Transgression & Reunion: the Final Week of School (16-22 November)

Monday 16/11/87

I’m not feeling overly happy. And it’s got nothing to do with the fact that I failed my maths, for sure .. it’s to do with mark. [Surprise surprise] It doesn’t bother me [hang on, have I just back-flipped here?] -I’m not sure if it’s really my problem- but there’s some slight depression, unhappiness, melancholy, hanging over me. I don’t know what or how. I can’t explain. Maybe it’s just a “down” period. [Alcohol is classed as a depressant drug, just sayin’. And with hormones naturally surging through your teenaged body, the combined result’s not going to be rosy…] Apparently (I didn’t talk to Mark today only saw him briefly, twice, but he rang me) [privacy omission] thought he’d given me the lovebites and she’d said “Bastard” or something like that. I feel good, but not really -it’s not reassuring enough- I still must talk to him. A Life in WordsI couldn’t tonight – we were getting on so well (on the phone) and he’d said (when I tried to give him shit about [her]) “it’s terrible, isn’t it?” when I said about [her] calling him a bastard. I HATE IT. It hurts me. [Because I interpreted it as him discounting MY feelings. But reading this back now, it seems equally possible that he may have been disregarding her (alleged) response, in order to hearten me. Again, who knows?] I need to let him know: fast. Oh, why me? I feel so down. Got my Euroka [our school magazine/yearbook] not as good as last year’s. May have passed my chem prac. (probly not with my luck) Not at all worried about chem exam- I don’t care. Is 10:00 now – will probly be up a while yet.

Tuesday 17/11/87

WOW. It’s 11:30- I’d wanted an early nite – in preparation for 2morrow. Oh well. I wrote to Lucy & actually, to all the tertiary institutions, that I needed to, so it’s all out of the way, finally!! (Post it all tomorrow) Ugh! What a day! Woke – went to psycologist -she was nice- talked to my ♥’s content – she feels (& I know) it [the accident] has benefitted me – the trauma made me much stronger – self-determined etc. more will & potential to succeed now than I ever would’ve had before [hmm, except academically…] (& the break-up with Mark helped too) So, at home after, didn’t feel like studying anymore[!]– chem exam a big ha, ha. (tho’ I think I shall be better than maths!) Home after Glyn & Cameron popped around ..Glyn saw my [contraceptive] pills (great – I’ll never hear the end of it) Fi’s ringing me back 2 morrow to finalize plans for 2morrow. I rang mark but was at Keith’s watching a video (my guess is [privacy omission]‘s muff) anyway- he rang me – it was almost 10:00, I think! short phone call. Oh god I’m tired. 2morrow nite – I can’t wait!

Wednesday 18/11/87

Well, I woke up to Fi’s phonecall, around 8:00 – I was DEAD! And we were in town around 8:45/9:00. A Life in WordsWe looked around after buying photographic paper, then walked to Fi’s shop to get the car. I failed my learners: one question wrong (because I’d studied from an old book – they’d changed the rule) [I can’t for the life of me remember what that changed rule was] Didn’t see mark at all today. Nor Jo. I couldn’t find a damn thing to wear to the Valedictory Dinner (we picked mima up after her exam-bought her flowers!!) in town, let alone out tonite. Went over to see Cynthia (Fi dropped me there) Had Kentucky Fried for tea; had to rush at home, to get to mima’s (I got a skirt to wear) At Scandals, I had a Kahlua & milk + 2 banana dacquiris – at Croc. Rock, barely talked to Mark, to start with. Had one explosion [the super-toxic, flaming cocktail to which I’d become partial] with Cameron, then another with Mark (his first) we ended up talking (he was quite drunk) alone for ages – about us. I can’t remember everything [he said] & what I do, I don’t have room for!! Was good – he said I turn him on the most all the others were substitutes – he’d put off & put off getting with them. We didn’t get together cause he didn’t want people saying he did it cause he was drunk- respects me too much. Fi came up & told me

Thursday 19/11/87

→we were leaving- he & she talked & when driving me home, she said he said “there’s only one person I love more than you- (that’s elissa)” so, I woke 7:30 – very dead. The art test was boring – not really very easy – just basic (difference!) [Wow. Did I really get on the piss heavily the night before an exam? I never realised I was so badass…] After, I missed mark, but waited round the school area for most of the afternoon (well, a bit: went to Fi’s [parents’] shop & I lay down out the back, trying to get some sleep for tonite (from last nite!)) Jason took me home… I ended up not resting there ..had to rush to get ready for the movies. A Life in WordsLIVING DAYLIGHTS was cool. (Jay drove mima & I there) We walked to Esplanade after (saw Steven at International Hostel [a guy I’d pashed a few weeks back] – he ‘giggled’ mima said) then drove to the school. Mark & Chris were drinking first – it was a mess – it was stupid – idiot K. was throwing furniture etc. Not many there. [It’s pretty much an unwritten seniors’ tradition to ‘prank’ the school for their final day… I’d envisaged organised decoration (the OCD in me) so was pretty disappointed to find a bunch of somewhat aggressive drunk guys just making a huge mess.] Then the guys went for a swim [breaking into the school’s pool enclosure] & threw a bin [full] of water at me (Keith) & the guys all hit into him) [I think I was wearing a white top so was more concerned with modesty than the fact that I was actually sopping wet] then there was a cry of Police. I don’t know why, but some people ran, & [privacy omission] & I did too-straight into the “arms” of the police (juvenile aid) lectured us – searched bags. And took my & [privacy omission]‘s names, addresses, ages etc. WHY US? […I have wondered about this and the simplest conclusion I could come to was that we were the only two girls …and maybe from a (still gender-biased point of view) they were more concerned with our safety, amongst a group of boys …if you catch my drift? But I am purely speculating…] We were going to leave, but went back. [Privacy omission] left with Jay & I rang mum to say I was staying at Mark’s. (told her about that & she seemed OK) so we hung round for ages, till Sandra P came & Chris, Mark & I got a lift to Greenslopes & Pease → walked so far then→

