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

Monday 4/1/88

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

Tuesday 5/1/88

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

Wednesday 6/1/88

A Life in Words
my best friend, behind glass…

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

Thursday 7/1/88

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

Friday 8/1/88

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

Saturday 9/1/88

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

Sunday 10/1/88

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

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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…]

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’…]

Kicking the Wall, Drunk at the Dance & Moonlighting (26 October-1 November)

Monday 26/10/87

Well, that was one hard exam (3 actually: 15 min english, then 20min math, then 1¾hr fashion design/knowledge exam. HARD!!!) Jo & I then went into town, spent the whole arvy there and at 3:15 caught town bus [back] to school… went [home] on St’s bus ..no Philip C. Geoff was on it- I said hello & goodbye: thought “what if he thought I caught the bus to see him!” [You’ll never know, huh?] SKINT – [privacy omission] reckon’s he’s vain enough (to think it) Jemima & Anna & Danae knew about Geoff & me: gave me a bit about it: if all the Yr11 girls know -Jenny’ll find out for sure, GREAT. [Uh huh. I wasn’t sure whether we had kissed outside the club on Saturday night (see previous blogpost) because I hadn’t specifically mentioned it, but this makes it pretty clear. Jenny must have been his girlfriend? My bad.] Cameron came over this arvy- said he’s not going out with CB, Mima said Mark only talked to Nicole after school; Fiona didn’t see them at all, same as Cameron. I found out Chris likes me (Cameron said it then made it a joke – but I know he meant it cause he asked me what I thought..) Apparently that night Mark & Nicole went for a swim at Edge Hill State School Pool while Cameron & CB occupied a free house there. Cameron thinks [privacy omission]– but he wouldn’t know for sure.

A Life in Words
Unless my memory has failed me, this used to be the Park Royal hotel, on Abbott Street. It’s now known as the Pullman Cairns International.

So hot today! Got quite a few compliments today! Jo & I got 13 whistles, 2 catcalls as we walked past the Park Royale today!! [Wow, to be so excited by sexist heckling? I’m thinking the Park Royal – one of the first 5 star high-rise hotels in the CBD – was under construction at this point in tme… because I can’t imagine hotel staff or guests gesturing to two schoolgirls in this way…] Dad wasn’t there [at his workplace] when I went to get money so I didn’t get any. I could easily slip into the habit of missing school. 2day was fun! [hmmm, such rebelliousness…]

Tuesday 27/10/87

We got on so well today. I felt a little sick (jealousy) only once (or twice) when Nicole was around. Mark & her have hickies on their necks. Mark got embarrassed.. I kept poking them, so they stay longer. (Why the hell would I do that?) [Because you were enjoying his discomfort. It was a minor yet satisfying form of ‘retribution’…] Joking a lot – getting on so well! He said & did some affectionate things. Gave me songwords- to do with him being faithful? I don’t think he knows about Jeffry or even Stuart. (But nothing’s come of those …yet – Stuart.) A Life in WordsHad a modelling practise [for our CAD art fashion parade] today at lunch time. And Mrs McI visited this arvy. Didn’t see Phillip on the bus: (didn’t catch it ’cause had to take paintings to get stretchers) Saw Jeff tho. God he’s got beautiful eyes. when will I give Stuart his tie back? [LOL, that’s right! This was the fashion era of skinny ties for the blokes. Hilarious!] God I hope Phillip goes to the exhib. opening! [Within a matter of seconds I’d had three separate thoughts about three different guys. Distracted much?] Tonite I cut out the pattern pieces for my silver dress & sewed the lining to each. (took all nite) At one stage I got so angry, I kicked the wall (bathroom – outside) & the plasterboard broke – there’s a hole there now. Mum got so upset – I felt really bad. [I remember this vividly. Mum had pretty much always reacted to my temper so well (even though it had concerned her enough in my youth to warrant visiting a specialist and having an EEG to check my brain function…) but this straw broke the camel’s back: because the house we lived in was unfinished, the very last thing she needed was yet another expense to add to the list of unaffordable jobs. As I’ve said before, we were not financially comfortable. Mum worked tirelessly not just to support the three of us, but to build a home, and I was totally taking her for granted. As much as it pains me knowing I upset her, I’m thankful that mum reacted as she did, and forced me into a momentary ‘awakening’: surpassing my Ego to expose some Compassion.] SO HOT! A Life in WordsI am so behind. english ass., art ass.’s, study + revision, letters to write concerning unis & colleges .. I need more time & money . . . [First World problems. Seriously.]

