A Photo Alive, A Bar On Fire & Revelation Devastation (4-10 January)

Monday 4/1/88

I slept quite badly last night, actually. I felt every move I made because of my sunburn. But strangely, today, (maybe because I was busy) (but not busy enough as you’ll see) I didn’t notice it too much. No mail for me this morning. I waited awhile before I went to the P.O. with mum [to investigate sending a telegram to my boyfriend]. The man said it’d be cheaper to ring!! (every word costs 60¢ and that includes your addresses etc, so mine would’ve been $11.25 even though I was only going to write DESPERATE FOR YOUR RETURN. LOVE ALWAYS) so I’ll ring tomorrow (gotta work out when I might catch him at the Hotel) so back home I spent the day (eating)(cheese on toast) and ‘cleaning out’ (yes, STILL!) and I still haven’t finished! So I must go into town tomorrow to get their presents, finish cleaning up room (decide whether or not to shift the furniture)A Life in Words and definitely do my QTAC preference thingy. [This ‘thingy” was pretty important if I’d wanted tertiary study to be one of my options for the coming year. I had to submit my chosen course preferences to QTAC (the Queensland Tertiary Admissions Centre) by a certain deadline or I’d have to apply to each institution personally and that would be a right pain in the arse…] It’s 10:00 now. Hope I can sleep better and I hope to god that my burns have gone down (in tone [redness] and pain) before Mark gets back. I HAVE SO MUCH TO DO!! No one rang me today. I wonder why – Joannah hasn’t been in touch. Maybe she’s shitty? (what for?) [Well, you won’t know unless you talk to her?] God, I’m hot.

Tuesday 5/1/88

I am so excited! It’s almost 10:00 (if not past that) which means there’s only 10½hrs or so till I see him! Today was, to put it bluntly, eventful. I woke, and when the mailman came there was nothing for me. A Life in WordsMy burns were still tender, but not so much sore & I thanked the Skin Repair for that [a moisturizer that my mum always bought. I’m fairly sure – unlike the pic (left) – that the container was yellow in the 80’s] (so I got away with wearing a bra & cotton dress easily enough!) So much mum & I went into town & traipsed all over the place looking for chains for Mark. I had one chain on hold at nearly every shop I went into! At the Liquor Barn I couldn’t decide what type of liquor to get the W’s so I thought I’d leave it till I rang mark. So at home I rang QANTAS and found out the time distance. [Er, I’d’ve been referring to time zones here. I find it amusing that I chose to call Qantas to find out; we obviously had no idea and no handy resources to work it out, ourselves. These days everyone has Google at their fingertips…] It was 12:00pm at that time, so it would’ve been 9am there. But my phone call was stuffed. I didn’t “book” it to start with, which meant I was ringing the Hotel, not directly Mark [hmm, that I don’t understand] and I was paying for a waste of time trying to page him (which the stupid singapore bitch didn’t – I couldn’t understand a word she said) but I was so upset when I got off that I cried (a bit) Then I decided to try and sort my room out… Joannah rang! She’s having her birthday dinner at Pizza Corner on Thursday night (and guess who’s going? [privacy omission] of course. God I hope Mark’ll come) Well I’m glad she rang. I’ve gotta ring her and see her some time tomorrow [privacy omission] Mum came home soon after that and we went to Earlville (saw Sue!) and I found the perfect (??!! Hope he thinks so) chain. So at home I tried again to sort my room out… I got really upset then, about the shape & layout of my room & how I hated the furniture etc, so I was fairly baulling over that (worst I’ve been in ages) Then after we got through to Mark A Life in Words(Yep! Mum tried and did it better – saved time & money & he was there!) [God my mum was good to me. Really.] I got happier after talking to him [..and that’s the only reason she would’ve tried again. To make me happy.] (so excited) that I forgot my room & just left it the same [that is, forgot about shifting the furniture around] and packed away (most of) the junk off the floor. Gosh the room’s bare now! (My burns aren’t sore – I’ll sleep really well tonight! HOORAY!) I feel really good now! (Although I didn’t get my QTAC done, and my eyes are sore from crying) [!!] well it’s 10:13, I’ve got to get some sleep – up at 7.30 to go & greet Mark. GORGEOUS MARK!!♥♥

