A Drug Bust Hoax & An Extremely Intimate Embarrassment (11-17 January)

Monday 11/1/88A Life in Words

Had wierd dream about muppets before I woke this morning: not ordinary ones: the ones (monsters) like out of LABYRINTH [see pic on the right] & THE DARK CRYSTAL. It was really wierd, but good! Well I got up after 8:00 some time, closer to 9.00. I rang Fiona & she said she had to work, but (’cause she rides now) I said I’d ride with her to town at 10:00 and do “nothing” till she had to work. She mentioned on the phone that Steven had said to her “I can’t believe she did that. Mark has finally committed himself to her.” [If you haven’t been following this blog, I highly recommend you read the previous post to understand this statement and grasp the continuing story, in this post.] Great Lissa; he commits himself & finds out this… he won’t ever trust me will he? I really struck out there (well… he didn’t ring me today either) [That sounds like you’ve resigned yourself to an end to the relationship?] So after that I rang Jo, then got ready. It was so windy! I couldn’t believe it… so hard to pedal… I felt totally immobile!! Boring in town: quick glances thru’ shops before riding back to Fi’s Newsagency. I decided (even though the wind was behind me) to catch the (12.30) bus because my bottom was very sore(!!) (Saw Crabbie & Kel too – didn’t recognise them in the car at first!) Listened to BAD on headphones while watching TV at home. A Life in WordsThen nearly fell asleep, so went in to bedroom and slept for about an hour… came out for dinner but could not finish it- felt sick again (see, last night I was feeling extremely nauseous.. very sick, but nothing would happen & I’d still feel horrible: I ended up going to bed with a bucket – moaning. Mum & Julia thought it was because of Mark) [….stress-induced nausea as opposed to an actual stomach bug or other physical health issue…] Thorn Birds is on again, so another late night … have to be at Mike’s work by 8.00 tomorrow: SHIT! I won’t even get to see if there’s any (hate) mail from Mark. I want to send him a bunch of roses & ask him to give me a second chance. See, I’ll have to make the first move, as usual. […so if it’s always the same and you’re not happy with it, change it…] Well, I’ll probably get to bed around 10:30, so goodnight.

Tuesday 12/1/88

I had great difficulty getting to sleep last night. After Thorn Birds, I listened to George Michael & also Terence Trent D’Arby [their entire albums, I would’ve meant] ..before crashing. [Stress-induced insomnia now too…] But I woke early … around 7:00 actually, to a phone call from Mike. I got ready, piled all my art stuff into a bag & got to GERNI around 8:15. About 8 phonecalls all day, one visitor, and mum popping in and out [to check I was coping alright]. I wrote a letter to Mark in the morning (wrote roughly twice before the good copy) and mum got the roses (ordered them) just after lunch, [again, my mother was so good to me… I wouldn’t’ve paid for those roses; it would have come out of her pocket and her only reason would’ve been to try to make me feel better …because I’m quite certain (although I am putting words in her mouth, herewith) that my relationship was a source of concern for her, since she’d (helplessly) witnessed the emotional rollercoaster that it was …for almost a year…] so he would’ve gotten them late this afternoon. The letter detailled my side of the story – how I didn’t intend or want it … and how he should give me a second chance. However, no phonecall [from him] tonight. (Except from CB- good long talk to her) I rang Jo today; she was just going for a job interview at Crocodilliacs. After her, ‘Don Power’ from the Aust. Federal Police called saying there was going to be a drug bust. A Life in WordsI was shocked – Mike & drugs(?) when mum came, she rang Cynthia, who rang this guy she knew, not from A.F.P., but Ray White Real Estate. (It was a joke!) [yep, gullibility is one of my weak points!] so I did my scrapbook for the rest of the day – left around 3.45. Watched TV at home. Am so bored- Fi’s working & Jo may soon be too. What should I do? [Um, maybe YOU should get a job too?] I have no idea. [To be fair to myself, I was thinking ‘bigger picture’: that is, whether I should study or get a job. Study would most likely have been undertaken in another town or city so I was probably thinking there was no point in getting a job there for one month…] Oh I wish Mark would contact me. What shall I do tomorrow, huh? Well, to be sure, I want an earlier night tonight. No later than 10:00 (12:00 or 12:30 or so last night -ugh!) So Mike paid me only $20: that’s disappointing, [hmm, twenty bucks for seven hours: that’s just under three dollars an hour. Mind you, it was hardly taxing work…and it was the 80’s…] but I’ve got to try and make it last (awhile)

Wednesday 13/1/88

No mail from him: no call in the morning. But I had a strong feeling he’d be out tonight. Anyway, this morning Sharon rang around 10:00 or so (a little earlier) and we decided, at 1:00 she’d ride here & we’d ride to crystals. Well, mum took me to the D’s newsagency [I’d left my bike there after riding in on Monday] & I rode home (really good ride!) and at home, did my scrapbook (lauren & tiggy & ‘the tribe’ [some younger girls in our ‘hood] came up & watched me for awhile- a bit annoying). [Not fussed on an audience, Liss?] When Sharon came, we didn’t know whether to go to crystals or not: she was pooped & I thought it was too hot (I was too lazy!) But we decided to ride to the Rocks & see if we’d have enough energy to go on to crystals. Huh! The ride took us more than ¾hr, but we made it (& the ink of pens on my school bag ran with body sweat so my shorts, shirt, towel, all stained.) We enjoyed our swim immensely. A Life in WordsThe ride back was much faster: 20-25mins (& we were dying of thirst so [privacy omission] a can of coke from the Redlynch shop!!) At home I rang Fi and CB. Had to throw all my stuff in a bag quickly & go to Mike’s (to give him his b’day present) Dougie was being very rude & moody & I had one glass of Westcoast [a popular brand of ‘wine cooler’ in the 1980’s]. At [privacy omission]‘s around 6:30, we talked, & I had a shower. Sharon came & so did [privacy omission] (←she’s really nice -hates [privacy omission] too!) Tasha couldn’t stay. We got ready really slowly. I wore my black dress, even though I felt like a real slut [I was ‘conservative’ enough to feel like a ‘slut’ wearing a slim fitting black satin dress… thank god I didn’t grow up in this century, wearing the stuff that girls do today…] (no one else thought so) […because, of course, it wasn’t slutty at all. I think I was feeling more ‘over-dressed’ than vampish. It was actually quite a sophisticated dress.] Sharon, Megan (we picked her up) & I went in the 1st load. Megan got asked for I.D. Keith & Nicole were there. I only had 3 or 4 drinks that night. I saw Mark & Chris & Steven & Cameron (who came up and talked to me – so glad!) [Privacy omission…but to understand this particular character’s relationship to me and the impact of our interaction herewith, read this post …especially if this is your first visit to this site.] came up to me when I was near the bar at one stage – tapped me on the arm & said “Thanks. Thanks a lot.” I said “OK” Freaked out a little after that, but was O.K. When we were dancing, he came on the floor & tried to lead me off. I said “what?” “I want to talk” “NO” “Just talk to you” “NO” I said again. A Life in Words“Well get fucked… fuck this!” (giving me the finger) I felt a bit drained [shocked: I’m non-confrontational and don’t cope with conflict very well] after this & went to talk to Megan. Found Sharon & I saw him dancing with Helen. I asked Sharon to see if he was dancing with anyone & she came back quite a while after saying “Mark’s coming over.” [Hmm, in hindsight I have to wonder if she actually told him to come and talk to me? It’s the kind of thing she might very well have done (and actually had in the past) because it’s the type of friend she was: she cared about me.] Great. I asked him how much he’d had to drink [not wishing to try to reason with an intoxicated person?] & I don’t know… we just started yelling. My voice was already giving way so we went into Smithy’s. It was long, very painful talk. He told me he hated those roses: they were an “insult” (he didn’t want roses, a letter or a phonecall… just me, to talk to him) he hated me & [privacy omission], but had forgiven us. .wanted to know what I wanted (second chance) He didn’t think it was worth it. He said how much he loved me ..how it hurt so much; he put everything to do with me away in a box. He couldn’t stop thinking about me though [privacy omission]. We talked about me & my affairs & he was very vicious. He didn’t want me to take blame, feel guilty, apologise – yet he said so many things which made me feel guilty. Finally ([privacy omission] had left & I was going to catch a taxi home with CB & Trevor (who insisted on waiting for me)) he said for me to go with my friends & forget, tonight, to apologize to Trevor (for snapping at him when he came to arrange going-home arrangements) and want tomorrow or Friday for him to ring & talk somewhere & tell his decision on our relationship. [God Elissa, this happens every time. Why was he always the one to decide the future of the relationship? Why was the ball always in his court? You let it be; you needed it there because you were addicted to and dependant upon him. So …oblivious.] So I went without saying goodbye (I must’ve cried so much – and he’d been wiping my tears away so tenderly, saying that it hurt him to see me cry)…

Thursday 14/1/88

At [privacy omission]‘s, Dean was flaked out on the lounge room floor & Sharon & Cara were sitting talking. [Privacy omission] went to bed & I did soon as I could, too. CB & I had a bed each, and talked (I was so tired) till about 3.30 or so, then bombed. Sharon woke me at 6.50 wanting to know if I was coming… [where to?] I said “I don’t know” and went back to sleep. She came in again at 7:25 & I said “NO!” but ended up getting up almost straight after, anyway. [Privacy omission] & Sharon left & I waited round after packing up (my white turtleneck strangely disappeared) white turtleneck top[Dang, I loved that top. But I’m fairly sure it turned up again: someone would’ve just borrowed without asking…] till mum came. At home, I nearly fell asleep on the lounge when a phonecall at 10:55 woke me. It was Mark. I said there was no way I could get there so he said he’d ring back, but mum came home about 30 mins after, so I rang & said I was coming around. On McManus St, the beginning of Faith was heard on the radio: an omen? Well, our talk was much less continuous: he couldn’t see the point of getting back together (like Fi said: it took him to get hurt to make him realize) basically he was afraid I’d do it again (Now he knows how I feel (felt)) in other words. he won’t be able to trust me too well. Anyway, we decided another go, but this, definitely the last. We are going to remain faithful to each other, even while apart (ie: we’re still “going out” while he’s at college) [oooh, long distance relationships are really hard work. This’ll be interesting, considering the two of you can barely sustain it whilst living in the same area…] so, I could tell he was nervous to touch me & I was, naturally, to him. But, lying on his bed, we eventually kissed: he was extremely passionate. But then it stopped (I was sure it had something to do with thoughts of the past ie. [privacy omission]) [privacy omission] soon made love.. .Sandra getting a shirt just before it and …SHIT… his mum WALKED IN (just after it) [privacy omission] she saw everything. HOW MUCH SHAME! A Life in WordsWhen she went out (she’d hidden her- inevitable -surprise & shock really well – expression did not change as she asked if I was staying for tea) [Kudos to her – I was so impressed by her composure, I’ll never be able to forget it…] Mark said [privacy omission] and laughed. I could not believe it, I was so stunned & WORRIED “Never coming here again” She didn’t know “well, she does now”, Mark said. He laughed – it was a big joke to him. Oh god, we stayed there for about 10 mins – him laughing at my worrying. Outside, Mr W made me stay for tea: oh the shame of it. [What’s that saying? “…I wish the ground would open up and swallow me…”] Although I tried to forget it & we did talk ..about Gatton I felt really bad [entirely uncomfortable] when Mark was out of the room. He drove me home (Paul came, too & I asked him to ring me tomorrow) I told mum & I knew she was shocked, [and possibly a little embarrassed …even for herself: the potential discomfort that may be present then next time she and his mother met…] but she laughed with me. So then I rang Fi, then Jo, then CB & [privacy omission], telling them all the great news (us being back together, that is) My voice was really bad then …Mrs W, Sandra & esp. Paul had laughed nearly all day at it! Watching cricket when Fi came down (830) and stayed, talking, till about 10.00 or so – I had a shower etc & got into bed at 11:00. So tired.

