TE Scores, Life Purpose & A Line is Crossed (21-27 December)

Monday 21/12/87

[This post carries over from my previous post: I’d attended a party on the Sunday night, so continued diarising into Monday’s allotted space] [I was] extremely blind drunk. I don’t know why it happened- why I went to Freshwater School with [privacy omission]; I didn’t know what was happening, but the fact was, it did. A Life in WordsI remember crying after it. saying “what am I going to do?” He said “nobody can know about this”. I really don’t remember very much. [But I did recover ‘snippets’ of memory perhaps after the alcohol – or shock? – wore off…] He escorted me home I vaguely remember showering before jumping into bed totally naked. Woke this morning- Julia said “Chris & Cameron are here” & they came in the room. (I lay under the doona) SO EMBARRASSING! [um, yes…] They stayed for awhile: cooked their own brekkys. Watched TV ..Brent rang & the mailman came at the same time. I got 870!! [TE (tertiary entrance) score] Cool! [Privacy omission: here I’d listed some friends’ scores…] Then they left & I did nothing all day – except get extremely hyper [worked up] about the events of last nite. I rang Jo to talk & she helped me a bit. I feel terrible I regret the whole night so much & I feel sick when I think about it. So I tried to think of Jim. [What? Why?] Fi came round & I told her. I hope [privacy omission] doesn’t tell anyone: [well if you had to talk about it – and it IS essential for emotional health – you can’t expect him to remain silent. That’s the pot calling the kettle black.] it’ll be bad enough facing mark about just getting with [privacy omission] to start with let alone him discovering what “else” happened. Fiona sympathized: you just can’t trust your friends even, these days. But, oh shit, she left & I had tea & a bath & [then she came back and collected me and] we went driving for 2 hours: was good – has gotten my mind quite off it now (I WANT JIM C) [This sentiment was a product of my immediate state of mental health: desperate for distraction. KurandaI couldn’t want Mark under the current circumstances… I ‘needed’ something/someone unrelated…] we even went to Kuranda NITE.

[I didn’t realise at the time – nor for very many years after – that what happened to me on that night constituted rape. Back in those days rape was commonly defined by violence, not simply ‘non-consensual’ relations. So, for a long time, I simply considered what happened a breach of trust: a friend taking advantage of me. But I was torn, because I didn’t feel entirely innocent: I had kissed him first, earlier in the night. I had led him on, hadn’t I? Did I invite it? Did I deserve it? Absolutely not …because I didn’t ask for it; I wasn’t given a choice. There was no consensus, let alone consent. I was in a completely defenseless state. We know these days – it’s understood and accepted – that ‘provocative’ behaviour (like clothing) does not – not ever – constitute an excuse to ‘proceed’. It is not an ‘unconditional’ green light. I had only ever kissed the guys I “got with” – I’d never gone any further with anyone, other than my boyfriend. When fragments of my memory returned, I recalled crying silent tears as it happened (not just afterwards, as I’d diarised) and the word “no” scrolling through my mind …but does “No mean No” if it’s a mere thought, not spoken word? Of course it does. I didn’t want it to happen. I didn’t enjoy it. A Life in WordsBut I was too legless to resist, to even realise fully what was happening. The fact that I felt betrayed, that someone I thought was a friend had taken advantage of me in my compromised state, affirms a line was crossed. Whilst I have long since processed the incident, freeing myself from any negative mental or emotional consequences and forgiving the individual concerned, I will never condone his actions nor attitude in this ordeal and fully support the desperate need for change in societal gender issues.]

Tuesday 22/12/87

Well I slept right in today: even past the mailman’s delivery (early today!) Got papa’s Xmas prezzy $20. An electrician was here, putting in a ceiling fan in our living room – Uncle Mike’s present to us for Xmas!! It’s so unreal – cools right down. [I can’t believe we’d lived in that house for three (?) years previously without any fans. These days airconditioning is pretty much standard in FNQ dwellings…] So I bludged all morning – T.V. till went shopping with mum and julia. A Life in WordsBut of course, I didn’t get any personal Xmas shopping done. We got home before 5:00 & I read Dolly all arvy & nite: [privacy omission] rang after dinner. .around 8:00, said he’d come over [privacy omission]– after 10:00. I got nervous sounded like, well, I thought he sounded like he wanted a relationship to arise…[?] thank god it wasn’t that. At first (he came round 10:30) we only talked generally. Actually, that’s all we did, besides slotting in the subject now & then. [Uh, yes, because …it was an extremely uncomfortable, difficult topic for both of us to broach…] He said he doesn’t want me to tell him [my boyfriend] – if he has to know, he wants to be the one to tell him. I don’t know. [Yep, back then I sure didn’t know …didn’t know much at all. I didn’t know that this uncertainty was my Gut trying futilely to override my fearful Mind, to insist that I be the one to tell him. Because, in the adult world, the responsibility lies with the partner – not the ‘buddy’ – due to a thing called Intimacy. In a normal, healthy relationship, there shouldn’t be anyone closer to your partner than you. I had to be the one to open up because I was (or should have been) closer to Mark than his friend. There’s also the fact that whomever doesn’t own up, potentially appears more guilty…] I’m just glad it’s over. [oh Liss, it so isn’t over..] He won’t tell anybody & neither will I. Depending on how Mark & I are when he gets back .. speaking of whom […and here I mentioned his and yet more others’ TE scores…] It’s 1:20!!

Wednesday 23/12/87

I went to town with Jo on the 11:00 bus. Before-hand, Mr B rang and told me Mark was accepted into the B. Business [privacy omission] so that’s good, I guess. I barely got anything done: Joannah did. Saw Jeffrey M & hid. [Wuss] Saw Fi, too! I got Julia’s, Fi’s & Jo’s [christmas presents]. Didn’t get mum’s. Found out Jo’s sister’s best friend bought the shoes I wanted to buy mum. So we caught the 5:20 bus home : and after a long time, got to Ingrid’s (CAD I & II) party just before 8:00. A Life in WordsWas O.K. Not great. Had to borrow $10 from Jude (Mars) to get taxi home. Got ready (pretty drunk) and Fi took us there. No q’s getting in. Just got in the door & stopped there – so many people! Jim included. I thought ‘WOW!’ cause he was talking to Fi & kind of hanging around as a group. But it wore on. Phillip C was there. And Jim told Fiona he likes me (So Peter H told me too) I got to talk to Jim, but he went off with (??) outside Smithy’s & I heard he was talking to Fiona. Great. He likes her. I was kinda down→

Thursday 24/12/87

→for the rest of the night (seemed quite a few people knew I liked Jim) so we left around 2:30, 3:00. Fiona said he liked Belinda, (K). Dean had said to me “he dumped Fiona for Belinda”. Great. That virtually proved it (that it was Fiona above me, anyway, disregarding Belinda) [Ego, Ego, Ego…] Fiona verbally didn’t agree. Anyway, I woke rather late. . . spent the day worrying about what to do for the rest of my life. I have no idea. [This feeling/issue has pervaded my life ever since. It morphed into the larger, more intimidating fear – lack of purpose. A Life  in WordsThis has been the bedrock of my life’s depressions and I am only now – in my mid forties – learning that Life Purpose is a construct: it’s not necessary …and in fact, is not necessarily real.] SHIT Fiona came down. Then mum & I went to town – I got Sharon & Nigel’s prezzy’s; met Jo & took her home – Fiona, me & her all gave each other our prezzies & Nigel came over & gave us his. When everyone left, I got ready. Fi came around 8:30 – Sharon late. After KFC, picked up Sue. The party was full of rev-heads. So went with Wade & Co to Coppelode (I felt so down – out of place) Back to the party to check it out – none other than Jim (& Trevor & Robert M…) & NIGEL! so a convoy of us raced out to Holloways (no party as they said) Jim talking to Fiona. I felt down again. All drove (actually just got Jim’s & Fi’s cars – lost Nigel & Wade) around dropping people home. There ended up Robert Jim & David (J)

Friday 25/12/87 XMAS DAY

A Life in Words
my spunky drop-waisted acid-wash denim skirt

→In jim’s car & Sharon, Fi & I in her car. We decided on swimming at Freshwater Creek. As soon as we got there – Richard O’S & Stewart & Co turned up. Swimming was beautifully cool (cold!) + scary! Got out & all mucked round (laughed so much!) dropped Sharon home around 3:00. And at Holloways, we played Hide’n’seek. Jim & Robert against Fi & I, Stewart & Praybon against Richard & David So I got home 4:45. I had a great time, but I was down inside: Fiona. god she irritated me. I made [tried to make?] her guilty saying things, […which only makes you look like a miserable sook…] but she still stood near him, flirted with him (maybe she didn’t know it, but it hurt me) So I was down. Mum woke me at 8:30. Jodie & Mike gave me a cute denim skirt! [See right. Cute maybe in the 80’s… but downright ugly now.] (At dad’s I got $100 voucher for GOOD TIME) Home again- I nearly fell asleep before Mike & Cynthia came. Ate so much today (Piggy) Fell asleep in afternoon. Rang Fi, Sharon & Jo . . . none of them were home. Uneventful Christmas day really although I’ve made some good (well, pleasing or interesting to me) career decisions And I’ve decided on newspaper or TV (maybe radio?!) primarily Cairns, then Brisbane. Also get a folio of photos – send to a photographic modeling agency!! [Well well well. I didn’t know I’d considered modelling at this point in my life… other than as one of the tools we’d tried (unsuccessfully) to utilise in my compensations claim after the bus accident…]

Saturday 26/12/87

Well what a day! I spent most of the morning in bed – got up round 10:00. Rang Fiona – she said at Sue’s last nite, Geoffrey, Dean & Trevor rang them & asked them to come out. She said to me that they didn’t. A Life in WordsI did ironing after that (previously swimming in the Fishers pool & etc) & Jo came & we went to see her off. She [Fiona?] was there (of course) and told me that the Xmas Eve party was PRIVATE. Back to Jo’s saw Jim & his car was in a deep ditch. Philip N, Trevor & Dean were in a crash. We stayed round Jeffrey’s, talking to them all arvy found out they’d been at Fiona’s beforehand- I feel so betrayed (by her) & sue (cos’ I asked about the Xmas Eve party & Phil & Jim said “No! It’s open!”) WHY? Why did they do it to me? What’ve I ever done to Fiona? […apart from being a whingey bitch?] Let alone Sue? Anyway, Philip seemed to be taking an interest in me (ha, ha!) & he’s going to beach nite! I got home round 6:00→ Sharon & I went to town→got

