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!

 

Keloids, Oedema & Back on Two Feet (9-15 March)

A Life in Words
Finally, here’s a (poor quality) photo of my original scar in all its Glory. Unfortunately, we’d never thought of taking photos at any other time so this is the earliest I have. (Damned shame we didn’t get any pics of the raw wound.) The large red rectangle at the top of the photo is where the surgeon took the skin for the graft and directly below it is the ‘meat pie’ hole to which they grafted it …around which, incidentally, you can see the horrid suture marks from the first job by the surgeons botched. The scar directly under my finger is, I assume, where I was impaled by the metal which I yelled at the rescue worker to “just fucking rip …out”.

Monday 9/3/87

Did I tell you I’m 60kg again? Well, I was measured yesterday. Oh, and by the way, Mark’s shitty with me again. I said something about all I need is Jemima & Fiona as friends & he (taking I didn’t need him) said he’d never talk to me again, no matter what I said or did. So he’s shitty with me. I s’pose I can expect another goodbye letter perhaps in Wednesday’s mail? Oh well. My appointment was the major news of the day, originally (god its hot) He (the dr.) said it’s excellent. Looks a bit “gooby” to me …but I’M ALLOWED TO WALK AND GO OUT ETC!! WOWEE! That’s what I was waiting to hear. Back at school next Monday YAY!! Although, I dunno; if Mark’s so shitty. I’ve been slowly trying to straighten my leg. IT IS SO HARD. I haven’t yet. WOWEE!!

Tuesday 10/3/87

Hope I sleep better tonight – the last few nights have been terrible – I keep waking. Oooooh! I am doing SO well! I can straighten my leg almost completely back, now & can put most my weight on it for a few secs. And I’m so proud. [Good!] At this rate, maybe I will be walking by the (or for the) weekend! Sandra W rang me this arvy -said Mark understands what I meant ..it’s just he’s upset that I spend more time with my friends at school, than him [what? you haven’t been at school for all bar 3 days of the school term so far…?] (it really matters to him.. he does care) I thought he might ring tonight but no. Oh well. Went & saw nana today. Well & good. . . (boring visit) [oh, to have had hindsight…] also Jo & Mike rang. A Life in WordsThey’re counting the days til they come up. I did no schoolwork this morning again. Justine & Mrs Mac came this arvy, as they left, mima & polly came. Yru gave Julia an enormous leaf of aloe vera to give to me. I haven’t been putting anything on my scars lately UMAH! [I can be ‘religious’ about certain things (obviously!) but it seems treating my scarring was not one of them. I have very soft skin which is a blessing but the trade-off  seems to be that I scar badly: hypertrophic-keloid scars are reddish, raised lumps (you can easily spot them in the photo of my leg above) which thankfully often fade and flatten out over time, but never disappear, unfortunately. While not yet fully understood, keloid scarring seems to result from excessive collagen in the wound healing process; one of my doctors gave me the impression it’s as if your body heals over-zealously?!] mmm… hot, yes. Rain? yes. pimples? Yes – going away? Yes (I hope) Mark – I love you? YES!

A Life in Words
Cairns Post, Wednesday 11 March 1987
Since its completion a decade later, the memorial has been everything our great principal desired.

Wednesday 11/3/87

Mr P [Monique’s father] rang this arvy..sounds so ‘tired’ and ‘weak’ ..Mrs P will not be back for another 2 weeks or so. No call from Mark (of course). Nor any mail. I wrote him a letter which I’ll post tomorrow. Hope it doesn’t sound silly. GUESS WHAT? I CAN WALK WITHOUT CRUTCHES!!!! UNREAL, HUH?! After only 2 days – I can let go and (hobble, limp) walk ’round! (Today I went to Earlville with mum – did shopping but I took crutches – needed them – got tired easily. Oooh runny nose. (Fi & mim came round this arvy, too.) I actually read my novel today (although that was the only schoolwork I did) And didn’t have a bath tonight – just ran out of time. [ew!] Rainy again – but cooler today at times. I slept rather well last night!! Oh, I wish Mark’d ring or something I wish he’d talk to me. Oh I love you. Don’t treat me this way.. PLEASE!!