Friday 15/1/88

Well, I was woken at 9.00 (feeling extremely tired) by mum saying to take $50 out for her to borrow. I got up after she left & waited till 9.15 or so before ringing Mark. Thank God Sandra answered (!) […as opposed to his mother…] Mark was woken up  & it was obvious we wouldn’t do anything today.. I said I’d ring later this arvy. Then I proceeded to ring everyone else. Fi said we’d catch the 10.00 bus. Well it was 9.30 so I rang Jo: busy today said to ring back this arvy. And CB & Cara said we could meet them at 11.00 at the mall, but as I thought, they missed the bus (Mum took Fi & I in anyway or we would’ve missed it, too) so we walked around looking mainly for an Xmas present for mima. Saw mum at 11.45 – she took my card to the hospital [I had an appointment there later in the day with the orthopaedic surgeon who attended to me during my hospitalisation after the bus accident] so I stayed in town for lunch with Tasha, CB & Cara. CB & Cara didn’t show up so Fi, Tasha & I got sandwiches & sat in the mall. I went to the hospital at, just after, 1.00 and finally got out around 3.15. Dr Clarke was saying how they might be able to, in the future (far future) stitch up the scars on the inside, to pull the sagging skin together & give it shape. [And this was pretty much what the revisive surgeon did in Brisbane in 1990 (not really the ‘far future’)…] At home I watched TV and got quite a few phonecalls (well Sharon & Jo, anyway) before I rang Mark. Mr W answered (!?!??!) and he wasn’t home. So I watched TV and waited. A Life in WordsAnd waited. And waited. I swore I’d kill him (or punch him) the next time I saw him. Then at 9.30 I got a call. We talked until 10.45. It was a really good call (hated the bit about Nicole[?]: god I hate her)([privacy omission] was telling me today how much she hates her too) So I didn’t get to see him & he tells me now they might be staying over [at Fitzroy Island] Monday night, no, sorry, Sunday night, as well. Why is he not spending all the remaining time with me? Oh well; I guess I’ll have to get used to it. It’s almost 11.00 now. Am very tired. Goodnight.

Saturday 16/1/88

Restless sleep this morning, so I eventually got up around 8.00, to watch RAGE TOP 50 (was up to about no.25, that I saw) rang Jo’s place from 8.45 till 9.30 – no one answering. By then I had to leave. At TAFE, we only just walked in the administration block (seeing a large queue) when a lady asked if she could help us. I asked about reception courses & she said “They’re Monday, 5.30” so we went straight back to the car, and on to KMart to do grocery shopping, all the time I was picturing me & Jo shopping for our flat or house. Wouldn’t it be FUN?! I can’t wait to get working & get responsibilities!! [ha ha ha ha ha ha. Oh this is hilarious. And seriously, seriously naive…] I was thinking (mum suggested) reception for WOODWARD & THOMPSON (for Mrs R!) but I was after Hotel reception, even though it is shiftwork. At home, just got home & Jo arrived. We went back to my place to get her “BAD” tape (I drove – can you call it that? – up our street … ha ha, ha!) Then to shop for pies. I didn’t want to swim so lay dozing in the TV room. They took me home around 1.30, before Jo went to work. At home did nothing …scrapbook, watch cricket. Couldn’t get in touch with Fiona. Tasha & Cara were the only ones at [privacy omission]‘s – told me [privacy omission], Sharon & CB caught the 4:00 boat to Fitzroy. That hurt cause I’d seen CB on the way home this morning and had said I’d ring her at 3.30 to arrange the trip & she’d already gone. And when I rang Tasha back, it sounded much like she wouldn’t be able to go tomorrow (& was definitely not allowed out tonight) So I depended totally upon Fiona, who, I found out, after ringing Stuart, Mr D, Mrs D. & finally Mrs B, was at a wedding. I left an “urgent” message with each of them. A Life in WordsIt’s 9.00 now & she hasn’t called yet. If Tasha can’t go & Fiona can’t go tomorrow then I can’t for sure (not with [privacy omission] on the same boat) ITS NOT FAIR. How can they do this to me? Everyone left me totally out (except Tasha – but she couldn’t help being not allowed out) I can just see me not going tomorrow, then Mark staying Sunday night as well. Well, it’s 9.35, and I’ve given up hope. I’m going to bed (we’ve been minding Dougie & Thomas – Julia’s at Amanda’s – so I’m really glad they’ve gone) I feel so depressed & “BETRAYED”

Sunday 17/1/88

Woke at 6.50 and decided I’d better get up. I had no calls till 7.25, so started ringing others: [panic station!] D’s, then B’s, then (Fi couldn’t come) Amanda’s (but Julia, Manda & Cherie didn’t want to come, either) Jude’s (was working) & eventually Tasha’s. She was allowed and had been trying to ring me! [See? It all works out in the end…] So I got to the terminal at 8.05 and bought my ticket. At 8.20 (after seeing Chris & Glyn; ooh) decided I’d better get on the boat. It was 8.25 when Tasha & Cara turned up (I was so relieved!) We lay on the floor for the (long, boring) trip. [I’m quite sure the big old wooden ferries were still operating back then, even though newer catamarans had been added to the fleet. The old ferry rides took longer and were less luxurious so were cheaper, especially with a student ID – which I still had even though I was technically no longer a student. (It didn’t expire until 28 February ’88) Lucky me.] Once there, CB & [privacy omission] met us & we took our stuff to the camping grounds. I saw Mark but he didn’t seem to want to talk, so we ([privacy omission] CB, Tasha, Cara & I) went on the pontoon- water was full of lice! A Life in WordsWe all just got out, when a huge jellyfish was dragged out of the water. It was monstrous! [Although I didn’t specify whether or not it actually was a box jellyfish, it could very well have been because Fitzroy Island was much closer to the mainland than Green Island, and box jellyfish only dwell around the mainland because they prefer shallower waters, and breed in river mouths, estuaries and creeks.] Then, by the pool, sat & swam (Mark at the table on the other side) Nicole (with Keith, Greg & [privacy omission] Rachel (or Wendy C??)) at the table near the end too. We left & went back to get food money & shoes… had lunch (2nd time Mark talked to me – of his own accord, too – told me I could have some of their lunch & told me he was going surfing) [….which I find laughable. The Barrier Reef ensure no swell makes it to our shores (which also makes the box jellies happy) unless driven by cyclonic conditions. Having said that, if someone had a boat and took them to the outer reef, there they might find surf…] then we sat again by the pool .. Cara & Tasha  went for a long walk & [privacy omission] & CB were associating with Nicole in the pool, so I  sat out with Trevor, Jason & Nigel. Then I got in when CB, [privacy omission] & them left on the 2.30 boat (Cara & Tasha were back) Mark got in & we were barely talking – he was really cranky & it annoyed me – he could at least have tried to be nice – just put me down & whinged about about how hot/cold/tired/sore he was. Then, he said he wanted to get out. I said “goodbye” He said “are you going now?” I said “yes” & I got out & packed up & noticed he was in the pool again with his mates. Great. So I left, got very annoyed & hurt at him for not saying a nicer goodbye, especially as he was staying over again. The trip home was, seemed, shorter…. we were on the front dozing & later singing songs. Just before docking, Glyn threw a towel at Tasha; she ducked, and it went straight over into the water!! He laughed so much! We got off & I rang mum. Tasha, Cara, Steven S left & I waited 10 or so minutes for mum. Lazy at home – am so tired … stuffed myself full of ham/pineapple/cheese on toast, for dinner. A Life in WordsRang [privacy omission] & them at 8.30 or so … may go to the movies tomorrow night. SOMEWHERE IN TIME is on now – that beautiful story.. I love it. Well, I’ll sleep in tomorrow & hopefully be able to ‘punish’ Mark for his rudeness. Nah, I’ll forget it in a flash! [I don’t know about ‘punishment’ but I’m also not down with forgetting about how someone important to you has treated you…]

Advertisements

The Exhibiton, Its Aftermath & New Aqua High-Tops (2-8 November)

Monday 2/11/87

It’s 2:03 and I’m still drunk. Guess what I did tonite? I paid [privacy omission] back! I got with her boyfriend Stuart! [Just to clarify, my definition of ‘getting with’ is just kissing. I didn’t pass ‘First Base’ with anyone outside of a formal relationship. Well, not for some time…] Ha, ha, ha Bitch. Got you back! [Because that’s what Life’s about, isn’t it? Revenge, getting even? This is Tunnel Vision at its best: whether you believe in karma or not, vengeance will never truly deliver satisfaction, let alone ‘justice’…] Stewart nor Phillip were there (that I saw) I spent the whole day at home, sewing [and] preparing for the fashion parade. A Life in Words[The CAD Art Exhibition & Fashion Parade opening. What other reason would I be so intoxicated on a Monday, a school night? The funny thing is, I can’t recall at what point in the night I began imbibing enough to land me in this state. Check out my handwriting sample in the pic on the right. Hilarious.] At 7:55 I finally left home (everything was OK before then- but at the last minute we found the dress was too tight. I was  so   nervous before, [and] during [the] fash. parade. Saw Mark & Phillip N that was it. I think I have blisters. Wow, I’m drunk. Thought Adam was trying to crack onto me – but Stuart & I got together after visiting Scandals & the 24hr service stn then going to the beach. Stu & I stayed in the car. Uh-oh! What’ll tomorrow be like? [Well, that’s unusual: people don’t often consider the results of their actions while they are still intoxicated. I think we can put that down to my innate tendency to over-think. Hello additional Stress…] Uh-oh! Hell! I’d better be careful. [How exactly?] Must ring Jo early to see how she’s getting there. [“There” being a sort of exhibition-opening-after-party-come-Melbourne-Cup shindig at one of our art teachers’ houses.] God, I’m drunk. Feel so GOOD! […for now…] Jo told me she ran into Wayne C & he said Alan T likes me. Oh dear. [Oh well, you will run around kissing boys when you’re drunk…]

Tuesday 3/11/87

A Life in Words
That’s me in the flash spot, queueing up to model our Cup hat creations. Picture courtesy of a school friend whose photos were trapped behind glass; apologies for the quality!