Sunday 27/12/87

→Bailey’s & milk then went to Playpen. I am still pretty drunk (may tell by the writing) […actually, my handwriting wasn’t nearly as bad as it had been at other times…] Was unreal. Cute Clinton & I talked to Jeffrey M’s friend Heiffer for ages, just before we left. He’s so nice!!!! Now it’s 2:30. Don’t forget Sharon owes me $12.00. [That equated to three or four drinks back then…] Ok? Nite! ∏ Well I woke to the phone, before 10:00. (Angela M – wanting to know if I wanted to go to Magnetic Island on Mon. Tues & Wed) and wasted the whole day. I really wanted to sleep, but couldn’t. A Life in WordsWatched TV (cricket) and finally slept in the afternoon, Sharon ringing at 5:30 to say she didn’t want to go out (sore throat) I didn’t mind (I just hope Philip didn’t go .. cause of me) Fat chance, huh?! Jo & I had a long phone talk during the day (’bout Jim, Fiona & everything else) Otherwise – it was sleep & TV. Boring!! So hot! (But rained all day) Just realized there’s just over one week till Mark gets back … And I haven’t changed one bit like I said I would→ I’m fatter than I was when he left, my wonderful tan has faded (& the rain won’t help me get it back) oh dear! Cannot wait till New Years!! What’ll I do tomorrow? I think I should clean out my bedroom it’s 10:10

 

Sexism, Competition, Jealousy & the Saints’ Bus (19-25 October)

Monday 19/10/87

What a day. Well it’s almost 11:30 & I must get to sleep. I need it for biol. exam tomorrow, which I should pass, luckily, but not do very well in. [Oh so you only need sleep for exams, not study as well?] I worked out I had 9hrs sleep during the whole weekend. Um-ah! [Yeah, you know it] I talked to Nicole today, as much as I didn’t want to, but it’s good that I did, ’cause I talked all about keith & his stupid phone call. [..and that’s good, how?] Glyn B. told me what I didn’t want to hear – that Mark went to Nicole: it wasn’t the other way round. He was on a geography excursion, but came for biol. & we good on pretty good. I missed Donna’s bus but luckily mum dropped me to her place. Nikki came over & took us to Earlville; the tutoring was good .. I understood a bit, but tonite’s study (myself) was O.K. too. My oral in english went so well! I only stuffed up really badly once & I was praised mostly. It was the first time in my life  I wasn’t nervous doing an oral. Funny! [Yes, that is. Like the majority of the population I fear speaking in front of a large group of people.] God, it’s getting hot so quickly. Jo was away today. [Privacy omission] said that they’re all out (all?) to root (use) [privacy omission], then piss her off. Meanies (but doesn’t bother me) A Life in Words[It’s not at all difficult to ascertain what was said here, despite the omissions: even if there was no truth behind it, the statement reflects the appalling chauvinist attitude of which many (a ‘faceless majority’ of) men seem to be guilty. The really sad part is my response: a very benign ‘disapproval’ (bordering on sarcastic) and worse, nonchalance – because it’s not directed personally at me. It actually demonstrates a general ‘acceptance’ that “it’s just the way it is”. I am so glad that, at this point in time, some of these sexist attitudes are finally being brought to light: A Life in Wordsthere’s currently more public conversation about women’s rights, ranging from the hideous issue of domestic violence, through to pay equality. It must continue so that today’s youth don’t adopt and/or learn to accept these dreadful attitudes.] Mark’d better step up his act. I must do heaps of work -am so behind & running very short of time. Got to write letters to DDIAE & QCWA about accomodation next year! [Applying for (mostly fine art) courses at tertiary institutions in South East Queensland, accommodation was obviously necessary. The Darling Downs Institute of Advanced Education (DDIAE) in Toowoomba had resident accommodation while the A Life in WordsQCWA (Queensland Country Women’s Association) operated (and still does) a boarding house for students attending different institutions in Brisbane.]

Tuesday 20/10/87

I feel a terrible jealousy whenever I see Nicole within 10 metres of Mark. I’m sure she’s after him again, now that I’ve told her we’re not going out still-she’s always around, trying to talk to him. But he’s noticing me above her, I know. [You know? For sure?] He looks at me a fair bit. I think he’s falling in love with me all over again- a different, more loving & strong love. [Oh my god. How many surreal happy-ending Hollywood romances does it take to develop such an unrealistic attitude toward love and romance?] I don’t know! [Too right you don’t know!] Caught the bus & at school Cameron told us about Steven’s accident- last night on his way home From work a lady hit him – he’s got contusion of the lung, bruised kidneys, cracked ribs & leg broken in 3 places. A Life in WordsPoor guy – two crashes in one year. [He had been one of the ‘luckier’ passengers in our ill-fated bus crash earlier in the year, but this motorcycle accident tested his luck and most certainly left him in worse physical condition…] But there’ve been so many accidents this year. [I wonder what others I’m referring to?] Mima also told me the Perrems had left [town]. I got a bit upset for a few minutes. I wish they’d said goodbye. [I had it stuck in my head (for many years) that Monique’s parents – particularly her mother – didn’t want to see me because it was too painful for them: they only associated me with her. Her father as much as said so when he visited us some weeks after the accident. It’s in the opening lines of this post from March.] Biol exam was hard. I could pass, but I wouldn’t do well. Mark had lotsa trouble, too. Got so much work to do and I never seem to get around to it. [Even if you hadn’t suddenly become a party animal, you’re a born procrastinator Liss…] Jo was away again. I made a big calendar type thing, with all my due dates etc. [Hilarious. Spend your time drafting a schedule of due dates, instead of doing the actual work. But this does demonstrate my affinity for Structure & Organisation – if not Action…] Time is going very quickly. Ugh! Got my catalogue entries for [art] exhibition done. 3 paintings, my 3 drawings + 2 I want to do also + my bag. Fash. Parade – 2 outfits I have yet to make. Ugh!

Wednesday 21/10/85

Well, I was very mad today- I could’ve killed her, honestly. But I’m fine now (I guess it’s because I’m at home and I can’t see her near him.) He got a bit moody today it’s just the same – I should break away. It doesn’t bother me, that’s all. (that’s why, I mean) [Um, what? I’m reading this as “I don’t break away because his moodiness doesn’t bother me” …which is total bullshit. Because I’ve said as much – not to mention been quite upset by it – numerous times in the past. Perhaps I was trying to convince myself ‘otherwise’ …attempting positivity?] Boring day- didn’t see Steven. having his op. today. I’m sure Mark’s testing me deliberately. [Hmmm…] Well, I don’t care: I rang Sharon tonight & we’re going out Friday (’cause she’s going to that Mission Beach Party Weekend on Saturday night) and hopefully will get Stuart to come (and Nigel – get stoned instead of drunk) I’ll try to talk to Mark anyway & encourage him to come out ..I think I’ll need another talk to him this .weekend too. Getting to be a habit! (But it’s good – it should be a habit) [Mmmmm, really? Talking is a waste of time and energy if it leads nowhere…] A Life in WordsDid little chem. HW tonite – in town this arvy, Philip N YUM said hello to me – my name! WOW! But when I rang Jo, she said (I killed myself) that for the first time in 5 weeks, PHILLIP C caught the bus. AAAARGH! I could’ve killed myself for missing out on seeing him! [LOL. It’s so funny watching my attention swing from one guy to another. For someone with such emotional depth, it seems quite contradictory…]

Thursday 22/10/85

A Bad day, but great, too! It was really bad today- he was not talking to me at all. Things came to a head when I went to talk to him at big lunch- soon he walked away to Keith and Nicole and talked to them. In front of me. I walked out and couldn’t stop the flow [of tears]. Didn’t stop till before I went into art room. Then in art, I was in a really bad mood. My first public display of temper, EVER. [I’m not normally one to make a scene…] I swore, and had the sour-est face and wouldn’t talk to anyone practically. In english I thought & talked to Donna, then after school I talked [to him]. He was angry .. instead of being his doormat, I’d gone to the extreme, being a really nasty sarcastic bitch, [??] which really annoyed him. But he gave me a 2nd chance. [A second chance? At what? I can’t recall the exact circumstances but this seems …’irrelevant’ to me.] And I cried & laughed at the same time. [Quite a pertinent reaction to a …ridiculous scenario.] He said “you’re a funny girl” I hugged him. then again. (Nicole didn’t look too happy with me) He left And I caught the St’s bus with Jo – sat next to . . YES! PHILLIP C!! WOW! Yummy Yummy Yummy! [Clearly one may be attracted to numerous people simultaneously…] A Life in WordsI talked so much – In fact, he probably thinks I’m  a chatterbox. [One of my intrinsic nervous reactions …to avoid uncomfortable silences…] Oh dear! But God, he’s gorgeous! Tom Cruise- with blonde hair, blue-green eyes, square teeth & slim face. Well, I can see it. [If you are reading this Phil, and are offended by this comparison, I apologise profusely. For what it’s worth, many females (including me, obviously) thought Tom Cruise was a hottie …back in the day, at least.] YUM Late nite with Sharon. Mark & Cam were there, but didn’t see them.

