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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday 1/1/88

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

Saturday 2/1/88

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

Sunday 3/1/88

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

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

Monday 21/12/87

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

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

Tuesday 22/12/87

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

Wednesday 23/12/87

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

Thursday 24/12/87

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

Friday 25/12/87 XMAS DAY

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

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

Saturday 26/12/87

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

Sunday 27/12/87

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

 

Pedi-Cabs, Parties & Regurgitated Vodka Orange (14-20 December)

Monday 14/12/87

Woke rather early- wished I could’ve gotten more sleep (but what’s new?) Hanging out for the postman .. but he’s getting later & later now cause of xmas mail ‘rush’. Plus our. phone wasn’t working (all day, it turned out.→ lines were cut) so I couldn’t ring Fiona, so I bludged all day till she came to visit .. to talk about dinner. She left & I kept reading magazines ..then she came back again & jules & I went with her to get videos (etc) then home again. Watched TV till Chris & Cameron visited. I went for a drive; so did they! And Sharon was there when we returned. She told me all about herself (as usual) [um Liss, I don’t think you can point fingers…] Then I had to hurry to get ready. Jay & Anna & Jenny picked me up. At the LIN NAM restaurant, we waited ages … but when everyone who was coming, was there (Fi, Brent Jay, me, Sue, Anna, Jenny & mima) we ate yummy chinese foodA Life in Words – then ice cream balls (fried) for dessert. [Gawd I love those things! Mum actually made them a few times at home. Mmmm, nom-nom-nom!] At Fi’s again . . watched FROG DREAMING and then THIEF OF HEARTS. I was dead after that.

Tuesday 15/12/87

Had a rather (short) restless sleep. Mima had to leave earlier .. Fi dropped me home before going grocery shopping.. then picked me up after. (no letter from him again) we went to mima’s & watched TV mostly all day… taping music for their trip. Went to Smithfield at one stage & had a ½hr wait (browsing in shops) for them to fix the heels on Mrs B’s shoes. TV (& a pig-out) again, then talk (about old times) and finally to indoor soccer. Freak rainstorm during it – came & went instantly! Got home before 7:00 – watched TV all night – Now’s about 9:45. Need good sleep tonite_hopefully going out tomorrow night (haven’t been out for yonks!) – (over a week!) [My my, a whole week? That’s shocking. You’re hard pressed to get me to leave the house these days. In fact, I hate getting to bed later than 10pm] thinking about Mark today & my feelings were different – I didn’t feel so sick or angry I had a strange feeling of nonchalance – like no matter he was there: he loves me. Wierd!! [Yes, weird: badly worded. I think basic gist is that I was finally ‘leting go’ of an issue that had been plaguing me…] I can’t wait to have that talk with him – it’s imperative!! NITE!!

Wednesday 16/12/87

A Life in Words
Pedi-cabs were everywhere in Cairns in the late 80’s but oddly enough, despite the tropical heat, you’d rarely see them with the hoods up, like this.

Woke rather early again .. remember waiting for Fiona (& the bloody mailman!) did art – the crash scrapbook (only a little) she came, and went, Adam rode down here, she came again with Nyrie & we all went [to see our friend and her family off on their European holiday]. There were so many people .. and it was so emotional! (You’d think they were leaving for life) then we went into town. Saw Tania & she gave us a pedi-cab ride to Dad’s [Ah, ye olde pedi-cabs. They were THE thing at that time.] (where I got a loan of $10 & a big nag lecture about my career.) [Yep. Dad was certainly the disciplinarian. No one could ever accuse him of failing to instill in us work ethic and the value of a dollar…] Fiona got lots of her shopping done (me, included) and we got home around 4:30-5:00. Fi rang & said she wasn’t going out; ditto Jo. So I couldn’t get onto Jude so – Sharon ..she came late & in town we had trouble: NPBS [Northern Permanent Building Society – I’m fairly sure I had a bank account with them too…] ate her cashcard and at ANZ she had only $2. Went around esplanade. ..finally loaned $20. [To think you only needed $20 for a night out on the town… that is surely unheard of now?] Got in up there [the House on the Hill] no sweat. But there was barely anyone there. Juliet Jude, Anna, Danae Juliet & Sharon made up. [Made up? Erm, obviously there’d been some issue/s between these girls previously… that I can’t recall…] Nigel was back – he won Bruce SpringsteenA Life in Words