Friday 20/11/87

A Life in Words
Hangin’ in town on the last day of school

→stopped & talked .. about the accident a lot. Ended up sitting down on the road, but in the bike lane part. Talking & saw headlights. I said “he’s going to turn” but he didn’t indicate & looked like he was going straight ahead till he was 3m away- turned really quickly & slammed on brakes -stopping just before hitting us- the Police! (Great – twice in one nite) [you little dissident, you!] They said there’d been a break & enter 2 mins away- told us off & told us to clear out. We walked away & stood shaking .. we’d just been talking about the accident and we nearly got run down by a cop car!!! [yes, I see the irony in that] At Mark’s we mucked around, then got down to business .. then got 1-2 hrs sleep .. and made love again in the morning. He said [privacy omission, even though they were nice things]. So mum picked us (& Chris) up (I got changed first of course) & at school, got photos – bummed round doing nothing in particular. Mark & a whole heap of guys went to Crystals. We ended up Megan, Fi, Jo & I going driving around town (& Saints) I got a big white Tshirt & white skirt from Kaffa, for the Valedictory Dinner. At home I rushed to get ready -got to Marks & went to the DDIAE talks. [….an information session I assume, for one of the tertiary institutions to which I had applied] BORING. The Valedictory Dinner I spent nearly all my time with mima & Fi. Hardly with Mark. He left earlier than I. It made me depressed- it was a massive anti-climax. [I neglected to include the ‘award’ I received – in conjunction with Mark – at the dinner. The photo below will forever remind me of it. Basically, thanks to a couple of large & very obvious hickies Mark had given me at different times throughout the year, I was presented with a can of Aeroguard insect repellant to protect myself  from big mosquitoes (like Mark) in the future. We were both called up for the presentation but poor Mark was left standing there to dwell in his jovial embarrassment empty-handed.] So that, at Brett’s party (seeing there was barely anyone there

A Life in Words
That’s me walking off to the left – slightly embarrassed – with my Aeroguard insect repellant trophy.

Saturday 21/11/87

→anyway, I did not feel like partying (no drink or anything) I felt like a joint -but that made me angrier -waited ages for it, then didn’t get any. FUCKED! I walked back in, myself really pissed off & [privacy omission] outside said Mark went to Freshy school looking for me. I found him.. and the effect of beer bongs hit him (hard) We lay down on the grass & he was deliriously mumbling; I finally dragged him to my place, seeing Chris (& Jo for the first time that nite) on the way- telling them to tell Fi I couldn’t stay. Mark was really stuffed. That was about 1:30. Woken 8:00, he left around 9:10- [privacy omission] I rang mima & Fi & her picked me up- got KFC (Kentucky) ate at Esplanade. At the shop I helped Fi (her mum was sick – mima at hair show practise) till Martin & Mr D came rang Mark at home, then went virtually straight away to his place. Mucked around – Keith came over – we went for a drive to the beach (Trinity) & ate pizza. Picked up my clothes on the way back to Mark’s. Mucked around 4 ages … went to Chris’s late .. swam, drank gin & tarina (!) Then Glyn rang said there was a party (Peta W’s – Jo was there – she’d rung (and told me she was going) at Mark’s) Cameron came (Mark & I rode quickly & got dressed)→

Sunday 22/11/87

→ And we got a cab. Cameron & I got out .. Mark, Chris & Glyn further up.. they ran the cab, and, sure enough, it came back to us. So stupid. [Yep. And since lying is not my forte, the cabbie’s interrogation wasn’t fun for me. We pretended we were just cab-sharing with the other guys and didn’t know them very well. When pressed for any names, the best I could come up with was John Smith. Yep, duh. And Cameron sure didn’t let me live that down, either…] We found them, then Aumuller St ..saw Brendan L & he said it was DEAD. So we walked to Draper St (Samanda C’s) Party .. small party it was & everyone was being told to leave once we got there. Were desperate for a cab lift home – finally got one with Trevor G to chris’s. Mark & I walked to his place & after a shower- bombed. No sex. In the morning I woke 8:45- he woke around 10:00 to the phone. Mucked around right up until noon, I think (yeah, beautiful LM) [←my semi-modest abbreviation for ‘love making’] Bacon & scrambled eggs brekky, wasted time then he dropped me home. Mum, Julia, & 2nd cous. Lyn came home & I rang Jo, then we went to the beaches (at Clifton I looked for Phillip’s place- NO hope! [privacy omission]) At home before 4:00, waited. (filling in diary from past 4 days/5 days) rang Fi waited. At 7:30 I rang him. Said he thought I was meant to ring him (said he was gonna ring me anyway) writing a big letter -prob. is don’t have enough time to make it really big : only 4 pages so far & I’d wanted to write over 32 (novel size!!) [He was about to go overseas on a family holiday and I’d decided to write him a huge letter – yep, like a novel – for something to do …but also, to keep him thinking of me. Oh the things we do…] A Life in WordsMovie was good. But I’m so dead!! [How dead? Apparently 4 underlines worth – see pic]

