A Break-Up Scare, Birthday Bashes & My Father’s Wedding (18-24 May)

Monday 18/5/87

A Life in Words
Hypnotist Martin St James, whom we were going to see on Friday night.

So much depends on tomorrow. So much. You see, I rang him tonight. Yes, I worked up the guts. .& he wasn’t happy at all… (Today at school he wasn’t avoiding me; he wasn’t talking, though. It appeared to me as if he wanted to talk, but couldn’t) Jemima went to the Cairns Library for the day. I was bored… after school we rode into town & got the Martin St. James [a world-renowned hypnotist] tickets. She came back to my place. we called Cameron. And Mark- but he wasn’t home – I did call back later tonight 7:45 abouts. We had a 1½ hour phonecall and we talked about almost everything This time we came so close to ending. If I hadn’t’ve rung him tonight, he would’ve given me til the weekend, then it would’ve been off..so now, he’s made tomorrow the deciding factor… if we work tomorrow great. [What does that even mean, “if we work”? And why is tomorrow any more important than ‘Now’?] But if not… we’re finished. For good. Even our friendship. Oh, God give me the strength to make it work tomorrow. PLEASE HELP ME. I love him so much. [Good God. Why are YOU doing the ‘work’ Elissa? Is it really worth all this stress?!]

Tuesday 19/5/87

Well, it’s on again- for young & old (Ha, ha!) I was worried this morning – it appeared he wasn’t going to talk to me. So, at little lunch I took the plunge, & went up to him. During little lunch, double biology & ½ of big lunch we were very serious.. thinking, mostly ..sometimes asking questions & discussing our thoughts. He scared me.. he said “who’ll be the bad guy?” I thought shit, shit! but said “you, I guess”. [Of course..] He said “I don’t think we should go out anymore.” I said “Oh” & did nothing. He didn’t appear to be joking- not laughing or smiling.. then he did. “You’re not serious?” I said. “No!” he said. [Games, games, games…] I am so relieved! I am going  to attempt to make it different …. lasting & beautiful. I WILL. I am determined. [Ah, here’s he’s the Control Freak. It’s taken SO long to learn that nothing, and no one, can be controlled…] Did no HW today again. It’s getting cooler now God I’m tired. It’s 9:35. Good night!A Life in Words

Wednesday 20/5/87

Rang him at 7:30. He wasn’t too happy ;had just woken up! At school, he wouldn’t take it, [his birthday present] but I shoved it in his bag in bio when he was talking to Chris. Otherwise I barely saw him; he raced off at big lunch (to do his learners – yes, of course, he got it) & I only caught glimpses of him at aerobics. This arvy Mrs W. rang & invited me to dinner with them. I wasn’t sure whether Mark wanted me to go but mum coaxed me into it. Thank God Keith went too..Mark wasn’t at all happy & if Keith wasn’t there being a clown & breaking the ice it would’ve been terrible. I barely spoke a word! (Fi & Justine didn’t do aerobics today -slacko’s!) At lunchtime before catching the buses, Polly & Juliet & their lot were in our area…Nicole sat with Joannah & Tricia ..down the end. And when she went Tricia said “bye Nicole!” [paranoia plus: my two nemeses happen to be having a chat] Nicole’s been giving me dirty looks (according to [privacy omission]) Maybe they’re scheming together to get him away from me. (Joke) [Yeah, that’s an obvious conclusion. Pfft. Paranoia plus. And an attempt at deflecting my insecurity with the “(Joke)”] I joked to Fi & she reckons “Well they won’t” (get him that is) And I know it. SUFFER! He loves me!

Thursday 22/5/87

Barely talked to him at all. Didn’t think he was coming, but showed up in maths. Little lunch I didn’t talk & at big lunch I had to do my oral practise (it’s tomorrow & I don’t know anything – well, 2 out of my whole 8 lines!) with Donna, Bob & Gemila. A Life in WordsSo after art, I quickly said hi, then in library for english practised again. (Hopeless case!) Only a few silly, crazy) words after school ..mum drove us (we cleaned our teeth first) to the dentist. Mr. Fairweather filed back the chip in my tooth [yet another disfigurement courtesy of the bus accident] & otherwise, my teeth are perfect! [There’s one thing that I have somehow managed to uphold – not that my teeth are ‘perfect’ but all my dentists have applauded my ‘dental hygiene’.] Walked home (talked to Adrienne on the way!) Mima was going to Smithfield, Fi didn’t want to go, so Mark & I went late night (Sandra driving us) I got Julia’s card + present- a cute denim satchel, Fi’s card, Dad & Jenny’s wedding card (& I frigging forgot my hairspray) and a black shirt like the yellow one I bought for Mark, he payed $15 out of it..isn’t that gorgeous. [I probably wouldn’t use the word gorgeous. Maybe generous?] Of course! Can’t wait 4 tomorrow – Martin St. James & then little “party” at Fi’s Mark, [privacy omission] are going to come along too!! UNREAL!! cooler (slightly) weather  Frigging english oral. I’ll fail