Thursday 17/12/87

→album & gave it to me [damn, I’d always believed I’d won it myself …in one of those poncy dancing comps the club DJs sometimes randomly held] – so there’s something for Julia (Xmas prezzy) [ah yes, ever the pragmatist: with very limited funds for christmas shopping, I had to be resourceful. Mind you, if I’d really wanted the album I wouldn’t’ve re-gifted it, I’m sure…] I was smoking too got rather drunk – people buying drinks for me. Later I drank so much I had one whole cigarette & was spinning badly then I vomitted (inside – yes! EMBARRASSING But I think no one saw me x-ept who I was with – Anna & a guy she knew) [Oh yes, I remember this quite clearly – considering how intoxicated I obviously was. I’d been drinking vodka & orange, and was standing a a ‘dry bar’ (a table you stand at) with Anna & her friend when the urge came over me and I basically ‘re-filled’ the glass from which I’d been drinking. Needless to say, we all promptly vacated the table (the other two obviously faster than I) and full glass, and later contemplated the likelihood of some grubby cheapskate happening upon said receptacle, only to receive a nasty surprise…] FUCK! Then I took it easy [too little too late?] – sobered up. . danced with new St M. [St Monica’s] Friends & ‘David‘ & Richard (O’S) left around 4:30- Anna paid taxi- Jay didn’t come back to pick us up. Anna was so mad. Anyway bombed it & woke around 9:45 Got up_feeling DEAD & rang Jo. But I rang her back to say I felt too sick to go. I honestly felt real bad. A Life in Words[Finally a hangover worth mentioning…] Slept all day, nearly .. till 1:45 & watched TV for the rest. Boring!! I really badly want to go op-shopping (Xmas shopping – get it out o’ the way). I feel so mixed up about Mark too. I want him to love me real lots – with a strong passion [it is what it is, Elissa] .. but I can’t help feeling he likes (I can’t say it Loves) Nicole. It makes me sick to think he could & probably does. [Ego’s reaction] Oh what’m I to do?? [Well, nothing right now, obviously; the guy is thousands of kilometres away from you. What you need to do is quieten the incessant, mostly ridiculous, stories your Mind is pushing at you so that you can allow your gut instinct to surface…]

Friday 18/12/87

I spent the day at home (mostly). see I’d wanted to go op-shopping or Xmas shopping in town, but also go to the beach, however Fiona said she was working when I rang her. So I spent the day (well, for starters, I’d ‘slept’ a lot of it ‘in’) doing scrapbook, but mostly watching TV. Sharon rang & about 3:30 mum dropped me in town (talked to Giles) she bought stuff & we walked round saw Gordon for a while, then we met mum & julia. Missed the pedi-cab ‘grand prix [I have no idea what this was for, or in conjunction with, nor why my Dad was involved…] (saw the end tho’. Yeah dad won ..big thing about it .. no time to talk to us & By the way, he wouldn’t let me have the weekend for 2 at the Hilton. [Why should he give his prize to you Liss?] A Life in WordsI bought, only his prezzy – $6.25 3 glass storage jars. home by 9:30 ..Sharon & I got a taxi around 10:30-11:00. There were more people than Wed, (more young ‘uns) but not enough to open upstairs, Mark R. was there & I tried to keep looking at him. [Why?] We did basically nothing but talking mucking round with Dean, till Jeffry M & ‘Heiffer’ asked us to dance