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Stevie Wonder, Fisticuffs & The Sleaze (9-15 November)

Monday 9/11/87

A Life in WordsStevie Wonder was excellent! [I saw him twice on this day: he made a special appearance at our school and then I attended his concert …] Today was really good! Got Jo, and at school took last photos, wasted remaining exposures [on ourselves, see right]– folios [proper commercially manufactured ones] not suitable + too expensive (saw Mr. W) late for parade! Everyone loved my new shoes! Bludge in chem & maths. Didn’t see Mark at little lunch. Double art I raced around getting my folio completed – at lunchtime went to the hall. with Cameron, Chris Glyn, Brett, Jo, Justine, Fi & Mima – a laugh waiting for Stevie to arrive. [I don’t know for sure, but I’ve always assumed that Stevie Wonder’s appearance at our school was directly related to the bus accident: a compassionate response by the man. At the time however a reason wasn’t warranted; we were pretty darned excited simply because international stars rarely visited Cairns, let alone to our school.] Stuart smiled at me & I didn’t know what to do after I smiled back – I was really embarrassed! He [Stevie] finally came around 2:00 and talked & sang (a little) till 3:00 (missed eng & biol – yay!) Only talked to Mark a little after school. Picked Jo up around 5:45. . pizza tea. Not many people we knew at the concert – not many people full stop- but they made the noise of a big crowd!! At the end I saw a guy who talked to me (really cute) I think it was James from Playpen. see – I can’t really remember what they both looked like [uh, yeah: this is but one of the many effects copious amounts of alcohol will have upon you] – but he was cute!! YUM YUM Jo’s flipped! [as in, she thought he was very attractive too…]

Whilst I actually can’t recall whether Stevie sang “I Just Called to Say I Love You” during his appearance at our school, I had to include it because it holds the most sentiment for me: firstly – and of less relevance – I think of it as my father and stepmother’s anthem, since they met around the time it was released in 1984 and I remember Dad literally singing it on the phone to Jenny at some stage (I’m fairly sure it was also their wedding song). But at our 20th Year School Reunion (2007) our principal performed an amazing operatic rendition for us (unbeknownst to many of us he was a classically trained singer) not merely because Stevie’s historic visit was a highlight of our senior year, but also for the lyrical sentiment.

Tuesday 10/11/87

talked to Mark a fair bit today. And Stuart, well, it’s really wierd – I’M SHY!! [People still don’t believe this about me, to this day. I am inherently shy.] I can’t bring myself to even look at him, in case he looks at me. But I’d really like to talk to him. Shit. I can’t believe exams start on Thursday & I haven’t even begun to study. All my artwork’s done now (marked too) Oh, I forgot to ring Jo – [she] was away at Fitzroy with Mark [‘her’ Mark, not ‘mine’]. Talked a lot in biol. chris reckons some St’s guys said I was going out with Trevor G. No way! “I barely know the guy.” Chris said “Well, they know you!” SKINT! [At the time, I was more chuffed than confused: “guys I didn’t know, knew of me? Wow!” But retrospectively, I sense this could have had a kind of unsavoury edge to it: I mean, how would a rumour about me ‘dating’ a guy I hardly knew begin to circulate? Had I gained a reputation of ‘some kind’?] Watched the water polo today – Mark in it. What an arse that guy has!! Lost my diamonté bracelet sometime from 7th p. chem. till when I got home (we dropped cameron home this arvy) Great, huh?! […sarcasm about the loss of my bracelet, not ‘elation’ for giving a mate a ride home…] I’m so tired – that’s the only reason I haven’t studied – nearly fell asleep this arvy. Mark rang to find out what prac. it was we had to do for 2 morrow. V. short phone call. We still need to have that “talk” yet, I wonder!!! So tired tonite – I can’t wait! 10 days till it’s all over! (& that’s including days I don’t have exams!) WOW! Great! [I’m surprised I was so eager for the end of school, considering I had no set plans for the future. I think I was more focussed at this point in time on the post-school, pre-Christmas partying I had imagined there would be. Like school holidays but with a more significant sense of freedom. *Sigh* So short-sighted…]

Wednesday 11/11/87

A Life in Words
The back of my skirt was just as – if not more – messy than this…

Today was quite exciting! Our last working day at school. Actually, I didn’t feel emotional at all.. I just had fun running round doing things we don’t normally do – signing each other’s clothes [see my school skirt above] -signing walls tables, etc getting photos taken – doing no work despite exams! Rearranging rooms & furniture! I talked a fair bit to Mark today. He gave me a note – I was speechless after I read it. I don’t understand what he’s trying to say- he realizes he needs me, he thinks I’m changing too fast .. he can’t understand me. Oh dear – we need a talk (big talk) soon. Wonder if that’s what he was going to say on Saturday night He doesn’t talk to Nicole anymore – wonder if he said anything to her? he loves me & needs me. I can’t believe he needs me. Anyway it’s almost 12:00 – I’ve been studying english – I must do well in this – I need to get over 82% Mark wanted to fight Stuart W. today. Why? But everyone’s saying he’s signing his own deathwish – Stuart’s black belt in karate. Well! Looks like TD & him are back together. Stewart P. drove by school this arvy. I had so much fun esp. this arvy.