Friday 23/5/87

A Life in Words
All dressed up for a hypnotic night with Martin St. James

FI’S BIRTHDAY Ready early; went by & picked my wallet up from Mark’s ..he was still in bed at 8:30! [That IS impressive for a school day…] Our english oral was a bloody scream! Mr Grossetti wants us to do it again Monday afternoon. [I’m gathering because it was such a success? I think I might have enjoyed Acting as a vocation, had I been driven to chase it. Mr G. was undoubtedly one of my favourite teachers, inspiring so much confidence in me; he had previously suggested I could be a impersonator too, because I ‘nailed’ an Irish accent during a class reading of Juno & the Paycock. Here’s the link to the entry mentioning that – see Friday 1 August.] Great. Bludge lesson otherwise- realised I have 2 assignments to do by next Friday. Bloody fantastic. Talked very little to Mark today, again.. at big lunch went downtown- [privacy omission] got passport photos for false I.D. (didn’t get that finished anyway) Was so excited about tonight.. Mark [privacy omission] are coming at 3:00..at home, after a visit from Beka (& tidy my bedroom) packed, got ready for Fi’s. Finished getting ready there. MARTIN ST. JAMES was so good so funny Julie H tried out, but didn’t work on her (we couldn’t make Fi) Crabbie was there too! After, mima, fi, geoff m, cameron v & I went to Yanks [the only “late night” coffee shop in the Cairns CBD at that time] ([privacy omission] were on bad terms then) Spent some time there then taxied to Cameron’s & he (in his sister’s car) drove Fi, mim & I home. We got out the Kahlua YUMMY! mima got sick; I got happy. [I’m thinkin’ “drunk-happy”] [privacy omission] came. But Mark didn’t. I was so disappointed & angry. Really depressed, so I ate nearly all the smarties [emotional eating] – & whinged., while [privacy omission] forgot their problems & Fi & Jason sat quietly joking etc. Finally around, I think, 3:30,→

Saturday 23/5/87

we went in [privacy omission]‘s car – Jas. Fi & I to Mark’s ([privacy omission] & Jason had tried twice to get Mark) but weren’t able to wake him or anything. So after a drive around Whitfield & Edge Hill, went back to Fi’s & I went to sleep, depressed. Woken around 9:00, left soon after. Really didn’t want to go to Port Douglas. I wasted morning time (not much of it) then packed before ringing Mark, around 12:00-12:30. Was on the phone for ages. I really didn’t want to hang up. I wanted to hear his voice – was so depressed that I didn’t get to see him this weekend. IT’S NOT FAIR! (He had been asleep – slept thru his alarm) I cried, I was so upset about having to go. Duffy came just after 2:00 Drive to Port was boring. [But Elissa, it’s so beautiful?] Coconut Groves o.k. joint. “Unpacked” & went to the shop (walked) Really boring. The ceremony was “short & sweet” – photographers (could be in the Cairns Times!) A Life in WordsAfter, watched TV (so boring!) Then attempted to ring Mark (6:30) “at Cameron’s”. There was no one at Cameron’s at all when I rang either so Mark’s at a party. I told him I’d ring. Oh I miss him! Dinner was long & spread out. [It’s called a reception, and it involves lots of talking, so it is by nature “long and spread out”…] Now am watching TV. Am so tired & bored (tired, more so) will probably watch TV all night (dozing now & then.)

Sunday 24/5/87

Fell asleep around 12:00. Woke 8:00. Shit! Carol B was leaving at 8:30! (Thought I missed her, so thought we’d get a lift with Vic M) leisurely ate brekky when Carole rushed in. We hurredly grabbed our gear, said goodbye to dad & left around 9:00. Home early .. did nothing all day, except plant my seeds for bio assignment Got fucking bloody Freddy. Ugh! Saw Justine for a few minutes. Pigged out after a visit to a take-away. Mum finished [painting] our rooms (& I just finished tidying up the mess) Looks excellent! All bright, clean, beautiful white. Around 4:00 (I think) : 3:30 or 3:15 (anyway:) mark rang; talked; he went to the Trinity Bay party (Belinda’s) Keith said (he arrived ½ way thru) mark was bored without me.  How flattering. [Flattering, but not necessarily true?] Anyway, finally got off the phone: got ready & went to Mark’s at 5:30. We went to his work. Watched videos .. didn’t do much. But on the way home we talked & kissed. Oh! That was good. I love kissing him!! I had asked him about where it was he had seen me before. [At some stage in the past he had mentioned he’d seen/noticed me before I had begun at Cairns High. Of course I was curious: how could I not have noticed him too?] He won’t tell me. He said I was with someone he was talking to. Where? When? He won’t tell me. Said “in 5 years time 24th May, I will.” [Uh-huh. And of course, that ne’er happened…]

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A Bittersweet Return to School (16-22 March)