Saturday 19/12/87

→(I don’t remember his real name) Jeffry was dancing with Sharon. “OK…” I thought, but when we sat down, they Sharon & Heiffer seemed to disappear & we talked & eventually got together. He left 2:30, kept saying about the party ..if I wasn’t going to ring him; If I was I could ring him anyway [privacy omission – I had inserted his phone number here and was stoked I actually memorised it→] I remembered WOW! Of all people – I got Jeffry M!!! (& [privacy omission] didn’t even!) So we danced & Megan C said she’d take us home ..she left at 5:00. Great.. I’m too old to stay out that early late anymore! [Oh that, that is hilarious…] So I got sleep (mum was awake!!) till Jo rang 9:20 & I had to answer it. Wasted morning: Fi came over & we went to Smithfield, then beaches, but too windy, so after a slip’n’slide in Sharon’s backyard, we sunbaked there. A Life in WordsGot home around 4:00 -slept till 6:00 or so. Sharon & I got there around 8:30. Jeoffry [I clearly struggle with deciding how to spell some peoples’ names…] was there .. so were millions of other people: it was a massive party! Jimmy was there God he’s gorgeous. Apparently he broke up with his girlfriend .. sharon told me he wanted to talk to me! (Well, the party: was good. Not a RAGE! just good. Mark R was there Jeffry talked to me … and later, in the house tried to .. well, he did want a relationship ..[privacy omission] said so→

Sunday 20/12/87

→so then I decided to say it : and I felt so bad .. I still do, but it’s the truth. I don’t want to screw anyone up. [That’s me: too nice, too honest …too gullible?] SO he won’t talk to me ever again, probly hate me (& his friends will too) But I don’t care: Jim!!) [WTF?!] so. There were lots of fights, the party ended round 2:00 I think .. I found out staying over wasn’t a simple matter of anywhere you want, so I walked with [privacy omission] & CB to Hoare St, we caught a cab to [privacy omission]‘s ..ate what we could find, and fell asleep in front of RAGE (TV) woke early .. CB & I talked .. went & got clothes from Lisa’s place up the road .. then Tasha S came down & [privacy omission], Tash & I went to the shop for brekky stuffs. Mum picked me up round 11:00 & I slept till about 2:00 at home. Mulleys place I bitched about Nicole, to Moo- we watched RUTHLESS PEOPLE on video, then went to LeB’s (gorgeous) new house. At home -rang Fi .. I would’ve walked with her [to (yet another) party] but she was going to be too late so I went by 8:10. A Life in WordsDrank Fosters all nite. [Ew, really?! The Aussie beer with the highest international profile that isn’t actually consumed (and is actually detested) by a vast majority of Australians… Well, it was popular back in the 80s’…] I got so drunk. I mean it was BAD – the whole night I regret completely. See, I got very drunk .. finding it hard to walk, even (usually I have no trouble with mobility when I’m drunk – look sober) [well, so you think…] so I was→ [uh-oh…. in true soap opera style, you’re going to have to wait til next week to find out how this exciting tale unfolds…]

My Learner’s License, Senior Certificate & Mum’s Broken Toe (30 November-6 December)

Monday 30/11/87

I woke to a few phonecalls, ignored them and kept sleeping. Around 11:00 – jemima saw me open my eyes.. I felt terrible…they’d all been up for ages. [This is pretty much ‘unheard of’ for me.. I was usually unable to sleep in – and was often the first one awake – at sleepovers…] and Fi was there (had been for an hour!) so we went (via my place to get money & change of clothes & take my pill) & got 2 videos & lotsa food [that is, junk… stuff I wouldn’t class as ‘food’ these days]. A Life in WordsFinally at mima’s, we watched LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS (newer one) […I’m assuming by “newer one” I meant the 1986 production as opposed to the original 1960’s version] – Funny!! Then Playing Beattie Bow through which Joannah arrived (Peter & Edward M already there) After that (not-so-good) video – talked about the party … Fi dropped me home Mum wasn’t extremely happy. She’s getting really ‘uppity’ about the amount of time I spend at home (“very little”) but I’m YOUNG and I’ve just finished SCHOOL! I need to get out and make friends & have fun!! [Ha! Dad would abruptly counter this attitude with “No, you need to get a job and start paying your way” (justified!) but mum wasn’t quite as direct as he, and I’m certain that for her it was more personal: apart from possibly feeling like she was being taken for granted (in her care-giver role) she would also have been simply missing me. I’ve always been more social than my mother & sister (this I inherit from my dad) so our motivation and understanding of each other in this respect was ‘misaligned’. Even in my later years, when I’d moved to the Gold Coast, she (& my sister) whinged about the amount of time I didn’t spend ‘at home’ when I came to visit them, but I understand that it’s fundamentally derivative of their love for me. I can certainly see however the selfishness and immaturity in my teenaged attitude now…] Anyway I nearly went to sleep around 6:00, but got up & had a shower – I knew I had to ring Crabbie. Jo & mima weren’t home. Couldn’t tell [him] much. Got Jo & mima later – they’ve no definite plans yet either so all plan-making will be done 2morrow (last minute – as usual) I [← I have no idea what this marking actually was – whether it was a capital ‘I’ or the number ‘1’ – nor, of course, why it was there: had I meant to begin another sentence or was I simply going to record the time?]