A Life in WordsThursday 12/11/87

It happened today- Mark & Stewart fought – end of little lunch (after my disgustingly difficult english exam- so much for a VH overall! That was some hard test!) I nearly choked on my hot dog – Mark’s shirt was destroyed- had a blood nose. Why were they fighting? [I never found out. Or if I did, I can’t remember why, but I’m fairly sure that it bore no relevance to me …to my knowledge.] FOOLS. God, I don’t understand… [you wouldn’t Liss, physical combat is a testosterone thing…] we didn’t get to talk today, but before he left, I talked to him briefly- was being very nice. I rang mum – answering machine on. Sat & waited, & waited & waited. At home did 1st chapter – all arvy. Is now almost 11:30 and I’m nearly  totally unprepared for the rest of the exam. I so badly need to do well in it. SHIT! Mark actually rang this arvy – wanted to come around to have that talk, but I was studying. [Damn, you may have had a better chance of discovering the reason for the fight…] He’s coming over 2morrow – after his geog. exam. [I’m] Nervous! Bloody biol. It’s not fair – if only I’d not been so pushed for time, I could’ve started earlier like I’d wanted to. [Um, if you hadn’t been partying like a rockstar for the past four-to-five weeks…] Shit, shit, shit! Am so tired now Please do me a big favour God- let me do exceptionally well in biol- it’s my last hope. See ya 2morrow. Can’t wait for next week!

Friday 13/11/87

Biol wasn’t too bad after all .. I’ll pass it, no sweat, but will I do well enough? That’s the question. It seemed pretty easy, tho’. I didn’t talk too much to Mark today… I didn’t go home straight after the exam either. In fact we waited around till about 2:00! (BORING!) Went for drive (mima had the brown alfa for the day!) Fi dropped me home, where I waited for Mark to come around. I rang his place just after 4:00 and Sandra said he was out .. he rang back at 5:35! I told him I was going out so I’d ring him tomorrow. Well, Jo & I were very late – about 7:45, but thankfully, so was everyone else. [I am only guessing when I say this may have been a dinner for our CAD art class… I can’t imagine what else it could could have been. More detail in future Liss, please!] I had 2 cocktails, and we’d only gotten thru’ 3 courses before everyone started making speeches and crying etc. [Crying? …sounds like our art class…plied with alcohol…] So we all left. At Playpen Jo realized she lost Robbie’s watch and wasn’t happy. Met Angie & we went to Croc. Rock. More people there, but not necessarily a rage. A Life in WordsI was so and I mean so drunk – was really off my face – don’t remember quite a few things, except this sleazy guy who (his friend) drove me home & wanted me to “suck him off…” […and this is exactly the kind of thing parents would fear. The intoxicated girl brushes it off in her sense-impaired state, but what if that ‘sleaze’ had been more aggressive? Oh the risks we take in Life… By the way, in case there was a shadow of a doubt, I certainly didn’t fulfill his wish…]

Saturday 14/11/87

I’ve got lovebites from him. YUK. [Perfect: an unavoidable, (temporary) physical reminder of what getting “off your face” can do to you. The question is, was your lesson learned?] So after stumbling to bed, then to the loo to vomit, slept till about 8:30 (??) Cameron & Glyn came over after weights, for a short while, then Jo rang around 10:00. I rang Mark after that. He said he couldn’t come over – Sandra had the car. Said he’d come when she bought it home. So I did nothing – slept, veged (still drunk!) He came, we didn’t say anything to start with He is sort of going out with [privacy omission]. He won’t say he is- it’s a completely “Physical” relationship. I felt so sick. The talk I feel was fruitless, pointless. [Why? Because you didn’t hear what you wanted or expected to hear?] I wasn’t one bit resolved [the most powerful resolution is the one You make for yourself: there was certainly revelation during this talk… for all your analyzing abilities, could you not reach a resolution for yourself, by yourself?] and after he left (we’d agreed to be friends & build it up, even try before he left [for an overseas family holiday]) But I can’t. Not while I know he’s [privacy omission]. Jo rang, otherwise I did nothing went to bed 7:30 – slept from about 9:30 on. Shit, I can’t do it. I need someone – I’m so dependant – so dependant [this is painfully clear] – God it hurts to know they’re together. I’m gonna have to talk to him Monday or ring him tomorrow – tell him I can’t do it. It’s killing me.

Sunday 15/11/87

Woke around 9:00 – almost 12hrs of sleep! WOW! But it was a little restless, this sleep. Really depressed a lot of the day -didn’t feel like studying – didn’t care. [Excessive alcohol consumption + a negative experience = certain depression] It’s 9:10 now- I’ve had coffee so it’s useless going to bed. So I may as well study_lot of good that’ll do me. I’ll fail anyway. I really don’t give a fucking shit anymore. Not a shit about anything. I might as well curl up and die. Mima visited tonite, Jo rang this morning, I rang Fi twice & I saw Gordon at Licks when we went to get Pizza for dinner. Wishing Well’s on now. [Another Terence Trent D’Arby song (see below). I was so ‘attached’ to his album…] So what? God I’m pissed off. I’m so sick of life. I hate school & I hate work & I hate myself and I hate Mark. That’s a lie. I hate what he’s done to me. I hate him getting his own way all the time. I can’t let him have it all the time. [So…….] What about me? He doesn’t care – just make himself happy Jo said Stewart didn’t say much about me_ _said he’d been keeping in touch (LIE) said he’d ring me – he WON’T. [Wow, I really got dem ‘bad feels’…]

