A Gas Explosion, ASAT Rehearsals & Something is Up (17-23 August)

Monday 17/8/87

Had a really good sleep last night – long! I woke around 9:30 today. (and spent nearly all day in bed anyway). [Still ‘off sick’ from school?] Still didn’t do any of my english assignment ..nor any study for my biology exam. But I’m taking tomorrow off, too: Nana’s funeral is at 10:00 – then at home I’ll have to get myself into gear & really work. [Uh-huh…] I did feel much better today – the chest region is much less blocked & I’m coughing a lot less. I only feel “off-colour” now & then, esp. when I eat, although I do have some sort of appetite back (I’ve lost 2kgs since I got sick!) [Yep, reducing caloric inatke will usually do that…] still can’t believe Mark was “worried” about me. He said that Sunday (after the Smithfield formal party) he couldn’t play baseball, because he was sick with grief at the thought that I’d leave him when I heard about him & Angela. I’m extremely flattered (for once!) [Oh my god.] In a way, it worries me, though. I don’t know if he’s over it yet. [You’re misreading your gut instinct…] BIG gas explosion in town today near Mike’s work – we heard it here!! A Life in Words[Freshwater (where we lived) is approximately 10 kilometres from the explosion site and there’s a mountain range separating them so that’s pretty impressive. (…but what do I know about explosions?) It was the result of an LPG storage unit catching fire and killed one person, injuring twenty-seven. Here’s a link to a public government record of the incident. There’s not a great deal of detail, but the comments provide some perspectives.]

Tuesday 18/8/87

Am feeling much better today. Eating is a bit easier – don’t feel as ill when I eat (ate a lot today!) I still cough – but only ’cause’ of the chest phlem. [Yep, I spelled it wrong] Still, I get very tired. I had to rest a number of times today & actually had a sleep. Nana’s funeral was at 10:00. It was quite short & I didn’t cry. I can’t. Because I’m happier that she’s gone – she’s not in pain ..she’s with grandpa at last, too. [I’d never known my maternal grandfather – he’d passed away during my mother’s childhood.] It’s a little sad thinking about how she was, knowing I won’t see her again, but I’m just glad she’s resting in peace. I just wish she didn’t go out the way she did..that’s the sad part. [I’m not exactly sure what I meant there – whether it was referring to the ‘humiliation’ of being a morphine ‘vegetable’ or the rheumatoid arthritic disease experience as a whole. Either way, the attitude I’d developed towards death is obvious: not afraid of Death itself, but the way in which we meet it. A Life in WordsPrior to the bus accident, I’d always believed the only way to ‘go’ was to pass peacefully in your sleep (being unconscious of it). After the accident, experiencing firsthand the power of Shock; the body’s incredible hormonal response to immense trauma, to ‘thwart’ the conscious Mind, I’ve come to realise that the death experience can be – if not ‘peaceful’ – at least ‘tolerable’ in wider range of scenarios. Nana effectively died peacefully because the morphine interfered (greatly) with her consciousness.] Mark didn’t ring again tonight. I’m sure now something’s still up. I have a strong feeling he’s letting me go (cos he thinks I don’t love him.) He is all I think about! [That ‘strong feeling’? Listen to it.] All the aunts (Joy, Nancy & Ruth) + Cynthia & Dougie stayed all day. Hilary is going home tomorrow: stopping in Brisbane to scatter Nana’s ashes (hopefully with grandpa’s) Is 9:43. Take tomorrow off [school – that’s been quite awhile, now…] to study biol & do my eng. assign. (I’m still too tired in the day to go back) [oh I see…]

Wednesday 19/8/87

What a waste! I’ve written 2 sentences on my assignment & done no biol. study, watsoever! [Surprise, surprise!] A Life in WordsI read Julius Caesar today, but that was about all I did. I’m going to die tomorrow- I’ll be so behind- this weekend I’ll really have to knuckle down & work (HA, HA) [Even I don’t believe myself!] Mr. G will kill me. Oh dear; that’s all I can think about. Auntie Hilary left today (I ate so much today) was rather hot, too. Auntie Joy’s going tomorrow. It looks like we’re off to Brisbane for xmas!! (Great! Hope I can go while mark’s out of town) Wish Fi could come, or something. She’s having trouble with Jemima (it’s got to do a bit with me & everyone really) she’s just sick of all the Grade 12’s. – sitting with Yr 11 girls. Fi came round this arvy to talk – she got her lisense today! Still no call from Mark. Am hesitant about seeing him tomorrow. Will everything be O.K.?? Will have to get up early, I suppose, to do my english. Great. SO DAMNED BEHIND!