Thursday 12/3/87

Well, I’m doin’ good . . . walking’ (limpin’ really!!) round! Mum woke me early Dropped Jules at school (went past the seniors – saw him) then we waited an hour or so before we went in. . .took off the dressing. I think doctor Clark was pleased I could walk… I asked questions – they were answered [I’d love to know what I asked…] – nothing to worry about (physically, anyway; I didn’t send the letter to Mark, or even give it to Jules to give to him – will tomorrow – damn, I forgot to re-write it.) Read my play today so .. that’s it. I’ll have to do some solid work tomorrow: MUST. Am going to the movies 2morrow nite with Fi & Jules! Hey, hey! Gonna ask mark (if I get that letter re-written. Shaved me legs 2nite & armpits – didun wanna but had to. [I preferred waxing… but that must have been too large a feat for me to accomplish, somehow?] Ankle looks absolutely revolting – fat (swollen) Leg a bit sore from using it lots I think – it’s looking even better today- I can’t believe it! mm ..hot. rain, though! Fi came down ‘S’ arvy→ ambulance man dropped off some videos drove to fi’s & Watched them. BORING seen before! [I’m guessing they were a collection of news clips/footage that, like everyone, I’d’ve seen repeatedly over the past month.] Oh neckache.

Friday 13/3/87

A Life in Words
This isn’t my ankle, but it could have looked very similar…

Today (not bad luck – much) I took my first WALK. I mean WALK, NOT LIMP!! Fantastic! (And I had a shower, standing all the time!) [I think I can vaguely remember this feeling: the uncertainty of pressing down into my foot was dwarfed by confidence and the knowledge that it was okay to do this, after the doctor’s positivity yesterday. Oh yes, it felt really good!] This morning I hurried a new letter to Mark .. to give to Jules to give to Fiona to give to him. But, we didn’t go to the movies tonight after all – Fi wants to invite mima, tomorrow night (she works 2nite) & even if mima can’t come we’ll still go. So, (Fi was convinced he’d ring me – he didn’t) if he went, we wouldn’t’ve been there – he’ll be even angrier. And if he didn’t go, it means (he didn’t ring) that he doesn’t care. Oh shit. I need you to contact me, Mark. Please, please God, let things be the way they were before the crash. It’s not fair. My life’s the pits. My ankle’s so ugly & fat (swollen) [I failed to understand that my entire leg had been blown up like a balloon during the accident, so the elasticity in the entire appendage (not just the dermis) would have been incredibly tested and it would take some time for it to return to somewhere near normal (thank God I was young and still growing). The fact is, my right leg would never be the same size as its counterpart again: even after a night’s rest, my right lower leg is always 1-1.5cm thicker in circumference than the left.] Beka (came round this arvy) said hers took awhile to go down. [I think she had had a sprained ankle. A somewhat different injury (!) but wonderfully supportive of her.] GREAT. But I walked today that’s something right? [Yes.] And I did some work. And Trina dropped over my negatives & photocopies of photos of Monique. And I sunbaked (towel over my legs so I don’t get a mark from the bandage) & get this – got burnt slightly after only 15 minutes! [Ah the FNQ sun: it cooks you quick!] OH MARK. PLEASE RING ME or come over.

Saturday 14/3/87

No phone calls from Mark, today, let alone a visit. Hope, really hope he didn’t go Friday night..he’d be so shitty (so much more shitty) with me. I rang Fi twice ..3rd time lucky. Mima might not be going tonight – depends whether she gets her schoolwork done or not (speaking of which, I did none) I danced today! (Not really physically jolting- just “bopping” around! I spent most the day writting out the major things that’d happened in the weeks past .. ready to do up my scrapbook. Fiona’s late!! ..it’s 7:20 – movie Jumpin Jack Flash starts at 7:30. Oh Mark, stuff you. (Told Fi, she said she’d ring him tomorrow for me. She’d really expected him to ring me last night.) NO VISITORS today Rather boring day ‘But Jeez, my ankle’s gone down! (I spent ½hr or so in the sun again today – just head & shoulders..wanna bleach my hair. where’s the lemon juice?)A Life in Words [After 4 weeks in hospital my hair had darkened considerably… and as a natural blonde this was displeasing to me. We used lemon juice whenever we could but I don’t know how well it actually worked…] tell you ’bout the movie tomorrow. My ankle – I can’t believe how much it went down, after putting it under a pillow last night. [yeah. I’m sure I meant the pillow was under my leg, not vice versa…] UNBELIEVABLE! Dad & Jenny came over today – this arvy. Amazed at me walking