Wednesday 28/10/87

The radio just said it’s 12:06. I have had such an unreal time! I am still drunk, excuse my expressions! Today was really good. Started off by seeing Stuart, although he didn’t look at me, as he talked (riding to school with jay) God, I could love Him! [Um, sorry, what? You “could love” someone who won’t look you in the eye when he’s talking to you? Elissa, come on. You are, however, writing this in a highly intoxicated state, so your comprehension is definitely compromised…] But Mark & I got on excellently. He hung around Nicole a bit, but he gave me a note tonite (“Mark loves Elissa 4eva”. WOW! I am so drunk. I got barely anywork done- I don’t feel like sleeping -just dreaming. Jeffrey was there tonite- don’t think he likes me much. [But that’s okay because I have so many other ‘distractions’…] I asked David to make Phillip come to the art exhibition. I went to Croc Rock with A. Marie, Megan Sharon (slept in the car) & Chris H. I am so drunk – I must ring Stuart in the morning- he rang me tonite. oh I could love that guy but I want Phillip too. I am so confused at the moment I need to sleep. I’ve had such a GREAT Day! (NigHt actually) A Life in Words[I’m fairly certain this was the one and only school dance I went to intoxicated. I have a vivid recollection of sharing a bottle of Stone’s Green Ginger wine (which I hated, but drank purely for the effects) with a couple of girlfriends on the Esplanade before heading to the dance at school. This is the only fragment of memory – I don’t recall getting to the dance at all…]

Thursday 29/10/87

It’s 11:12. I’m so tired, but I haven’t got even half of this assignment done I should get it finished, tho. (How?) I’ll have tomorrow’s lesson to write it out.) I’m so HOT. I had a good day. I rang Stewart [decided to spell his name differently today?] this morning – he said he’d just rung to talk. (I said I thought it was urgent – bad) & he said “the opposite actually. He drove me to school [oh again! That’s so cool…] we get on so well- so easy to talk. He said sorry he hadn’t rung earlier in the week – he’d been doing a lot of thinking. Now, what am I going to do? I’ve told him to come to the art exhib. open. (can’t wait! There are going to be tonnes of people there! I can’t wait!) left school at big lunch (got material finished printed in art) A Life in WordsBludged at home (should’ve started this damn assignment then) Only started after “MOONLIGHTING” [I loved this show. And it launched Bruce Willis’s career.] 9:30 Shit Thank god mum’s got a book on British History! [Yes kids, we had to use actual books for all our research in the 80’s…] so tired. so hot. I heard mice or rats running on the roof just a sec. ago. [We’d had a pretty gnarly experience earlier in the year (see this post) with the discovery of a dead rodent in a bagful of clothes, so I would’ve been a bit perturbed by the idea of these creatures infesting our house again…] I think I’ll go to bed & wake & finish this in the morning. I want to go out tomorrow nite – so bad! (Get Stewart to) Got on really well with Mark – I have to talk to him soon to find out what’s going on – I think he likes Nicole – I must make him “choose”. [LOL. So very naive…]

Friday 30/10/87

Boring. That’s all that can be said. Got to school rather late: Joannah wasn’t there: I went to the library for only 3 minutes! Did a fair bit in double english, but needed to do more work on the assignment – in art – 3rd, little lunch, 4 & 5th lessons! At big lunch Mark seemed in an untalkative mood. Then Nicole came up (Glyn first actually) & he was fine. He sat on the stone “bench” with his legs apart & she leant on the ledge in between them. when mum picked me up, I just about balled my eyes out. Then we had a 1½hr wait at the hospital, […for what?] before finally leaving to pick up Jules & buy some stuff for the exhib Back at clinic at 3:40, & got in to the doctor at 4:30. [hospital? clinic? doctor? What? Please explain! …I literally have no recollection of this.] Home rather late …few phone calls. Sharon & I went to Playpen (free) [free entry] Jo & Mark [B.] were there (Stewart worked tonite) Sharon & I left. House On the Hill was nearly just as dead. Sharon was drunk & cranky. Nigel took us home. [This next sentence proves I had actually written this entry the next day …which often happened when I had big nights out.] I bombed out & felt very, very tired in the morning. [ [“Very, very tired” on Saturday morning, when I woke up…]