Wednesday 6/1/88

A Life in Words
my best friend, behind glass…

Had a really hard time trying to get to sleep last night. I kept hearing a really faint noise, like slight tapping on glass & I freaked myself out thinking it might’ve been Moni tapping the glass separating her from our world (ie: the picture frame) [I remember this. I had a black & white photo (still do!) of Monique in a small brass picture frame on my bedside table and I’d imagined that she was ‘alive’ behind the glass, tapping on it from the inside, from her black-and-white ‘nether’ world.] I got to sleep  eventually but woke up a few times this morning (thinking “only an hour away – he’s in Australia!”) I got up at 7.10 and somehow, we left home at 8:05 (I’m sure I was ready earlier!) And we saw the plane descending as we rounded Suicide Bend at Stratford, so when we got there, I hopped out & went to wait while mum parked the car. Lo & Behold, I see Nicole with the B’s (what a shock!) Anyway, they finally came out of customs around 9:30 (mum had left for work then) Mark didn’t look too much different. Paler, but not too much fatter and I walked over and hugged him & I heard him murmur “Oh baby!” It was rather exciting! We all went back to the W’s, then the B’s & Nicole left. Mark & I mucked around then, [privacy omission] I mentioned the ‘guys’ [I’d pashed while he was away] he didn’t really care: I said “are you disappointed?” and he said “No, I’ve not really got any right to be” (meaning after what he did to me) & I mentioned that [privacy omission] thing [I’d discovered – after he’d left on his holiday – that he’d been at an ex-girlfriend’s house the night before they departed. See Friday 4 December in this post if you’d like the full story] – he said he’d just been there to collect the remaining bet money (with Keith) I said “well, I decided its either me, only me, all me, totally completely me, me, me or nothing, nothing of me, nothing to do with me.” [Nice ‘Drama Queen’ ultimatum, Liss] He didn’t say anything but I said “Well?” and he replied “I don’t think I need to answer that – I think you know the answer.” So, he dropped me home around 12.30, I rang Jo and said I’d go around there. I gave her her present (Mark B. was there for awhile & Jeffrey dropped in too) Mark & Jo were swimming & I sat & admired the watch (my) Mark had given me: black & red (mostly black – gold trimming & roman numerals) A Life in WordsGUCCI!! I couldn’t believe it! It’s gorgeous! […having never travelled out of Australia at this age, I had no idea that imitiations even existed…] Anyway, we watched TV & listened to records all arvy.. I got home around 5.00 and listened to (his) Pet Shop Boys tape on my walkman & watched TV, waiting for his call. Sharon rang around 6.00 or so wanting me to go out but I had perfect reason: Mark just didn’t feel like it (!!) [OMG *facepalm* this is truly exasperating …a perfect example of living your life through someone else. Take note, kids: don’t do this! Don’t make decisions based on the wants of others. Be your own person!] So, he hadn’t rung by 6:30, so I rang him. He said I could go to his place. I started to get ready but he rang back & said we’d go to Croc. Rock because Terry’d told him it was the last $ nite, […see? He’s not living his life for you! (but – considerately – wasn’t excluding you at the same time) oh and that “$ nite” thing? Back in the day, before Liquor Licensing began clamping down on binge-drinking, bars and clubs could attract patrons with all kinds of price-sensitive campaigns and for many years the House on the Hill ‘owned’ Wednesday nights – commonly referred to as “Dollar Night”. The crack-down may have been in its inception, if this was indeed “the last $ nite”…] so around 7:20 I got to his place. He was asleep. We both talked a little but then both dozed off (well, I dozed – he slept) Then Sandra woke us & we got ready. (we were just in time: Keith, Mr B & Nicole pulled up) Fine inside… weren’t many people. Mark appeared pretty bored; I tried to mingle (without leaving Mark out) Um, I had quite a bit to drink, including a cocktail with Mark, and I was feeling pretty good.. I found out my GUCCI isn’t genuine Gucci [der] he couldn’t afford one of those. [Der!] But don’t mind – it’ll fool anyone else! […ummm, likelihood of that is low…] We had a dance & I saw Delanie! I think we left quite soon after that. I remember not feeling too well, and everyone said I looked like I was about to drop dead with fatigue. So Mark said “Do you want to go home, or would you like to stay at my place?” You know what I chose! We prepared for sleep around 12.30…