Monday 16/3/87

My foot did not swell up too much today (But the fact is, it did swell) Well, I thought I did well, walking round – doing stairs at a great pace (ha! wattabout your sore feet & knees – the pain?) [Go easy, Liss! You’ve hardly used your feet and knees for almost 6 weeks; of course they’ll suffer after your first 8 hour day on them.] Well, ..it’ll get better! (Bloody rags today) Dressing- painfully took off the dressing from where the skin was taken looks like a big graize. Euch! Generally good. I was abit nervous this morning. At school, Mark did not talk to me, look at me or come near me. At home, I rang mima tonight (Fi’s run out of things to say- I needed a new opinion) she insisted I ring him. I had a shower -talked to Jodie on the phone, and, after a lot of deliberation, finally dialled. It was a ‘sad’ phone call.. uncomfortable – probly lots more for him (I cried – I couldn’t help it) A Life in WordsHe hadn’t read the letter …wasn’t thinking about me. Angry at my ‘attitudes’ [?] .. finally apologised (made a real mess) … “I really stuffed up this time didn’t I?” [Really? How? By being yourself?] He said “I love you” .. I said “I love you too and you know it & never forget it.” [oh purleeease…] With that.. I rang Fi & told her .. I’m nervous again. It’s like we’re starting all over again… I’m going to be rather unsure tomorrow. [Such deep insecurity…] I’m glad the worst is over though. [Is it?] Euch! I felt confident (in a way) today- felt slim, pretty & flirtatious. [I’m sorry, what? How ironic: insecure, needy and self-deprecating on the one hand and yet….self confident on the other?]

Tuesday 17/3/87

It didn’t go too smoothly .. we didn’t talk before school, during double maths or after art ..at little lunch he came up & talked to Fi .. I stood by. In bio. he sat next to me. we got on “famously” and ..he slipped a note in my bio book. Big lunch-mucked round a fair bit. In art curiosity killed me- I read a beautiful letter of forgiveness & ‘repent’.. [privacy omission]. Still doesn’t think I have total trust in him. But, that’s it! (I also finally got the photo of us in hospital back from Fi!) Good day, all told! I did HW from about 5:00 till 9:50 …now it’s 10:25 – I had to have my shower ‘n’ everything – I knew I’d lose track of time (only doing biology HW, too! mozzies bad!) There was interruption- Justine McP. visited. Cool weather now (not hot at all really- my leg’s good- kept it “up” [elevated] when not in use – and it stayed “unswollen” all day!! Hopefully.. it’ll stay that way!! A Life in WordsMr P. rang tonite ..saying how soon as Monique got home from Brissy – dropped her bags & rang me. And of course, when she finally got on to me, I got to her place in ½ hr. B.F. Always. I LOVE YOU MONIQUE.

Wednesday 18/3/87

My foot’s O.K! Even after bushdancing tonight! Unreal! (Swelling, that is ..not ‘pain’) Yeah, well .. it did ache for some time, but, I’m doin’ extremely well! (Bandage slipped last night.) (Mima gave me a note today about monique etc. I cried.. was so sad.) Mark ‘n’ I did O.K. again… esp. beginning of tonight.. I gave him a kiss when I’d said something bad.. [‘bad’ meaning something that had the potential to be taken the wrong way?] he gave one back (YUM) But later during dancing .. he went off on his own .. I went up to him (outside) but left him alone (he wanted to be .. I’d asked him) that worried me. (wants to cut my hair tomorrow.. has $20 riding [betting] $12 me, $2 mima $2 Julie H. $4 Fiona. Lose, Mark!) I love him & I hope it’s not me he’s upset with (again). [I] Caught up in computers this arvy.. dunno too much though. It’s 10:25 – need to go to hosp. for dressing tomorrow, before school. Wonder if Mark’ll miss me? (Didn’t do bio HW – got marked down & didn’t do tonight’s either ..great -another against my name. I love you, Honey. HOT

A Life in Words
A Google search for “Henry Scott death” generates many links to this poem, so I can only assume that this was what upset Mark. Given all we had experienced in the recent past, it is very pertinent.

Thursday 19/3/87

I can wash my leg now, change my dressings myself. I HATE my leg. It is so ugly. IT IS NOT FAIR .. NOT FAIR .. it’s deformed – I’ve lost my nerves [the wound included some permanent nerve damage; I have no/minimal superficial (dermal) feeling over/around most of my knee and extending part way down my inner calf] .. It’s fat & swollen. I cried for Monique today again. in art. I am a lot more lately. Found out, through Cameron that Mark was given a note “A few words from Henry Scott” or something a quote on death ..and he was upset about Monique..that’s why he was as he was .. he came at little lunch (I came at 2nd period after “dressing” & seeing Ms. DeJourdan) End of big lunch, talked, mucked round – ID. card is revolting I wrecked it tonight cut it up!!

A Life in Words
Yeah, not the best pic…

After school [Mark] tried to cut my hair I got a bit violent in “defence”.. but OK. Brent cut Fi’s instead. I am so angry about my leg ..happy this morning but looking at it open depresses me so much. It’s ugly- I’d rather be dead. I’m only living for Mark ..I’d miss him too much if I went to Monique. Like now I miss her too much .. I’m with Mark. [It’s quite bizarre to think I’d’ve given up my life up for some bodily scarring, and even more so that one random human being was my sole reason for not. I’m fairly sure I knew deep down that Life held more than that…] Is. 9:45. Night.