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

Thigh Numbness, Inquest Prep & A ‘Pissy’ Weekend (7-13 September)

Monday 7/9/87

I got out of doing my bio test tomorrow. I’ll have to do it Friday big lunch into 6th period, tute (CAD for me). But I’m not “off the hook”… my Maths will not be “good” . . I’ll stuff it, I’m sure. If I can learn the theory tonite & try to revise more prac. stuff (problems) tomorrow, maybe I’ll scrape through. Fi, & mima went home at little lunch- Joannah wasn’t even at school. Mark stayed.. I hung around him, Chris, Cameron, Steven at big lunch (laughed so much → my stomach muscles are so sore after the weekend) [!!!] Also, strangely (and fucking very annoyingly & disturbingly & upsettingly) my left knee, above it – inside thigh is numb. Been like that for the whole day (since last night) WHY? Hope its not permanent. [It wasn’t. But my concern was borne of the struggle to accept the permanence of the scar on my right leg. During a consult with a ‘revisive’ (plastic) surgeon only a few weeks earlier (see Saturday’s entry in this post) the penny dropped: it was affirmed, I realised and had to begin to accept, that my body could not ‘right’ (heal) this injury to the extent that it could render other superficial flesh wounds (virtually) invisible over time. The damage was too great, the result was permanent and I, as a teenaged girl obsessed (just like any other) with body image, had to come to terms with this. Any wonder I was nervous?] A Life in WordsActually started Fash. Des. work in art today . [Considering fashion design had been one of my strongest career dreams this would have been exciting for me.] Got separated for talking in english . [Ha! That’s a rare occurrence.] Handed in about 4 pracs in chem this morning. I’ll be so glad when this week’s over!! It’s 10:36 – hope I’m not too tired during the exam 2morrow

Tuesday 8/9/87

Ha, ha. Fail in maths, severely. left out 2Q’s (each worth 4 marks) to begin with (the last 2) & all the rest I practically am “hoping” they’re right. /40 I’ll probly get about 5 -no more than 15 for sure. Did chem HW tonite (nothing really substantial tho’.. must try 2morrow morning, then esp. at night: exam Thursday.) Found out during lunch & 6th on Friday – we’ll be at the courthouse, going thru’ proceedings with police (or whatever) [The bus crash inquiry (“death inquest”) was to begin next week. This was a big deal not just for me, but everyone involved in the crash …and pretty much the entire Cairns community…] Postpone biol. exam yet again! Chem. lecture tomorrow (I think) Wonder if it’s interschool? Hope so. [You wanna perve don’tcha, Liss?] Hot day → cloudy towards the end. I’m addicted to Kit Kats A Life in Words[and I’d say they’re probably still one of my top picks IF I were coaxed into buying a commercial chocolate…] (choc. in general) I must give it up- I’m getting fatter & my face is starting to break out again. Oh no! It’s 9:40 now. Earlier nite than previous 4 or 5 nights. Free dress day Friday, too. I want to party this weekend!! G’night!

Wednesday 9/9/87

Mark was away today. that’s the main thing. Aside from that, the chem lecture was (interschool – only some schools & not many people at all -held at Civic Centre) boring. [I was most likely comparing this event to last year’s, at which (unbeknownst to me, until a few days later) I was ‘noticed’ by an attractive guy from another school. (Check out Friday’s and Sunday’s entries in this post if you’d like the background) So perhaps I had my radar up, hoping for some kind of similar experience?] Cameron distracting. [Just as he was in every all of my chem classes!] Fiona’s going to Saint’s formal too, now. Not fair! Everyone is, it seems! Well I’ll just have to spend the whole weekend with Mark to make up for it. [Well, that’s interesting: it sounds very much like spending time with your boyfriend comes second to attending a social event (at which there’d potentially be many attractive guys) with your friends. Hmm… why are you in this relationship again?] We’ll probably end up going to the party afterwards, anyway. Cloudy day. * More junk today – I can’t help myself. A Life in WordsOn the scales this arvy (I expected them to break) I weighed only 61½kgs- I thought I’d be well over 64! Lucky! [Scales don’t mean anything. Really, how much of that weight is fat and how much lean tissue?] But I feel fat & my skins not too good. [That’s a better indicator of your health. What’s happening at the cellular level?] Wonder why on earth Mark was away? Julia said she saw them driving Sheridan Street just around 3:00 or something heading north cairns direction. Would like to have rung him- had they the phone on at David’s.. . he got 25 for maths exam! (I got 22 so surprised I passed!) Also gorgeous (& funny) photos I saw of Mark (& Steven) that are going in the Euroka [our school magazine/yearbook]. SO TIRED. WILL POSSIBLY FAIL CHEM TOO. Strangely, I don’t feel I will, though. Hopefully…