Thursday 7/1/88

…Of course, we didn’t feel tired then we talked a fair bit, actually about people, us, etc, A really good talk. I remember stroking his stomach near his belly button & we’d stopped talking; [privacy omission] I was about to say “do you want to make love?” (working up the guts) when he said “come here.” So I fell asleep in his arms after it. So I moved up to his bed again later [we’d been on a mattress on the floor] -it was too cramped. We woke fairly early – about 8:00 & we mucked around: teasing. sometimes talking. [privacy omission] We made it again. And after that, faced the family (of course they were surprised to see me) A Life in WordsI noticed I’d given him a hickie too: embarrassing!! We watched TV from about 10.00 or 10.30 through till about 2:00 or so, affectionately stroking or touching each other throughout. We walked to the shop to buy soft drink and he tidied up his room a bit, then we looked at the Holiday photos before he dropped me home. I’m sure this trip has done him the world of good – he is so affectionate now (compared to what he used to be) and he seems to have a better attitude towards people (talking about [privacy omission]: he said he doesn’t really hate them – thinks [privacy omission] A very different attitude! I rang Fi but she was talking to Jason (said she’d ring back, but didn’t) Rang Jo, too. Otherwise I just watched the cricket (CB rang me too but that was much later) At 4.50 I realised I hadn’t done my QTAC. [Here we go…] We rushed to the P.O. but the man said it’d get there Monday, even by airmail – so I’m going to have to send it by courier tomorrow. Great. Well, I left [for my friend’s birthday dinner] around 7:25. Mark didn’t seem too excited (can I blame him?) [I don’t know, can you?] We were early so went for a walk. He said he was really tired (I was too) Keith & Greg were nearby & we talked to them until we had to go in. Jo & Nicole & Dean & Jeffrey were very late. Had the rest of us (Fiona, Sue, Megan, Jim & Philip) not gone in, we would’ve lost the tables: they only hold them for 10 mins. The waitress was a real bitch. Mark & I kinda talked to ourselves, mostly. I drank a little wine. It wasn’t really great overall. We walked to the mall. I rang mum & we waited. Saw CB & [privacy omission] just before mum came. Dropped Mark off at home. I’m preparing to BOMB! I’m so exhausted – tired. I have to get that QTAC away tomorrow. We’re having car & rat troubles (again). My room’s still not neat yet. Oh, I really need to hit the sack. Goodnight!

Friday 8/1/88

Well, I had a big sleep last night: mum woke me briefly this morning around 8.00 to tell me she was going to get the car brakes fixed: I barely recall that! I fell asleep again & was woken again by mum telling me to hurry: we had to get my QTAC on the 10:00 Ansett airfreight cargo. [Good ol’ Ansett. It was the major competitor to Qantas in Australia up until its demise in 2001, since Richard Branson’s Virgin Airlines had only begun operation in Australia a year earlier.] A Life in WordsMum had a few things to do beforehand & I was scared we wouldn’t make it. At the desk, we explained that we needed it delivered That day and the guy said “Oh well, that’ll be $85.86.” SHIT! He said possibly the best (cheapest & only) was was to go to the P.O. & get a facsimile. It cost us $9 and I’m pretty sure (hoping desperately) That QTAC will accept a fax. [Ah, the old fax! We hardly knew what it was even then, because they were so ‘new’ but thanks to the Internet, they are now hardly utilised so I imagine many young people wouldn’t know what they are either. It’s kind of like sending a scanned copy of a document down a telephone line… so, quite similar to what we now more commonly do through the internet …at home, and for ‘free’.] At home after, I listened to headphones & watched TV for a little while, before finally finishing clearing my room, then dusting it, then vacuuming the house. I rang Mark & he said he wanted to stay home. I was a little disappointed. I said I wanted to see him before the party… whether it was tonight or sometime tomorrow .. he said if he organised anything tonight, he’d ring. I had a feeling he wouldn’t.  That’s why, when Sharon rang I accepted her invitation to go out! (oh! Fi visited this avry, just after Sharon rang… I let her read Mark’s letter & caught her up on all the “goss”. Heather W & Sandra F came by, too – god knows why) she came over around 7.00 and I got v. angry trying to decide what to wear. [Choosing an outfit can be agonising for most females but it can be catastrophic for a hormonal teenaged girl. Or… maybe just for this perfectionist teenaged girl?] Heather W lent me a black shirt eventually. Mum dropped us up there – 9:15 or so (really early – quite empty) Tania was working again. We danced – saw the Saints guys, Megan V, too! Yeah she & Chris (& her friend Renee) are back in town! Aaron K had 3 sleazy cousins. Sharon got a guy she was after, so I spent a lot of time with Aaron. He is quite affectionate towards his close female friends apparently (eg: Sue) and he was being rather nice to me, too! In fact, I got a bit nervous when he started sucking my fingers. Alison M bought me a N.Y’s drink – triple vodka & orange – wo! strong! So eventually (god I danced a lot – not drunk: I had an unreal time though. Oh god, you should’ve seen in Smithy’s earlier on: I spilt a (lit) Explosion & the bar caught alight! A Life in WordsBartender reckons “you stupid, brainless bitch.” I was SO embarrassed.) [THIS is a standout memory for me, and I’m positive that it’s the very reason I’ve never forgotten about those ‘Explosion’ cocktails. As I’ve mentioned previously, they were a concoction of straight spirit nips – no mixers or other additives, just pure alcohol – set alight and consumed through a straw. I’d downed many of them in the past but for some strange reason (I guess it’s always a little nerve-wracking lower your face toward a naked flame?) this time I knocked the glass over and as the alcohol soaked the bar-mat, the flame instantly blazed. The female bartender flew into a frenzy but I’ll never forget the tall blonde man calmly standing behind her, with his contemptuous expression, slowly shaking his head as he verbally abused me. I turned on my heel, dropped my head and exited the lounge as fast as I could. Gold, pure gold!] got home ’round 2:30 (well I did) And I bombed.