A Life in WordsSaturday 31/10/87

Got up & went to finish buying exhib. stuff – I was so tired. At home, worked very slowly on outfits. [Sewing my creations for the fashion parade at the CAD art exhibition] Sat alone while mum & Julia were at Mike & Cynthia’s thinking about Mark & Stewart & Philip -getting all (very) pessimistic. Jo & Nigel came round & stayed a while – I was boring them. When they left mum & jules came home. I started to get really depressed so I rang Mark. I didn’t want to talk on the phone – he couldn’t get to my place I asked what he did last nite – said visited Steven & he & Cam. went to Deanne’s for pizza. When I rang cameron after, he said they went to Nicole’s. He said Mark does like Nicole (A bit more than a friend) so I only just got off the phone before balling my eyes out. Fi rang & I rang Jude. Picked Jude up about 8:15. Got to the Aboriginal party (Mooroobool) [Irene Street, for those who remember. I think it was literally at Kangaroos Leagues (football) Club…?] & heaps of people, but the party was DEAD. Mark, Nicole, Cameron & CB all arrived together in a taxi, so that really dulled my nite to start with. On the lookout for Stewart, but he never showed

Sunday 1/11/87

→Mark had to come up to me first. I was kind of pissed off or upset – I wasn’t going to talk first. Then, I kind of walked off.. he came up a second time, but I did it again. Then he seemed to be angry with me. He was kind of resisting Nicole must’ve said something cos’ she stayed out of his way a lot. Wonder if he was depressed about me? (Don’t flatter yourself Elissa) Brett took Jude & I to the Hill, Mark was in the car -left Nicole at the party. (That’s not nice, Marky) Wonder what he did after that? HOTH was DEAD too. I had the worst weekend – no one, no body, nothing- just wasted money. I talked to Dean L in Victor’s car (drank goon) a while before getting a cab home. Made myself sick, [as in, vomitted] then bombed. At school, I touched up paintings while Jude mounted her work. A Life in WordsJo came late: Jo, Megan, Jude & I went to Kentucky 4 lunch ..fash. parade practise for Jo at It’s Williams (boring). Our practise at school was FUN! After, mum took Jo & Jude here [to our house] too.. they watched TV while I sewed. I did a lot tonite – shoes done, bracelet done. Brown outfit almost totally complete. It’s really late now- & I’m tired. BUSY day 2morrow!!

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

Friendship Feelings, A Debut Drive & A Rotting Rodent (6-12 April)

Monday 6/4/87

A Life in Words
duotone doodle of Monique from a photo

I’m a glutton for punishment; it’s 10:45 – another late night & worse still; I did absolutely no HW again today & I have a frigging maths exam tomorrow. Can you believe it? I’m a total dickhead! [No, just a brilliant procrastinator] (Read my ’86 diary tonight getting frustrated like finding out things like – me knowing Monique 8 months ..hanging round her for ≈5 months & only 4 months of true [best] friendship. It isn’t fair… why her? Why this year? [The ultimate, unanswerable questions…] Good day with Mark. Fiona & Jemima are closer now. And I’m left out in the open I think Jemima doesn’t like me too much – wants to be my “best friend too” (that letter) [During my first week back at school, she gave me a letter about Monique. I didn’t actually say much about it in my diary entry other than “I cried” so I won’t include a link back to it. It was on Wednesday 18 March if you’re really keen to take a look…] HUH! What laugh – they do everything together & leave me out. . I don’t mind tho’ I spent the whole day with Mark & hopefully will do the for the rest of the year (see, they both went home at little lunch) who needs friends? I need Monique. She was the best MONIQUE FOREVER. Mark loves me (I mean [privacy omission] – this song by Cameo – he thinks is perfect for me “Candy” – so that’s my name now!” [Suffice to say this became one of my favourite songs. I still like it, but OMG the video… quintessential 80’s… ugh, those outfits!]