Tuesday 1/12/87

Disappointment! The party was cancelled and I only found out as I was ready to leave. Today I stayed home – sunbaked (& got a bit burnt) in the morning, as well as writing to mark (but what’s the point?)A Life in Words [The point most likely being no address to send it to? I’m not sure why else I’d consider it pointless…] and spent the afternoon unpicking [the stitching of] an old dress of mums. (I have heaps of old clothes & material to make clothes – no time & patience, though) [surprise, surprise] Jo rang a number of times during the day (Wayne did [only once] too, to say he wasn’t coming) so I started to get ready around 5:15 (and of course couldn’t find anything I wanted to wear) so finally ready at 6:50.. rang Fi to tell her I’m coming & sorry I’m late, but she still wasn’t home, so I rang mima “Oh, sorry, didn’t anyone tell you it’s been cancelled?” I must’ve shown my disappointment more than I thought cos when Fi rang, she noticed. So I stayed home – watched TV, during big thunder-/rain storms. Now is about 9:30. Early nite for once???!

Wednesday 2/12/87

10:34 – yet another night at home. But a busy day! This morning I woke around 8:00 (woke a fair bit last nite – felt still very tired & weak this morning) and Jemima rang around 9:30. We finally left for town around 11:00 (Deanne rang me beforehand, too!) I tried to ring Jo, but phone was engaged. So, met Seigi & Colleen & Danaë and Jude in town . . told us the party (ended up at Mulgrave Rd) was excellent (Great) [←Can you feel the disappointment oozing from this solitary sarcastic comment?] so I got a pair of $47 black on white (stripes) bikinis (finally!) then we all went to the beach – not many people at all! Dropped Jude & Danaë off (fi dropped off Colleen) then went around town trying to find the (indoor) soccer team etc… watched indoor soccer (Fi told me a deep secret and I feel priveleged – finally find out something about her (her love for…..)) [I have no absolutely NO recollection of the identity represented by these dots now] at home 7:30 (BIG STORMS tonite!) (No letter from Mark yet) So, a nite at home yet again. A Life in WordsMum told me at 9:30 that Jo rang so I couldn’t ring her back.. […because one of our house rules was no phone calls after 8pm …a guideline I still follow now. In fact, these days I rarely make, and sometimes choose not to answer, phone calls at all after dusk!]  GREAT!!!

Thursday 3/12/87

Well, less than a month left of this horrible revolting worst-year-of-my-life year. [This is so interesting, because unbeknownst to me, the coming year (1988) was to prove quite difficult for me as well (nothing as traumatic as the bus accident though of course) and for many, many years to follow, I despised it more than 1987. In fact, pretty much up until I began this blog, I actually considered 1987 (coupled with ’86) the best year(s) of my life. Much of this I think related to my burgeoning social and love lives, as well as the freedom of responsibility of childhood/school-life entwined with the imminent privileges of adulthood. Thankfully this very blogging process has released me from that limiting belief: whilst I’m re-living my past in detail, I’m also an observer and this has perfectly unlocked whatever deep, powerful connection I had to these times in my life (for which I am still grateful nonetheless, for the lessons they have individually and collectively presented to me). It’s truly liberating.] Thank God! But what’ll I do now? For the rest of my life? It’s a worry. [See my line of thought? Responsibility = Worry. Much of the time these are directly proportional to one another…] I spent the (nearly the) whole day at home …sewing!! (I’m making things out of mum’s old clothes – chop, chop!) Wrote a bit more to Mark, and in the mail, got a note to pick up a parcel at Freshwater P.O. .. it was my (very battered and carelessly handled) [art] folio So, I didn’t get an interview, nor a note ..so Kelvin Grove .. UP YOURS!! A Life in WordsI’ll just have to do something totally different to Uni career [one rejection and “it’s all over”…] – other apprenticeships like hairdressing, nursing & journalist cadetship on a magazine, till Jo, Jude & I open our boutique. [The flights of fancy we kiddies have/had! I’m fairly sure nursing required formal study even back then, and as for the magazine cadetship… ha! I think that Hollywood & the media in general might have ‘duped’ me there. As for the boutique with my friends… well, I’d forgotten all about that and in fact, didn’t realise I was still considering a fashion career at this stage…] Anyway Fi came down & took me and I GOT MY LEARNERS (FINALLY!) and my hair show ticket. [Another hair show? There was one just last week…] Home again, but she took me late nite shopping. No cuties [read: no ‘talent’ to perve on] was fun with CB, Glyn, Anna, Colleen LAUGH! Saw John C – not so stunningly gorgeous as he used to be – but I still wouldn’t mind him falling for me (laugh in a million) [self deprecating humour] Went to KFC after (Jeff, Cam, Glyn, CB, Anna, Fi Col & me) [Jesus, again? You might as well have lived there…]