Saturday 9/1/88

… sleeping rather soundly till about 9.15… Mark rang. I hate talking to him on the phone: he sounds so bored. Told me what he was going to do & I said I’d ring him back later in the afternoon. Julia watched the cricket all day – Sri Lanka vs. N.Z. so I did too A Life in Words(still listening to Pet Shop Boys – Mark’s – tape) So many phonecalls to jo, especially late in the afternoon, early evening. Fi visited again this afternoon (did I say she was out last night too?. With Sue, of course) [a little possessive, green-eyed monster there?] Mark rang from Steven’s …were going to come to the party together.. I told him they were both welcome, if the need arose, to stay at my place. So I got ready & got to Jo’s (with our stereo) about 7.30. I was boiling hot. By 8.15 there were about 10 or so people there… more came slowly, informing us that most people were outside. Around 9.30, everyone was inside & there were MASSES of people.. it was so hot & cramped! Nicole & I were trying to find alcohol. (Mark & Steven still hadn’t turned up) We were going out with [privacy omission] to have some pot, when they arrived. I scared the daylights out of him (accidentally) when we came back (I didn’t get any, anyway) I talked briefly before going off to find drink again (he seemed bored with me) I came back, then left again. When I returned, Nicole was right in front of him. I pushed my way in… felt unwelcome, though (Nicole had moved away a little) so left again. When I returned, she was back again – I started to get very angry (upset) I cried to Fiona & Sue ..they went to get in her way (they were both quite drunk) I wanted to avoid him. I noticed the bitch was standing practically in between his legs. I was spewing with rage. Eventually he came up & said “can we talk?” In the kitchen he said “What’s happening? What’s with us?” We had a D+M. [Deep & Meaningful talk for those who’ve never heard the term before] it was BAD. He wanted to try & find out what our situation was (our relationship) He said there wasn’t much time before he left and he wanted to spend it all with me ..he didn’t want to lose me ..he didn’t want me to leave. He said a lot of guys are interested in me now & then he said how people had been saying who I’d been with (most of them were lies- Phil N. Phil C. Jeff M) I don’t know: we were talking about the past ..trust, lies, cheating & he wanted to know about the 3 guys (argumentative). [I’m not sure what I meant by ‘argumentative’ but the “3 guys” referred to the boys I’d ‘gotten with’ during his absence… the knowledge of which I had openly offered up days before, mind you…] He wanted, then, to know how far I’d gone – he said he’d never gone all the way… he asked me. I couldn’t lie [I’ve never been good at it]: it hurt so much to say the truth- then, he asked me who. Pause. “WHO?” “[privacy omission]” He couldn’t believe it. I tried to explain it wasn’t me- [that] I was drunk […literally legless…] (but he put it down to a ‘lame excuse’) […which it definitely wasn’t. For the full story – or, my experience at least – see this post] A Life in WordsEventually he slammed (punched) a cupboard door, said “God that makes me mad” & walked off. I burst out in tears. I tried to find Fi. Jo couldn’t understand. God it hurt so much. I wish like HELL it never happened . I hate [privacy omission] for it… I hate that night. Mark wouldn’t talk to me … I wouldn’t go near him anyway. Of course Nicole was stuck there like glue. I talked to [privacy omission]; she sympathized- hates Nicole too. I became v. moody & unsociable – the party had moved outside by then anyway. Mark, Steven & of course Nicole stayed (together) for ages …I wish they’d just left earlier. I eventually got Fi to talk to him.. she said he was very cut ..said it’d take time (& that hurts ’cause there’s not much at all) He couldn’t, just couldn’t believe it. I was positive it’d be over ..he’d hate me, never forgive me for it and it hurt so much. I was hurting so much: because of Nicole, because of that horrid argument & mostly because he loved me so much & I hurt him so much. [….by being honest? Yep, because the truth hurts…] I can understand him hating me for it […only because he didn’t believe I was as ‘innocent’ as I claimed …but since I was, his contempt would be unjust…] – I’ve hated him for his indiscretions and I’ve held it against him… [for my perception of his level of ‘participation’ in them…] he can hold it against me, [well, you can’t change anyone else’s mind, so I guess…] but I want him back I love him SO MUCH. God I love you … [Hm, I don’t think you do. I think you’re dependant and in love with the idea of Love; “dem rose-coloured glasses”…] I didn’t know it was, oh shit. You won’t accept anything I say in my defense. It’s my word against [privacy omission]‘s & you’ll stick with [him] cause he’s your [privacy omission] friend. [Finally my gut kicked in: I knew “how it was” and that I was fighting an uphill battle…] OH PLEASE have me back. I want you.