Sunday 15/3/87

I’m not so worried about school, even though I got bad news from Fi tonight (well..not good .. not bad(??)) I’ll probly get the nerves tomorrow. See, he & Steven & Cameron & Keith were going to see the Stroopers, so they went to Fi’s …she tried talking to him, but he didn’t say “anything”. (At one stage she said “I was going to call you tonight” & he said “why don’t you tell her you rang but I wasn’t home?” Nice, huh? What’m’ I s’posed to think of that? KNOWing me- the worst. [Well, it’s hardly inspiring…] He hates me. But he can’t. I couldn’t accept that.) Wonder what’ll happen at school? (Today I did chem. & nothing much else – a bit of art) I was going to rest my foot as much as possible today so it wouldn’t hurt for school tomorrow… know what happened? (It’d gone down even more this morning (not much more) but more) It swelled right up again. [A perfect example of what happens when sitting for too long… unless elevated of course, which I doubt I would have been continuing now that I was almost ‘back to normal’…] NO visitors of course. Esp. not mark even though they were in the area. It’s too much to ask. Oh I’m nervous. Angela R. rang tonite – is coming over wednesday arvy. Oooh.. I’m worried. I’m hurt. His song’s on the radio now Miracle of Love. [Hmm, don’t remember that. But I still like the song. Check it out below…] SHIT it’s NOT FAIR.

First New Year’s Pash & A Gutful of Worry (1-4 January)

Thursday 1/1/87A Life in Words

At 12:00, I hugged Ben, Sharon then Robbie. I knew it [was going to happen] straight away – we kissed. Then danced. Danced slow. Sat.. he went to dance, kissed me on the neck. It was wierd. I felt sick. I so badly wanted mark. I felt really confused. About 1:45 we left. Holding hands to taxi rank – far too crowded- no taxis in sight. [Sounds like your average New Year’s Eve scenario!] Rang their mum. Sat in the back holding hands. I felt so tired and sick, in the stomach. I was repulsed. Got to sleep, at home, around 3:30 I’d say, after getting ready for bed, talking & me worrying myself sick. [Sharon obviously staying at my house: I may be a bit insane but I’m fairly sure I didn’t talk to myself that often.] Woke about 9:30. Still worrying Couldn’t talk to Sharon – she doesn’t understand I can tell. Went to her place today going to go to beach, but didn’t. Got a video. Had a water fight. Left ∼4:30. I rang Monique a little while ago; on the phone for ages. I almost started crying sometimes. She’s leaving tomorrow. [For a holiday in Brisbane; her original home. They had only lived in Cairns for the past year, moving up as her father was transferred for work.] What am I to do? Sharon wants to do everything with B&R. (Well, Ben anyway) I tried to ring Mark. “he’s not home yet ..have no idea where he is” what am I to think about that? [I know what I’d think NOW…] Oh why do I get myself into so much trouble? [What trouble? You mean Stress. Well, it wasn’t really cataclysmic…] I love you Mark. I want you.

Friday 2/1/87

Woke 6:30. I’m not used to all the light in my bedroom, after Jodie’s dark (curtained) bedroom. [Aha, no wonder I love my blockout curtains now!] Makes me angry that I can’t sleep in. [Touché] A Life in WordsI waited for 8:30→9:00 to come – for the mail & Mark’s letter but heard on 8:30 news – Aust. Post shut today. How slack. I was so upset. Cried. I was so tense & anxious today. About 9:00 I was driven to Freshy – got my haircut – the bob is almost visible. Could be lucky – could nearly grow out before school!! Fringe cut, too. I love it! So much easier to handle. But I was, of course, still upset. After spending less than an hour in town looking for shirts (unsuccessfully) went home. Did nothing. So worried – so restless. Rang Sharon later. She’d talked to Ben – said Robbie acting as if nothing happened. Somehow, it didn’t really relieve me. Nana came over – I was too unsocial cos’ of my worry. After dropping Nana home (gorgeous rain & thunderstorm) I finally worked up the nerve – I rang him. And it was GREAT! [Wow, ALL that worry for ‘nothing’] We’re going to see a movie sometime!! [“sometime”? that’s a nice ‘loose’ commitment…] Can you believe it? Lady Luck: I love you!! [Now this is just silly. What the hell has ‘Lady Luck’ got to do with anything?] It’s 10:05. I’m happy again. [sheesh!] Mark’s adorable!