Embarrassment! Skint! I didn’t think it would be like it was: I was too “ashamed” to look at him [Stuart] even (let alone talk to him- tho’ it looked like he wanted to at some stages) He spent most of the day with [privacy omission] anyway which was good. I shouldn’t feel bad- she did it to me. (I guess I’m “lowering to her level”) (Apparently Jenny M. also knows about Jeff & I that nite, too, now.) [Talk about hot water. You’re really starting to boil your own bathwater now Liss, arncha?!] Jo picked me up around 9:30- got to town at 9:50- Jo bought shoes then, after some trouble locating it, got to Pugh’s… watching the exhib. video – up to Fash. parade. Jo had to leave to model. Jude & I made our hats : judging after the Melbourne Cup- I got 3rd! WOW! Jude & I watched the rest of the video + the CAD party video. Then went down[stairs] with “the guys” to make videos! FUNNY. Left around 5:00, as [we were] watching the day’s [as in, this very party we were leaving’s] video. . and Stuart was on the phone- I glanced – & he smiled & waved. So did I and I felt quite relieved after that. I think AM likes me. I think Elliot’s cute. Found out I have a chem. exam tomorrow – no study – I’ve failed! [Pessimism, or realism?] Dunno what it is about Stuart & decided it must be his smile. Lights his whole face up.

Wednesday 4/11/87

..But the saga continues! Today, Stuart came up (behind me) at little lunch (I was in the Yr 11 area with Jude) and talked to me! Then in 4th & 5th (I skipped english- 6th & 7th) we talked more. He does really (kind of) affectionate things – he came up behind me and grabbed (but gently) my shoulders; at big lunch in the art room, he did something to the collar of my shirt (for “no reason”) – his smile is so cute. [I’m a sucker for affection…] On the Mark front – I talked in biol. this morning, but that was it – I barely made the effort. It made me a bit sick [jealousy] to see Mark & Nicole…but, I don’t know, I’m getting used to it. [Drifting away?] Stuart said [privacy omission] was “a bit ripped up” about me & him & he told me how she told him about Mark & her & me (how many – lots-of times she got with him while we were going out.) So I don’t know if it’s worth going back to Mark. [Food for thought…] So many people say I’m better off without him. . but like Fi said – it’s so hard when he says nice things about me & looks at me all the time. (That made me feel better) And Stuart, by the looks of it, is at least a bit attracted to me (!!) [Ha! The modesty’s kinda cute …but on the flipside, demonstrates some lack of self worth.] He said today (& it shocked me) He thinks [privacy omission] are wierd. Went into town – saw Jeff & Jenny – Megan said she thinks he likes me – wish that was true. Jenny knows about me & Jeff now [Yes. You said that yesterday. It does occasionally happen: forgetting I’ve already mentioned something.]

Thursday 5/11/87

…And still it continues! Stuart broke up with [privacy omission] today. But he didn’t talk to me at all. Jude (& Jo, I think) heard Miss Marsland at lunchtime today, with [privacy omission] a whole  lot of people, say “why did elissa give Stuart those things on his neck?” (lovebites) Shit, I never saw them. So many people must hate me now. […this thought alone would be terrifying… for lil ol’ me who needs to be liked by everyone…] Mark said something about it this morning – [privacy omission] told him & he said “was it to get her back?” He was being rather nice this afternoon. But the strange thing is, he didn’t really turn me on. I hope Stuart was just in a bad mood like Jude said, and not hurt because someone said I’d used him to get back at [privacy omission]. I can understand how much that would hurt him, because it even hurts me. I really do like him. […despite the drunken spiel in the heat of the moment on Monday night, I never seek revenge. It’s just not in me. This was an authentic ‘co-incidence’ whether or not you believe it.] I’m so confused. I rang Sharon & asked her to ring Stewart & find out what he’s on about. [No contact = pretty obvious to me…] And Megan’s scheming about Phillip for me. [scheming? That doesn’t sound so good…] And Mark still loves me – but is such a bastard – A Life in WordsGod I’m so confused. All these damned guys in my life. [Life’s tough, hey? But you shouldn’t really be complaining considering how many years you spent wanting a love life. Wish granted! What’s that saying: “It never rains, but it pours”?] I need to talk to someone & strangely I’d like it to be Stuart (W) Hope he talks to me tomorrow. PS: got my formal photos. Someone rang this arvy but hung up before I could answer. wonder who?? [maybe just a wrong number… who knows? Does such an insignificant thing have to matter so much?]

Friday 6/11/87

Tonite is the first night in (the first Friday night in) approx. 5 weeks that I have not gone out. [I’m specifically talking about clubbing…. or somewhere that involves the consumption of alcohol…] Now I have the feeling that I’m missing something (like last nite- the first Thursday in approx. 5 or 6 weeks that I didn’t go late nite shopping!) [Interestingly, this feeling permeated my life pretty much right up until I moved away from Cairns in my early thirties. It wasn’t always present (there were definitely periods in which I enjoyed a quiet social life) but I’ve certainly had difficulty at times being content to stay home and ‘do nothing’. That’s certainly NOT the case now: I’m  a confirmed homebody – perhaps to a fault…] Too bad. Today was a downer. I didn’t talk to Mark at all (but that’s not the reason) A Life in WordsStuart still didn’t talk to me & even seemed to be avoiding me. It’s not fair- there’s something about him I like so much. I think about him more than I do Mark. That’s amazing! Jo & I went to see La Bamba tonite. Thorstein Darren & Alan D etc were there. After, went to Trinity Wharf, walked round Hilton till had to pick up Robbie from air cadets. Is approx 10:45 now. I’m tired – hope tomorrow nite’s party is “worthwhile” ie: Stewart or Stuart or Phillip. Maybe even Mark. Dunno. Got my deadly new aqua gym boots- [not actually Converse brand, but definitely replicas. Colourful sneakers were just coming into fashion in the mid 80’s in Cairns, at least…]  A Life in Wordsbit small… cause little “hurty” [I had a tendency to wear shoes a bit too small for me because I somehow had it in my mind that my feet were too big. Turns out, they’re actually a tad small in relation to my height. So all that cramping later resulted in a Morton’s neuroma in my right foot and bursitis in my left. Well done, Liss. A ‘win’ for Vanity…] Exhibition officially pulled down. Boring day really. Hope everything (or something) is sorted out 2morrow nite at the party – I’m a  confused little girl. The dream I had about MW yest. morn. I had one about Stew & Phil this morn. FREAKY. [Freaky just because all of my ‘love interests’ were appearing in my dreams: it wasn’t the case that I happened to be having the exact dream, with different characters. I’d imagine the chances of that happening would be pretty slim….]

A Life in Words
Cairns’ original railway station on McLeod Street was demolished in 1996 for the shopping complex Cairns Central, which houses the current station at its rear (Bunda Street)

Saturday 7/11/87

Boring. No, not at all, really! After seeing Ross & Thelma off at the train station (7:15 -erk! I was dead tired) went to Rusty’s Bazaar & guess who! Phillip C was there! YUM, YUM, YUM! Didn’t have time to stop & talk , but I sure made a point of saying hi. He is so gorgeous! At home, I set out to do study, but never got anything done. [Surprise, surprise] Tried to make a white skirt to wear out but it stuffed up around 5:00- too late to start again. phone calls all day. I went to Fi’s and got her black shirt. Seeing as I had nothing to wear (I thought a denim skirt would be ace!) Rang Jude. She had one (rather large for me, tho! Just like Monique’s. I got to Judes just after 9:00, and we waited outside till, get this: 10:15. Finally, at the party (we drank goon) [For those who aren’t acquainted with this alcoholic beverage, it’s simply slang term for cheap cask wine.] there weren’t many people there – Mark was & Stewart P. I was shy to talk to mark & also to Stewart at first, but then I avoided him – I was angry – hurt from what he’s done to me. […or hasn’t done, more specifically; no contact] (PS: Sharon still hasn’t talked to him I don’t think. What the hell is this guy on about??) [With hindsight (& some life experience) the answer is obvious: he’s just not that into you.] Anyway Mark came up to me because I didn’t go up to him. He said he was angry I was avoiding him & I said I was too shy we talked a bit … mucked around mostly. Just as (Jo’s) Mark (B) was about to take us to the Hill, he said he wanted to talk to→[next page…]

Sunday 8/11/87

→me. But we didn’t because I would’ve missed the others. He said “another time”. I worried briefly about what it possibly was that he had to say to me, but forgot at the Hill. Jude & I stayed there. A.M. & Gemila get there not long after us. Stewart was with Jay & Anna etc. and went home nearly straight away. He said hello at one stage, but I made it clear I wasn’t going to be a conversationalist. [Oooh big word! But in other words, you snobbed him…] They left. Adam M turned up & I remember talking to him about Stuart W., but can’t remember what I said. [oh dear…] Hope it wasn’t anything I’ll regret! (Jude & I had an EXPLOSION each -& were spinning) A.M., Jude & I decided on the playpen. Got a taxi to pick up AM’s car – got in thru’ Sequils for free. OK! danced a lot ..group of mods there (the ones who are always at the Hill on Fri. nites – Helen, Phillip) [a different Phillip to the other two I found so appealing…]+ 2 guys purity cute! [I meant ‘pretty cute’, but because I wanted to emphasise the word pretty (through a kind of drawl) my phonetic attempt resulted in a word meaning innocent, clean, fresh. Writing ‘perr-itt-eee’ would’ve worked better…] I ended up dancing with them (at different stages) The one in the white shirt was cute James. Steve ..I talked to & eventually got with. A Life in WordsAM dropped me home around 5:10, Mum was awake. Got up around 10:00. Got folio prepared all day – Did nothing else. SLACK. went to mima’s to take photo of Fat Ladies [artwork of mine her mother had bought at the CAD exhibition] – talked to her a while. Jo’s place later on in arvy – take photos of her work for her. […as well as some silly ones of ourselves – see pic] Big talk there, too. Late now. 11:40!! Been doing art dress (silver one) So glad only 2 weeks [of school?] left! Ring M. today – talk 2morrow at school →was a really great phonecall actually. Mima told me Steve the guy I got with (works at International Hostel – from Melbourne – finished Yr12 in 1986) is one Juliet likes. SKINT!! Wonder what Nicole did Sat. nite? Did Mark go over & visit her? Who gives a ___ if he did?. [The fact that you’ve bothered to write this proves that you were thinking about it, so YOU probably give at least a smidge of a “___”. But, it’s a valiant attempt to shift your attention from potentially morose thoughts…]

Performance Anxiety, Rum ‘n’ Coke & A Sore Bum (22-28 June)

Monday 22/6/87

Had sad dream about Monique last night -we were at the camp, ready to go home & I knew the crash was going to happen. I tried telling Monique she was going to die. Sharon & Julia (??!!) balling their eyes out (me too).A Life in Words [I think my bracketed punctuation refers to puzzlement about these two characters in the ‘geography’ of this dream… since neither of them attended the camp…] Monique did understand or believe what I was trying to say. […which could be a subconscious expression of my belief or ‘acceptance’ that it was ‘Her Time’ to ‘leave’?] God, it’s not fair. I got 66% for board art this semester. That’s all I need. Isn’t it bad enough I’m getting a very limited ach. for chem, a limited for maths.?? Now a ‘sound’ for Art – & I’m a fuckin’ CAD student. [For those who aren’t aware, CAD (Centre for Artistic Development) was (and still is) a ‘School of Excellence’ Fine Arts programme that commenced at Cairns High in 1986 …to which I applied at the recommendation of my previous high school art teacher and was accepted. It was the primary reason for my move to CHS. We did fourteen (40 minute) ‘periods’ per week, as opposed to the five per week for standard subjects so, with the dedication and prestige one could attribute to this, it’s understandable why I felt extremely disappointed in myself for failing to ‘excel’…] Today I dressed & spent the whole day in the dark room. Did about 20 prints altogether. Now have to choose which ones to hand in. Was O.K. myself. Ange & Michelle & Nev were in & out (+ their visitors) mum took me home. I rang Mark at 5:00. I rang Keith at 5:05 to ask if he’d take us to the drive in. [Wow, that’s kind of …rude. At least, I’m sure that mum would not have approved of that ‘impertinence’…] Mark didn’t ring me back, so I rang him at 6:00. A Life in WordsThey picked me up around 6:30. I had the distinct feeling all night that Mark was dis-interested in me. I have a horrible feeling deep inside [gut feeling?] that he wants to end it – that he doesn’t love me. I don’t know why – it’s just there & it frightens/sickens me. [Super strong gut feeling?] Saw Burglar with Club Paradise. Both funny! They came to our place & stayed till 12:30. Even though we kissed & mucked around normally, I have this horrible, horrible feeling there’s something wrong.