Thursday 10/9/87

Chemistry? What a frigging laugh! I know I have 3 marks, for sure. I’ll get more than 15 I think, but it’s /50 so that’s not good enough. Mark said he slept yesterday & watched videos & when julia saw them, was when they were going to the “wreckers” to get a something-or-other for the fuel tank (a lid?) So, art was boring cause people were in town doing the fence-painting.. Ms . Marsland interviewing CAD music kids at Trinity Bay. English bludge – Mr G. away: talked to Mr McKenzie. [our principle – he may have been caretaking our class? That didn’t happen often…] Lunchtime was fun : Yr 11 girls/Yr 12 guys feud ..makes me laugh!! So funny! Went late night with Fi tonite (had to do grocery shopping  for her mum – who’s sick) (!!!) Could not find anything I liked, to wear for tomorrow Not a single thing. Fi &I were so pissed off_ we actually had money to spend, but there was nothing we wanted to spend it on. A Life in WordsMark & Keith appeared (pinched my bum hard) disappeared, then reappeared before they left. Mark wanted me to buy him a shirt or something . too bad! Sweetie!!! (yukky word) Cutie! Yeah! [Oh mah Gawd] Well only biol. exam Tues. & english assign. for Friday. ∗ Gonna rage this weekend!!!! [Expectation …can lead to Disappointment…]

Friday 11/9/87

I’m tired – it’s 10:00 – I’m going to do something tomorrow night, no matter what. Pissed off, I am pissed off. I know I shouldn’t be, and I don’t want to be, but deep down I am. I went late nite shopping (with Julia) with Cameron (and as it turned out, Glyn, Deanne & Her sister) and it was so boring. Again, I saw some stuff, but nothing I thought was actually worth buying. I thought it’d be good & get my mind off Mark going to the [House on the] Hill [nightclub] tonight (Glyn was too, I think) Cameron didn’t want to & I don’t know about Steven Anyway, he was quite affectionate (well, his responses to me were very good) after school (when, incidentally, he said he wouldn’t go late night shopping with me, but denied he was going to the Hill. “Ring you tomorrow” he said) Got 24¼/50 for chem. Much better than I thought (almost passed!) [My how attitudes change! In primary school and at my previous high school (Smithfield High) this would literally have been the End of the World. Anything less than a High Achievement ‘killed’ me. I guess it’s a positive that I learnt (by default: losing interest in schoolwork due to my burgeoning social & love lives since the switch to Cairns High) to accept failure/disappointment with less Stress?] Busy day really : appointment with Ms Forbes took a while (I wore all black today) Mark wore his green shirt. I love it – so spunky! Trip to Courthouse was short really.. Trina, Becca G & I will have to be crossexamined cause we didn’t write statements .. will have to tell our story & will then be questioned. SHIT!

A Life in Words
I received my summons to appear in court for the bus crash inquest on 24 July.

Saturday 12/9/87

After a pissy night last night, I wanted a great night tonight –  seems everybody, everything is against me. […here we go…] I went to town this morning with Julia & mum & finally bought some tan shoes from Sportsgirl (you guessed it – to wear tonight) (After last nite – I slept badly waking lots – hoping Mark’d  come to my window, like I am now) So I waited all arvy. Around 3:30-4:00, I got a little tense; still no call, let alone visit. [….and I couldn’t contact him because he was staying at a place where there was no phone…] (I’d seen him (& he saw us) in his car around 12:00, when we  were on our way home & he waved) I’m SO hurt. I couldn’t stop tears now & then. He said he’d ring me & he didn’t. He must’ve forgotten (& that really hurts – to think he could forget me) After being out last night, without me, doesn’t he want to see me tonight? I am so hurt. So, of course, I stayed home even after making a skirt to wear as well. I want to get angry with him but I know I won’t. [Just as well… it wouldn’t do any good. But you have other options…] GOD IT HURTS. How could he “forget” me & if he didn’t , why didn’t he call? There’s no excuse. What’s he doing now? Who’s he with[For all your claims about trusting him…] God, I worry too much. NO! I’VE GOT THE  RIGHT to be worried & HURTA Life in Words

Sunday 13/9/87

I was still pissed-off (hurt) today, but it was wearing thin(-ner). I rang Fi around 11:00 – she said Jay’s BBQ wasn’t very good because Chris H rolled his car (8 or so people in it) at the bottom of Petersen St. Made Fi feel sick after that. [I can imagine: rolling bus, rolling car… too similar a feeling. I still react to excessive speed on right-hand curves to this day. A fast veer left doesn’t ignite a vague, deep-seated panic in me like the righthand turn.] I did nothing, really, all day (should’ve studied biology or done English assignment) Half-hoping Mark’d call or visit. But, alas (??), no. I thought how I’d be angry with him. So we got ready to go to the LeBerhz’s around 4:00 – leaving just after 5:00. Watched TV & video there – also talked alot about the crash, inquiry & showed my photos. Was quite good. At home, 9:30 I knew it – message for me to ring Mark (where?) […was he back at his parents’ house where there was a phone, now?] but mum said it was too late. [Our general rule was no phone calls after 7:30-8pm. It’s one I still follow today and, to be honest, I usually won’t answer my phone if someone calls after those times too. Night time is quiet time for me. (But I’m also not one for talking on the phone much anyway…)] So now I’m ready for bed: not yet too nervous about tomorrow. When will I call Mark? Where do I call him? I’ll see him tomorrow lunchtime : I will be nonchalant to him – but get angry if I need to (ha, ha as if I could.) Well I’ll try. [Entertaining Mind conversations…]

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

Monday 31/8/87

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

Tuesday 1/9/87

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

Wednesday 2/9/87

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

Thursday 3/9/87

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

Friday 4/9/87

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

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

Saturday 5/9/87

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

Sunday 6/9/87

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

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.