Friday 20/3/87

Puritty good day!! Sayin’ goodbye was good, but at the time disappointing – a smack on the bum! Double eng …bore! art .. my painting sux – A Life in Wordsbut I’m going to work it and call it “the freaky memory” in remembrance of monique’s & my coincidental experience (concerning Cameron, last year.) [If you missed it, see Wednesday’s entry in this postUnreal! chem. prac boring… lunchtime Mark tried to make me shitty (was funny!) Did no HW in arvy- ready for Ms. Marsland’s CAD dinner party, at 7:10 mark rang! Talked for ages! Finally arrived at ∼8:30. Drank a whole bottle of apple cider (alcoholic) FUN! Boring for me ..dunno ..Monique missing..seemed incomplete (& kept thinking of Mark) Had a go on the video recorder (didn’t eat much dinner – not fussed on Italian food) Trina & me veged! Most left around 11:30.. I, Michelle & Nev (me lift home with Nev.) watched the video after they’d gone. Mark on my mind. (Went to Terry’s – Terry rang Astia there ..Mark didn’t talk to me..) I was under-dressed! Home at about 1:45 (thinking of mark)

Saturday 21/3/87

Woke 9:20!! Got ready – spent morning at Earlville buying undies – 4 pairs!! [Woo!] At home (after visiting Nana – feel sorry for her) Michael B came round while I picked dead skin off my wound. (Kept it ‘open’ today – this arvy – drying – did yesterday arvy too – “paraded” up ‘n’ down street showing neighbours!!) Mark rang. Then wouldn’t speak – Cameron did. Mark “hung up”. Didn’t ring back so after ∼10mins I did. Mark talked ..Cameron did then M. hung up I rang back immediately. I thought he was shitty – wanted me to decide what to do tonight (I watched TV arvy) & he rang back 5:00. MOVIES ..Colour of Money. I was worried – he’d mentioned something about a “TALK” – rang Fi – made me feel better [as she always did…]. A Life in WordsGot to Odeon [cinema] Just 4/5 mins ‘fore him …walked round ..Glyn & Hayley were there! During interval – he came back & (through joke) I think he had “the talk” .. I’m officially his girlfriend!! During movie – holding hands – [privacy omission]. Soooo nice. We dropped him home (mum, after ringing her) I’M IN LOVE!!

Sunday 22/3/87

Woke 9:30!! Slept in yet again!! And, with dressing off all day ..noticed changes compared to yesterday! I can see differences already!! Well, I went down to Amanda’s place with Julia watched the video GODS MUST BE CRAZY silly/funny ..mostly silly. Walking home after, Polly & Mrs B. stopped in the car, invited us up. A Life in WordsDid nothing much at home -not one scrap of homework. . . shit, then went to Brewers .. had a ‘dip’ (very quick) did nothing much- watched Young Talent Time. Rather boring day, really. (Altogether) Can’t wait till I have enough time (on the holidays??) to clean out my room & make my CAMP/CRASH/MONIQUE scrapbook. Rather warm today. Ugh . . 3 weeks till Jodie & Mike (& Lucy) come!! I wish I had more spare time- wish my leg would heal even faster!! I love Mark. I’ll say it yet again. Can’t wait for BBQ on Wed nite (interschool – seniors only! UNREAL!)

The Day After: Heartbreak (5 February)

Thursday 5/2/87

8 died. Monique has gone. Erica too, Mark F, Mandy G, Judy F, Jody & Lee-anne & Liz. 7 of them were sitting up the back [but notably, all 8 were sitting on the left hand side of the bus; that which would have borne the weight of bodies & debris thrown from the right-side side at the first moment the ground fell away beneath us]. I can’t believe Monique is gone. It’s unbelievable. I know she is, but I can’t comprehend it. Today was very busy. Heaps of people came. I have a big “hunk” out of my left knee, a small crack in my left femur and a huge gash in the back of my right thigh, where the bus was on me. […almost correct…] Mark is in intensive care. I hope he’s alright. I got a letter tonight – note he wrote before the camp. [privacy omission] I cried a fair bit today. Esp. when dad told me about monique. No one knew about her [in that, whenever I asked after her they all answered that they didn’t know, or hadn’t heard. I can’t imagine how hard that would have been for them: to lie to the face of someone to whom they knew the truth would cause so much pain].. didn’t tell me so I was kind of guessing.A Life in Words Rather late night. Food is disgusting. My head and arms are badly bruised. Cameron, Jason P, and Yru are next door [there was an adjoining ward to ours]. Fi (broken collarbone) Kay & Ms Bowles were released at different times today.

[There are 6 pages dedicated to this day in the scrapbook but they are mostly filled with clippings from a variety of newspapers; mostly from the local ‘Cairns Post’.]

Woken quite early to have blood pressure and temperature taken, then no one (except Fiona, of course) could get back to sleep, so we talked. I was quite determined to find out as much as I could…so asked lots of questions. I remember only Jacque, Ms. Bowles and Kay being interested in the conversation…however not seeming (Ms. Bowles, anyway) too happy to recall the events she remembered.  Jacque said she knew 3 of the dead, but refused to tell me when I asked at first. Eventually she told me Mark, Mandy and…Erica. A Life in WordsI said I knew Erica died (but I hadn’t really, had I?) When the papers arrived we realised exactly how major the event had been (we’d all missed the TV news the night before and had been wondering if it was ‘national’) The headlines greeted us:

“Cairns High camp ends in tragedy: 8 Die in Smash”

The Cairns Post reports virtually dominated the complete paper: front page headlines, continuing on pages 3 and 7.

The Sydney Morning Herald’s reports were very similar to some of the articles printed in the Cairns Post. [I knew nothing of media ownership (eg, Murdoch) back then.]A Life in Words

After breakfast, bedpans and bed washes, people began arriving: lots of people, mostly school friends, came throughout the day. The Brewers were one of the first to visit.  Mum had come, but left Julia [with me] when she had to do some business calls. Dad came.