Thursday 20/8/87

Got over my assignment hassle O.K (didn’t get it finished – just talked my way out) But was supposed to have it done for tomorrow’s double lesson- & of course just like me, I didn’t bother to do any (any HW for that matter) of it. Will have to wake early tomorrow again to finish it Have only just under one page to write. Barely saw mima or fi for that matter but I know they weren’t together. Had ASAT [Australian Scholastic Aptitude Test] practise tests today. [These national exams are meant to determine each Australian students’ achievement at the completion of secondary schooling. Their applicability is becoming a societal discussion of late.] I only got 15 questions answered, but of those, I got 11 right! (Hope I can do as well, or better in the real ones) [Duh…] Read my ’83 & 84 diaries this arvy – so funny some of the things. [….try reading them in 28 years later!] 10:35 – yet another late nite. I told Jo about Adam M’s friend that likes me & she said “Philip N” I said “WHAT?” she said “He works with Philip..” my god that would be totally incredible. [Obviously I misheard Jo and got excited… a little crush, ya think?] Barely saw Mark at all – talked even less. I’m sure something’s still wrong. A Life in WordsGot Cabaret [Cairns High’s musical for the year] tickets- will pay Nigel tomorrow. Had to do thing about Monique for the Euroka this arvy- (Got photos of my leg too) Nigel read my eng. assign. on her & cried (I got 19/20 for it) [I don’t remember that… jeez, I wish I still had it… as well as all those photos of my leg…] am worried about Mark.

Friday 21/8/87

It’s 11:00. Can’t wait for tomorrow night! Got my english done (not before school as I’d planned, but during my english lesson. OK. finish, not great tho’.) Barely talked to Mark again… I’m positive something’s up: the same something as we talked about? I don’t know, but it gives me the shits. Tried to ring tonight (for once) but he was at Keith’s – too bad! I watched the movie & am now “dead”!! Tomorrow night’ll be ace! Cameron & I fighting in chem – he kicked me in the same place (left shin) 2 times- now I have a very sore lump (egg) [My shins have always been super-sensitive. I bruise really easily everywhere and often don’t know how I get a lot of them, but my shin bones… there’s NO way I’d be clueless about any damage sustained to them…] went into town with Jo & Fi after school …stayed in there for ages- Mr C dropped me home. Looking at all the great clothes (& shoes) in there (drool, drool) P.C.supp. (car) [← but I have absolutely NO idea what this cryptic wording means. I’m wondering if it’s related to the other Phil I had an interest in; Phil C.? Maybe I glimpsed him in a car? Pfft, who knows?] Bludge day, really. Pretty cool weather (about 27ºC) fine (sunny) I eat too much (fattening stuff) Must do lotsa HW tomorrow. Think I know who/that “guy” is. yukky Year 11 CAD guy. (I think that might be him cause I’ve noticed he’s nearly always around) YUKKY Mark, please get over this “phase”… it’s awkward for me. [LOL.] TIRED!

Saturday 22/8/87

A Life in WordsThe day at home was boring .. I listened to records/tapes while doing my art (weaving) – no HW (set HW) done Beautiful weather. . a little cloudy. Fi visited me late this arvy (Mark rang and it wasn’t a good phone call seemed so bored.. I felt really down after it) to borrow my black shirt. My hair was tied in rags [to create the messy wavy-crinkly look that was so hot back then!] (looked funny) Ran late of course: dinner at 7:15 – they came when I was just taking the rags out. CABARET was cool! Mark didn’t seem impressed. In fact he didn’t seem anything. I really don’t know what to do. Anyway I felt sick during last part (after interval) right up until 1:00 or so.. I lay in Fi’s car, then in Peter’s room. [There must have been an after-party…] I’m sure I was just sick from worry about Mark. [That’d be no surprise…] Jason got him to come in & we talked a little.. he thinks nothing’s happening.. so he left the room & I came out soon after .. just as well I did when I did because we left for the St. Monica’s party (Deena B) soon after (& Fiona was gone somewhere…