Saturday 3/1/87

I woke after 7:00, believe it or not! And I had to ring Sharon – I thought she’d have forgotten. Around 10:15 they came. We went to Earlville. Did very little constructive. [What is there to do at a shopping centre that’s truly ‘constructive’?] Met the guy “Jim” who was with us at Nighthawkes on New Years. I felt embarrassed whenever they (Sharon or he) mentioned Robbie or Gemilla. [Oh that’s right, Robbie had a girlfriend? No wonder I was so stressed – I mean, on top of my other concerns. Interestingly, what I didn’t then know was that Gemilla was starting Year 12 at Cairns High this year as well…. Ooops!] Mrs W came about 12:15. A Life in WordsWe had (big) lunch at Dormay’s Cafe, then dropped into my place. Picked up togs and some stuff. Mrs W dropped Sharon, me & Nida (her dog (rat dog chiwawa?)) at Kamerunga. It rained. Hard. We walked all the way to annemaries. I had to carry the towels & dog & lilo (to keep it dry) while Sharon pranced round. Mrs W got us soon after. Watched Police Academy III after a pig-out at smithfield shopping centre. I stayed the night – Sharon taught me to play backgammon – Excellent game. After watching a really sick video, [‘sick’ didn’t have any ‘positive’ connotations back then, unlike today …besides its actual definition, it only meant either ‘wrong’ or ‘bad’] we crashed.

Sunday 4/1/87

A Life in WordsWoke, after brekky played backgammon [Do you think I have any idea how to play it now? I don’t think I have actually played it since then.] That’s about all we did until mum picked me up at 10:00. A very boring day at home. I did crosswords from old magazines, watched cricket and ate. I’m angry – my appetite’s been rather small lately and now I go and stuff it up. Wish I could do something. If Monique was here, I could do lots – I get really sick of Sharon rather quickly. It’s 11:55 Really hot today. A bit of rain – but not really enough to cool it down. Crikey – I think I need an early night soon. I wish Mark’d hurry up and ring me. I can’t wait to go out.

Family, Friends & Future Fears: Farewell ’86 (29-31 December)

Monday 29/12/86

HOME! I’m HOME! We woke (well, I did) at 5:30 (4:30 Qld time) got ready – finished packing. After [family] photos drove to airport. A short wait, and we were all (almost all) in tears.. I didn’t expect I would [cry]. A Life in WordsOn the plane, tears as we waved goodbye from plane & I absolutely gushed when we taxied down the runway & took off, over Sydney. Trip was boring. Didn’t really want to stop at Brissy but…. [back then there were less flights per day, as well as fewer routes, so a stopover in Brisbane was probably unavoidable, but with more family living in Brisbane anyway, the extra time was easily put to good use] Uncle Steven looks so much like dad. Only other person I see in him is papa. [My grandfather. Contrary to the way people usually pronounce it, we used to call him “paa-paa”] Dad & Papa mixture. Simon (youngest) is so cute) Daniel (hmm..) & Ben rather shy. Auntie Bev changed little. day was boring there. Glad (almost) to get on the DC-9 (hate those planes – always get sick/feel sick) Boring flight short stop Townsville  (lotsa cloud & turbulence between Bris & Townsv.) Nightime in Cairns. Dad, Jenny & Geoff there [at the airport, I assume]. Feels so good to be home. Yet I still love Sydney! After I unpacked rang Sharon – not home, monique – not home & mark – not home. GREAT, GUYS! I’m home, but no one else is. [Funny that: the world doesn’t revolve around you!] Oh well 10:05 sleep in 2morrow