Friday 23/10/87

An O.K. day at school. Didn’t really talk to Mark untill after school .. I came late this morning – during double english, went to art room (2nd period) and spent all time in there (getting very angry sometimes) [with my work, I assume] up till big lunch- talked with Glyn, Cameron, Brett, Vikki, Lisa, Jason- in Yr11 area – was good. Big thing about [privacy omission] being a slut .. rumours she screwed Mark (Found out that she screwed Steven, outside the Playpen the week before; first time) and she’s really angry with [privacy omission] – I don’t know! Talked after school & sat & waited till the Saints bus went past. Philip was on it again sitting by the window & we waved at each other! He is so gorgeous! I’m flipped out! [You don’t say?] Late home: (julia at Ms Forbes) Got ready & Sharon & I went to Playpen about 9:30 (got in sequills for free) [Sequills was the Playpen’s lounge bar and for awhile proved to be our cheapest and easiest way in, since it could be accessed not only from inside the nightclub but also via its own separate street entrance. With no cover charge (and more laid-back security) under-aged patrons like us were ‘blessed’. Of course, management eventually cottoned on…] Had a drink then left. At HOTH (the Hill) [you know how you start using acronyms when things become ‘regularities’…] found Nigel outside. A Life in WordsWe got stoned (my eyes were so red- I was really embarrassed) […first hint of paranoia…] Stuart came in later & I went outside again with Nigel. Found Stuart again & we got together.. [yeah again, this is just kissing, people…] I thought OK at the time, but some things that happened led me to believe I was the butt of a joke – that it was a dare. […hmmm, paranoia again, perhaps?] I really hurt him

Saturday 24/10/87

→when I finally said something. He went off & I found Sharon. She “revved” him about using me -then he wanted to talk to me. He was basically saying “I think I’m falling in love with you” It was no joke. I was so confused. [An easy state to experience while you’re stoned…] They gave us (me) a lift home. (Mikey & Praybon had been telling me he talks about me all the time at school- has depressions about me. I thought they were going a bit far) [Yeah, that does sound pretty dodgy…] I woke 7:45- Sharon came in 4:20, apparently. (20 minutes after me) she missed her bus, so we took her in, when we went in to get dress (artwork) material. Stuart rang when I got home. He said nothing about his words last night – a short phone call before he left for Mission Bch. A few phone calls: around 12:00, Mark rang & said he’d be around to take us (Fi&I) to Crystal’s. It was so nice. I tried my hardest not to be stupid, yet nasty. (Actually it wasn’t hard) [WTF? This doesn’t even make sense.] A Life in WordsA few affectionate seconds between us. After hamburgers, home! Slept (Mr B visited mum) Phone calls galore late in the day. Fi came & we left here at 6:40. David wasn’t ready …by the time we left there it was 7:10. Stopped in at W’s- got Sandra’s I.D. for Fiona ..Mark asking who was in the car (sus?) said he wasn’t going out. Got to odeon at 8:15 or 7:45?? […in other words, I have no idea when we got there…] Went to Esplanade instead. Then saw Jo at the Deb. Ball. Found Jude, CB & Nicole outside movies. Nicole & CB went to Playpen to wait for Cameron (& of course, I guessed, Mark) A Life in WordsJude, David, Jason, Fi & I went to Jason’s with a bottle of TiaMaria. Got very happy before going→

Sunday 25/10/87

to Croc. Rock. Mark was there. Cameron, CB & Nicole. Nicole was trying very hard – talking etc. Mark seemed nonchalant about me, and I was bubbling with rage inside. [Privacy omission] told me that when I told him (before) who was in the car: Fiona, Jason & David – he ‘froze up’ (got pissed off) and I think that’s why  he got with Nicole ..to piss me off. But I didn’t show it, one bit (To him, anyway)+Everyone I saw I told them I wanted to strangle her or rip her head off her shoulders. [Oh that’s nice. Not to mention classy.] I want him for me! [I want, I want… In the immortal words of Mick Jagger “you can’t always get what you want”] Geoff M & Dean L came – we all danced (Jude too) then Fi said they were going (by this time I’d had an explosion (cocktail) and was v. “gone”) [these flammable cocktails had by now become a ritual for me…] I scabbed money for taxi & stayed with Geoff & Dean. Geoff & I went outside and sat & then we talked a lot. I told him I liked Phillip N as well as C. (mistake!) [Yep, as mentioned in previous posts, me and alcohol = blabbermouth. My dad used to say “the drunken tongue speaks the sober mind” so why was it necessarily a mistake? Ain’t nothing wrong with being open and honest…or I’ve made a serious error in creating this blog…] We got a taxi home – him to Esplanade – (Phillip N’s house) & me, on to Freshy! Woke, really hot around 9:00. Wasted whole day-no HW done. Nigel & Sharon came around 3:00, got Jo & went to Crystals ..talked. what hurts is to think how he might’ve spent today with her, because CB & Cameron are together again (I think or I suppose) I thought maybe someone’d ring today. No one, apart from Jo. I need sleep. I need to do my english assignment. I’ve lost weight – 59kgs!! Am so tired. So bored. so confused, a little anxious & hurt. I need PHILLIP C. (Jo said at Croc Rock sat. nite she said hi to him for me & he said “A BIG hello” back! […hang on, YOU were at Crocodile Rock on Saturday night too… how did you miss him? It must’ve been a timing thing…]

Beaches, Shots, Cocktails: A Party Animal is Born (28 September-4 October)

Monday 28/9/87

[Having gone out clubbing on the Sunday night (to my first ‘Beach Party’ night at the Playpen!) this entry kicks off with my continuing recount of the ‘rage’ we were having in the wee hours…]

→ And I was O.K! [referring to my having consumed ten tequila shots] Stumbled now & then, but I was standing & taking the stairs well and I knew (almost) everything I was doing. I had no money left by the end. There was this cute blonde guy called Scott who danced with me, but the Americans later on, were unreal. “Will” was quite cute (what I remember!) kept saying I had a cute smile; [that] I was cute. IT WAS TOTALLY UNREAL. We were all drunk. (Fi & Sharon worst!) We lost Lucy & Sharon after cos Fi & I went to Yanks for hot dog & milkshake & they’d gone when we got back. Fi & I drove round. [I’d normally have omitted this to respect Fiona’s privacy (because we all know drink-driving is, apart from illegal, an extremely dangerous & foolish activity) but I was stunned when she insisted I publish it. It demonstrates she’s completely prepared to admit to and accept responsibility for her actions: one of the primary reasons I began this project for myself – to be responsible for all I have thought, said and done…”right” or “wrong”, “good” or “bad” …irrespective of criticism or judgement. For what it’s worth, I was also guilty of this idiotic practice for a while in the not-too-distant future. Alcohol-induced bravado aside, the problem is we think we are invincible at this age. Or we just don’t think. Drink-driving was really only just starting to become a serious community issue in the late ’80’s: it definitely didn’t seem to bear quite the significance it does today. Suffice to say, we were just plain “lucky”.] We found them – fi dropped us home (Lucy’s) WE BOMBED!! A Life in WordsWoke early (haven’t been able to sleep in at all so far) we decided (Sharon, Fi & I) to go to Palm Cove. Sharon & I walked to her place – her mum took us & Fi drove there about 12:30. Beautiful weather, Didn’t really sunbake- walked, swam & socialized! A Life in Words[…and took heaps of photos] Home around 3:30-4:00. Wanted to go to movies tonite. so rang Jo, but she was really depressed about Victor. SO I talked to her. And watched the sick movie tonite. It’s 10:15 now. I’m dead! →can’t wait for Wednesday nite

Tuesday 29/9/87

Everyone else is so busy! I went around Earlville & town with mum & Julia today after ringing nearly everyone: Fi with Jason, Mima with Brent, Joannah with Victor, Sharon at work & Lucy “not home”A Life in Words Julia got Jenny Morris’ tape. I still love T.T.D. (Terence Trent D’arby) even tho it reminds me of Mark’s & my break-up. [Someone actually mentioned to me (at a recent reunion, I think) that they couldn’t stand Terence Trent D’Arby because I’d played his album repeatedly in our CAD art classes. Whoops!] We visited Leonie in hospital. Genelle & Amanda weren’t there, but Brooke is Gorgeous!! So cute. At home, I unpicked the tulle from my black dress- have to alter it again- my boobs getting bigger, still! [That must’ve been all due to the contraceptive pill, because I remember noticing (& loving) the weight my fresh singledom & heavy partying was shedding from me…] I’m going to shorten it & wear it out tomorrow nite ($nite!!) [Back in the days of lax liquor legislation, ‘Dollar Drinks’ nights were huge crowd pullers. For obvious reasons. It’s now illegal to promote alcohol in any way that even implies the potential to binge-drink, let alone encourages it.] I rang Fi (night with Jason) Jo (nite with V.) Sharon (saving her money for tomorrow nite) Justine (engaged) finally Beka, Jules & I went to see RAISING ARIZONA. A Life in WordsFunny! I cracked up in the cinema -something I’ve never done. [Hmm, must watch that one again to see if I still find it as amusing. There’s nothing like a good laugh, especially if it’s out loud in a public place.] Caught up on news (updated her) with Beka. She’s got a guy too. [Feeling lonely, much?] God, tomorrow nite’d better be good! Philip’s gonna be there – Jo told me! Yay! (She also told me Deena B likes him. Uhoh) 10:30. Sleep 4 2morrow!

Wednesday 30/9/87

I just can’t seem to sleep in & I so badly need the sleep. Today I went, around 11:30, into town with Fi – We didn’t do too much constructive; we were so tired: saw Glyn, Cameron & Deanne. I copped shit from Glyn about Friday night (-SO bad!) [I’m assuming this was just referring to my being drunk, but god knows what I said. I’m clearly quite an ‘open book’ without alcohol in my system… I can only imagine what came out of my mouth while I was under the influence.] Home around 3:00 I bludged, lazed. Phoned Fi, Jo. Eventually. I got ready, Sharon came & we went to Fi’s. To Jo’s (I asked Fi, [privacy omission] if I should apologize to Angie if she was there – they all said no. [Privacy omission] said she did get with him that night. So I started to feel depressed & sick) [A typical stress reaction…] Sharon & Jo got in, Fi & I waited with Jas. & Brendan We all got in. They said there’d be a raid […meaning police raid] There wasn’t. [It sounds so sinister, and as a law-breaking, underaged patron it certainly felt like it to me but in reality it was most likely just a routine ‘patrol’. A Life in WordsI do recall one or two people I knew getting turfed out on occaision, but I’m fairly sure that’s as far as it ever went (no formal penalties, that is). These days there’d be seriously large fines involved for everyone: the ‘minor’, the staff and the business proprietors/company.] Basically, I had a good night. Tricia was there. With Astia. Mark & Keith (Keith talked to me) Apparently they were at Green Island today with the Year 11 girls (Nicole) I didn’t say one word to mark – neither did I even look at him (deliberately) He left early. I was certain I told everyone I saw, he was with Tricia, [although it seems very much like I was deliberately gossip-mongering it wasn’t the case at all: my expectation, my belief that they’d get together was so intense, I created a ‘reality’ from it] but Jason & Sharon both told me at the end, that Tricia was nowhere around him, when it was supposed to have →