Rocky Relations, Ambulance Chasers & the Red Letter Day (20-26 July)

Monday 20/7/87

Why do I bother opening my mouth? It seems every word I utter is ridiculous, stupid & ends up hurting someone (Mark, of course) [With hindsight I can say this is ‘doubtful’] I woke this morning, after an O.K. sleep, to a practically pain-free throat, but it still felt wierd. [I consistently spell this word incorrectly. And I mean, all the time!] I stayed home; sleeping until about 11:30 (on & off) (I think I needed that) As the day progressed I felt better & better. After my  haircut (had trouble, still, talking to Annette; my voice is extremely nasally & feels “false) Beka rang, then Mark. And thats when it happened. I don’t really like some of the things he told me. They got me worried (but, strangely, I’m not, in a way) – he said he sometimes feels hatred for me [well that’s full on…] hatredGreat. No matter how angry or upset I am with him, I could never feel hatred. [Same goes for anyone or anything. Hatred is not in my vocab…] He said his feelings for me “might have” changed. What does that mean? [I think it’s pretty obvious] How could he not like me anymore?? [Remember when your parents split up?] I can’t accept this. It’s the same as last year – no matter how hard I try, I will not believe he doesn’t like me. [Denial] Not a good phone call at all, after all. He said we’d talk tomorrow. SHIT [and here we go again…] 9:20

Tuesday 21/7/87

I got to school late as possible today. But he came even later….near the end of double maths. And at the end of the lesson, you should’ve seen him up & out of that classroom, A Life in Wordsfast as a bullet It was quite obvious he didn’t wish to walk me to art. I spoke not a word during little lunch. In biol, near the end, I tried But finally he snapped, “I don’t feel like talking now – it’s got nothing to do with you.” Bullshit. That’s why he’s talking & mucking round with everyone else. It’s a bit obvious. Just a bit[Sarcasm …in case you hadn’t detected it] Jemima came to the Esplanade with me. I was quite upset to start with. I barely sorted anything out with her. [Meaning she couldn’t shed any light on the situation for you, make you feel any better? Not that that was her responsibility…] Back at school, I stuck with her & noticed (lo & behold) Nicole sitting right between him & Keith. Vengance? Perhaps? No, he’s not like that. I talked to Keith in art. He didn’t know a thing. Cameron said in chem. Glyn saw me crying. I denied it. Only more evidence that I’m a sook After school I went straight to the car. Waited all arvy for Keith to call. He said Mark didn’t/wouldn’t say anything when he’d asked him after school & when he rang [who? Keith or Mark?] he couldn’t talk for long- Mark not allowed on the phone. [That’s a tad confusing] God, it gets me right DOWN

Wednesday 22/7/87

Well, well, well. I got a little depressed. I talked to him a little; asking questions etc in biol. and I got ‘grunts’ for most answers. I cannot see how, if he has problems at home, he must ignore me. So we didn’t talk the rest of the day till tonite at dance practise. And even then, to start with, it was very forced – strictly “business” (not pleasure, understand?) Oh well .. we can waltz now! Our Pride of Erin is exceptional!! I was so confused -he wasn’t looking in my eyes- avoiding them, yet now & then he’d touch my hand, pat my face. After, I tried to talk, but it was pointless. He said we could tomorrow. He said his feelings for me have changed. [that’s twice now, Elissa] I asked how +ve or -ve & he said Both ways. Well, Jezus, if I’m not worried, and upset and depressed and .. CONFUSED. [No surprises there] He left said “Bye.” Seigi talking to me she said “Do you hate Nicole?” SKINT [“how embarrassing to be confronted”] “No,” I reckon “why?” “lotsa people think you do” “who” “my friends, Nicole even.” Well, I went on about “well I am a bit pissed off with her sucking up to Mark” etc. Got out of that O.K. A Life in Words[Sounds like I was being dishonest, but I actually wasn’t: I didn’t hate her (I can’t ‘hate’ anybody) …I was just highly insecure… and whenever she gained his attention (whether or not she sought it intentionally – and I had obviously decided it was…) I was just plain old jealous. And it’s quite common for the jealous (fearful) to react negatively to their stimuli!] Spent sports arvy at Fi’s shop again. My cold/flu whatever it is, is O.K. I’m congested (mucus) and there’s a cough “on the rise”. I’m tired. NERVOUS- tomorrow!! MARK, THIS HAS TO BE THE LAST (for a long time, anyway) […last what? Argument? Talk? Ultimatum? Decision? Scare? I think I deliberately left the ball in his court: if there was to be a break up, I was not going to be ‘the bad guy’…]

Thursday 23/7/87

My voice kind of disintegrated today ..after all that talking & “squealing” at last night’s dance practise. It was really funny (my attempts at laughing.. ha ha!) Wonder if it’ll be the same tomorrow? Well, Mark & I talked a little today. Not much at all, but more than ever so far, this week. At the end of big lunch, he even joked with me! (& Fiona etc….of course) So I was quite happy. But things are still… “tense” (shall we say?) I think. A Life in WordsWe need to have a talk, ’cause nothing’s been sorted out, really. He’s paying for our formal tickets ($20 ea) + after formal party tickets ($5) so I pay for the limosine ($30) That’s pretty fair good! Went to the solicitor this arvy→ my summons [for the bus crash inquest] will be awhile, coming, yet.(cause my medical report is extensive) Everyone else, nearly, seems to have theirs now. Steve S [solicitor] reckons (told mum after I’d left the office) that I could claim $100 000!! [this is with regard to third party compensation from the bus accident] (He said he’d be very surprised if I got less than $40 000!! WOW!!!!) I’m not supposed to tell anyone. [I’m going to be a negative spoiler right now and reveal that that was WAY off the mark …and I now believe it was simply a carrot dangled in front of my mother, to secure her (our) representation ….by a law firm with a reputation for being ‘ambulance-chasers’…] Jesus, I hope Mark & I can sort things out soon very soon. I had my last dress fitting today. picking it up tomorrow. It’s beautiful. 10:45 Late nite must get more sleep