I remember having asked Mrs Brewer about Monique, and she replied, “we haven’t heard” or “we don’t know”.

Strange: everyone seemed to have been saying that. I thought she was either so okay that she’d gone home straight away, or…but I didn’t think it was that.

I remember the nurses drawing the curtains around me, but, talking to Jemima (Mrs B, Polly & Julia standing nearby) I didn’t take much notice, or wonder why. [assuming more blood pressure tests or something of the like…] Apparently the whole ward was cleared of other visitors. [People have since confirmed this: all visitors were ushered out of the wards into the corridor, and it was jam-packed] I’ll never forget when my Dad came through the curtain: his eyes were quite moist. He said (and an eerie silence fell over the place) “They’ve released the names of the dead…”

I knew it…I had to accept what I had subconsciously known all along….what I hadn’t wanted to have to believe…

“Monique..”

I said it at the same time, my eyes brimming…

“was one of them.”

A Life in Words
Ink portraits of Monique traced from photos, in my scrapbook

The suspense was too much for Jemima, who broke out in (those, oh, so familiar) sobs, and I could sense every other person silently crying. I took a deep breath and wailed for the world to hear –

“MONIQUE, NOOOOOO, MONIQUE, MONIQUE…”

I don’t recall how long I cried for, but apparently, I was sedated and slept for quite some time…

[I have to admit I’m disappointed that my father assumed the role of informer before my mother had returned from her business calls. Knowing my mum, I’m certain she would have desperately wished to be by my side in that moment of need. It feels unfair to me, that the news was broken in her absence. In his defence however, he said he had consulted with the medical staff and it was jointly agreed that I needed to be informed sooner rather than later because of the sheer number of visitors: they expected someone would ‘let slip’ and they clearly wanted to ‘control’ the situation for everyone’s ‘psychological’ sake… the question is, can anyone ‘control’ anything??]

The rest of the day, after I woke, was a blur of people (SO many!) tears (over Monique) and flowers (the first of many I was to receive).

I had not yet a clear understanding of the injuries I’d sustained, thinking I had “a big hunk out of my left knee, a small crack in my left femur, and a huge gash in the back of my right thigh (where the bus was on me)” [clearly I pulled this directly from my diary] It was clear however, that my head and arms were badly bruised, and chest, hips and legs. [I have always bruised easily so this came as no surprise. I ended up with numerous contusions, the largest of which were in the soft flesh above my elbows. The haematoma on my left arm actually left a scar (another physical affliction to which I’m naturally pre-disposed) in the form of stretched and slight ‘greying’ of the skin.]

Fiona, Kay and Ms. Bowles were released at different times during the day…Fiona still oblivious to anything going on around her (still in shock).

In fact, I would have been in a deeper shock over Monique. The tears flowed nearly the whole day…and to any visitors I kept repeating and stressing how I needed friends now, because Monique was gone. They all nodded, eyes watery, in sympathy. [I had just lost the only real best friend I’d ever had. My very own best friend, who’d considered me hers too. It’s all I’d ever wanted, what I felt I’d lacked in my life to date. I was keenly aware that I was the ‘third wheel’ in the friendship trio with Jemima & Fiona, so Monique’s departure not only ripped open a gaping hole but infused it with past feelings of loneliness and alienation.]

Again, most visitors left after the close of visitors hours, including my mother and sister, who then went to visit Mr & Mrs P. [Monique’s parents] for an hour or so afterwards.

Camp Preparations Begin… ACE! (29 January)

Thursday 29/1//87

Well, we talked again today. T’was O.K. He found his letter in my bag (plastic bag – I’d better use my port tomorrow; feel silly cos’ everyone else is. A Life in Words[Yeah, and um, didn’t you just buy a new one? Can’t think why I would be taking just a plastic bag to school] Think I have worms) [Ok! If that isn’t the most random thing to say? And maybe too much information? Just, maybe?] and told him it was only for Jemima’s eyes. See, he rang me.. (yesterday he came over; in Jason P’s car with him & Cameron just stopped for a minute or two, in the gutter) and we talked a fair bit. [Privacy omission] The main thing was I talked about people. Asking him all the girls- he told me who he hated etc. Up to [privacy omission] he was secretive. I asked but he said “we had a few words before you arrived at the party” – (Angie J’s) I asked the “outcome” – “good and bad.” I rang fi straight after. She made me feel a bit better. [She was a great listener, and her objectivity almost always helped me through my issues & insecurities. Until the next time…] I spent the rest of the night cutting up pictures (magazines) in my room. It’s now about 8:45 & I haven’t had a shower yet. STINKING HOT.

[And the story per my scrapbook:]

A Life in WordsErica is in my biology class as well. FANTASTIC. This will be an ACE year. . .an ACE camp to start it. Began preparations for camp. Our group (of course) is Jemima, Fiona, Monique, Erica & myself. Would never have guessed, right?!!

[We created an acronym from the first initials of our names, which we used to ‘label’ everything: J.E.F.E.M. J-emima, E-rica, F-iona, E-lissa, M-onique. The picture below actually comes from Saturday’s page in the scrapbook.]