Tuesday 7/4/87

Mark told me (on the phone tonight) for the 2nd time ever “I love you” – I’ve said it countless (!!) [What, it’s a competition?] Nah, about 4 I think, or 5. […but still keeping count…] Today started off shaky .. barely talked to him before school & during bio (little lunch was O.K!!) & most of big lunch it was “wierd” – picking on me (I think!) I rang him & we talked about little in particular …oh, I love him so much. Friday night is Glyn’s party, now .. mima & I are goin’ to do something (as both our boyfriends are going to the “stag” party (!!)) (Lord knows what!) […talk about fickle friendships!] Anyway he’ll be at that & on Saturday night he’s working & Sunday leaving from Bramston Beach till Thursday. (I’m not going to school tomorrow – cross country) BOO HOO! I won’t get to spend any time with him! Aaargh – I’ll die [uh huh] Maths exam – big laugh (not really- I couldn’t do anything practically) Bio & english yesterday 56/80 and 6½/10 respectively→ so surprising! I was sure I’d fail (First “fine” day in days today! Still cool tho’.) Love you mark. started writing back to Tania today

Wednesday 8/4/87

What a wasted day- I stayed home from the cross country to “do chemistry study” (I wrote to Tania & Lucy, sunbaked – got burnt & listened to music. WASTED DAY) Julia deliberately missed the bus, after mum left, Mr H came over around 2:30 & put up the pelments [read: pelmets – the framework above windows, used to conceal curtaining fixtures] – the ones in my room (& Julia’s) are too big – for our long louvres. (Yukky) A Life in WordsWhen mum came home, I WENT FOR A DRIVE!!! Was so much fun! Unreal! (Tho I almost drove into Sandra’s car!!) [I vividly recall this: hitting the wrong pedal and speeding up suddenly toward our neighbour’s car as I was meant to be turning into our driveway. Luckily I found the brake in time. What a rush.] my problem is getting co-ordinated – the pedals & gears. Steering’s easiest (tho’ not easy – understand?) [Ok, this I need to explain: the ‘power steering’ that is now standard in all vehicles didn’t feature in the 1979 Toyota Corolla in which I was learning to drive. Those of you who were ‘lucky’ enough to experience driving vehicles without this smooth steering mechanism, will understand why I thought steering wasn’t quite the easiest thing to do. Without this creature comfort, kids, you literally had to wrench the steering wheel to make sharp turns. Upper body strength required!] Oh I’m tired .. man we have bad luck – hot water system broke down & we have a rat (or a very big mouse) in the house. I’m busting to go to the loo. It was a ‘nice’ phone call tonight – he was being more “understanding’ I think. A tease, yes, but being “gentler”. Hottish day! (only in the sun, that is) wonder how the cross-country run went? I’ll fail chem tomorrow. Haven’t studied at all. I AM STUPID. No- I’ve just lost interest in school – I just don’t care anymore. [Good correction there, Liss]

Thursday 9/4/87

The doctor wasn’t as overly excited about the progress of my leg as I thought he would be. [It’s funny how the attitude of a ‘professional’ (a superior, an elder) can affect you. There’s no doubt I’d’ve left that appointment somewhat deflated.] I missed biology & didn’t talk very much at all to Mark in maths. Chemistry exam I failed ..I really have lost all interest in school. At big lunch, Mark & I were more affectionate than ever – we both talked a fair bit (seriously) about life. He feels much the same as me . . nothing excites him anymore – wants a big change to happen so he can get on with life – the crash & its effects haunt him, too… feels, like me, that the crash spoilt possibly the best year of our lives ..definitely I agree. [So, I have to wonder… how many others felt exactly the same?] I also talked about my lack of friends – that’s also bothering me a lot. He seems more understanding lately. & gentle. I love that. Boring day- didn’t see jemima or Fiona after chem..probly left together again – I know they went late night shopping together – tried to ring them. A Life in WordsMark also went with Keith. I couldn’t get his chain [for his up-coming birthday] today, damn. Practised gears & clutch in the (stationary) car this arvy. FUN. Haven’t done english assignment -am not going to go to school tomorrow (Am so tired) Mark won’t be there – is going to the beach with Steven. Who knows about mima & fi they wouldn’t take me anywhere anyway [I’d always perceived I’d been more bitter about their exclusive friendship when I was younger, but I’m sensing some intensity here…] 