A Life in WordsThursday 1/10/87

←happened. Amazing. I’ll bet something did tho. It had to. […them Trust issues!] I talked to Astia briefly about it (I was drunk, so was she) & also, at one stage, Sandra (W) & I had a long talk outside (I told her about the weird dream I had about him Wed. Morning. Great talking to her). [Oh dear yes, you see? Alcohol + Elissa = Blabbermouth] Basically, what happened was, I barely saw him (left early I think) I danced, and drank (talked to Martin G.) all nite. FUN! I was so blotto [slang for “blind rotten drunk”] when I got home: David actually said goodbye to me. WOW. [Um, yeah ….WOW?] Sharon was there. Woke early for her [Sharon, I assume – perhaps she had to go to work?] this morning gave mum her $50 + cards. Boring day at home – a total waste – but you need a good “waste” now & then, huh? [Yes, you do. I’ve deduced over many years that ‘Wastage’ (in all its  forms) is a huge issue for me – underlying many of my actions and idiosyncrasies – so this wee rumination from my past self is uncannily relevent, even now.] The more I think about it, the more inevitable it looks that Mark won’t get in contact with me, at all. It’s so sad. But I’m not feeling sick with depression at the moment. [That’s called “getting over it”] Went out late nite Earlville mum spent some (most) of her money. I saw Steven & Glyn, Sandra W (couldn’t stop to talk) Philip N & Colleen A Life in Words(She said at green Island she, Nicole got a surfski, tipped & Mark & Keith swam out & “saved” them) [I can just feel the sarcasm (weakly disguising my pain) in these words] Also, Mark & Keith were home (or??) before 12:00, they left. Screw Trish maybe? […oh and most definitely here!]

Friday 2/10/87

I went to Fitzroy, tired as I was, and it was GREAT! I had an unreal time (esp. perving on David.) Didn’t get burnt, but look browner now! Swam, walked, talked. It was totally unreal; best day I’ve had, I think. Remembered Monique; the last time I’d been to Fitzroy was a year ago – october holidays with her, Sharon, Lucy, Beka and Fiona. Was very self-conscious about my leg, for the first time. [Maybe because this was the first time your ‘deformity’ was exposed to a crush who had no involvement or direct connection to the ordeal (unlike your recent ex) and was therefore – according to your perception – in a greater position to judge and reject you? Another perfect example of an over-active Mind delivering Stress…] Anyway, they didn’t stay over at Fitzroy cos’ the weather didn’t look too promising; were going to have a BBQ, and I badly wanted to go to that, but remembered I’d promised to go out with Sharon. Fi rang later & said it wasn’t on anyway. Sharon & I went to town- tequila in the Hideaway (yukky) A Life in Words[yukky meaning I wasn’t comfortable there: it was a dark, dingy pub that I actually think was called the Hides Hotel. Did I get the name wrong or did it undergo a name change at some stage …anyone?] saw Glyn B & Cameron & Glyn W. in mall. Rang Jo (wasn’t going to come) couldn’t get a taxi so [Sharon] tricked me into hitching a ride there (saying she knew the guys) [Hitchhiking was something my parents educated me very well against. Even now it’s not something I would do, and I was more adamantly against it back then so Sharon would have to have lied to get me to do it…] Got in. Saw Michelle danced. Drank. Danced. Upstairs for $ drink, saw Liam, David, Wade.. we talked to them.. .I met Stuart P & (formally) Vlaco. Danced, hung around Glyn B, (lost Sharon) found her with David (she’d previously been with Wade) then lost her. Stuart & I talked; he made me buy a→

Saturday 3/10/87

→cocktail “EXPLOSION”. […and oh how this particular beverage led to some interesting experiences. A combination of numerous neat spirits (no mixers at all) set alight, you had to suck it up through a straw…quickly.] We kissed. I GOT WITH HIM! He kisses so tenderly (he knows Mark) But he said “I’m so confused: I don’t want to hurt you- I like Glyn too.” But I could tell, he only really liked Glyn (more) [well, it’s good to know my ‘radar’ was working on some level…] I was totally understanding & I think that impressed him. [Ha! Cute.] He said I was special & he’d never forget me & wants to be good friends. [Aren’t drunkenness & immaturity an entertaining combination?!] Well, they say love grows from friendship, right?) A Life in WordsI left him with Glyn & hung around Dean (told him the guys I like -god, I’m a fool!) [Drunkie-Blabbermouth strikes again] Went outside- I was really drunk & falling asleep! Sat down on grass, going in, I (vomitted) shh! Embarrassing (as good as when I smashed the glass on the bar in IMAGES [the upstairs bar at the House on the Hill nightclub.] SKINT!) [Yes, always a ‘proud’ moment breaking, dropping or spilling your drink in an establishment while intoxicated.] Finally Sharon came back -David all over her. We got a taxi home with Dean, David & Wade. Woken at 8:30 – late for work! Worked till 2:00, at home, rang Fi then went up to tell her & Jason all about the nite (Dav. & Sharon esp.) They laughed: David took Sharon for a ride, badly! She thinks he loves her & she loves him. Home: Sharon rang – I went to her place, we waited till 8:20 for Fiona .. not going to Kentucky [that’s KFC] tea anymore. At bottle shop, got heaps of liquor (sharon & I : tequila+)orange juice also for me. at the party (up the street abit) drank a bit. I knew I’d be sick drinking, let alone on an empty stomach [Textbook Teenaged Drinking: you know the dangers but you charge on regardless…] – was O.K. till Megan & I (V. – David’s sister) went to party …danced alot. She’s so nice

Sunday 4/10/87

→saw Mark, but walked away. Was sick [literally vomited] after dancing a while .. felt much better after […as you do…]. Stuart P. was there; didn’t see him much. Phillip wasn’t there (N. was) Met Jo, (& Gordon McK -remember him?) [Ahhh…nope.] Was rather boring.. Mark was standing round. Keith the bastard came up & reckons “so, have you come to terms with it yet? That you’re not going out?” That made me quite a bit depressed. Geoffry M (cutie) was being really nice. Cameron was drunk – didn’t talk to him. Jo, Vlaco & I standing, when Jo went after Victor. Vlaco & I went up to the cars, sat with Fiona (gone!!) [by that, I am thinking ‘blotto’…] & the rest. Chris (David’s brother) was (so cute) getting really close, but, like, he’s only 15 (if he was older.. yum!) [I wouldn’t think twice about a buy being two years younger than me now… but there’s a BIG difference between males and females in the teen years…] Finally we drove to 24HR, then dropped Chris & Liam off. (Chris said goodbye a few times) I bombed at home & woke this morning depressed at what Keith said. Jo rang early (she was depressed- Vic. & her broke off – I knew it wouldn’t last) so I went to her place. We talked a lot .. finally around 2:30, went to the boutique (Palm Cove) walked to jetty – Deena & Adrienne we talked to (Deena really likes Philip – doesn’t look too rosy for me) A Life in Wordsand ate ice-cream with (!!) then Jo & I went to Ramada & had 2 cocktails (for $4!) Mark B was working – gave us 1 for free, and the other ½ price. YUMMY! Home late. had to ring to talk to Sharon. David still lying (or is he?) & Sharon’s in too deep. I’m not worried about seeing Mark tomorrow. I don’t care. My sights are set on Phillip; I do have a chance, I’m sure cos he liked me a lot last year (P.H. said he doesn’t often like girls so much) [Ok, that was not well worded. What I should have said was that Phil, as a confirmed heterosexual male, had ‘refined tastes’ with regard to girls – maybe the most suitable word is ‘choosey’? Or, he simply didn’t chase a lot of skirt, wasn’t a ‘womaniser’. Oh dear, I hope I have redeemed myself…]

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.

OJ Spews, ‘Approximate Exactitude’ & Relief for Nana (10-16 August)

Monday 10/8/87

Felt a bit down again this morning. I can’t get over the time he spent with her. All night they talked – all night I believe nothing happened. I really do, but it still hurts to think he spent 5 odd hours talking to her.. alone, without getting bored. He would never do that with me. Can you understand? [Oh I understand something completely different…] It makes me feel really down- [like] I bore him or something. Anyway I perked up around lunchtime (incidentally I don’t like Angela’s hair black, at all) See, it is jealousy – I’m jealous that she can keep him interested, that he would talk with her alone all night without getting bored. […and my opinion about her new hair colour would most likely have been a little tainted by this jealousy…] God it hurts so much. It’s pointless me trying to let him know. I’ve tried in the past to talk & explain – its useless – he doesn’t hear me. [Soooo… maybe don’t try ..and save some of your precious energy?] What am I doing here, then? [Exactly.] Did some HW tonight. I resent any talk about that night. [Privacy omission] said “as a joke” something to Nicole about Mark wanting to fuck her. THAT IS REALLY SICK. A Life in Words[What I’m unable to illustrate – due to the limitations of computer text options – is how heavily I had underlined the word ‘really’ (see pic). Not once, but four times. I evidently felt strongly about this…] another late night.