A Life in Words

 

Boys’ Behaviours & Grooming in the Garden (27 October-2 November)

Monday 27/10/86

Went to aerobics tonight – was great – very tiring, but great. 2 times a week, I’ll go; get fit & stay on this diet. Am tired now. Is about 8:50. Cooler tonight although the expected minimum is 23º; same as last night – the days are still rather hot. Rained a bit tonight – hope it does, more. Riding tomorrow. Periods, I think, will finish quickly – hope so!! Um…big lunch was good. Didn’t talk to Mark today . . but all (practically) lunchtime he was there. Fi, Monique & I sitting near their end [as in most schools, the are ‘territories’ akin to ‘unwritten codes’. Year 11’s in general occupied an undercover space that spanned the length of one of the classroom blocks above which was the library. The ‘popular guys’ sat at the very northern end, the ‘popular girls’ immediately next to (the south of) them. We usually sat in that general region, but at this particular point in time, it sounds as if we were sitting a little further north, closer to the boys.]; A Life in Wordswatching & laughing at the antics of Steven, Mark, Keith, Cameron & Chris (not David, tho’) they’re so funny – Cameron’s bag in the tree – Keith breaking the branches, Steven wearing Cameron’s sunnies, Steven’s badminton raquet broken, Mark’s shuttlecock … it was all so funny – wondered if Mark really does like me. Feel good! Had little dinner (had some pineapple passionfruit pie today Monique made me!!! [shift the blame, Elissa!] Not much

Tuesday 28/10/86

I really don’t know what to think. I really like him. I really wish he liked me a lot. Oh, I can’t tell. It’s not fair. [Uhuh. Life’s not.] I rode. Yes, I  am sore [from aerobics]. Mostly the upper arm and shoulder area. I am also rather tired. Very. I think, if I’m not riding again tomorrow, I ‘ll get mum to drop me to school, late. Otherwise I sit there, glancing, waiting for mark to show. I don’t want to do that. [The best thing about this is I know it wasn’t due to self consciousness – being concerned that people might notice me looking out for him. It was more about not wanting to be a slave to my feelings, if that makes any sense? Basically, I think it’s a sign of my deep-seated, as yet undiscovered Independence – or as some may read it, fear of commitment?] What’ll I do? Hot again, today. Homework is so hard- gonna start study this weekend with Monique (wanna go out, too, tho’!) Why? Just to see Mark? (Yeah, I s’pose you’re right. . .I’ve got to control it) Yep! Get it outa your system – think negative – HE HATES YOU. Great!!! Some gorgeous hunk needs to fall head over heels in love with you … and you with him. Diet? Well, I still dunno how much I’ve lost. But will keep it up- I like it!! Is 9:20 Must go to sleep. Bags under my eyes. So much work to do.

Wednesday 29/10/86

About 9:00 now. Went to aerobics this arvy, even though Monique didn’t. Found it a bit easier – quite a bit easier today – still sweating heaps tho!! [The perfect example of something I try to communicate to people who don’t exercise: training is actually easier than you think. The first session will always be the hardest, but it’s downhill from there … unless you’re ‘not doing it right’.] Bio test – blech! I don’t think I done well!! [I think the double exclamation marks here illustrate the fact that I was deliberately using poor grammar] (Mark didn’t even know it was on (or so he said to Chris)) I laughed at him.A Life in Words When I asked greg for paper, Mark’d say – “no, don’t give her any”…etc & do the forks!! I really must try to forget him – get interested in some others. Unrequitted love – like Steven. [privacy omission here] (That makes me wonder…) […about? Oh, whether he hates ME. Again. For the hundredth time.] still haven’t started my final assignment. GET MOVING Lissa. Not losing weight – must exercise more huh?! [Not necessarily, dear. I didn’t know back then that muscle weighs more than fat.] Riding tomorrow. Is rather hot (very) Got some rain today & tonight. I must think I’m ‘FIGHTING A LOSING BATTLE  [with regard to You Know Who…] Night!! Mum dropped me to school today – Lazy!

Thursday 30/10/86

Did not find out my biology mark. Did very little in art, blundered on blindly & hopelessly in maths & chem. Did not do any HW. My english assignment due before 3:15pm tomorrow. When will I do it? God, I’m a dickhead! Monique dropped all her stuff; doona, pillow, clothes, food, HW etc off this arvy. A Life in WordsAlso, during bio while video was on, I saw Mark write a note to Duane & then, getting it back, scribbled it out with a black nikko pen. I was very curious (He’d been out of school grounds before school, during double tutorial, little lunch & big lunch) so, after art period 7, raced back & got the note. [You nosy little….!? I can’t believe I behaved so ‘creepily’!] A bit skint – he was downstairs when I came down. Talking (Fi, Sharon, me & mima) to him, Cameron, Steven & Terry before bus came. Finally on bus mima deciphered it throughout the nikko… “I HAVE (then scribbled out) …[omitting the message for privacy reasons].” Naughty Boy!! Is 9:50. Mum dropped me to school again this morning!!