Friday 4/12/87

Today, I stayed home (yet again!) Wasn’t too occupied: I mean, in the morning I went to school briefly to pick up my report (senior certificate) I got VH for eng! WOW! Sounds for maths & chem and highs for biol & arts.. [To this day, it amazes me that English was my best subject, considering the very reason I moved to Cairns High in the first place was for the CAD Art ‘School of Excellence’ course. I remember feeling disappointed (and even embarrassed) with myself for not attaining the same (top) achievement level in my art subjects. But Liss, it’s not like you put a great deal of time & effort into your schoolwork in order to realise those preferred results, yes? There’s no room for your perfectionism now; too little, too late!] Ms Forbes said I’ll get in 800’s, could even possibly get 880!!! wow, cool! [Cool, but not cool enough for the institutions and courses that were my first preferences…] Rang Kelvin Grove while I was there – about my interview – they said “no offer”. (REJECTION! Great) So at home, I made a skirt out of one of mum’s old daggy skirts.. and I wore it out tonight .. with Fi’s white shirt .. got asked for I.D. showed my ‘melted’ false I.D. and was allowed! [That scenario these days? Not. A. Chance!] (But privacy omission], Colleen Anna & Fi got in no q’s) Anyway, overall was a pretty cool nite! Slow to start with.. but Geoffry M, Jim C and a few others provided drool materialA Life in Words . . got fairly drunk (won bottle of bubbly with Marney & Joyce & Colleen & [privacy omission]) Saw lotsa older people – Rodney B etc (all college, uni people: Tanya!) Left around 2:00 or so . .. I got home 2:30 to sleep. Jo rang tonite. She told me she talked to [privacy omission]: she’s screwed Steven & Mark . that’s all. But she said Mark saw a bit of [her] before he left. -ie. sunday nite. She said they just talked, I don’t know if so… but I’m angry cos he lied to me…. (WHAT’S NEW??)→ can only be expected of him – he’ll never change

Saturday 5/12/87

WORKED! Dad let me drive to the Red Beret and I did quite well! Nearly knocked over a bicyclist and missed the gates to the Red Beret and almost took out a tree. Apart from that, I was good! […well, at least I’m remaining positive…] Did barely any work at work: talked to Jenny mostly about Julia & mainly my career …she’s pushing me to be a nurse. [Dad on the other hand wanted me to join the Armed Forces: it would have been the ideal situation; discipline, commitment and (the big bonus for him) paid education.] But I still got $10 for the day…and a big healthy yummy lunch. Rush to get ready – were heaps of people. I felt ‘out of it’ to start with – wearing not black & white, but khaki & white. [So it was evidently a Black & White themed hair show…] Anyway, my view position was good, but bad at the same time – I was seated, behind Jim C but much some of my vision obscured. It was pretty good: altogether, as a show, unco-ordinated but some individual salon productions were excellent (All amateurish) after, tried to find the party- traipsed all over town looking. Playpen Hill & party & nest. I was so pissed off with [privacy omission]. Stewart was there outside Nest one stage & [she] was being slimy and she knew I was there (she thought I was in a bad mood with her, so I’m sure she did it on purpose. [No Liss, you can’t ever be sure…] Even if not, she knows the way I feel about him) Eventually (saw Phil C. Jim C. at show) Sue, Fi & I grabbed food from a 24hr→

