia, Elisia. Great!! Heaps of spunks – mostly jerks though. Bus was empty  – about 10 people on it!! More tomorrow – will be packed. Sean M is in my Bio class. There’s a cute spunk (his friend I think) there too. Mmmm! At lunch, walked Angela to her parent’s shop & met Jason P, MR & MP Busting for pee all day – didn’t wanna go to those yuk loos. [I’d heard tales years earlier about razor blades being embedded in the cakes of soap, and the coloured girls attacking the whites in there: no doubt a part of the fear mongering older students liked to dish out to keep the ‘newbies’ in submission, because I never experienced anything remotely like it in my two years there. A Life in WordsHaving also come from Smithfield High, which was a brand new school when I began there, I was accustomed to somewhat newer & obviously cleaner amenities] Is 9:15.

Wednesday 29/1/86

I am sooooo tired. My english class is full of dead-shits (dags, idiots, delinquents) Donna B is with me. We’re the only white girls. The best thing is the teacher – Mr Grozetti. (Adam’s dad) He’s good, mima says (she & Fi have him too) Also my biology class doubled mysteriously in numbers today. So that means we’ll be split into 2 classes & with my luck Angie (J) will be in the one I’m not (I’ll have Donna B) Art was embarrassing. Had to get to know each other. Neville pretended he couldn’t say/remember my name. How pathetic.  [Fair go! Maybe you actually aren’t memorable, Liss?] Skool finished early. So we went to town.. Caught bus home. Is 9:33

Thursday 30/1/86

Orrrright. My Bio class is …. small. Angie is with me so is Donna. Love Chemistry & Maths (Fi) Ben’s also in our Maths class now (David D, too) Cyclone Winifred has intensified and is directly east of Cooktown Gales up to 150km/hr SHIT! That’s why the wind picked up (one hell of a lot) today. Raining still. LOVE IT, though!! Sean is in other Bio class so I have nothing with him (thank god) need not pay attention to or sneak glances at him. He’s a jerk, but he’s cute. So’s David S. Double english tomorrow YUK. Oh well!! Heapsa work for art. This course is gonna be VERY HARD Is 9:48  Have no leathers for Chem!!!!

Friday 31/1/86

Best of all, I like David S I think. I also like Steven B, Cameron McK, Sean S, Mark W, John C, Rikki & Ben P. I don’t like like them – I think they’re spunks. God I’m tired. Wind has dropped & rains a little less. Am behind in art already. Gonna hafta make my folder a rush job. Oh well!! David’s sooo cute & Steven’s such a spunk. Gord, CHS is a haven of spunks. [Like a kid in a lolly shop!] I’m bugared. Getting my leather shoes tomorrow. Periods finished. Gonna look after my skin. Is 11:50 Movie was slack. Gosh I can’t believe how tired I am nite nite!!!!

Saturday 1/2/86

A Life in Words
Cyclone Winifred’s path, as tracked by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology

I am writing by the light of a torch. The cyclone is now nearer to Babinda – Innisfail and heading SW at 15km/hr However Cairns is still on cyclone warning. The power has been off since 3:30 this arvy due to various fallen power poles. The wind is very gusty. Radio reports heaps of telephone/power poles, bus shelters, trees, sheds & roofs – hold it, they just said that FNQEB men are trying to restore power  at this moment. Great – hope they can. The wind and rain sounds like the ocean now – great gusts remind me of waves breaking against the shore. This morning went searching for leather shoes – nothing. Saw Mark R – works at Mathers. Smiled at him & smiled back. Felt a tinge of confidence!! Is 9:10 saw heapsa others too [Up to this point Winifred was one of the most destructive cyclones to hit the Far North, as the Australian Bureau of Meteorology noted: “Winifred produced the most disastrous effects on the Queensland coast of any tropical cyclone since Altheain 1971.” She was a Category 3 on the scale of 1 to 5 (five being the most intense) and the eye of the storm crossed the coast just south of Innisfail, which is approximately ¾ hour south of Cairns.)

Sunday 2/2/86

Tonight I’m writing by candlelight. The power has now been off (it’s 8:36) for 1 day and approx. 5 hours. Today, we cleaned up the yard & took all the stuff back outside, before dad came. We  went to Duffy’s (her whole front yard was a torn, lifeless muck – jungle & her shed at the back no longer existed) & helped her clean up (then to Roger’s old place – he lost the fence & some windows on the granny flat.) Then to a party at Kingfisher flats on Esplanade (BORING) Jenny drove us home (after a tour of the town) mim & Fi were at the park waiting for me. We talked. Rained a bit. SHIT the weather’s fine again. There’s pretty bad things – old 100 year old trees fallen. [These were mostly fig trees, which apparently have weak or shallow root systems so are obviously more at the mercy of storm conditions than many others.] It’s a shame. But I love the rain

At the back of my diary, in the notes section, I expanded upon the cyclone:

THE CYCLONE WINNIFRED has been pretty vicious. They say that what Cairns looks like is nothing compared to Innisfail – 100 houses approx. are roofless. There are only 2 trees still standing in the whole of Mission Beach & worst of all, 2 people have been killed. [According to the Bureau of Meteorology, the death toll was actually three] A young girl was hit by flying iron & a 43 yr old man fell from his roof, trying to secure it down. [The third was apparently a drowning] The oldest trees around Cairns have fallen. Heaps & heaps. It’s a terrible shame. 100 years old – we’ll never see others if they’re planted now. I wish cyclonic winds would leave trees & power poles alone. [Ha! A pipe-dream. Clearly, I was sensitive to flora destruction but at the same time also couldn’t bear electricity blackouts.] Everything else – I don’t care. I hate seeing beautiful trees up-rooted. It’s ugly & saddening.