Friday 24/7/87

It got to me today; Mark’s mood. I really can’t understand what’s wrong & he won’t talk to me; I’d hoped we could do something tonight so I could talk to him, but his whole weekend, it seems, is conveniently set up already. A Life in WordsIt hurts so much. I really felt like balling my eyes out this afternoon. I’m SURE something’s up; he’s bored with me – falling “out of love”. [He has twice said this week that his feelings have changed. That’s pretty clear… But I know you were waiting to hear the exact words from him …your tenacity translating to stubbornness…] Am worried about something he’d said at lunchtime to Cameron (a joke or not?) about some “surprise”  after or at the formal – something I won’t like. I rang Cameron tonight. He said all Mark’s said to him is he’s pissed off with my whingeing [….about? Wanting to talk and obtain a resolution?] FAIR ENOUGH. I haven’t exactly been very tactful. SO GIVE ME A SECOND CHANCE, WILL YOU? [A second chance at what? I’m confused with my own train of thought here…] God, I love you SO MUCH. I don’t think you really know how much – & you aren’t “free” to let me tell you. [Telling someone how much you love them won’t make them love you more. Ever heard of ‘unrequited love’?] I went to town with mum & jules after school – get stockings & my dress!!! Saw Fi; she said Keith & Mark are in town tonight. That’s nice. [Not Happy Jan!] I’m going to town with Cameron tomorrow – helping him look for things for the formal (something for me to do – Mark won’t call me or anything) I’ll want to call Keith tomorrow sometime- talk to him. [Trying to get blood from a stone?] A Life in WordsGot my report card today: got 46% chem- unbelievable!! [unbelievably good or bad?] Also got my summons!! !! ALL WE EVER TALK ABOUT NOW IS ANYTHING TO DO WITH THE FORMAL That’s all.

Saturday 25/7/87

Town with Cameron was O.K. Mark & Keith were in there too (Cameron saw them before meeting me) We never ran into them. We did see Glyn & Sue B tho’. Walked alot. Having lunch, we had a short but serious talk about love, mainly. He thinks Moni would’ve been perfect for him. Too late, Cameron. [Monique had been interested him towards the end of Year 11 but he didn’t reciprocate her feelings (see Thursday’s entry in this post for the revelation) I wonder if his change of heart was authentic or simply borne of Regret, following her death?]  Told me also that Mark was sick of my whingeing. So that’s it. Well, I missed the bus so rang Mum (Sharon got a lift to the hockey fields) [Random! Where did Sharon fit into the picture?] Keith called at home. Invited me over for the night (his parents were away) Tried to get Fi too, but wasn’t home. I got there around 2:00 & got onto Fi soon after- she had to babysit. We went into the boardroom & played Triv. Pursuit. Then polka. [I think that’s meant to be Poker] Stupid “singing dare” game. I refused to take part in…got upset → the guys eventually gave up (I thought they never would.) After dinner, walked to Drive In Bottle shop → 1 bottle rum. Not enough Coke at home → the mixture was ∴ [symbol for ‘therefore’] very potent. The video was sick, so in the boardroom we played a “Truth” game. Soon we just talked, without the game part (honestly talking honestly) Found out some interesting things – Mark said he could marry Angie M, Fiona & me; Keith

Sunday 26/7/87

→ said Angie M. me & Tricia. Heaps of other things. I kept drinking → thought the alcohol effect would wear off too quickly. [Uh oh…] I really overdid it this time (the 1st time) I remember crying (the conversation was about Monique) – Keith left the room – Mark took me & put me in the shower 5 mins after – I spewed YUKKY. Out of there, I (dunno what I did) then into the toilet YUKKY! Cleaned my teeth .. Mark & I talked (I bombed out → Mark & Keith said-they did heaps in that time)before) after: lotsa things. [?!?] Um. We got to sleep around 2:00 – woke 5:30. A Life in WordsRED LETTER: no more the virgin mary. (not completely – no climax cos’ no contraception) up at 8:30- I went & watched baseball (they lost) Home→ dropped off stuff. Short time at Keith’s before Mark & I went to dance practise – for about ½hr. Drove me home & I did NOTHING. Should’ve slept- am so tired now – need it like anything. Eyes are dead. Well, I’m sure I won’t get that drunk ever again (not vomitting, anyway.) [Hahahahaha ….hahahahaha…. so, SO hilarious! I do not need to convince anyone that I was just a TAD deluded there…] overcast weather cool day. Haven’t even started Smithfield formal dress. [Spending well over $200 on my Cairns High formal outfit meant the other formal dress had to be a home-made job. Just as well my mum was pretty good on the machine …even though she didn’t think so, herself.] NO HW done this weekend. SHIT