Tuesday 23/6/87

Well – a boring day at home. (Beautiful sunny weather!) I did a little study, but not enough. I spent most of the day worrying/working out my T.E. score – what I could possibly get. [For younger readers, the T.E. (“Tertiary Entrance”) score was our equivalent to your O.P. (“Overall Position”) …all University entrance determinants. The silly thing is, trying to ‘calculate’ it really is a waste of time…] I need to pull myself right up: 90% for eng. biol & art, and 60% at least for chem. & maths. Shit. I am in trouble & it’s hitting me now. So what chem I did do, I haven’t really learnt. And I’m so tired. It’s 9:45 now – if I study I’ll be up all night – dead for tomorrow. And I have to catch the bus; mum had a crash this arvy. Ran into the back of a QRX truck (her fault). A Life in WordsWhen I rang Mark tonite, he said he saw it. Terrible!! Rang Mima – they’re not sure if they’re [she & Fiona I’m guessing, are] going [to school]– but they think so. I frigging hope so. they’d better! I need to get a lift with them! Ow pain. [Pain? Why? ….random comment…] Well, guess I’d better get to & study a bit. Can’t wait for the holidays – free time! (Crash scrapbook to get finished + can try & sew for practise for next semester in art. Can’t wait!! I ♥ HOLIDAYS!) Woke up depressed (crying) about my art. Can’t believe it. 66% & I’m a CAD student. It’s terrible. Surely Ms Marsland would take it into account. It’s not fair

Wednesday 24/6/87

Yay, yay, yay! Exams are OVER! (But I’ll still have to get up early tomorrow, to do my school art folio – to be handed in before 9:00 tomorrow morning – DEEP SHIT!) I stayed up till 1:00 last night studying – knew I wouldn’t sleep if I didn’t try. Woke & had to catch the bus.. chem theory I failed, for sure, but (I’d expected it, anyway) I don’t think I failed absolutely miserably! Big long lunch hour .. then prac. exam. Was easy- did everything fine!! Went to town after school (mum’s got Mike’s – cousin – car (ute) to use – isn’t that nice of him?!) with mima, pol, fi, jude & peter (McM.) Caught bus home … got ready for dance around 7:30. Got there 8:00. Empty (practically) But it filled a little. By 9:00, I knew Mark was not just drinking (with Steve) .. they were at Michelle & Angie’s housewarming party. When they came . . he was only grumpy anyway cos he was so sick (drunk). Keith took him home (I went too) A Life in Words[This is a tad confusing because in just a few lines ahead I mention getting a lift home with someone else?] Otherwise, raged dancing! Had a ball. (Geoffry M is so yummy!!!) Waited till 11:50- Martin was drunk & we had an “adventurous” trip home. Well, its 12:25 – I’ll have to wake & rush to get my art done.

Thursday 25/6/87

Well, Mark came for biology & that was it. And in biol. he was punching or just “bashing” me. I took it as a joke, of course – I have to take everything as a joke now. [Really?] Left without saying bye. I’m sure he’s not interested in me anymore. It’s just like [privacy omission] last year- he was “keen” for so many days & then the slackening off Well, I know I shouldn’t feel this way, but I just have this horrible feeling. Something is WRONG. Nobody was at school (practically) I got 70% for biol, 43% maths, 78% art & (believe it or not) 80% for english (WOW!). [English turns out to be my best subject…] In art Ms. Marsland told me the teachers reconsidered & took into account my state of health (mentally & physically) & took me up 12% Great that’s fine. I need 90% next sem to get VHA overall for art. Cleaning room up in art. Bludge of a bore of a day. Got some material this arvy & made some black shorts (almost totally by myself!!) Also got vinyl for a satchel to make! Rang Fi, Cameron & Mark & Mima. Not going horse riding tomorrow now – mima can’t. Fi’s ringing me in the morning to see what we’ll do. Cameron told me they’re gonna try to play golf – if not; watch videos at Steven’s as they did today. 10:45. Another late nite

Friday 26/6/87

Woke 7:15 (shit! Had wanted to sleep in longer!) Rang Fi around 8:45. She said we couldn’t go with Jason. We went to town around 11:30 (Fi drove in – really good!) We opened an account for Martin, [um… how is it possible to open what I’m assuming is a bank account for another person? Oh the things you used to be able to do, back in the day!] then looked at clothes, shoes (all the normal stuff). Finally got a seat at Sidney’s Cafe – yummy lunch. Saw quite a few people (plenty!) that weren’t at school! (Glyn & his girlfriend Lisa, for eg.) Caught the 4:00 bus home. Rang Mark ..no, he rang me, around 6:30 (Mima came during it; see if I wanted to go to the Eisteddfod)(←no!)(←I didn’t go!) I kinda talked about my “neglected” feeling & we were talking. He sounded bored. I have no room- I’d like to write what I can remember he said. But anyway, he & Keith came & after a stay for a while, we went to drive in bottle shop (liquor barn) one bottle rum-5 litres coke . . to Keith’s brother’s place to video shop then back there. I got happy v. quickly – the “happiest” I’ve ever gotten before. A Life in WordsNear drunk, I’d say [LOL Liss, deluded! You were drunk!] But mate it was good! Watching videos-leaning back ..looking up at Mark. God it was great! Then after watching a bit of Rage after.. (4 good songs, believe it or not!) Keith’s brother & his girlfriend drove us to Keith’s .. his parents were away ..Mark & I had their bed. We did a fair bit of  talking (till about 3:30→)

Saturday 27/6/87

listening to 4CCR. Kissing as well. [still not what y’all think….!] But we talked a fair bit, about quite a lot . . he did get with Nicole – “just one kiss”. I didn’t get angry – I’m too soft. I should’ve. How could he? He said a lot about me going to be his wife – he’s never going to let me go. Somehow I don’t think he would stop me from leaving. Anyway, I woke around 7:00 – went to the loo (in the mirror I saw >gasp< a big hickie – to the right of my neck this time, but still big!) Mark woke around 10:30 (I’d gone back to sleep, too) We kissed >etc< [haha, STILL not what you’re thinking….!!] till about 12:30. He told me, when I asked if her remembered everything we talked about, “yes” and that he meant it. (He said “I mean it” twice – for me to get the picture). Anyway after breakfast (for lunch) they took me home. Had to go & see Nana. Back at home I rang mima… I got ready & rang Mark quickly .. Steve, Keith & Cameron were going to is place A Life in Words“BOYS NIGHT”. At Fi’s, I did my hair & we went to get 2 videos before running to the Odeon. Lethal Weapon was excellent (dramatic; suspense!) After walked around – to get money for tomorrow ..saw & talked to people ..then saw Keith & Mark & Steven & Cameron in Keith’s car …talked briefly CUTIE! Got to Fi’s by taxi .. too tired to watch the videos. . so cool, slept well. Cold, indeed!

Sunday 28/6/87

Woke around 8:30.. we watched one of the videos went to mima’s, then my place. Fi drove us to Palm Cove (around 11:00-11:30) We baked for only a short time, before pigging out at the shop. then we dressed & waited for Brent – he’d been there 10 mins & we hadn’t known! Went to the horse-place (!!!) I got a gentle, but stubborn horse. The ride was good! (¾hr long) OW! My bum is so sore! [I wouldn’t say I’m passionate about horse riding, but it’s an activity I would happily do again… even though I know I’d need up just as sore (if not more!) than I was after this…] We ate at a shop near Clifton, then dropped in  at Trinity Beach . . saw Mark, Keith & Jason (Mark & Jason only, really) play [baseball] ..God, Mark pitches a mean ball! A Life in WordsI’d hate to be the target of one of those! He didn’t talk to me much.. Keith & Jas. did. (He was just so caught up in the game, I guess.) We left (I didn’t get to say goodbye) Wasted the 2 hours till 6:00 Then had dinner, shower & rang Mark – tried to make it an interesting phone call, after what he’d said Friday nite (“that 1st phone call was so exciting.. now they seem routine- boring”) something like that Warm, but cool in shade day/ Getting cooler slowly & slowly..!! IS 9:55.. should’ve had an earlier night. Work (boring) tomorrow. YUKKY.

Sleep Struggles, Cramming & My First Monique Dream (15-21 June)

Monday 15/6/87

Today was non-stop for me! I had an extremely restless night – finally got to sleep round 11:30 then woke up a number of times during the night .. so tired this morning. [Stress will do that to you…] At school, when Mark came we sat & talked a little – he’s sick again. .. the headache & mainly very sore throat. After parade, had double chem.. catching up on pracs. then maths I busily worked fixing up [computer] programmes. . even worked into little lunch, trying to catch up on one programme (with Mark’s printout) so ½ way thru little lunch, I drop my bag at artroom & race off to give Mark his printout, before he left ..walked back with him to artroom (he needed paint). He left during 4th ..double art I did a bit of painting when Ms Marsland finished talking to us; that (painting) went into lunch hour, so went up to computer room & tried a few little programmes. Bell went; in english I copied out notes on novel & play for revision, then in bio got test (mark) back & fixed up all mistakes. A Life in WordsMum took me home . . I sat studying maths till about 6:30. Rang Mark briefly, then watched TV the rest of the night. So it’s now 9:45. And I’m not at all ready for this math exam(s) I really should’ve tried harder to catch up. my fault. [Ownership!] Big failure tomorrow.