Tuesday 11/8/87

Strangely, we’ve been getting on pretty well over the past few days. Wonder why? [Now the positives induce suspicion.. this isn’t ‘healthy’.] It’s wierd. [and I continue to spell ‘weird’ incorrectly…] A Life in WordsAnyway I woke this morning with a sore throat, from all my coughing & I felt a little sick in a wierd way. I was also v. tired. I went to school anyway, thinking it was over-fatigue, but at school it got worse (on & off) By the end of lunchtime I had the biggest headache so Jason drove me home. I bombed out and slept till about 3:19 [LOL. “about” 3:19? What, was it 3:18 and 54 seconds… or a few milliseconds after 3:19? Approximate exactitude is oxymoronic!] (heard the answering machine), then till about 3:45 when mum & Jules arrived home. I slept the rest of the afternoon (after some chips) my throat is dry & a bit sore from all the coughing & my headache is horrible. I had some fish for tea: not much + pineapple (sickly) Dozed in front of T.V. till mum “dragged” me to bed about 8:00-8:30. [One of the sweeter, long-lost memories of my mum’s expression of love for me: I can hear her in my groggy stupor murmuring my name, gently shaking, then trying to lift me up from whatever position I’d languished in. And when I acquiesced, she’d’ve escorted my aimless body all the way to my bed.] Hope I get better for Friday – baseball & Sat nite-Nigel’s party. Was going to ring Mark, but headache was too bad & I was too weak to bother

Wednesday 12/8/87

Really restless sleep last night – about 11:30 I woke…and vomited (chips, fish & orange juice) [oh, the burn! OJ is possibly the worst thing to regurgitate I think…] A Life in Wordsstayed home today (for sure!) Mark didn’t ring & I couldn’t be bothered to ring him. Fiona, Jason & Anna dropped round after school sometime, for a short while. My headache disappeared this morning – today I had fever (temp.) cough and sinus blockage and was very tired and weak. Is about 9:00 or so now. Auntie Ruth [my mum’s aunt – one of my grandmother’s (many) sisters] arrived around 7:45 tonight. Read my novel all day. Ate 3 mandarins & an orange .. lots of vitamin C. Am taking tomorrow off as well, to make sure I’m better for the weekend. [Because my social life was always first priority…] Did no work & I have an english assignment due on Friday + a biol test on Tuesday. Heavens above! (←ha!) [I’m probably laughing at myself using such ‘dated’ – and semi-religious – terminology here.]

Thursday 13/8/87

A Life in Words
The earliest photo (in my possession) of Nana & me, at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary in Brisbane. There’s no date on it but judging by the size of me, it would have to be 1971-72

Slept very restlessly last night; woke nearly every hour, I think. I heard the phone ring around 6:00 this morning. Nana died. [Clearly my great-aunt Ruth arrived just in time for her sister’s passing, but I’m not sure whether she actually got to visit her.] I didn’t cry when mum told me & I don’t think I really will cry over the fact that she’s dead → I’m so glad she’s out of her misery – she was in a lot of it. [And that was it. I think, having personally met with Death in such an intense and unique way just six months earlier myself, I was somewhat prepared emotionally – and spiritually – for this moment, which is evident in my reasoning. I still believe – in fact more now than ever – that ‘wherever’ we ‘go’ when we pass is ‘better’. At this point in time, I was comforted by the ‘knowledge’ that leaving her gnarled body, Nana was now free of the insufferable rheumatoid arthritic pain. And to be brutally honest, since I wasn’t terribly close to her (we ‘clashed’ a lot in my early teens) I wasn’t going to miss her presence on a daily basis as I did Monique’s…] I spent the day reading again.. no fever – am just very tired & have the cough & nasal congestion still, but I feel (and Auntie Ruth agrees) that after tonight’s sleep I’ll be fine. I hope so. I rang Mark tonight .. cos it didn’t look like he was going to ring me. He was at Earlville with Terry ..so rang back. The phone did not stop ringing tonite – Keith & Jemima also rang me. My eyes are stinging – I need sleep to get better. I had 4 (or 5??) mandarins today! (+ dinner – veges) so I should have the vitamins required to boost my energy level tomorrow. [See? Even back then I was acquiring and demonstrating basic nutrition knowledge, hinting at my innate passion for the subject!] Haven’t done english assignment. Too bad. I’ll come late to school: miss double english. Is 9:45 …To sleep!!!

Friday 14/8/87

I’m feeling quite a bit better now. See, this morning I woke – feeling absolutely normal .. until I got up. The cough was persistent and even got worse early tonight, and my tiredness, fatigue & weak feelings plagued me (Making my joints feel heavy, and ache) I went to school anyway – it was a total waste. At little lunch (I went to school during 3rd period) I had to go up to Mark. He said one or two things & that was it. Didn’t even turn to face me, or offer to make room for me to sit down. So I went & sat on my own, practically, he walked past & did nothing. He walked to art ahead of me. Love the concern he shows for me. (He doesn’t – that’s just it, elissa – you should know by now it’s the way he is.) [ …if that’s so, and you aren’t happy, why persist?] so I was really depressed & mum picked me up at big lunch. I dozed at home. Mike & Cynthia bought over dinner – Golden Rooster. Couldn’t eat too much my stomach has shrunk. Is 9:30. I had a lemon & honey drink (YUK) as a last resort. A Life in Words[And I bloody-well love those things now… with ginger and turmeric added as well. Here’s a link to the recipe on my food blog, Food Fervour] Good sleep tonite & hopefully I’ll be fine for the party. Mark really gets to me. [You “let” him. No one is put on this Earth to either elate nor annoy You.] Hey! I’m not coughing!!! (Yet – touch wood!)

Saturday 15/8/87

I woke this morning – coughing. [I obviously didn’t touch any wood?] Alas & alack! But it was easier for me to stand etc. I still get times when my joints (limbs) ache & feel weak, but not as much, and not as bad, as before. We went to the doctor & got amoxyl (penecillan) & cough tablets. [So it obviously wasn’t a flu or viral infection after all?] I’ve been resting a fair bit today, in preparation for the party. (I’m going- there’ll be plenty of opportunities for me to sit down if I need it, mima said) Mark hasn’t rung. I’ve been thinking alot while lying down today… nothing’s the same anymore. We need the biggest, longest talk. There’s a lot of sorting out to do. A lot. [Talking… sorting out… it’s pointless when only one party is ‘interested’…] I’m not exactly “elated” in this relationship. [You don’t say?] A Life in WordsHe doesn’t make me feel like the ‘princess’ I used to be. [*NB: back in the 80’s being a ‘princess’ didn’t have the negative connotations that it can these days.] But that’s not all. [….well, what?] It’s almost 6:00. Am going around 8:30. [There was no mark in my diary to indicate I’d finished the earlier segment of my entry, but from here on in I’m clearly writing at a later point in time (most likely when I got home) describing my night:] It [the party] wasn’t that good. In fact, a waste of time. Only having tea when Jemima, Brent & Fi arrived ..at Nigel’s  it was boring. No one there. saw Mark & Keith once, they came back & went again. I went and lay down in Nigel’s room (feeling ill) Jemima, Brent, Jason & Fi talking to me. Mark told Sue he didn’t think I liked him. He thought I didn’t like him. (How?) went downstairs & Keith was there – took us to the other party everyone was raving about, At Toogood Road. TONNES, & I mean TONNES of people there→

Sunday 16/8/87

I was bored: Feeling ill, I needed to sit down all the time + problem of Mark – I asked him about it, but he seemed reluctant to talk so left him alone all night. I asked him to take me home, but I went with Brett instead (Cameron too). Just dropped cameron off – in Collins Ave. Brett stopped & I was sick (O.J.) At home I bombed out & I didn’t wake till around 10:00-10:30 this morning. Party was the pits. I asked nearly everyone if they knew what was up with Mark, [oh Elissa!] No one did tho’. Watched TV, rested today. Mark & Keith came over around 3:00 in the afternoon. Left soon after. I asked Mark to come around again tonight. A Life in WordsWe went to the park.. bit hard to get started talking, straight away, and the talk was not quite what I expected it to be. It’s really strange. This week, Mark was, apparently, really insecure – thought I was going to end the relationship. I can tell he still feels different, in a way. But it mattered a lot to him. And after that party I realised it. He not only loves me, he’s devoted, too. [You can’t be serious?] He left around 9:00. I watched mini-series show. Is now 10:40. Clean my teeth & off to bed.

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)

Cardiovascular Conditioning & Sizzling My Scar (27 April-3 May)

Monday 27/4/87A Life in Words

Periods are a pain in the arse. Bella was at school today – for a visit; I didn’t quite know what to say to her ..it was embarrassing. [I’m not exactly sure what I meant by this.. perhaps that, outside of our shared injuries/hospital experience I didn’t really know her, so didn’t know how to comfortably converse with her?] Also Mark gave back  my necklace – has a rash on his neck & it’s irritating (wonder if it caused it ..or if that’s a subtle hint) [paranoia or gut feeling?] HOT (not really just warmer than usual – & sunnier most of the day!) Of all the people I told (about last night’s freaky experience.). they were all “shocked” except Mark- I thought so .. he doesn’t believe in that stuff, I gather. My day O.K. got on O.K. little lunch (end of) + what. I saw of him in big lunch & then in bio, I took his chair away from him & he hit the floor (then me, of course) But got shitty (muck ’round) & wouldn’t talk to me. I got worried of course ..when I rang him tonight, he sounded very bored ..vague disinterested said he hurt his leg again ..nothing to do with me – “don’t be silly” (I’ll bet it is though) Late night. Mark is so moody. . sometimes I really feel I don’t care. (But I always do, underneath, tho.) 10:50. HOT! Rushed art for nothing – found out I needn’t have handed in any if I chose! […part of the ‘Special Consideration’ I received due to the accident and its aftermath. Because I was absent from school for six weeks, my first term was effectively ‘wiped’ with respect to my final senior grading. In fact, my entire first semester was taken into account and bore less weight than the second in the end.] so 4/7 [pieces] ain’t bad!!

Tuesday 28/4/87

Went to see Kerri again this week..this arvy Just me..mum & Julia outside. I talked about how I understand my life situation and am going to tackle it ..front on..Kerri said I am a strong person [as have many others since] – she’s going to try & build up my confidence. Well, I felt sick this morning- it ended up being worry over Mark ..I still haven’t adjusted to his moods & sarcastic behaviour. A Life in WordsBarely talked all day (even thru’ bio prac.. rat dissection!) till big lunch.. had a talk.. I felt a little better. have worked out yet another thing (we only solve things bit by bit in dribs & drabs) he is not ever bored with me – when I’m round, he is just so relaxed that he feels he doesn’t need to say anything. See? mmm, well.. told Mr Patty quickly today about Sun. night..he seems pleased (& believes) it happened. [Mr Patty was the teacher whose talk with me in hospital soon after the accident struck a chord, easing my mind and creating the basis of my spiritual belief system for Life. (Go to this post to revisit this experience). He’d said he believed that deceased loved ones will send you a message or some kind of sign that they’re there and are okay some time after they pass. Monique certainly did that for me, unequivocally.] I am for sure. I’m also excited again- I’m interested in school… but esp. social life .. I do more with Fi & Mima now …and of course still there’s Mark .. so I’m happy (also that Monique is there with me!) Can’t wait for Terry’s party this weekend. Fi & I (get Sharon to, too) wanna go. (I haven’t gotten “happy” for ages it seems!) [Rather than “not miserable” that “happy” actually refers to being “tiddly-drunk”…] Life has new meaning!!! Skin is clearing up. I’m Getting fatter argh!