Friday 31/10/86

Oh woe! I am tired. Talked a (very) little this arvy – but mostly to Cameron. Boring day. Got english done & handed in at big end of big lunch. Monique got 2 done … wrote 3 paragraphs for the last one, UMAH!! Mum drove me to school again. Is about 10:40, must get to sleep soon – want to do all work tomorrow and go out tomorrow night & to the Beach on Sunday. Real ragey!! [I wonder when I stopped using that word? I hope it’s soon, it makes me cringe as much as the perpetual thoughts & whining about Mark.] Wanna sleep soon Mum & Geoff are home now. I really want to sleep. Study tomorrow – HW outta the way. I am tired. Now it’s 11:05…. Monique keeps talking so it’s taken me ages to write this. dunno what to write (busted my diet tonight – hot dog, dip, chips, lollipop – she-it!) Hope Mark’s at House on the Hill [nightclub] tomorrow night!

Saturday 1/11/86

So much for all the HW and study we were going to get done today! Monique sat in the back yard – I did  little chemistry, she shaved her legs [I have such a clear memory of this. One of the defining memories I have of her; sitting in the sun with a bucket of soapy water & the razor], I did no maths, we had a water fight & washed our hair under the hose. Got a little burnt too; fi called a few times. About 8:00, mum took her, monique & me to monique’s then dropped us at the video shop. [I wonder what my mum ‘knew’? I can’t imagine that she would have allowed us to go out. My guess is that we fed her a lie about watching videos at Monique’s…because we didn’t own a video player ourselves.] We walked back. Monique had a shower – we all decided what to wear. What could I wear? I eventually gave up and just watched the video. Monique & Fi were ready – make-up, hair etc. Finally Fiona dressed me. We got a taxi there around 12:00 Waited for ages in the carpark till we finally walked up… rejection! I couldn’t believe it. We walked away  And sat on the steps… wishing the guy’s’d come out…guess what? Chris K & Glynn came out!!! Unreal!! After about ¾hr, we attempted again…  a synch!! signed […and turned the page over to Sunday, to continue….]

Sunday 2/11/86

the book [the statutory declaration ‘book’ in which you declared you were 18 years of age or over. Yes, it is laughable. But that’s how ‘easy’ we had it in those days 😉 ] and went in. Monique & Glynn came in when Chris’d gotten someone for fiona – david d!! Everyone was in Smithy’s [a quieter bar inside the nightclub] Mark, Steven, Cameron, Keith, Ben, Brett Hinds…. So many guys. Saw Sharon, being a bit of a snob. Sat down at the table. Monique, me, Fiona, Steven, Mark, Cameron, Chris, glynn, brett & ???Keith(??) A Life in WordsAnyway I thought Mark liked Fiona – talked to her a lot … went outside – bought a jug of beer. We eventually followed … there ended up (mainly) me, fi, moni, mark, Cameron & brett. We had a drink & danced & sat. Was good, but I was really depressed to begin with…I really think he likes Fi. I was sad. Almost started crying when my song “True Blue” came on. [A perfect example of the depressive power of alcohol…] He was dancing with Sharon then (sort of similar to how we danced last time) He danced with me tho’ when Cam. went – we ended up only ones (from our group) on the floor!! But it was a stupid song. We sat… talked little – gave me a flower – I was collecting the ones cameron was throwing away. Finally, we caught a taxi. got home, monique & I, and mum & jules were up. [Okay, so… was mum shitty? I don’t understand. Maybe she DID know we were going out? If that’s the case – my mum ROCKED!!] Went to sleep. Got 4 hrs. did nothing, really Slept a lot. Cherie & Amanda came over. We didn’t go to the beach! Is about 8:40. Take 40 Australia. RELAX!!!!! sleep

A ‘Bizarre Love Triangle’ at the Fete (8-14 September)

Monday 8/9/86

Well quite a few people (I think; Donna, Sandie, Monique, Mima, Fiona, Sharon, Tania, Heather, Linda, Tanja, Judy & Rebecca G – that’s all I think) know about Phillip C liking me. And of those who know/have seen him, all reckon he’s cute – some say gorgeous – best bod!A Life in Words Lifesaver! Swimmer! Wow. But mima told me that Melinda B reckons Peter H was at Phillip’s place on Sunday; meaning he rang from there. SHAME!! But I still love Mark. But he obviously (??) likes Nicole… Cameron & Judy rubbed it in today. Cameron in chemistry said “Did you go with the others to the Playpen?” “No” went to the movies” – “Oh, we went to Nicoles.” Fine, Cameron – that’s just great. What’m I s’posed to say? Then Judy at the busstop reckons “Have you seen Nicole’s love bite? Can’t miss it – big purple mark all over her neck and shoulder.” Double fine, huh? You bastard Mark. You’ve got to love me. Please. I want you more than anything. [Ugh, desperation! With hindsight I have to say this whole infatuation experience was a HUGE ‘life lesson’ I did finally learn from.] I’m tired. Bin studying for maths Ha! Got chem mark back 11½/15 – I passed by lots!! Wow!! Bludge day.

Tuesday 9/9/86

A Life in Words
The Boland Centre was built in 1912 & showcased the department store David Jones right up until 1984

I won’t get to see what Phillip looks like until tomorrow; CAD (& selected Yr 11 & 12 art students – including Mark) are going walking around town during recreation time looking for people to do their windows for Fun In the Sun. Monique Sandie, me & Donna got the best block; Boland Centre, Rockmans, cominos arcade. Wo! Rage! (But I really wanted to go swimming so I could perve on Master C. Oh well! I still like Mark, but I don’t feel as depressed as before (I guess this matter with Phil has boosted my self-confidence somewhat) I’m watching a mini-series (Part 1) at the moment; it’s 9:55. Will probably get to bed around 11:30. Didn’t ride today. Maths exam I failed that’s all I have to say – I’m glad I learnt my content – that might’ve helped. HOPE Dunno if I’m riding tomorrow or not. Want to sleep in. Fun tomorrow I hope. Started doing some speech HW – unbelievable! Exam next Thurs.