Tuesday 16/6/87

A Life in Words
This isn’t the original portrait, but it certainly is yet another failed attempt…

Man, am I in a great mood! I just had a big (and I mean MASSIVE) attack of laughter (not giggles . . it was cackle) Man, was it fun! I don’t know why either! [And it doesn’t matter! It was scientifically verified quite some time ago that Laughter reduces Stress thanks to ‘positive’ hormonal responses = lifting one’s mood!] See, Maths Prac.. I think I’ll pass (just) because I managed to learn trapezoidal method before we went in .. & that happened to be the Q. [Oh and have I ever needed to refer to Trapezoidal Method again in my life (to date)? I’ll give you one guess…] But, after 2½ hours study time after it (& for lunch) I wrote out the rest of my maths I [this ‘I’ denotes ‘One’ …as opposed to another separate subject, known as ‘Maths II’ …or Maths ‘Two’…!] notes (programmes etc) But to no avail. Come the test, Elissa leaves at least 5 Q’s totally blank & writes crap for all the rest. Fact was ..I wasn’t even worried cos’ I knew from the outset I’d fail (but by how much? – HEAPS, I think) [Lower expectations = less Stress?] Then again So’d everybody else.. not many will pass that exam I think. Talked a fair bit to Mark, “in-between” ..being “sweet” today.. liked it. This arvy (Jason drove us home) did artwork of Monique & Erica, but is nowhere near them, like Mark is of his portrait. [Photo-realistic artwork can be so hit-and-miss…] so I rubbed them out v. angrily. wasted the arvy & night will have to cram for english tomorrow morning. just, really, have to learn quotes, poems & read over examples & notes. BASIC! (Ha, ha) Is 9:10. GOD, I FEEL GOOD!!

Wednesday 17/6/87

This morning I spent trying to find quotes and it was pointless. At the last minute, mum took me to school. Mark came late & sat on the other side of the room  I did not do well at all. It was a very hard english exam (of the 3 I’ve now had at CHS, [one per semester so; two in Year 11 + this Yr 12 first semester = 3] it’s the one I feel worst about.) Oh dear; I’m not doing well! Mark barely talked after – left almost straight away – his sinuses are playing up now. That’s probly why. [Another confusing statement, thanks to poor grammar… I’m thinking I meant he “probly” “barely talked” to me because of his “sinuses playing up” This composition doesn’t really help to illustrate how good an English student I was, huh?] Mum picked me up & took me home. This arvy, I did almost nothing. Tried to do art, tried a little bio study but I was too tired- lay down all arvy. And watched TV tonight (the movie too – umah! it’s 10:10 too late!) Fine today (hot too) Oh, I’m tired – what a fool I am. Thinking about Monique a lot today (dreamt about her for the 1st time since the crash, last night) Dreamt her ghost was with me – everywhere ..we talked & did all the things we would normally do. It’s not fair. She shouldn’t have died. She didn’t deserve it. I didn’t deserve it. I need her. I want her. [Wow, SO many things to address here, relative to the beliefs I have formed over the years: firstly, Death is only ‘undeserved’ if our perception of it is a Bad Thing. And I now think it’s not at all. (Perhaps the way you end life is more frightening than Death itself?) I believe wherever we ‘go’ after is actually our true ‘Home’. A Life in WordsEach life is a journey (of tests and/or merely ‘Experience’). So maybe she DID deserve it? Maybe she had served her purpose and deserved to be free of her “meatsuit” (body) and the trials of mortal life? We (me, her family et al) who she left here could certainly feel jibbed because her physical departure is our loss. The truth is, no one needs anyone. We can certainly want them but the Futility, that only perpetuates Pain…]

Thursday 18/6/87

Well, I’m bugared. It’s about 11:10. I just got told by Julia that it’s time to go to bed. [A wee dig at my little sister, for “bossiness”?!] I am tired, but I bet I won’t get to sleep soon. My sleep has been terrible for the last 2 weeks, or so. And it’s not doing me any good. Well, I stuffed my biol. prac. no way I could pass that (except for a miracle) that’s why I think I “knuckled down” tonight – gotta do ‘excellently’ in my theory to keep me up there. I wasted this morning – didn’t get to do any of my art because there was an art exam in our room. SHIT! I spent the time in the library, doing biol instead. Mark barely talked, but I know he’s not shitty with me. Anyway I rang him tonight – about 20mins- we got on O.K. He’s getting better finally … just his throat (& that terrible cough) now. Good-o! Boring day. It actually fined-up, but raining few minutes ago. Well 11:15 now. TOO LATE A NIGHT! Please God, help me do exceedingly wonderful[ly!] in my biol. theory!

Friday 19/6/87

It’s 10:00 now. I’m not in a great mood today well – I’m a little depressed. Mark barely talked to me today. It’s getting me down; he’s not shitty or angry with me, I know, but he barely talks to me. Anyway, after the biol. exam, he went to study & that’s the last I saw of him. I went to the art room at finished my painting. [“at finished my painting”? No, not a typo, I actually wrote that in my diary.. not thinking clearly?] Left school around 2:50. He was still in his exam. He didn’t ring me tonight (this arv.) So I rang him, around 6:50. Very short phone call. He was going to town with Keith. I can’t explain why I felt so miserable – I was ready to cry. Why didn’t he want to spend the night with me? I’m feeling neglected. I want to be loved. I haven’t had time with him for around 2 weeks.. doesn’t he miss that? I can’t understand how he feels. Jesus, I need a better diary next year. . so I can write as much as I want -2 or 3 pages. Now 10:30 -movie is finished. Got to sleep around midnight last nite (as I thought) &  woke at 6:30 this morning. What’s wrong with me?

Saturday 20/6/87

I wasn’t excessively worried, but a little disappointed (yet just as I had expected) when I didn’t get a phonecall from Mark. I spent the whole day talking to Julia, Amanda (laughing!) watching TV (the sat. morning music shows), after reading the paper (believe it or not) [Even now, I hardly watch TV news let alone read newspapers…] Well, I decided not to vege out at home – rang Fi – she was out, so rang Sharon. I went to her place then we left for the pancake house. Long talk! A Life in WordsLots to catch up on! Then to see Les Patterson Saves The World and Playing For Keeps. Les Patt. is very sick humour – Playing for keeps is O.K.!! At her place, had hot chocolate then bombed! I was so tired! – 12:45. (the day had fined up! sunny! Yay! I did no. chem. study – umah!) thought about Mark a far bit esp. trying to get to sleep- but I always do!

Sunday 21/6/87

Woke around, god, can’t remember, but I had a good sleep there (if only it could’ve been longer ie. gotten to bed earlier! My black bags still haven’t gone – big as ever!) Well, after brekky, went to Holloways Beach for about 1½hrs. (about 10:30-12:00) The back of my right leg is burnt! (scars pink!) Saw Giles S and Brendan L. Talked a little (about the crash) at Sharon’s, before she got ready for hockey and dropped me home on her way there. I knew it – I dreaded asking “No phone calls?” Nope. So I spent the rest of the afternoon doing nothing- the weather was beautiful – mum’s room so cool: I just sat lazing. It was great! Tonite I rang Fi …she said I should ring him. I wanted to, anyway but wanted her opinion. He was in the shower -rang back about 30mins later (I was annoyed!) Talk was O.K. Not exciting, but he wasn’t shitty with me. We are going to the movies tomorrow nite – I had to organise it as usual. Mima & polly just “dropped in” – walking with their family.. embarrassing – I had only my P.J. shirt on – my fat legs showing!! [I wonder how ‘fat’ they actually were? I’m skeptical about that, because of my poor self-image] Watching mini-series now. It’s 9:20 will be another late night.

Red-Eye Radio, Dead Roses & Heavy Hypotheticals (30 March-5 April)

Monday 30/3/87

Ugh! It seemed like he was avoiding me – came very late, rushed out of maths (to do a geography exam – so not ‘around’ at little lunch) Not round during beginning of big lunch – but near tuck-shop met him & Keith. Said he’d tell me in biology [whether we were still an item or not]. During bio he sat with Duane & Alan C away from me – waiting for me to come up to him .. our talk after school didn’t do much …but I think we’re still “going for it” ..just need to try harder [Again, what does this mean? Try harder to what? Not be yourself?].. phoned me this arvy- ended up talking rubbish (jokes) I don’t know.. sometimes he seemed so negative ..but [privacy omission] “did you really think I was going to break it off?”. I really didn’t know. I thought that’s what he thought was the “practical” thing to do. So my day was depressed & nervous. (stood on bus talking to Fi on the way home .. she helps me so much.) Big talk to Jules about the crash tonight – did no study for bio exam tomorrow. Will fail for sure. 9:45. OOPS!

Tuesday 31/3/87

A Life in Words
Yep, this was pretty much the quality of our technology in 1986…

MMMM… couldn’t go up to him this morning ..embarrassed – no; unsure. Double maths – I got my own computer now!! And I did very well in my programming!! [That’s about all we did with computers back in the day… or at least, that’s all I can recall ‘learning’…] Happy with myself indeed! Talked little at little lunch . . I went up to him! During bio exam (Ha, ha, ha… biggest failure out . . terrible) I sat next to Donna. He “nicked off” at big lunch . . to begin with (computer room) talked little & after school. & he rang me just before – always going on about the “in-depth talk” 2 things I’ve gotta give him 2morrow – (1) The big talk & (2) (finally I got it out of him) a big kiss. (Also [I] said about my going up to him- I thought I did well for the first day – [privacy omission]) Otherwise, boring, hot day . . walked down to the shop with Jules. (leg uncovered) this arvy -both got skint [I had hoped I’d’ve stopped using this silly word – meaning ’embarrassed’ in this particular context – by now] (swearing in front of people accidentally) [It’s quite interesting how swearing was still considered so impolite back then that we actually felt ashamed being ‘caught’ doing it.] Life is boring without Monique. All I talk about now is Mark. [Yup.] God its hot (even tho’ we’re getting low at night) Leg’s O.K. Gettin’ better (I guess!)

Wednesday 1/4/87

APRIL FOOL’S DAY I realised this is the 2nd last week before the holidays (Mark or Cameron didn’t fool me- or try to.. a guy in my bio class did tho .. said “why’s your bandage on your left leg?” A Life in WordsI looked down- just about to say “no it’s on my right” – too late! Mark [privacy omission] wasn’t in bio .. Spent rather little time with him really & it wasn’t so crash-hot.. I think I should’ve rung him tonightA Life in Words (in art splashed yellow ink all over the front of me – had to wash my shirt + put it in Home EC[onomics] dryer (wore a paint shirt meanwhile). Mum picked me up & we went shopping during recreation Mark went weight-training. Read Dolly this arvy – no news on my bio test ..not many others have done well. Brent came over to borrow our typewriter stayed for a bit of a talk (’bout the crash mostly) Mark & I have to get together [read: hook up] sometime, I feel, before everything’s right again. [Because a bit of pashing will solve everything, right?] ∗ Beautiful rainy, windy cool weather late this arvy & tonite!