Sunday 6/12/87

→shop & (I rang mum) we stayed at Fi’s. A Life in WordsI got a bit emotional (worried) about Mark, but we got to sleep around 3:00 I’d say. ..Woken around 9:00-9:30 by Banks’s cat (all over us) After brekky etc, went (picked up my gear) to Palm Cove; about 11:30. Got there & engine was overheating (radiator we filled last nite at Alison’s) It was empty again. Idsteins helped us out – we went to Bitter Creek [ummm, I have NO memory of knowledge of this place in the Cairns region, at all. Can anyone fill me in?] & they fixed pipe connection (radiator thermostat corroder) […er, whatever that is…] for us. At beach (after lunch (saw tanya!)) baked (and now I’m mostly brown – bit red) saw Jo & on our way home noticed overheating again. Back to Bitter Creek. they said a whole lot of things were going wrong.. water in oil feul filter melted (hole) but mainly water reservoir not full enough. We attempted getting back to Cairns – having to stop every 100m or so to let it cool down (useless) about Kewarra, a guy helped us ..said H2O reservoir needed to be EMPTY so radiator H2O vapour could go there.. [he] was right – perfect all the way to D’s newsagency. car overheatingLeft the car there – Sue went with her parents home. Fi & I drove round – got a pizza (for tea) & had a talk… got home 6:40 .. watched TV listened to Take 40 is now 11:30 & I’m buggared. *Mum has suspected broken (little) toe: cos I rang 2:00 in the morning to tell her where I was; she kicked it hard. MY FAULT. [This exact incident occurred years later as well. Mum had established a Trust system with me when my social life began to ‘intensify’ (read: basically when I began attending nightclubs) that allowed me a generous amount of freedom in exchange for honesty and ‘accountability’. In other words, she just wanted to know my plans, my whereabouts and if they changed to inform her as soon as possible “no matter what time of the night …or day”. So, whilst I felt terrible both times she ‘ran’ for the phone in the middle of the night kicking and breaking toes on the way, I consoled myself in the knowledge that I was doing as she asked, that I had done ‘the Right Thing’…]

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…]

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…]

The Scene of the Crime, A Family Gathering & An Innocent Sleepover (13-19 April)

Monday 13/4/87

Almost missed the bus – my pants were wet [I’m thinkin’ perspiration…] & I forgot camp photos ‘n’ everything, but I did just get the bus! Boring day – walked round a lot (Lucy’s put on lotsa weight & smokes now) I tried on some formal dresses- some so gorgeous (my favourite a silver dress $499) [which was definitely mega-expensive for that era, and totally out of my reach] We went to the movies “TOP GUN” yet again. After, I finally bought some shoes – gorgeous white flats with a cut-out heel A Life in Words[and here I’d included an illustration for better clarity…see right] & punched holes [like the patterns in leather ‘brogues’ (see pic below) …which by the way were just coming into fashion in a big way.] only $30 from Sportsgirl (believe it or not!! Gorgeous! A Life in WordsLucy came to our place till her dad picked her up. Got the TV & video rental Gonna watch “About Last Night” tomorrow. Missing Mark terribly already. Wonder when he’ll ring? oooh! 10:30 I’m tired Ate so much chocolate tonight. I feel fat!! [Uh huh, you feel fat …but you are totally oblivious to the more serious damage that rubbish is doing to you inside…at the cellular level…] Another mouse this morning – sick – caught it & ‘fore throwing it down the back, Mike bashed it, to make sure it was dead. [Boys love that shit, huh? I know plenty of ‘fellas’ who’ve taken to toads like they were golf balls over the years. Not to generalise of course: I’m sure some girls may have had a turn or two as well…] Ooh! No more mices! I hope!