Wednesday 29/4/87

10:30. 3rd night in a row – I can’t handle these late nights. Good day today. Bella was at school- in our bio. class. [I’m obviously more comfortable with her by now?] (my skin’s clearing up!) Caught the bus to school .. Mark talking (mostly about the starsign book – all day really) to me before school..during bio…little lunch… and big lunch.. cutey!!! In fact, a happy day all over! Recreation – aerobics; we were late (the Northland Buses forgot to come-that’d be right) [Northland were the owners of our ill-fated bus and I wasn’t a fan of them, understandably. Since initial police investigations implied that brake failure was the cause of the accident, there wasn’t a positive feeing toward them by the community in general either. I believe they ended up liquidating at some point after all the legalities (formal inquiries and trial) were finished…]  A Life in WordsAerobics was hard … the hardest part mainly was the running & jumping exercises – the cardio-vascular work-out I couldn’t bear that too much. [Wimp! To be fair, I didn’t know how to breathe back then. Oh to have known the things I do now! At least I never wore the high cut G-string leotards & leg warmers! (see pic)] Realised so how much out of condition I am. [Um, were you ever IN condition?!] Wanna start riding to school again soon. Mark does weight training while we do aerobics (skint!) But I didn’t see him at all really. Julia said she did & that he sometimes looked at me Skint! [GAWD I hate that word! When the hell did I grow out of it?] Mr Grossetti took Fi & I home.. so I got home v. early.. read Dolly all arvy & tonite wrote out ‘Taurus Male-Cancer female’ essay for Mark for 2morrow. [Priorities? Messed. Up. Can’t do an english assignment overnight to save yourself but no problems writing one out for your boyfriend.] mm… I’m happy. or pleased. Today was nice, indeed. Even though it was bloody hot (esp. during aerobics!) Did no HW – argh! (FAT!)

Thursday 30/4/87

Another good day. (Asked “officially” to go to Terry’s party! Am going – you bet!) Talked quite a bit! (But today he was more crazy than ever.. acting wierd & silly) Then, we went late night shopping tonight, just the two of us – Jemima [privacy omission], Brent working (visited him) so Fi decided to leave us alone. It was good tonight – I asked him to the formal- he is my partner for sure & we’re wearing black & electric blue (& white – for his shirt) Unreal!! When talking to Brent he mentioned he was saving to take mima on a holiday at the end of the yearA Life in Words..suggested Mark & I come with them to an island resort (Mark wants to go to the Gold Coast [Schoolies? It wasn’t quite the massive event back in the 80’s as it is now. In fact, I didn’t even know it existed…] (well, not really: wanted to go overseas, but had to settle for Gold Coast)) would be good if I could spend it with him. That’d be unreal. (Little worried before we went -when I’d rung him (after several ‘engaged’ attempts) said he’d been on the phone to Tricia.. what about? Scary.. but I soon forgot. He loves me.) Cannot wait for Saturday night!!! COOL! Is 10:10. Am buggared. Good ideas what to get Mark 4 Birthday! Sleep now… must sleep (saw Kylie – his old flame tonite – she’s short[interesting choice of criticism…]

Friday 1/5/87

Mark is such a cutey! Came late today and I only got to talk to him at big lunch – he left ½-¾ way through it – was very tired & bored.. (Seemed a little shitty at little lunch- with Steven – not me) so I had another good day. Cannot wait for Terry’s party -Fi’s going & Justine (lots of people are!) I tried to ring Sharon but no answer (about 8:30) so will ring tomorrow. Went into town with Jules & mum… just little things… tried on my formal dress again- will need to lose weight for it- off the stomach only, really.A Life in Words [Also clearly didn’t know back then that you “can’t spot-reduce”] I love it!! Get it made in blue for Mark. Oh, I can’t wait Got my new camera working tonight! (Got it last nite at Earlville-it’s beaut!) [If it’s the one I’m thinking of, it was a funky red thing…] Am gonna take it tomorrow night (& lock it in Brent’s car when I’m finished with it.) Cannot wait! When I got home .. there were about 3 messages – all from Mark on the machine (what a cutie!) I’d wanted an early night. Fat chance it’s 10:35. Still too warm- when will winter hit us?!?

Saturday 2/5/87

Woke about 7:00- angry… I couldn’t sleep in longer.. today I did my crash scrapbook all day (almost)… well .. sticking in cards, that is .. I got them in order & began sticking them a few in.. cause there were so many interruptions… I went in to town to buy fixative [an art product] and, Ross & Thelma came over (leaving tomorrow I think) for a while. I tried to ring Sharon all day… only got onto her mum around 5:00- she couldn’t come. Just fuckin’ great. So I rang Fi & we decided when Brent went to pick up them, they’d come here & we could take Justine. So, finally at about 10:00 they came (I was so tense!) Brent & Fi went to pick up Thorstein..we stopped at a bottle shop.. at the party (heaps of people compared to last year) found Mark – drank my 3 Westcoasts (well, 2½).. was boring really. I was tired .. police came around so everyone had to go (about 11:30) I stayed sitting with Mark for ages … then I left around 1:00. Boring. Was an excellent start. Oh! Robbie was there & I said hello when I was talking to Maureen (she was looking for him at one stage) she said he said something (good) about me: wonder what? She was laughing about the fact that I got with him… [1987 witnessed my first ever ‘obligatory’ New Year’s Kiss… even though I wasn’t actually searching for it. This post will fill you in…] why did he blab? [Oh who knows, and what does it matter, Liss, really? The over-analytical mind feeds paranoid thought patterns…] Boring

Sunday 3/5/87

Got up around 9:00. so tired! Did nothing today – tried to do english but just couldn’t. [Ha. See?!] Nana came over today & Ross & Thelma too.. to see her before they left. Otherwise that was it. A Life in WordsI sunbaked around 3:00-4:00…my scars (the white parts – I put zinc on the tender red bits-) are now pink & that will (hopefully) go brown. [Oh dear, I hope I didn’t actually do more damage. The aim was concealment: my idea was that by tanning the paler skin, the red keloid scarring would be less conspicuous.] Mark rang while I was in the shower, so rang back about 10/15 mins later. Talking cute. God, he’s gorgeous. I love him so much. (Realised it’s been a week tonight since Monique dropped “Walk Like An Egyptian” on the floor, for me to see – everybody I’ve told (& there were quite a few!) seems to believe!) [The message from my deceased friend was, and remains, one of the most impressive & unforgettable experiences in my life to date. Go to my previous week’s post for the details of the ‘occurrence’.] I’m seeing Mark tomorrow hopefully. Must do my assignment tomorrow or I’ll be in deep shit. Watched the movie- is now 10:40. Am so tired (Mark got ‘hit’ last night – there was a fight ‘tween Patrick O’S & PP – Patrick missed Peter twice – got Terry & Mark.) Poor Baby. Am gonna ask dad if Mark can come to Port Douglas for the wedding. [his marriage to my stepmother Jenny] Hope so. So much. Fete this Friday – cool!! NIGHT!

Surgery, Seat Belts & the Birth of my Spiritual Belief System (16-22 February)

Monday 16/2/87

Feeling still very depressed. The doctors caught up with me today. (Dining room for breakfast & lunch. were late for brekky …squashy next to 2 black guys ..PAINFUL) [I’m quite certain this was a statement of discomfort rather than racist ‘slur’, for those who may be wondering…] After my shower they came back. Wasn’t too painful… they took out the drains. Redressed  my leg after a while. 2 dressings a day now… this arvy, mima was with me. Fi came in, too. Mark didn’t come today- I knew he wouldn’t. Probably won’t tomorrow, too. But he should come before 3 weeks. See, I’m going to surgery (skin graft for the big hole, stitch up the little hole) on Wed, then I’ll be in about a week after that. Then Drs say I have to spend at least 2 weeks at home. No I won’t. [Um, if the doctors say so…] I’m missing too much schoolwork. & friends. Dad told me yesterday: Jenny & him are getting married in May. I was shocked, but hid the surprise good as possible. Jacque visited. A Life in WordsBoring, depressed.. my  leg feels like no progress still hurts as much to stand now as it did when I first did – I’m not getting used to the blood rushing down, thru’ the sore. Painful, still. Tania gave me a big photo frame with photo of me, moni, fi, sharon &  mima taken end of last year, It’s beautiful. Monique is beautiful. ♥ her 4eva.

Tuesday 17/2/87

I went to the Valentine’s Dance! On crutches!! Tania drove me. I’d had painkillers – walking, sitting etc was a breeze!! [I found another notation elsewhere that also mentioned I got in for free!] Felt so good today… I mean tonight … walking, etc.. I’ve improved heaps – can lift my leg straight, in the air. Just finished dressing …did it when I came back.. (while after) about 9:00. surgery tomorrow. very few visitors. Oh, I’m tired. Sleep well. Ha! Mark wasn’t there tonight, but he’s going to the swim. carnival tomorrow – I won’t be allowed. Have to stay flat in bed for 3 days…will be murder getting on crutches again. The “report” on the bus accident on the Today Show was disappointing. Not much about the actual crash.

A Life in Words
How would seat belts have saved lives in this wreckage?