Thursday 2/4/87

Good day (I mean, this arvy, with Mark, at least) I thought he was away – not at parade, or in bio or maths. In art, after periods 3, little lunch & 4 (english comprehension exam – I stuffed- didn’t get finished) Paula said she saw him come in late to the exam. Absent for lots of big-lunch, then end part -was great – we laughed so much (I couldn’t relax my facial muscles from a smile) and after school (& on the phone tonight) all mostly about Greg & what he told me [back in 1986, when I first discovered that Mark might have been interested in me.. here’s the link to it], but also about the picture I drew of Mark, that Glyn saw last year (remember?) [Vaguely…. and as a result, I unfortunately can’t for the life of me find the relevant post to direct you to…] SKINT! I should’ve done an english assignment tonight, but didn’t – too lazy (and forgot to write a note in phonetics for mark – reckons he can read it) A Life in WordsI’ve read astrology book all arvy – Cancer woman & Taurus man (by Linda Goodman) are so much like Mark & I – it’s unbelievable. [Really?] I must work harder in subjects. [Duh.] (Beautiful rain again this vary- so cool. It’s 9:35. I’ve gotta get to sleep so I can write a quick essay tomorrow… Ugh! LOVE YOU, MARK

Friday 3/4/87

Today was good, indeed! Spent more time with him than I ever have before (at school or on a school day, anyway) -before school (showed him the little picture of him- he’s got it, now.) & little lunch – (I “unpicked” my jumper band – and he kept it!) Big lunch & for a few seconds after school (I thought it wasn’t too cool so I wanted to ring him- at 8:00 he wasn’t home – at work – his newly acquired job [privacy omission] when he rang me at 8:45 when mum finally got off the phone to her cousin Michael. (sweet phone call, from Keith’s – has to work tomorrow nite so can’t go to Bramston Beach – is coming over 2morrow! Beautiful!!!!) English (Mr Grossetti realised he made a date mistake) is deadline next Friday not today – so I’m off the hook (for the time being!) Cool day…wore my jumper most of it (rainy & cool esp. this arvy & now) spent after school listening to FM radio 4CCR – Mark listens to it you see! I feel Mark is all I have – Fiona is Jemima’s [how’s all this ‘ownership’ business?!]– all that stuff she wrote about wanting to be my best friend is crap. I think at the moment she’s “fighting” me for Fiona – thinks I’m taking her or something. [Great assumption, Liss.] That’s STUPID. [Uhuh…]

Saturday 4/4/87

A Life in WordsGood! Although he didn’t come over >sob< I woke around 7:45 (to mum’s voice) my haircut – short fringe (eyebrows) looks so cute! when I leave it brushed down flat – page-boy style (almost grown into full bob!) [I’m thinkin’ it would’ve looked something akin to the ‘do in the picture to the right…] Julia got a perm! (Bodywave) [yes, perms were still very trendy back then] looks cute, too! I cleaned out my drawers what time I didn’t spend on the phone to Mark (or watching TV/listening to music) – that badly needed doing .. not enough sun to sunbake or even bleach my hair. 1st phone call was muck around – neat? The one I called at 4:00 (woke him up – said he wasn’t allowed & didn’t think he needed to call me to tell me – hmph! I was waiting for him to arrive!) lasted 1 hour. Near the end we got serious ..something led on from my “living in a dream”…on to us being married etc . . our future together (I told him how I fantasise (dream) about possibilities & he was asking me “hypothetical” (dream) questions [privacy omissions]  (I didn’t realise!) But it’s certain we’ll be together “for a while, yet” (at least this year, I think!) ♥ is this [puppy] love? YEP! [YEP!]

Sunday 5/4/87

I got to sleep around 4:00 this morning – listening to 4CCR FM Stereo 12-4 Party & Dance music – I was so tired – so restless. bored – but I kept listening in case something I knew (liked a lot) came on. Not really good. I tidied off my desk today – being a handy woman … nailed  (put hooks) in the exposed beams & hung up the basket of dead roses & my fern. [A basket of … DEAD roses? Sounds morbid I know, but it was a Monique thing. She loved dead roses – used them in some of her artwork – so they held a great deal of sentimental value to me …even though I can’t recall where I would have gotten them. Something tells me her parents may have bequeathed me hers?] Cute! A Life in Words(Funny thing is I’m not tired after such a late night!) Think I’m getting a stye. My leg’s great – fading (slowly) but quickly!!?!! Mark rang (dunno what time, but) after lunch & we mostly joked – no more serious talk (except, I think, when I told him about my day’s “handiwork” – he said “so you’re going to build our house?” I think.) I didn’t do any HW this weekend. STUPID Wasted day. Wasted weekend – rainy, even more today. . cool weather is beautiful!! I should get to bed soon -or I’ll be too tired. I love Mark so much. (what’s new?!!)

Her Funeral, the Public Memorial & Raw Meat Pie (9-15 February)

Monday 9/2/87

Mark saw me 2 times today!! Came up in his wheelchair! He was chirpier and only stayed little whiles. I was shitty in the morning – woken early again cos I couldn’t roll over – so bad – makes me restless so I’m still tired & cranky. A shower and I still felt bad – exhausted. But I put lotsa pressure on my left leg – put all my weight on it (nearly) GREAT! (But dad reminded me tonight about the crack in my femur – don’t wanna make that worse.) [In the long term this injury amounted to nothing: at some stage I recall a doctor saying they weren’t even certain it existed: the crack was so fine that it could have simply been a scratch on the X-ray itself] They also dressed my right leg (the deep puncture) today – Tania C (who was here all day – 10am to 8pm!!) and my fav. nurse Alison “comforted” me but I made heaps of noises – it was bad. [I’ve already ascertained that my vocal chords are not inhibited in times of Stress…] My leg was put on an electric exerciser – it was great – bending & moving my right leg!! I was wary at first. God changing the dressing was hell-ful. I also did my first shit in one week or ≈8/9 days. [Ok, for new readers, I need to explain: my family – dad in particular – was not very inhibited with regard to discussing bodily functions. To the point that (perennial comedian he is) he coined a phrase for the phenomenon: the “Coxen Bowel Fetish”. If you care to better understand this unique family trait, there’s a fuller explanation in this post from my 1984 archives] Quite a few visitors perked me up. We watched video of Friday’s school memorial & tree planting. Sound was terrible couldn’t hear anything. Cried anyway. [Naturally] Mark got his tube out of his lung. Am tired now – hoping I can roll over tonight. Glad Mark visited me “a lot”. I really do think he likes me a lot – that letter says it all & so has he. It’s about […and then I forgot to fill in the time..]

A Life in Words
Goodbye my beautiful friend x

Tuesday 10/2/87

I went to Monique’s funeral by car around 2:30 I thought it’d “do the job” – but I still don’t think I’ve cried enough. I realised I lost a true friend – a person I met & related with so soon, but trusted quickly & forever. She lives in my heart & mind. I need her to live with me. I met Kerri; saw Mr & Mrs P. I cry when I see them & Camille & Kerri. [I think this was the last time I would see Monique’s mother for a very long time. Apparently she refused to see me because it was too painful, because it was always with Monique. Of course this upset me, but how could I fail to understand that?] Kerri & her mum came to the hospital tonight. She doesn’t say much. [Kerri was Monique’s ‘previous’ best friend in Brisbane. With hindsight I now understand she may not have “said much” because she too would have been in shock and grieving…] I felt really cranky after the funeral – my leg was sore. people all looking at me [I’m hardly an exhibitionist, but I can tolerate a certain amount of attention. Things mustn’t be ‘rosy’ if I am shunning the ‘spotlight’…] – went home in a stretcher in an ambulance. Rolled over (partly) last night! But woken early by nurses anyway 6:00. ooooh! Bumsore! Legsore! Change of dressing was bad again today. I hate it so much. [I still hadn’t the courage to look at the wound: I have always found that one method of tolerating (physical) pain is to not look at what’s causing it. For example, I still can’t watch the needle piercing my dermis in the act of blood giving, for example…] Tanya (C.) & Alison “helped” me again, tho’ I bit Tanya’s back today. Umah. [Clearly it’s not just my vocal chords that respond to stress: so do my jaw muscles…] Funny – having Tanya in all day. (And yesterday) She’s good company. [She really was one of my Saviours] Mark came up little while once. Tonight for longer … gave him kiss (little) worried – Jaque & Michael B both say Tricia spends 2hrs a day with him. I must trust him. Exerciser again – bending knee higher. memorial service tomorrow. Will it do the final job of recovering me? Will it get me out of shock? [Oh the naivety… if only it was as easy as ‘flicking a switch’…] must be with mark 4 it. about 9:00

A Life in Words
The Civic Memorial at St Monica’s Cathedral spilled out into the street

Wednesday 11/2/87

A Life in Words
A photographer captures my feeling during the civic memorial

packed day. Slept badly again-rolling a little isn’t enough … I went for a shower (reluctantly almost) and stood on my left leg to do so (I went to the ladies for the 1st time – out of a wheelchair – on a seat for the bath.) Then after using the loo- yes, proper loo! for a shit, yes, poo! (Talked to Trina – both of us for 10mins!) Ambulance men came. Mum hadn’t come with my uniform so Jaque let me wear hers. I felt terrible at first. I was smiling & waving at people [well… you were free of your hospital room for the first time in 6 days, and since visitor numbers had declined, seeing familiar faces after ‘so long’ would have been quite refreshing] & couldn’t cry – but later, during the eulogies, it all came out. Monique was my 1st best friend in about 6yrs [I can’t think whom I supposed my previous best friend was… six years earlier I would’ve been in Year 5 or 6 at primary school] – I think my first true one [indisputable]. I love her & I’m gonna miss her so much – not gonna be there (physically) anymore, when I need her… left in tears (news crews there – I was on the news – Mark too & others) They made me get on crutches – walk today. It hurt so much…even more (?? not sure) than dressing the wound ..I screamed but it was better today than “ever”. [“Dressing the wound” was a tad more complex than you might think. Still unable to bring myself to look at it, all I knew at this stage was that they had to ‘pack’ the wound daily with saline-soaked cottonwool, around the two plastic ‘drains’ that were buried in there. That may begin to give you an idea of the extent of the injury…] Lotsa Smithfield people came becca p, Karen & toni & Jo B – gave me a record voucher & chocolates. [Yes, black vinyl. We still had record players in the late 80’s, although cassettes were more predominantly used (in our walkmans, right?) CD’s were pretty much unheard of’.] Isn’t that great? Um, saw mark little – another kiss. He’s going tomorrow. hope he sees me at school lunchtimes. I wonder if Tricia kisses him when she sees him. Bitch – spending too much time with him. [The Green Monster] Hope nothing happens back at school. OH WOE!!