Sunday 10/1/88

… So when they left I totally ignored Nicole (even more) & she knew I hated her… talked to Megan & Jo about it …Jo & I lay down to watch Rage – I promised to wake her if she fell asleep, so we could sleep in proper beds (comfort) but we both fell asleep (unaware of time) & left the TV on all night. I remember Nigel putting a cushion under my head, I remember G-FORCE being on when I first stirred in the morning (& Jo got up) I remember coughing a lot & a german speaking show was on when I got up. We cleaned up – hosing, collecting trash etc (I still ignored Nicole as much as possible) then after a trip to the shop, had breakfast, talked, played CLEUDO, some TV (atari-type) games. A Life in Words[…the 80’s version of video gaming, for those too young to know – that’s a photo of an ’87 console to the right] Megan left. Nicole & I were left alone in the room & she asked me straight out if I was pissed off with her. I said YES. “Basically, I hate you talking to Mark.” We didn’t get to finish it, though. Mum wasn’t home, so I had to go to the shop with Jo .. it was so boring, we nearly (Jo did, out the back) fell asleep. I minded the shop ..looking across the road at a couple hugging and kissing… I got upset all over again (Tried ringing mum, all arvy, but still no answer) Eventually, got back to Jo’s & I rang the Fishers. . Fiona went across & got mum: she’d left ½ of the answering machine on, so that’s why I never go through. Came quickly & I told her the whole story (the truth about [privacy omission] included) [oh, I’d’ve thought I’d told her about that much sooner; I had no problem opening up to my mum] crying at most of it… then at home, crying more telling Julia (& alone in the shower) I’d like to send him some roses, but what to say on the card? I am so hurt, thinking about how he’d be feeling & thinking about how long it will be till (if he ever does) talk to me again. He CAN’T end it. I gave him a second chance, SURELY he can give me one. [I was so upset, so desperate, that I truly believed I was in the wrong. How sad. Young and naive…] GOD I LOVE HIM SO MUCH. Don’t lose me, Mark. You love me too much …”What is the truth? Love: the unselfish & forgiving kind.” A Life in Words[This (slightly misquoted) maxim from Linda Goodman’s book “Love Signs” had stuck with me because it was the conclusion to her section on our particular sun sign compatibilities: something I had obviously read a few times…] Well it’s almost 10.00. Thorn Birds is on TV. I want to watch it – hope I can sleep in a long time. I want him to call me. Oh please, call me soon Mark.

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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…]

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

Monday 5/10/87A Life in Words

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

Tuesday 6/10/87

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

Wednesday 7/10/87

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

Thursday 8/10/87

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

Friday 9/10/87

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

Saturday 10/10/87

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

Sunday 11/10/87

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

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…]

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

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

A Life in Words

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

Monday 14/9/87

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

Tuesday 15/9/87

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

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

A Life in WordsWednesday 16/9/87

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

Thursday 17/9/87

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

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

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

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

A Life in WordsSaturday 19/9/87

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

A Life in WordsA Life in Words

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

Sunday 20/9/87

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

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

A Life in Words

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

A Life in WordsMonday 24/8/87

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

Tuesday 25/8/87

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

Wednesday 26/8/87

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

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

Thursday 27/8/87  monique’s birthday

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

Friday 28/8/87

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

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

Saturday 29/8/87

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

Sunday 30/8/87

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

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

Monday 17/8/87

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

Tuesday 18/8/87

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

Wednesday 19/8/87

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

Thursday 20/8/87

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

Friday 21/8/87

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

Saturday 22/8/87

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

Sunday 23/8/87

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