[Of course by this time there were preliminary investigations under way but very little had been published, since a formal inquiry was to be held at a future date. Naturally there was media & public speculation about the cause of the accident and associated discussions about prevention. The most prevalent opinion was that wearing seat belts would have saved lives. Absolute RUBBISH. One look at the bus wreckage should be totally explanatory. Interestingly enough, there was an article in the Cairns Post on this topic (not however in the manner of my specific argument) on Friday 20 (see below). I’m not against seat belts at all (if it’s even possible – per the article) but if WE had been strapped into our seats when that bus roof sheared off & seats were ripped from their places, the death toll would’ve been much higher…] Oh, I’m upset..Tania said to me tonight – talking to [privacy omission] he said something about Mark wanting to _ _ _ _ me She said they were pretty close… I’m upset; is that all Mark wants?? [Well, he’s a teenaged boy…?] I like him so much.. so very much… Oh, I’m so worried. . . . Too bad if I forgot anything – I’m so tired. Night. . . painful leg – skin graft oooh It’s 10:30

Wednesday 18/2/87

I was late – I mean THEY were [for surgery]. I was s’posed to go in at 8:00, but I got my pre-op(eration) needle at 8:30, and was taken up awhile after that. A Life in WordsI waited for ages, up there, dozing & finally around 10:00 I think I was rolled in & soon after, given the “knock-out” needle. When I woke, drowsy, really drowsy I was in heaps of pain. Finally got back down here around 11:45. Crying & whinging in pain. [I don’t seem to have diarised anything about this but sometimes the nurses would administer needles for pain relief, rather than just oral pills. I can’t recall the name of the drug, but I do remember asking for it on a few occasions. I can imagine this would be one of the moments they would not have denied me.] It soon settled. Spent the rest of the day lazing . . dozed a little around 5:00. Mark came up today – but to see Trina he reckoned. I think he’s shitty with me. (Oh, my leg’s so itchy) Doctor told me I didn’t have a skin graft after all – GREAT, HUH?! The flesh repairing was so elastic they could just stitch it up!! No major scars! Great! [Oh how the tables turned in just a few days’ time…and months later I begged my mother to try to recall whether she had signed any consent forms that specifically outlined the surgeons’ original intentions…] No major visitors (‘cept Mark) …I mean very few but the ones who came were nice. A case of quality, not quantity. [Of course ALL of my visitors were ‘nice’!] Another school kid’s bus crash in N.Z. about 5 people killed… not nearly as badly smashed as our bus, was their’s. [Competitive? Sheesh. Trying to source information about this accident was almost as difficult as it is to find information about ours on the net. This article celebrates the growth & success of one of the survivors of the Woodford House girl’s school bus accident which killed two students, two teachers & the driver. The victim doesn’t recall anything of the accident, waking up with  permanent paraplegia two weeks later in hospital.] It’s just after 9:00. I may be going home soon. Keep thinking about mark.. he wouldn’t be after “one thing”.. he writes too much caring stuff. He doesn’t intend to ever hurt me

A Life in Words
Before I was “reduced to square one -again”

Thursday 19/2/87

A “down’ Day, definitely: few visitors, pain in my leg. Hurts to walk: put it this way…I can’t anymore… I can’t straighten my leg and find it easier to ‘hop’ on my left leg, keeping the right foot totally off the ground. But tonight, after doing my teeth I kept up [stayed up] & went for exercise walk …keeping foot on floor, stretching & bending knee as much as possible. [In hindsight, this makes me cringe.] mima, Fi, Brent, Jason came up at lunchtime – Mark was at school. . he didn’t come up here. I think I should’ve written a note for mim to give to him for me. Of course I care that he doesn’t visit me… I care a lot. Am getting anxious… hope Trish doesn’t get hooks into him. (Tania visited this morning…had to work rest of the day.. BOOHOO! She’s leaving tomorrow-MISS HER! Hope I can get out to see her off – have a prezzy for her silver bracelet (sterling.)) My leg- how can it be – I walk fine Tues. & after an operation am reduced to square one -again: A veggie? Is 9:30. Try to get to sleep. Ate little (cos too lazy to go to dining room for meals – too sore.)

Friday 20/2/87

* Another down day. Still painful…worse to walk. Trina left this arvy, around 2:00 I think. This morning, the doctors came- but not all of them… thanks to the charge sister, Lisa, they decided to take my dressing off  On the way, he [one of them?] called me a sook. Bastard. It stuck a bit & it hurts so much. [I still cannot grasp the insensitivity of these medical ‘professionals’…] So, after, I waited about ½hr before someone redressed it, then, too late to have a shower, I dressed & mum took me to see Tania off. No tears shed. But I’ll miss her. Another friend gone. [Developing a life ‘theme’?] Showered after I got back (had lunch – a pie – got some food) Few visitors .. Mrs McI gave me a beautiful book (for end of 9 yrs of speech-huh? That’s not right…yep! it is!) Mr Paddy & Yru (came seperately, but) talked in depth about the crash..esp. Mr Paddy …he helped me understand/accept death etc .. It’s still scary to me…but I’m sure it’s  a big step to recovery of shock. [I’d never had anything to do with Mr ‘Paddy’ (I got his surname wrong) since he was a Music teacher, but this conversation had an incredibly massive impact upon me. I believe it was the catalyst for the development of my entire spiritual belief system, for life. All he did was offer his ideas about ‘what happens’ after we ‘pass over’ but it put me at ease by intimating that death is not ‘The End’. So I came to believe in reincarnation or at least, endurance of Spirit. One particular suggestion he made actually came to pass just a few months later; it was an indisputable experience and perhaps this is what irrevocably cemented my belief, and therefore eternal gratitude, love & respect for him.] Mark didn’t come. I’m really worried. [Privacy omission] mentioned something about sex today, too… it would absolutely break me if that’s all he wanted – I know it’s not ..I think …some little doubt in side …well, my mind’s made up.. he’s not going to get it, ever . . till I’m ready -and that’ll be ages. [He] told me he did to [privacy omission]..didnt really surprise me much 8:55

A Life in Words
In case you’re unable to decipher the fine print, the article basically discusses the impracticality of seat belt installation from an engineering point of view. While there is no reference to our bus’s detached roof, the displaced seats are mentioned.

Saturday 21/2/87

They told me I could go home today. But I didn’t. I wanted to stay in til Monday. Everyone probably thinks I’m crazy- I s’pose I am – but I’m smart; I’ll stay in just to be sure -no infections. [If there was ever a point in my life up till then that I should have respected myself for heeding my ‘Gut’, this was it…] And besides; my visitors have to be told!! [oh you Social Butterfly you!] On Monday I’d also like to see the physio & drs before I go They took out the drain this morning- my leg’s quite a bit better! Walking a bit easier!! Except for Mark’s visit, today was an “up” day.. he came – we got on alright…but he left the same way he did the  last 2 times..without saying goodbye…just walking off in a shit..I’d said something about him being mean to me [and then] “well you can leave” … [so he answered] “alright I will” ..he walked off & didn’t come back. That upset me. I really am worried about if he does like me. (God it’s hot.) he’s so moody; impatient I can’t understand him. We really need a good talk.. it’ll be a long time though.. you can’t really talk well in a hospital..or even at school. Oh, I’ve a headache… feel hot..feel terrible. Can’t sleep very well. Quite a few visitors..very lazy day.     Oh . . . I fell terrible. Must try to sleep.

Sunday 22/2/87

What a waste of a day. Here I was thinking I’d get hoardes of visitors:- mum, the McKenzies (principal), Justin F & Wayne C. That’s it. Leg’s O.K. I get pain “jabs” – throbbing now & then…but noticed walking is getting a bit better. Totally boring day… so sleepy, but couldn’t sleep. Thinking about mark…. I thought maybe that I’d changed & he’d changed (y’know – from the crash’n’everything) and we just don’t “click” anymore. Oh I wish everything was “normal” again.  home tomorrow – I have mixed feelings about that, too. . . good cos’ I’ll get work done (less visitors) & be able to exercise my leg – go for walks (crutches!) BUT – I’m apprehensive – haven’t been home since before the camp – before the crash that’s 3 weeks exactly…the memories – it’s going to be different – “overwhelming” is the word I think of. [Wow, well said.] Oh dear… Hot (-ish) today. Didn’t see Jules. Mike B went to see her this arvy, mum said. Wo, Jules!! ♥ mark – u poop! DAMN YOU

Her Funeral, the Public Memorial & Raw Meat Pie (9-15 February)

Monday 9/2/87

Mark saw me 2 times today!! Came up in his wheelchair! He was chirpier and only stayed little whiles. I was shitty in the morning – woken early again cos I couldn’t roll over – so bad – makes me restless so I’m still tired & cranky. A shower and I still felt bad – exhausted. But I put lotsa pressure on my left leg – put all my weight on it (nearly) GREAT! (But dad reminded me tonight about the crack in my femur – don’t wanna make that worse.) [In the long term this injury amounted to nothing: at some stage I recall a doctor saying they weren’t even certain it existed: the crack was so fine that it could have simply been a scratch on the X-ray itself] They also dressed my right leg (the deep puncture) today – Tania C (who was here all day – 10am to 8pm!!) and my fav. nurse Alison “comforted” me but I made heaps of noises – it was bad. [I’ve already ascertained that my vocal chords are not inhibited in times of Stress…] My leg was put on an electric exerciser – it was great – bending & moving my right leg!! I was wary at first. God changing the dressing was hell-ful. I also did my first shit in one week or ≈8/9 days. [Ok, for new readers, I need to explain: my family – dad in particular – was not very inhibited with regard to discussing bodily functions. To the point that (perennial comedian he is) he coined a phrase for the phenomenon: the “Coxen Bowel Fetish”. If you care to better understand this unique family trait, there’s a fuller explanation in this post from my 1984 archives] Quite a few visitors perked me up. We watched video of Friday’s school memorial & tree planting. Sound was terrible couldn’t hear anything. Cried anyway. [Naturally] Mark got his tube out of his lung. Am tired now – hoping I can roll over tonight. Glad Mark visited me “a lot”. I really do think he likes me a lot – that letter says it all & so has he. It’s about […and then I forgot to fill in the time..]