Thursday 12/2/87

I nearly fainted on the crutches this arvy – I decided to try and walk to the loo – but the pain in my leg – the blood rushing to my wound my feet – by my wound – made me light-headed weak, dizzy. After drinking water – I was wheeled to the loo. SHit. I’ve been eating choc-coated peanuts they made me shit 2 times more this arvy. [I can’t decide whether the ‘SHit’ was an expletive because I failed to get to the bathroom on my own & had to be wheeled in, or whether it was an introduction to the statement detailing my bowel movements…] After loo, I went to see Mark – talked & mucked around. He went home. (after long (??) time) But he has to come here 10pm – stay the night so they can check his leg in the morning. Hope he visits me. Said he’s going to movies tomorrow night – & it only just occurred to me: with whom? TRICIA? NO! He CAN’T. WOULDN’T. COULDN’T. might? Oh dear; I hope he visits me lots. I’ll miss him – I already do. Doctors undressed my leg today so I had no painkillers WHATSOEVER. I let out a scream & one doctor revved me. [I was immediately stunned into silence; why did the doctor snap at me? How could he be so heartless? So rough, insensitive & unsympathetic? Aren’t all medical professionals meant to be caring? I was a kid for chrissakes, with a hole in my leg …to which the dressings stuck fast every day. Was I not entitled to react to Pain? I literally dreaded the doctors’ rounds thereafter, and even tried to arrange bathroom sojourns in order to evade them. This experience may also possibly underlie my partial aversion to the clinical medical industry…] I saw the wound – unpacked. Yukky. [That’s a bit of an understatement. A Life in WordsThe only way I have been able to describe it to people is in this light: imagine you took the pastry top off a meat pie, and discovered not only that it was uncooked (red-raw) inside, but that there were also two bits of plastic tubing staring out at you. That was what my right inner thigh (about 10cms above my knee) looked like. It’s a real shame we never managed to take any photos of it.] Then waited ages till the nurses brought the stuff – to repack themselves I was much better today I think. Took stitches out of my [left] knee. God I wish my muscles would work themselves. [That’s what every lazy person wishes with regard to physical activity!] It’s 9:00. I need an early night. So I can hack walking or even standing tomorrow. I hate it. HURTS SO BAD. ♥ u mark!

Friday 13/2/87

My bruising appears to be going down – it’s fading.. I got on crutches lots today… walkies!! and I didn’t scream or even yell when my dressing was done! (I had the Finnish sister – she’s really gentle – doesn’t rip off stuff that’s stuck to the wound- soaks it in NaCl+H2O [saline solution] and gently prys apart.) But the best bit was… MY CAMERA WAS FOUND & THE HORNETTS PROCESSED THE FILM! I Have PHOTOS! 20 photos some good, some boring – but all are great campshots. Not enough of Monique. A few visitors today. Mark came up before he left. 2 goodbye kisses. I’m gonna miss him. He’d better come up tomorrow. If he doesn’t I’ll bash him!! Ha, ha! (Not going to movies- he’s going to dinner with family- “WELCOME HOME”.) Getting rain lots now. Think periods are over, thank god. Ms Mars. came up & gave us (Trina & I) [art] work. Pizza (from dad) for tea. Jaque’s going home tomorrow. Will be boring-er [meaning: more boring] when she’s gone. Yowie fell out of bed last night & Mark almost ran him over today. (in wheelchair) God, he’s lost weight – skinny runt. Restless sleep last night …couldn’t get comfortable – couldn’t roll over much. Shitty right leg. hurry up & heal! about 9:30.

A Life in Words
Sometime after the back-biting incident, I was presented with this teething ring to use during dressing changes. (I think my mum bought it for Tania’s sake!) It was clearly well-used…

Saturday 14/2/87

VALENTINE’S I got from him a red rose, a balloon-on-a-stick (saying “I love you”) and a card (and even a little letter-which is great, considering he finds it hard to write) he came during the last 15mins or so of my dressing- I didn’t know for the first 10 mins. and was babbling on.. Ha,ha. He stayed quite some time- about 4 or 5 kisses altogether today. Love that guy… can’t wait til I’m better & we’re both back at school. Cried more for Monique today. Realised how she’s the only one I’ll really miss – she’s the one who was most part of my life. I love you Monique. I wish you were here. I thought about being dead today. If I’d died, I wouldn’t’ve minded – cos moni’d be with me.. I’d feel none of the pain I get with this leg etc [The contemplation of Death is unavoidable in an experience such as this. You meet with it yourself, you lose your peers to it, you can’t hide from it. Up to this point in time, I naturally hadn’t formed many beliefs (we were never a highly religious family). I hadn’t conceived of much: ‘Where’ exactly do you – did they – Go? Heaven? What is Heaven? Does it even exist? The Fear of Death is simply the Unknown, so it’s clear that in one (very odd) respect I benefitted from Monique’s death: it removed an element of Fear about the Afterlife (or simply, ‘After’). I believed I would not be Alone, and I would not feel (physical) Pain…] ..Few visitors ..boring day cause JACQUE LEFT at 10:30. It’s so different without her. Ate lotsa junk today Hospital food -yukky-some alright. Kentucky from Trina’s parents for tea. I still will cry for monique I don’t think I’ll ever stop – slow down maybe, but never stop. [I was right. But the tears much, much fewer and farther between, because… Life Goes On.] Easier on crutches, esp. tonight.

Sunday 15/2/87

Mark did come in today.. was boring for him, I could tell..reckons he won’t come back or see me for 3 weeks… I reckon he’ll come back. Has to. I’ll bash him if he doesn’t!! [What’s with all this ‘bashing’ Liss? A bit aggressive…] Love that guy. He came in before I went for a shower and had my dressing changed – saw the hole in my leg. Crabbe came in yet again…and Tania, but what’s new? Missing Alyson (nurse) quite a few new nurses now Did my daily exercise – crutch to loo shower, clean my teeth, to the “lookout room” at the other end of this floor & other miscellaneous crutch expeditions. Here I was thinking this diary would be just big enough. Next year I’m gonna get a thick book & write when I feel like it…probly every night, but more often if I feel inclined. Slept quite well last night. Talked to lotsa people, Justin, Daniel A, Dad, mum about their side of the story; what they felt ..what happened to them. [I believe ‘sharing’ experiences assists in the grieving and/or healing process. I have been surprised by the number of readers who have, through their gratitude to me for these blogposts, expressed this. While she wasn’t a ‘diariser’ like I, Mum managed to maintain a journal for a few weeks after the accident and I intend to transcribe parts of that in another, separate post in the near future. Reading it myself is difficult for two reasons: not merely identifying with (or trying to imagine) her experience, but also because she has now passed, her absence (my Loss) is accentuated.] I realised I haven’t dreamt since the accident. 2 weeks almost. Wonder if that’s [a] mental side effect. Will ask a social worker tomorrow. Eeek! Doctors tomorrow looking at my wound. No escaping it! Aaagh! Ate a fair bit today. Ooo-er! Rainy, cool… I think I’m getting better physically… mentally no.. I’m depressed… I’ll be in here at least another week.. I reckon 2. Everybody else’ll be gone by then I bet.

Doom’s Day (4 February)

Wednesday 4/2/87

A Life in Words
a candid shot during camp pack-up

[Since I typically make my diary entries at the end of each day, it stands to reason that the likelihood of that happening on this particular day is slim, even though the wording seems to suggest otherwise…]

TRAGEDY. After packing up etc this morning I took heaps of photos. Then we boarded buses. Erica, Monique, me, Fiona, mima Mark, Brent, Steven, Keith, Cameron, Chris, Glyn, Judy Jason P, Brett H, Becca G Michelle W. . . all on our bus. At first we had fun .. food fights too. Down the Gillies range I swapped places with Mark- he got the window seat – I snuggled back into his arms. Half Dozing (???) I felt us going really quickly around a corner, too fast .. I saw gravel and the bus rolled. I blacked out. When I woke Erica was on my left – head covered in blood; Jody K & Lee-anne W on my right and Mark underneath me, under a seat too. It was a nightmare. I couldn’t accept it as real, my right leg was jammed under the bus. After ages I was “pulled” out & soon taken by helicopter to hospital. The rest of the night & events are blurred. I went into theatre . . saw heaps of people .. Fiona, Kay H, Jacki W, Miss (MF) DeJourdan and Miss (R.) Bowles were in my ward. I was very tired.

A Life in Words[Make sure you’re comfortable: there are seven pages of the scrapbook dedicated to this one day, with as many details as I could recall…]

Yes, it really was the last day…time to leave. Absolute chaos trying to tidy up & pack up our belongings. Out came the cameras too…until now, we’d forgotten all about them. […that was something I later considered a prescient phenomena: how lucky were we to have remembered our cameras and gotten as many photos as we did, within just hours of the tragedy?] With the cameras came some candid shots, of course! A few misplaced items, but mainly the problem was fitting things back into bags and boxes. Most of us couldn’t wait to get home to get clean – shower, wash hair & clothes. A Life in WordsAfter taking down the tent (I’m sure we left some pegs or something behind) [ooh, Dad wouldn’t’ve been happy about that…] we lugged all the gear up to the covered area, where everyone else was, with theirs. Then, a barrage of photos taken as people stood around talking, fighting & mucking around until the buses arrived. When they did there was a mad rush to pack the buses and grab the best seats, but we were stopped by the teachers. We had to wait till they let us pack…then there was a longer wait til we were finally allowed on the buses. Only one bus was filled at a time: girls got on first…

A Life in Words
Waiting for the word. Our bus is on the left.

We chose the second bus because of its big sliding windows [better ventilation, for a cooler ride] (I also thought we’d have a better chance of getting good seats). Jemima was the first on, and I second. She sat in the second last seat on the driver’s side [what I call the ‘right side’ for future reference…] and I, after a quick decision, [aware that others were very likely queueing up the aisle behind me] slipped into the seat in front [of her], instead of the one opposite, where Monique and Fiona sat. [I have no doubt that the choice I made in this fleeting moment was pre-determined; not a (conscious) choice at all. I was destined to survive.]

The rest of the seats filled quickly: we saved seats for Erica, Monique, Mark and Brent.

A Life in Words
The last photo I took. Erica asleep, Judy’s legs beside her and Jody & Leeanne’s heads visible in front

We left second; the journey started great: we ate any leftovers we had (including Coco Pops and 100’s & 1000’s fights!) Elisia E. had a drink container of water [the contents of] which disappeared as it was passed around the whole bus.

Up a steep hill, the 3rd bus passed us, but we soon overtook it again, as it stopped for Alan D. (Who was sick).

Down the range, we began singing songs…Beatles songs mostly. Soon we all settled down, snoozing and talking quietly to each other. Mark compained about the heat, so we swapped places: he had the window seat. I leaned back against his chest…I don’t recall what time it was. I must have dozed off….