Tuesday 30/12/86

Boring. Disappointing. No one answered when I rang Sharon. Monique was home. She invited me to town with her. About 11:00 I got there. Went to Richardson’s [a local department store that primarily retailed textiles] (sometime) and spent ages there ‘looking for a pattern’, then went back to Monique’s. Pool water was so “warm”. Camille & her uni friends Sam and Gayle there & soon Lyndon his friends Ian (cute!) and Tim (blech!) came. A Life in WordsI was bored. Later watched a video (Eddie & the Cruisers) and I rang mum. She was mowing. I swam again & watched TV till she came, about 7:30. At home, after bath & dinner rang Mark. Was at the Waterworks Paul (I gather it was) said he’d be back after 9:00. I asked him to get him to ring me. Hasn’t yet – it’s 11:10. [Um, are you seriously still expecting a call?] I been reading Dolly since phoning him. SO HOT, HERE! Not used to it yet!! Jeez, I realized I haven’t a diary for ’87. What’ll I do for N.Y.’s Eve? Woke [this morning] to a light bedroom & revving of lorry engines next door SHIT

[In the Notes section at the back of the diary, I further analysed myself …in relation to Mark, of course:]

END OF THE YEAR; I’M REALLY “GOOD FRIENDS” WITH HIM, BUT STILL SO DAMNED INSECURE. CAN YOU BLAME ME? I need to be REASSURED CONSTANTLY +ves outweigh -ves. If I hear good stuff lots more than bad, I’ll worry less.  I’m so sensitive and insecure; just too emotional. How am I to believe what I’ve heard, even from him? Why do I worry so much? It’ because I care so much SO MUCH. I wish I could believe everything said to me. But I think of bad things, anything that goes against what’s been said – so I am curious, and anxious. ← that’s insecurity

A Life in Words
The arty record of the final days of 1986 per my school diary

Wednesday 31/12/86

Well, Mark rang, after Sharon this morning. He’s (possibly, but most likely) going to Croc. Rock. It was only in town with Sharon that I decided I’d go- (our phone call [with Mark, that is] was not really happy – told him I wasn’t going out.) We met Ben & Robbie A. in Good Time [a local clothing retail store]. I was introduced. We stayed with them the rest of the afternoon. I got really relaxed around them. (Ben, anyway) Robbie really wanted us (me) to meet them tonight. “You gotta go out – my, Ben’s, your first New year’s Eve Out. So I did. We were late (Sharon & I). Ben was there Robbie was at Nighthawkes. Walked there. [to Nighthawkes? From Crocodile Rock? Sheesh, that would’ve been damned long way…] I got in, on my own .. NO SWEAT!! We danced. Ben & Rob are so good at dancing. Then midnight came. Goodbye ’86. You were a really enlightening year. I matured a lot this year. FOR THE REST OF THE NIGHT’S STORY, SEE 87 DIARY 1st JAN [I created this ‘strict’ habit of quitting the story, my diary entries, right on midnight. Because – of course – that’s when the years ended, right?]

[Again, in the Notes section I summarised the year and set the scene for 1987:]

1986: This year I have grown up (?) or changed (yes) a lot. So many beneficial things happened due to my shift to Cairns High. I’ve made more friends – males like I’ve never had before. I’ve opened up more – gained in confidence because of it. But a subsequent downfall in schoolwork due to increased (dramatically increased) social life. [I have to admit, I totally nailed it. To this day, even with the benefit of hindsight, I can’t deny that the shift to Cairns High was a notable turning point or life milestone.]

NEXT YEAR I WILL HAVE TO KNUCKLE DOWN. MUCH MORE THOUGHT & CONCENTRATION IS REQUIRED. MY LIFE LIES AHEAD – MY CAREER WILL HAVE TO BE DECIDED. A Life in Words[There’s a hint of the pressure that a lot of teens feel even to this day. Even at 44 years of age, I can totally identify with the stresses many of senior secondary school students feel with regard to their futures. This is most definitely a timeless, universal sentiment.] MANY DECISIONS TO MAKE

LOTS OF HOPE.. NO HELP.