Tuesday 14/4/87

A Life in Words
A (marginally) better view of my scar, than in the full picture (below)

We went to the site today (after mum worked in the morning & I finished all the choc. out of my ‘show bags’) we drove to the site. I cried a bit to start with but went down & collected as many souvineers as possible. [Really, all that I gathered up was junk and ended up being binned at a later stage. I think the act of ‘collecting souvenirs’ was itself symbolic or a method of ‘processing’; an excuse to physically return (down in)to the very place where so much trauma had hid me all at once on that fateful day.] I couldn’t believe how different it was, to my thoughts[Memory. In other words, it wasn’t as I remembered it…] Then, stopped at Edmonton to see the bus- yeuch. It’s a bloody mess. [I have included photos of it at the end of this post.] Stopping at K-Mart, then once home, around 5:30 Mark rang – was cut off first & after 2nd time, didn’t ring back – but it was good to talk to him. Video tonight “Best Defense” was stupid. Is 9:40. Only just found out, on the answering machine, that Fi rang, so I’ll have to ring her tomorrow. Damn it! Rainy-Overcast weather set the scene perfectly at the site .. it was so much steeper than I thought .. & the bend less sharp, but also shorter than I imagined. Otherwise I recognised it all. Can’t wait till Mark gets back. Oh I’m tired. Boring day (strange, untalkative mood after the bus site revisit?) [Sounds like a rhetorical question to me: I’m fairly sure I knew deep down that visiting the site would bring ‘stuff’ up… even if I wasn’t exactly able to define what…]

A Life in Words
At the top of the drop (you can’t even see the bottom of the gully) my crouching pose deliberately emphasises the scar that was born in this place. Interestingly enough, this verge on the side of the road seems not to exist anymore: when I returned in 2012, the drop from the guardrail at the edge of the road is almost immediate. The road must have been widened since the accident….?

Wednesday 15/4/87

Boring, boring, boring. I rang Fi _ _ she said she’d rung to talk cos she hadn’t talked to me “for ages” ..said Jemima wanted everyone to go bowling tonite – GREAT! I thought. so I went to town & Earlville with cousins etc. At home, did very little ..sunbaked (lemon juice in hair) & started my camp/crash scrapbook. Then after ringing Fi (not home) & mima, found out they went to Green Island so I decided I wouldn’t go bowling [a reaction purely based on hurt, the thought processes behind being “all or nothing”: if I’m not invited to everything, I won’t attend anything… I won’t be missed…] ..went late nite at Kmart instead. Laughed a lot! Watched “North & South” at home. Saw Linda P & Steven- actually talked rather comfortably with him for a few minutes (shit this pen’s stuffed) [the biro I was using that night wasn’t working so well] cloudy & sunny day – Marks coming home tomorrow I CAN’T WAIT!! Want to see him so badly. Shit, so many late nights since Jo & Mike came (I can’t stand the mess & laziness they show.) Mark..!!! LOVE YOU!!

Thursday 16/4/87

Mark rang tonight – 10 minutes after he got home! (I thought that was so sweet – straight away, practically) we didn’t decide what to do tomorrow so I’ll ring him around 9:00 Woken by the phone ([our] mums were at the dump) I answered & it was for Julia. SHIT OFF TO THE MAX! [Ha! “..to the max(imum)” was a great adverbial phrase.] Watched TOP SECRET, while doing my camp scrapbook ..sat in the sun browning myself & then to to work on my scrapbook again (altogether I didn’t do much at all on it today!) A Life in WordsWent to get the video on dusk… and it was soon after our getting back that Mark rang about 7:20 I think. (Watched TV & now the new chosen video – MONEY PIT) I hope we do decide on something to do- I badly want to see him again. Mrs B visited today – and Mr. G. also dropped in – I thought he’d rev me about my assignments; luckily no! warm day Brent finally brought the typewriter back!!