Wednesday 10/9/86

Mima & I rode today (Adam, too) Didn’t get any test results back (i.e. Maths or English) At big lunch, Donna & I rode to City Place. We walked down to metropolitan building society so she could get money out then to Monique & Sandie (& Ms Marsland) for instructions about getting “clients”. All four of us had the best block to cover; the Boland centre one. It took longer than most others. Lots weren’t interested in us painting/decorating their windows – but there were still fair few who would “get back to us”. [Ha!] After, rode back to school, picked up my bag & waited for mima. I left & rode home on my own at 3:05 – quite impatient, then after speech when we were talking she said she got to school at 3:20 – lucky I didn’t wait – long time! But at speech asked Megan if she knew P.C. – she said “Yeah” I said what do you think of him? She said “pretty cute” & that one of her friends was flipped over him. That makes me feel really great. Someone who lotsa girls like & he likes me!! 10:40.

Thursday 11/9/86

Rode again. Got my haircut, too – (“much”) shorter on the left side. It feels much better. Rode really slowly esp. on the way home: stopped  & pigged out, let the buses pass us. (Forgot about Saints) [Phillip was a ‘Saints’ boy, so I suppose I thought he might be on that bus and I could have caught a glimpse… had I not forgotten] Got maths & english marks back I PASSED MATHS!! I had thought without a doubt that I’d have failed but I passed!! 17½/30!! Great! [Great? It’s funny how my attitude towards schoolwork changed when I moved to Cairns High. At my primary school and during my junior High years at Smithfield, barely passing would have crushed me.] And english I thought I failed – but I did better than last semester! 8/10!! Wo! Great day! I think I’m gonna hafta forget Mark I only wish what I see & believe to be was true. I wish. But I’m also extremely curious to see Phillip C too. Fete tomorrow! That will decide!! I think. And Mark will be there too. He doesn’t talk or even look at me anymore. Probably hates my guts. Why, though? Bastard. I love him so much tho [Haha, these mental processes smack of schizophrenia!] 9:55. get some sleep late nite tomorrow. Did no HW again. Terrible bloody habit.

Friday 12/9/86A Life in Words

I’m dead. And kinda depressed. It’s just after 12:00. I saw Phil; Peter came up and was talking. How embarrassing – what could I say or do? I felt sick. [Nerves] (He (Phil) was cute/gorgeous, but it’s made no impact on me. I’m still hopelessly devoted to Mark, who I’m sure doesn’t like me) [I know this reaction is based in Fear: “better the Devil you know” is an extremely apt expression in this case] Oh, I even danced with him (& Fiona & Keith & Justine) but that was it. A pity. I do like him so much. I wore my new blue shirt which I got at lunchtime today (walked to town with Sandie and Monique) & blue & white striped skirt (found out they were the perfect match (in colour) UNBELIEVABLE!!) No HW except english & speech this weekend and I intend to get them done speech exam next Thursday. SHIT. Fete itself was boring – dance was OK. Tired. I feel terrible. I ignored Phil all night & moped around after Mark. Why am I such a loser? [No comment!]

Saturday 13/9/86

Did nothing constructive, except get my periods, today. [LOL and that’s constructive HOW? If anything menstruation is about DEconstruction] I am ashamed [because I didn’t do→]: I have 3 english assignments due this friday a speech theory exam this Thursday, a biology exam this Tuesday and a trial-run speech exam tomorrow. And the best thing I did today was to read up all about star signs.. [best?] otherwise I watched TV or read…. Was extremely depressed this morning, thinking about last night. Y’know how we were all dancing together ..well I think – I’m sure I dreamt that Mark said “Remember this?” to me as True Colours was played. Yes it must have been a dream cos they didn’t play that …or did they? Anyway, I can’t even remember what Phil looks like now, except his blue eyes (gorgeous) Rang Fi tonight – talking about Mark & etc. I think I’ll have to be content with being his friend & working my way up (???) from there. Just watched a movie. Is 11:45. Had a terribly dull day – it was gorgeous weather. Wonder if Mark’s at Lenora’s party??

Sunday 14/9/86

11:06. I just watched Superman III on TV.A Life in Words At speech this morning, Megan, mima & I talked (& laughed) a fair bit so our exams took a bit longer than 2hrs – probably about 2½ or 3. Anyway, I ended up doing it out of my notes.. I didn’t know a thing. (I rode up) at home I watched a little TV, did assignment work, listened to music & read. Petra (& Amanda for a while) came up. I like it when Petra’s here. We talk (I told them all about the night I was with Mark) Brings back memories. I long for another kiss (or 10) like those he gave me that night. Yum!! (Not really romantic tho’) I wonder if I’m a good kisser? Ha Ha god I say some stupid things! [Oh yes. Yes you do.] Anyway another fuitless weekend – only wrote about one paragraph more on one eng. assign. Have 2½ english assignments to do. God help me. Mark won’t be at school tomorrow or Tuesday – Geography excursions.