A Flat Tyre, Mistaken Identity & the First Kiss (25-31 August)

Monday 25/8/86

Was average day. Rumours spread about Fi, Monique & I smoking at the party. I told everyone I wasn’t. (But the others were) Bludge in triple art – Ms Marsland was away. Funny in chemistry. I used a tap and the pressure (air block or something caused a ‘reaction’ in my measuring cylinder – I dropped everything & had a heart attack!! I was shaking so badly!! It was bloody hilarious. Also saw little of Mark ie: at big lunch didn’t see him but he came to school early today & was wearing a blue shirt! […and the significance of that is? I can only assume that I might’ve been wearing the same colour…and being occasionally prone to superstitious notions, this could have represented an ‘omen’!] On the way home on the bus, we had a blow out, bloody scary too!!! Big explosion sound. Dust flew in the windows! But after long delay we kept going with the flat tyre. [Really? I’m not really au fait with automotive stuff but I thought that was a seriously bad thing to do?] And tonight I answered the phone. Some chic Alison reckons she cleans nana’s flat and I thought it was Sharon – I played along “Alright Sharon” getting a bit bored “cut the crap. What do you want?” “Can I speak to your mother?” I obliged. Mum said “Oh, Alison, Hi!!” SHIT! I was so embarrassed!!!! FUNNEE!! SHAME. SKINTED SEVERELY. Said Hi to Mark & Steven (Steven mainly) & he did nothing Ha. I made another effortA Life in Words

[The diary had ‘Week 35’ printed near the date and I did a calculation (see pic) to ascertain how many weeks were left in the year. Seems to have elicited a response that’s hard to decipher.]

Tuesday 26/8/86

Very boring day. Actually not! In Bio, had our test – I forgot all about it but – it was easy – I passed, no sweat (But how good did I do? . . .) Ms Marsland wants 30hrs now, due Friday SHIT! Maths boring. At big lunch Fi, mima & Sharon & I rode to town. Ordered a bouquet of flowers for Monique & went to woolies. Pigged out. Were very late. 20 mins into 6th period we rode back … Becca G, Judy, Donna & Sandie were walking. Mr Stodford .. Oh no! we didn’t get revved but Becca & Co did…  Ms Marsland let me off the hook, but not the others! (Nah, she just “talked” to them) Standing with Fi at bike racks = Lynette C was talking with Mark. We stood there too!!! Finally walked off! Then saw him as we stopped to pump up my tyres. He said something to mima – we didn’t hear it tho. Hunk! A Life in WordsBought, in town, mima’s prezzy: TRUE BLUE record by Madonna. I was taping it & found it buckled on side 2. [Hilarious! Buy a gift for someone else but make sure it serves your own purposes first!!] Did no HW. 9:15 Got mim’s swatch re swapped also M. Mouse watch working again.

A Life in Words
I still have the Mickey Mouse watch…minus the casing & band. Hoping to one day get it remodelled by a watchmaker…

Wednesday 27/8/86

Again he talked; to Lynette C. & Fi was with them, we were waiting for her (at a distance) to ride to swimming. Mima came ½ way thru’: Brent was talking to a Yr 9 girl & been ignoring her all day; was really upset. We rode back to near service stn diagonally acoss from school oval & waited ages for Adam G, & Benji (we rode with them to school today) I thought Mark would’ve gone; but no- he came & mima reckons “let’s give him the fingers” so she did & he stopped & came & talked!! (Didn’t look at me once – shy!!! I hope???) Got home late. Bugared at speech (before we raced into town to check Madonna record – was just our record needle – too old – record’s not buckled at all.) Asked Fi; she said mima really wants that record great huh? And she doesn’t think any one else got it 4 her. Tired; did little HW (only Chem) wrote (sad) note to mima for her birthday. Busy day. Fun 4 mime tomorrow. Monique was really embarrassed this morning, EVERYONE sang H. B’day!! & hung signs!! Wonder what she thort of our flowers

Thursday 28/8/86

I think I’d better give up on Mark. He had the biggest fight with Tricia today and so many people have said that he’s with Nicole C now (they kissed etc) BITCH. She’s got what she wants. And Mark. FUCKING PRICK. He is gutless and a bastard. [Upset much?] Mima’s B’day. I gave her my note after I got off the bus. She rang & invited me up; Fi read it and got teary (!!) Had B’day Cake & we (mim & I) went to Earlville. Mark was there (with his family skint – was dressed dag YUK) and saw Ben & Richard, Justine, Sharon, Steven B. and some others. FUCKING BASTARD I wish I could talk to Cameron – but he’s the biggest snob. How can I trust the dumb bastard? If he likes me, why does he do this? Is he so dumb that he thinks it won’t affect me? HE IS DUMB. A big sucker. EGOmanic, sorry-for-himself [?], BASTARD. I wish I could be a bitch to him. I wish he’d crawl to me. [hilarious!] BASTARD. [Yeah, I reckon pretty upset…] 9:55