A Life in Words
Goodbye my beautiful friend x

Tuesday 10/2/87

I went to Monique’s funeral by car around 2:30 I thought it’d “do the job” – but I still don’t think I’ve cried enough. I realised I lost a true friend – a person I met & related with so soon, but trusted quickly & forever. She lives in my heart & mind. I need her to live with me. I met Kerri; saw Mr & Mrs P. I cry when I see them & Camille & Kerri. [I think this was the last time I would see Monique’s mother for a very long time. Apparently she refused to see me because it was too painful, because it was always with Monique. Of course this upset me, but how could I fail to understand that?] Kerri & her mum came to the hospital tonight. She doesn’t say much. [Kerri was Monique’s ‘previous’ best friend in Brisbane. With hindsight I now understand she may not have “said much” because she too would have been in shock and grieving…] I felt really cranky after the funeral – my leg was sore. people all looking at me [I’m hardly an exhibitionist, but I can tolerate a certain amount of attention. Things mustn’t be ‘rosy’ if I am shunning the ‘spotlight’…] – went home in a stretcher in an ambulance. Rolled over (partly) last night! But woken early by nurses anyway 6:00. ooooh! Bumsore! Legsore! Change of dressing was bad again today. I hate it so much. [I still hadn’t the courage to look at the wound: I have always found that one method of tolerating (physical) pain is to not look at what’s causing it. For example, I still can’t watch the needle piercing my dermis in the act of blood giving, for example…] Tanya (C.) & Alison “helped” me again, tho’ I bit Tanya’s back today. Umah. [Clearly it’s not just my vocal chords that respond to stress: so do my jaw muscles…] Funny – having Tanya in all day. (And yesterday) She’s good company. [She really was one of my Saviours] Mark came up little while once. Tonight for longer … gave him kiss (little) worried – Jaque & Michael B both say Tricia spends 2hrs a day with him. I must trust him. Exerciser again – bending knee higher. memorial service tomorrow. Will it do the final job of recovering me? Will it get me out of shock? [Oh the naivety… if only it was as easy as ‘flicking a switch’…] must be with mark 4 it. about 9:00

A Life in Words
The Civic Memorial at St Monica’s Cathedral spilled out into the street

Wednesday 11/2/87

A Life in Words
A photographer captures my feeling during the civic memorial

packed day. Slept badly again-rolling a little isn’t enough … I went for a shower (reluctantly almost) and stood on my left leg to do so (I went to the ladies for the 1st time – out of a wheelchair – on a seat for the bath.) Then after using the loo- yes, proper loo! for a shit, yes, poo! (Talked to Trina – both of us for 10mins!) Ambulance men came. Mum hadn’t come with my uniform so Jaque let me wear hers. I felt terrible at first. I was smiling & waving at people [well… you were free of your hospital room for the first time in 6 days, and since visitor numbers had declined, seeing familiar faces after ‘so long’ would have been quite refreshing] & couldn’t cry – but later, during the eulogies, it all came out. Monique was my 1st best friend in about 6yrs [I can’t think whom I supposed my previous best friend was… six years earlier I would’ve been in Year 5 or 6 at primary school] – I think my first true one [indisputable]. I love her & I’m gonna miss her so much – not gonna be there (physically) anymore, when I need her… left in tears (news crews there – I was on the news – Mark too & others) They made me get on crutches – walk today. It hurt so much…even more (?? not sure) than dressing the wound ..I screamed but it was better today than “ever”. [“Dressing the wound” was a tad more complex than you might think. Still unable to bring myself to look at it, all I knew at this stage was that they had to ‘pack’ the wound daily with saline-soaked cottonwool, around the two plastic ‘drains’ that were buried in there. That may begin to give you an idea of the extent of the injury…] Lotsa Smithfield people came becca p, Karen & toni & Jo B – gave me a record voucher & chocolates. [Yes, black vinyl. We still had record players in the late 80’s, although cassettes were more predominantly used (in our walkmans, right?) CD’s were pretty much unheard of’.] Isn’t that great? Um, saw mark little – another kiss. He’s going tomorrow. hope he sees me at school lunchtimes. I wonder if Tricia kisses him when she sees him. Bitch – spending too much time with him. [The Green Monster] Hope nothing happens back at school. OH WOE!!

Thursday 12/2/87

I nearly fainted on the crutches this arvy – I decided to try and walk to the loo – but the pain in my leg – the blood rushing to my wound my feet – by my wound – made me light-headed weak, dizzy. After drinking water – I was wheeled to the loo. SHit. I’ve been eating choc-coated peanuts they made me shit 2 times more this arvy. [I can’t decide whether the ‘SHit’ was an expletive because I failed to get to the bathroom on my own & had to be wheeled in, or whether it was an introduction to the statement detailing my bowel movements…] After loo, I went to see Mark – talked & mucked around. He went home. (after long (??) time) But he has to come here 10pm – stay the night so they can check his leg in the morning. Hope he visits me. Said he’s going to movies tomorrow night – & it only just occurred to me: with whom? TRICIA? NO! He CAN’T. WOULDN’T. COULDN’T. might? Oh dear; I hope he visits me lots. I’ll miss him – I already do. Doctors undressed my leg today so I had no painkillers WHATSOEVER. I let out a scream & one doctor revved me. [I was immediately stunned into silence; why did the doctor snap at me? How could he be so heartless? So rough, insensitive & unsympathetic? Aren’t all medical professionals meant to be caring? I was a kid for chrissakes, with a hole in my leg …to which the dressings stuck fast every day. Was I not entitled to react to Pain? I literally dreaded the doctors’ rounds thereafter, and even tried to arrange bathroom sojourns in order to evade them. This experience may also possibly underlie my partial aversion to the clinical medical industry…] I saw the wound – unpacked. Yukky. [That’s a bit of an understatement. A Life in WordsThe only way I have been able to describe it to people is in this light: imagine you took the pastry top off a meat pie, and discovered not only that it was uncooked (red-raw) inside, but that there were also two bits of plastic tubing staring out at you. That was what my right inner thigh (about 10cms above my knee) looked like. It’s a real shame we never managed to take any photos of it.] Then waited ages till the nurses brought the stuff – to repack themselves I was much better today I think. Took stitches out of my [left] knee. God I wish my muscles would work themselves. [That’s what every lazy person wishes with regard to physical activity!] It’s 9:00. I need an early night. So I can hack walking or even standing tomorrow. I hate it. HURTS SO BAD. ♥ u mark!

Friday 13/2/87

My bruising appears to be going down – it’s fading.. I got on crutches lots today… walkies!! and I didn’t scream or even yell when my dressing was done! (I had the Finnish sister – she’s really gentle – doesn’t rip off stuff that’s stuck to the wound- soaks it in NaCl+H2O [saline solution] and gently prys apart.) But the best bit was… MY CAMERA WAS FOUND & THE HORNETTS PROCESSED THE FILM! I Have PHOTOS! 20 photos some good, some boring – but all are great campshots. Not enough of Monique. A few visitors today. Mark came up before he left. 2 goodbye kisses. I’m gonna miss him. He’d better come up tomorrow. If he doesn’t I’ll bash him!! Ha, ha! (Not going to movies- he’s going to dinner with family- “WELCOME HOME”.) Getting rain lots now. Think periods are over, thank god. Ms Mars. came up & gave us (Trina & I) [art] work. Pizza (from dad) for tea. Jaque’s going home tomorrow. Will be boring-er [meaning: more boring] when she’s gone. Yowie fell out of bed last night & Mark almost ran him over today. (in wheelchair) God, he’s lost weight – skinny runt. Restless sleep last night …couldn’t get comfortable – couldn’t roll over much. Shitty right leg. hurry up & heal! about 9:30.

A Life in Words
Sometime after the back-biting incident, I was presented with this teething ring to use during dressing changes. (I think my mum bought it for Tania’s sake!) It was clearly well-used…

Saturday 14/2/87

VALENTINE’S I got from him a red rose, a balloon-on-a-stick (saying “I love you”) and a card (and even a little letter-which is great, considering he finds it hard to write) he came during the last 15mins or so of my dressing- I didn’t know for the first 10 mins. and was babbling on.. Ha,ha. He stayed quite some time- about 4 or 5 kisses altogether today. Love that guy… can’t wait til I’m better & we’re both back at school. Cried more for Monique today. Realised how she’s the only one I’ll really miss – she’s the one who was most part of my life. I love you Monique. I wish you were here. I thought about being dead today. If I’d died, I wouldn’t’ve minded – cos moni’d be with me.. I’d feel none of the pain I get with this leg etc [The contemplation of Death is unavoidable in an experience such as this. You meet with it yourself, you lose your peers to it, you can’t hide from it. Up to this point in time, I naturally hadn’t formed many beliefs (we were never a highly religious family). I hadn’t conceived of much: ‘Where’ exactly do you – did they – Go? Heaven? What is Heaven? Does it even exist? The Fear of Death is simply the Unknown, so it’s clear that in one (very odd) respect I benefitted from Monique’s death: it removed an element of Fear about the Afterlife (or simply, ‘After’). I believed I would not be Alone, and I would not feel (physical) Pain…] ..Few visitors ..boring day cause JACQUE LEFT at 10:30. It’s so different without her. Ate lotsa junk today Hospital food -yukky-some alright. Kentucky from Trina’s parents for tea. I still will cry for monique I don’t think I’ll ever stop – slow down maybe, but never stop. [I was right. But the tears much, much fewer and farther between, because… Life Goes On.] Easier on crutches, esp. tonight.

Sunday 15/2/87

Mark did come in today.. was boring for him, I could tell..reckons he won’t come back or see me for 3 weeks… I reckon he’ll come back. Has to. I’ll bash him if he doesn’t!! [What’s with all this ‘bashing’ Liss? A bit aggressive…] Love that guy. He came in before I went for a shower and had my dressing changed – saw the hole in my leg. Crabbe came in yet again…and Tania, but what’s new? Missing Alyson (nurse) quite a few new nurses now Did my daily exercise – crutch to loo shower, clean my teeth, to the “lookout room” at the other end of this floor & other miscellaneous crutch expeditions. Here I was thinking this diary would be just big enough. Next year I’m gonna get a thick book & write when I feel like it…probly every night, but more often if I feel inclined. Slept quite well last night. Talked to lotsa people, Justin, Daniel A, Dad, mum about their side of the story; what they felt ..what happened to them. [I believe ‘sharing’ experiences assists in the grieving and/or healing process. I have been surprised by the number of readers who have, through their gratitude to me for these blogposts, expressed this. While she wasn’t a ‘diariser’ like I, Mum managed to maintain a journal for a few weeks after the accident and I intend to transcribe parts of that in another, separate post in the near future. Reading it myself is difficult for two reasons: not merely identifying with (or trying to imagine) her experience, but also because she has now passed, her absence (my Loss) is accentuated.] I realised I haven’t dreamt since the accident. 2 weeks almost. Wonder if that’s [a] mental side effect. Will ask a social worker tomorrow. Eeek! Doctors tomorrow looking at my wound. No escaping it! Aaagh! Ate a fair bit today. Ooo-er! Rainy, cool… I think I’m getting better physically… mentally no.. I’m depressed… I’ll be in here at least another week.. I reckon 2. Everybody else’ll be gone by then I bet.