Friday 17/4/87

Well, I rang ‘im about 9:30 – & as I thought, he was still asleep… so I felt really terrible- talked abit & finally decided I go to his place (& take my photo albums too!) at 11:00. Well, we mucked around (& tickled- ouch!) Looked at photo albums- I went into his room (umah) – almost slammed the door on my fingers. Was good, but the time went so quickly ..only 2 little kisses, But some affectionate moments, when we just looked at each other. Ate cheese sandwich for lunch..mum came & was talking for awhile to Mr. & Mrs W (told me later we may be going to Josephine Falls with them on Sunday for a BBQ) HOPE SO!! So I told Mark to ring me, when he wasn’t tired. I love him I know I do… I feel it all through me ..this wonderfully happy, relaxed feeling when I’m with him (ESPECIALLY when we’re alone & at night!) [Um, yeah Liss, that’s a different four-letter ‘L’ word…] Did nothing at home. boring. Watched EUROPEAN VACATION tonight … bore! [I’ve never been fussed on the National Lampoon series. Give me Monty Python any day…] Is now 9:15.. early really! (compared to other nights I’ve had) god I hope he rings me soon .. am dying to see him again soon.

A Life in Words
The last photo I have of my Nana was taken on this day. She was wheelchair-bound by this stage due to her rheumatoid arthritis. See her gnarled right hand? …and by the way, the cigarettes in her handbag? She smoked right up until she was unable to hold anything in her fingers…

Saturday 18/4/87

mmph! woke only after 7:00 (got up around 7:45) this morning – not fair – I can’t sleep in. Did nothing, basically.. watched Between the Teeth [a quite short-lived music programme on the ABC] & that was about it. (all that I did) Michael & I went with mum around 11:00 to get chicken, change the video & get Nana (saw Paul W on the way) When Auntie Thel, Uncle Ross, Michael (mum’s cousin) & cynthia (his wife) & child came, we were watching BACK TO THE FUTURE. Sharon rang me .. we talked for yonks (she did). Auntie Thel helped me make a big (solve a big problem) decision…my CAREER ..She said Libby (daughter) was booming in her interior dec. business & could (does) need help.. so all of a sudden, I’m interested..think of the prospects!! It’s an excellent idea! [That, like the few others I ever had, left my consciousness after that day. What do they say…”all talk no action”?] Anyway, Mark rang after Sharon..talked for ages (mum & Mrs W decided on tomorrow’s trip to Josephine Falls) & after (visitors left) I got ready to go to his place . . . it wasn’t quite as “touching” this time ..we did kiss now & then (not that I didn’t like that – I loved it! But, ah, somehow it was less “touching”… we watched TV, ate dinner late, during the sick movie.. mucked around mainly.. tickling not much talking ↵

Sunday 19/4/87

But, anyway when I rang a taxi at 11:15, no answer… Mr & Mrs W came home after their dinner & suggested I stay.. I thought so..Mark didn’t want me to..wonder why? But anyway, I rang mum & it was O.K. I was in Sandra’s room, with FM4CCR on her clock radio (Mark set it up for me!!) I went to sleep around 12:30, I guess woke around 7:00, but snoozed till 8:15 – Mrs W got me up (I heard Mark play “Candy” – he played it to me last night) this morning) Had brekky & finally around 9:30 mum & the gang came. I went with the W’s.. Mr & Mrs & Mark and Keith too..trip up there & swam ice-cold water (not many people looked at my leg – I wasn’t really embarrassed at all!) After lunch (BBQ) left (I went with them again) stopped in for a look at the Bus at Edmonton. Left Mark’s ..went to Nana ..BORING!! Got a video SHORT CIRCUIT after that & watch it this arvy .. then dad came (I got $15 believe it or not) ..then we watched the movie again. Mark was working 3pm to 9pm tonight, so unless he rings me soon, or tomorrow, I’ll speak to him again Monday night before school. J&M and Julia & A.H. are going to G. Island 2morrow – I’m staying home to do the work I should’ve done over the hol’s. Saw Lyn. C. at the BIG TOMATO today (working there) Ugh! Am tired… have had an unreal weekend!!

A Life in Words
The bus wreckage was housed at Edmonton Police Station for quite some time. Here, I’m pointing out to my sister & cousin approximately where I had been sitting. The window struts caved in as we rolled so the roof sheared off the vehicle as it came to rest.

 

A Life in Words
All of the deceased had been sitting on the left-hand side of the bus & mostly toward this rear corner.
A Life in Words
the front of the bus
A Life in Words
The rear righthand side just behind where I had been sitting. This is the luggage compartment: the extra weight in the rear most likely decreased our chance of staying on the road…