Friday 29/8/86

I am so bloody confused. And upset. I don’t know anything: does he like me or not? Judy said he’s not going out with Nicole cos she asked her. Well, so what? [Maybe I hadn’t heard of ‘casual sex’ at that stage?] I still don’t know what happened Wednesday night … monique said they were kissing … Judy said they weren’t. I wish I didn’t have to, but I think Monique is the one to be believed. She would not lie about that to me. [After all, she eventually became my best friend] Bastard. God I like him so much. Why is he such a bastard? The bad thing is I can’t talk to anyone about it; they don’t understand or don’t want to listen. [Groundwork laid for future Depression? Not talking to people because you think they won’t understand, don’t want to listen AND you don’t want to ‘burden’ them with your ‘Stuff’ anyway?] I am so upset. Party Saturday night. This could be the decider. Oh, I’m so scared & upset & anxious… caught bus into town – julia, fi & I looked for clothes. Julia got a white skirt. Fi got white pants on lay-by. And me? Nothing. What’ll I wear tomorrow night? SHIT. No HW this arvy. Do it all 2morrow.. 9:30. Sleep!!!!!

Saturday 30/8/86A Life in Words

I did my Bio & attempted my Chem & Maths. My english assignment I did not “further”. The day went rather slowly. At about 5:30 I started to get ready. I had eaten lot of junk today! Finally, we left, picked up Fi & got to GREASE. [It was the final performance so the after-party was expected to be big] there were so many familiar faces around! (ie: I knew so many people) It was excellent. Mark was cool. After it, I was informed secretly that Nicole & Him had a big juicy kiss in dressing room. Went to party after ceremonial congratulating and thanking those involved etc. The Party was boring. There were heaps of people; but I was bored. Nicole & Him were together; I was depressed & upset. Judy (after my cry on her shoulder) eventually talked to him after Nicole left, just before everyone migrated to Crocodile Rock (Terry was after Fi) We got there in a cab with Tanya C, Sharon, Fi & I (Judy said Mark didn’t know I liked him so much & he felt really terrible) Croc Rock was excellent; I kept my eye on Mark. [Here I crossed over to the next (Sunday’s) page…]

Sunday 31/8/86

… He danced with Sharon, me with Cameron & Fi with Terry. We danced & danced. After a drink & socialise, danced again (Mark with Fi this time) then again him with Trish & me & cameron. they were dancing really ‘sexy’-ily [by this I think I mean ‘Dirty Dancing’ style…] & kissed now & then… I kept a smile pasted on my face!! Then, after another rest, Mark asked me. I was shy at first (he’s an excellent dancer) he looked at me all the time. Soon I looked at him too. And loosened up dancing. Our faces came really close & I was nervous. We danced for ages then Trish cut in (jealous?) they disappeared & I sat with Cameron. Then back again & we danced again. This time I wasn’t so nervous…we kissed.. we danced & kissed & danced & kissed & kissed it was BLISS Mima & Steven were nearby together! too! we danced & kissed so much. The last dance was True Colours Cyndi Lauper’s new one. We danced slow, close & kissed. I’M IN LOVE!! [Oh my.. *facepalm!] Then we had to wait for a taxi …meanwhile watched a black woman being butch!! At Fi’s at 5:45, mima walked home; Mark, Steven, me Fi & Sharon spent time in Fi’s resting talking laughing; doing nothing. he was so nice to start with then he started getting a bit vicious – pinching my cheeks → It hurt! A Life in WordsAfter that we didn’t talk much. (I am so tired) Got no sleep! Went to mima’s after Sharon left. Guys swam then we all rested – Mark & I slept, mim & Steven? & Fi? (I was asleep!) Walked home. “Sad” to go (??) [Really? After having your face tortured?] See him tomorrow Great. Did nothing at home. Have 2 eng. assign’s to do + art. Is 7:30 now. night!!