Friday 10/4/87

Boring day, indeed. I didn’t do my english assignment. After Mr. H came to fix the pelments, we left for town. I finally chose a silver-plated fob chain ($31), but now I think it’ll be a bit too short for his thick neck. [Masculine thickness, of course …not fat!] Oh well. [I know it doesn’t sound much, but $31 was a fair bit to spend back in those days…especially considering we weren’t financially ‘comfortable’. Forgive my ignorance, but I have no idea how that would compare price-wise to silver plated jewellery today; does anyone even buy silver-plated stuff anymore?] That’s another thing . . I’m missing him already. Am planning (if he doesn’t ring me first) to ring him & provided he’s not “dead” from tonight’s “party” at Cameron’s, will see if he’d like to do something. I so badly want to see him before he goes. We saw Nana today – feel so sorry for her – I hope she dies soon & I don’t mean that cruelly. I want her to be with God; feeling no pain. [She suffered brutally with rheumatoid arthritis. I wasn’t aware if there were any other underlying health issues contributing to her ill-health – Cancer was definitely never mentioned – but she had been a long term smoker.] Hottish weather. Is rainy (finally!) again tonight. Beka came over this arvy . . talked for yonks- I haven’t got her anything – her birthday tomorrow & I forgot completely. (till this arvy!) Mark, I miss you already. A Life in WordsThe mice or rats are getting in still: running along the beams on the roof. SHIT I hate them. Think I have another ringworm starting – back of right leg – near my scarring. Oh no. Wanna get brown these holidays- tan around my scars etc. 8:45 early night * * But I’m waking at 11:30pm to listen to the 4CCR Party Nite music

Saturday 11/4/87

Woke rather early.. boring-ish day ..I watched TV, covered my books & watered the plants. I ate heaps too. Went for another drive today! Much better than the  last time. . but still not quite perfect. Lucy rang after I rang Mark … had a longish talk to her Hope to see her Mon &/or Tuesday. Listened to approx. 1¾hrs of the 4CCR Party thing – stupid (didn’t know any of the music last night. Watched Countdown [yeah, that commercial stuff was more ‘me’!] after Lucy rang, then quickly got ready to go to Mark’s. A little late – everybody gone [?] & pizza man just delivered dinner- when I arrived. We watched TV mucking round- tickling mostly a few little kisses. After the TV movie, though, we got ‘down’ to business [Nope, still not what you think…]. . then mum came (dammit!) He said he’d ring & perhaps write (which means yes) Sandra was there quickly, earlier – I showed her & her (2) friends my leg- yukkypoo! Mum’s complaining about a smell (I can’t smell it) But thinks it’s the rat – no more scuffling noises. My blinds are up now. WOW! It’s 12:10.. gonna listen to 4CCR [Um, why? You’ve just said you didn’t enjoy it on the previous night… oh how much more beneficial sleep would be for you!] -in love with M.

Sunday 12/4/87

4CCR was better this week, [touché] but I had to turn off- I was so tired. Woke just after (or before?) 8:00 did nothing – the stench of the rat is strong now. Yuck. Danced to music before going to airport . . [to collect our cousins] Jodie, Michael & Auntie Hilary unpacked- Nana came over. A waste of an afternoon – they bought us [Royal Easter Show] show bags [from Sydney – their home] (I’ve eaten heaps already!) I ate & just lazed around. . . Boring! (Thought about Mark lots … his kisses last night were so beautiful – tender, romantic. Yummy. I love him, I’m sure.) Beka rang – I’m going to town with her & Lucy tomorrow- Jodie, Mike & Jules can come, but they don’t have to if they don’t want to. Oh, Mark I can’t stop thinking about you. Late-ish night – it’s 9:40. Gotta catch 9:00 train. (Big mess cleaning up Nana’s clothes this arvy – they found the rat full of maggots. Yuk. [Now this is confusing. My recollection of finding the dead rat was that it was wedged (of all places) between a ceiling beam and the roof insulation in a corner of MY bedroom. Perhaps this was a different dead rat scenario, one that obliterated my memory of this vom-fest in my grandmother’s clothes? A Life in WordsOh and just to clarify, I expect that we are talking about a garbage bag of my Nana’s stored/unused clothing rather than that which she happened to be currently wearing.] Windy cool & sometimes overcast today. J & M are hot at the moment. Can you believe ….?? [They hail from a place 2,500klms south of the tropics Liss… yes, I can.] Feel like a full, fat pig!