A Life in WordsThe first thing I remember just prior to the crash, was as we were just nearing the bend…I was looking across the aisle, over Jody & Leeanne’s heads, to the view, thinking “we’re going a bit fast”…then (it felt like) we took the corner really wide. [In fact we didn’t at all: the bus driver apparently sounded the horn – of which I have no recollection – as a warning to any oncoming traffic that he intended to – and did – actually cut the corner in his valid attempt to avert disaster.] I must have stood or leaned up because I remember seeing the gravel (the road shoulder) before the drop…then looking to the front of the bus, past the driver, to the bank on the other side of the road, thinking, “Come on bus driver, keep turning and we’ll stay on the road” (which was really wierd when you think about it, because I didn’t know what was happening: that is, that we were actually going to go off the cliff…maybe I subconsciously knew) [Yes, I would have, we all would have…]

I remember the front of the bus seemingly stopping, while the rear slid [out, sideways], and slid over the shoulder, the left side dragging the rest of the bus over. [Which makes sense considering that only the front brakes were operational: with no functioning rear brakes and the added weight of the undercarriage storage also located at the rear of the vehicle, there was no stopping the ‘tail-swing’.] The rest of this, the actual descent, seemed more dreamlike than the events prior to it…I remember pitch darkness…flashes of light (where perhaps windows were?) I couldn’t see anything besides that but I could hear metal crunching and glass breaking…and feeling, well, I was thrown once, twice, then I recall nothing: [I deduced later that the bus would have rolled one & a half times, because it came to rest upside down: that amounts to 6 ‘throws’ in total.] I must’ve been knocked out, but as I was rolling it felt [as if it were] in slow motion, bodies and things brushing past me, not roughly or painfully. It felt much like I was floating…doing flying somersaults.

When I came to it seemed very slowly: like the dream (nightmare) was continuing. […emerging from an inky abyss…] My body was in almost total darkness (I was under the bus) [the roof had sheared off as we rolled down the embankment and, since it ended up upside down, the bottom effectively became the ceiling] and I felt an incredible pressure upon my right leg.. I only remember thinking I was dreaming & telling myself to scream, because you have to TRY to scream in a nightmare, even though your screams are inaudible. There was a hole in the bottom of the bus [the ‘roof’] so I could see out, up a slope. [This confused me in the weeks & even months to come (until I was able to return to the site) because I couldn’t fathom why I could see trees still upright: if we had rolled down the hillside, wouldn’t we have taken out everything in our path? It turned out that the angle at which the bus came to rest in the gully was different to that at which we left the road, so I had a ‘room with a view’ of the untouched environment.] I remember screaming to get the “fucking bus off my leg” and yelling the names of people I saw walk past…some of whom told me to shut up. Slowly I realised it wasn’t a dream. I noted Erica’s head on my right, sticking partly out from under a seat, and I could only just see (from my trapped position) two bodies, whom I believed to be Jemima & Brent, at first, on my left: they were in fact Jody & Leeanne.

A Life in Words
The bus as it came to rest. Apologies for the quality of these photos: I took them from video footage stills

Astia held & stroked my left foot outside the bus and helpers tried to comfort me. There was a pair of legs sticking out from the far end of the seat on top of Erica & I finally realised they were Mark’s. I must have been out for a little while because all those people [teachers & students from the third bus] were there when I’d regained consciousness. [The third bus was apparently only minutes behind us, but long enough for some of the lesser injured to scramble back up the hideous slope and flag them down.] When Mark did, he frantically yelled at and abused me…to “get this fucking person off him” Of course I couldn’t & his anger at me distressed me more. [I had to assume it was Erica’s body, and knowing she was (therefore they both were) under the bus seat that I was also partly on top of, I tried my best to keep my bodyweight off it. Pinned as I was by my right leg, with the earth significantly dropping away into the base of the gully, I had to use my left arm to hold my bodyweight off the seat.] It seemed my mouth & my mind were two separate beings because, although I was yelling and screaming, I was thinking “don’t panic – they’re getting help – they’re doing all they can…” [the Mind versus the Witness?]

A Life in WordsMichelle W. was nearby, but I couldn’t see her…she touched my right leg and also tried to reassure me. [I have since discovered that one of the ambulance officers was periodically ‘manhandling’ my pinned leg for signs of response from me; because it was clamped so tightly but my femoral artery was still pumping blood into it, it had swollen to “twice the size” of my left leg, and I was in serious danger of losing the entire appendage if I lost sensation…] 

I was arguing with Mark…I tried to tell him I couldn’t move Erica because she was…unconscious.  But somehow I knew she was dead. There was fresh blood all through her beautiful blonde hair, and a pool of it in her ear (none on her face). [That still amazes me, to this day.] I heard Jody’s breathing, if that’s what you can call it: he was having tremendous difficulty: wheezing & choking [his lungs were punctured]…but I don’t actually remember hearing him stop.

I didn’t think of Monique, nor Jemima or Fiona. I was thrown into oblivion by the shock, I think. I thought only of my immediate surroundings and not even of what had actually occurred. [Talk about being ‘in the Now’…] I remember at one stage, reaching back to feel my right leg…drawing my hand back into view, I saw lots of blood and dirt and fragments of skin hanging off my fingers.  Mark’s left calf had a tear in it: a ‘hole’ and bright red flesh was hanging from that. Possibly the only reason I was not sick (physically) from the sight of all this gore, was the fact that I was in shock. [Absolutely.]

A Life in Words
An aerial view of the hairpin bend we failed to negotiate. You can just see the bus at the top of the picture

I remember, what seemed HOURS later, when they first attempted to lift the bus off my leg…there was a new sensation…painful only in the sense that it was uncomfortable: the rush of blood to supply the rest of my leg, or be released through my open wounds…but it was shortlived…the great tonne [or more?] of metal was again allowed to rest on my leg, as, I found out later, when the bus was first lifted with only one set of ‘Jaws of Life’, the weight was transferred to the other end of the bus and consequently put more pressure on a victim (Cameron) who was trapped by his chest.

So a second set was [finally] applied and the bus levered up evenly. Again, the horrible new sensation.

A man told me he was going to take some metal out of my leg, “Hold still and I’ll do it gently” But I couldn’t bear the thought of him slowly edging foreign material out of my leg, and so yelled “No! Just RIP it out!” [Actually, from memory it was more like “no, just fucking rip it out”] He must have, because I don’t remember the pain from that.

Possibly the most pain I experienced was when they dragged me out from under the bus…up onto a stretcher…I kept my eyes closed for most of that time. I remember chatting away, as they hoisted me off the ground and carried me (upside down – I remember – possibly to stem the flow of blood?) [or to keep the leg elevated, to drain some of the swelling & keep the blood in my torso, around my vital organs?] to the ‘top’.

A Life in Words
Anyone & everyone (who was able) helped SES workers in the rescue.

I was placed under a yellow tarpaulin…still talking to anyone who was there. [Clearly my automatic shock response defaults to Chatterbox.] They tried to put up another tarp adjoining the one I was just underneath and I remember it falling and me putting my hand up to stop it landing on my leg. [It was overcast but I believe there was minimal rainfall, so the rescue operation wasn’t hampered. Lucky us.]

I have no idea how long I waited up on the road, before I left by helicopter. [Days later, two of my friends said their watches had stopped at exactly 12:57pm, so we all assumed that that was the moment of ‘impact’ …and apparently it was pretty much spot on. As for how long I was trapped, then lying on the roadside before my transit to hospital I still have no idea, other than my sister guessing I arrived at Cairns Base around 4pm] Although, I remember seeing Kay standing up…looking at me and saying “You’ll be alright Elissa.” [God knows what her perception of my leg was. I cannot imagine what it must have looked like.]

When I was lifted and told I was going by helicopter (and wasn’t I lucky?) and to shut my eyes, they carried me past a familiar pair of legs sticking out of a familiar pair of shorts…I tried to reach down to him…”Mark! Mark?” But they moved [lifted] me higher up and away faster. From then I kept my eyes closed…it seemed a fairly long trek to the helicopter. [It would have to have been… I almost can’t picture where the chopper would have been able to land on the narrow mountain highway] Then I felt the overhead propellors and I was loaded inside the ‘copter.

I could see the [back of the] pilot’s head, a man sitting to my right (to whom I kept babbling on) and the perspex roof, through which light grey clouds and raindrops could be seen. [Hardly a memorable helicopter ride, when all you get to see is the sky above you.]

I remember borrowing the man’s handkerchief for some (unknown to me) reason and making sure that I returned it to him when we landed. [Courtesy instilled in me by my great parents.] I remember lots of people in white putting me on a trolley stretcher and wheeling me somewhere, [most likely from the Cairns Esplanade (the nearest open space suitable for a helicopter to land) which is fortunately just across the road from the Cairns Base Hospital] but I don’t remember actually entering the hospital.

I remember being wheeled past partitions in a room, wheeled into an end one: directly opposite a set of swinging doors, Just before I was put in there, I recall turning my head to the left and seeing someone, in the partition before mine, with a totally red face….blood-covered & bloodstained…at first I thought it was Brent but realised later it must have been Brett.

I was in that partitioned area for quite a short period of time…some doctor looking at my leg and asking my name, address, parents’ names and home phone number…then I was wheeled through the swinging doors into an unpartitioned room and placed quite nearby Sean D…who was sitting up, looking OK. Again the nurses asked personal details and, whether they gave me a ‘shot’ or not, I remember nothing else…but passing out.

A Life in Words
The shorts I was wearing were cut off me: I don’t know if the discoloured areas are old blood or faeces stains. I would have had no idea (nor care) obviously whether I’d soiled myself or not…

When I came to again, it was only extremely briefly and I felt extremely groggy…I was in a white room with lots of silver machinery [theatre] and they were putting a gown on me, and taking off my ring and earrings. Then I passed out again.

I came to in a corridor; I was being wheeled somewhere [probably to the ward]. As I was still under the effect of the anaesthetic, I was trying my hardest to keep my eyes open. I saw Julia, Mum (very concerned-looking) and Dad and Jenny, then I said “How’s Monique? What about Mark? How is everybody?” [but don’t recall any responses] I vaguely remember Mum nearly fainting and the nurses putting her on a trolley too. [My poor beautiful mother… I can’t imagine the stress she was under. She had had the utter misfortune earlier of sitting with two of the dead children’s mothers at the very moment they were called to be dealt their worst nightmares.]

The next and last thing I remember from that day was finding myself in my room in Ward C West (floor 3). There were lots of people, mostly visitors, milling around. I can only remember talking to Sharon and Harry B. I was unaware of any pain in my leg(s) or the catheter they had ‘implanted’. I didn’t even realise I had no underwear on. I was wearing a hospital nightie. I remember being quite ‘chirpy’ (obviously still in shock) and asking people questions. I had missed the news but heard that it was a ‘national disaster’. [Oddly, I must admit I felt a little ‘thrilled’ about the whole country knowing and talking about us. It goes to show just how powerful Ego can be. Shock can deny you the gravity of a situation but may have no effect on Ego.]

Although visiting hours officially ended at 8pm, I think the hospital staff had quite some difficulty in removing all the visitors (especially relatives) by 8:45pm.A Life in Words

I remember still wanting to talk when everyone had left: Jacque seemed the most willing, aside from Miss Bowles. Miss DeJourdan seemed very quiet and Kay appeared to do much more listening than talking. Fiona was quite absent from this world…it would take at least 3 calls of her name before she would turn to look at whomever was calling, then when asked a question, would either nod, or just look at you, not understanding or comprehending, even ignoring. She slept the most and longest out of the six of us. I wasn’t sure of my wounds, thinking I had a deep cut in the back of my right thigh, and a severe cut on my left knee. I don’t remember whether I was fed painkillers, but I fell asleep quite quickly and quite soundly.