Sunday 23/8/87

→ I saw her ages later at the party. It was just as boring really. .had to pay for drinks etc (I couldn’t be bothered) I hung around Mark a lot in an attempt to change what has been happening all last week & the week before : that is: nothing. But I still got the feeling he didn’t want me near him. [What a waste of energy] I was especially upset when I showed him some affection & he totally ignored it. I left with Fi, very confused & slightly angry. – very hurt. Got home around 5:30, after hearing about Jo’s, Fi’s, Brendan L’s & Jason’s “problem” [??] wasted the whole day – weeping & thinking about mark. He rung in mid-afternoon. We had a very long D&M (deep & meaningful) was it meaningful? Um, yeah I guess. [….and? what? Clearly no resolution…] Tania visited just a few minutes ago (holidays from uni …didn’t know what to say) […well your sociability would have been compromised by your emotional state…] mark’s going through a “nonchalant” phase: not caring about anything. A Life in WordsI’ll just have to sit it out .. be patient as always. & hope it’ll pass soon. We talked a lot about breaking up & that worries me. [It must have been my tenacity, my resolve to not be ‘the ‘bad guy’ – the one to call it quits. I mean, it’s as obvious as a punch in the face that he wanted out, surely? I was clearly gullible, but not stupid.] NITE.

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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.

The Dark Room, A Day Off & Friction at the Fete (4-10 May)

Monday 4/5/87

LABOUR DAY Holiday! Well, I woke around what would it have been? …7:30? Yep! And I wasted the day . . did nothing in particular until Mark rang at 11:40. We talked for a while, and decided he’d come over. Aaaargh! I let him read my ’86 diary (tho’ I regretted it) and then he wanted to read my ’87 diary . . I really felt embarrassed (he read the bit about Robbie) [the New Year’s Eve pash] but he ignored it. Took him to work at 2:30. A Life in WordsHe rang me in the afternoon… Then again tonight. And he admitted (with my “encouragement”) that he did like me since I came [to Cairns High]. We talked a fair bit & I’ve decided to let him read my ’86 diary . . I’ll take it for him tomorrow. I trust him not to show or tell anybody what it says. I think he’s becoming more attached to me than ever. . spending much more time together. . getting on even better. Have written about ½ a foolscap [for the youngsters who don’t know what it’s like to write assignments by hand, foolscap is a standard paper size] for english & I have to have it in tomorrow or I’m in deep trouble. Don’t reckon I’ll get it finished. oh shit!

Tuesday 5/5/87

I hate school – at school our relationship is different .. it’s at school all the problems happen. It was O.K. till double bio … he just got “pen-happy”. Nikko [permanent marker pen] all over me. I disregarded that .. at big lunch Keith made a smart comment about a diary.. I thought maybe Mark had said something to him about reading my diaries.. [I would probably have thought the same now too…too ‘coincidental’…] so when I confronted him about it . .he got kind of cheesed off ..”thanks for not trusting me”. Me & my big mouth ..me & my jumping to conclusions. How can I get him to believe that I trust him if I keep saying & doing silly things (like worrying unnecessarily)A Life in Words [but could this ‘unneccesary’ worry be a ‘disguised’ gut feeling?] Because I DO. [Oh you so DON’T!] I’ve got to make him see that. I just worry & think the worst of situations.. something I’ll have to try & grow out of. [So, using Pessimism as the excuse now?] Well ..didn’t do any HW tonite Dad let me invite Mark for wedding! UNREAL, HUH?! (If he still wants to go) [←now if THIS wasn’t a gut instinct…read on…] & in the same room in the hotel!!! [Uh huh…at your DAD’s wedding. Elissa, even if your father was ‘cool’ with it, the likelihood of any young buck having the courage to do anything is pretty slim. What young man isn’t a tad ‘wary’ of his girlfriend’s father?] Julia told me she overheard Nicole talking to friend in H.P.E about Mark .. saying something like how she talked to him & tried to get him away from me. POOR GIRL. Never! He is mine. He loves me (& I, of course, ♥ him!) TANIA’S BACK!!! Late nite. Slept badly last night. Gave Mark my ’86 diary today.

Wednesday 6/5/87

He came late today. In bio, it was not too good, bad [←not a typo, it was actually what I’d written. I would’ve meant ‘but’] was not necessarily bad either .. on way to art was O.K. Not there at little lunch. Before maths, an absolute drag (see, in 4th p. art .. Elisia & I stayed in dark room to process negatives, & were very late for next lesson -english thank god! – so  stayed in dark room with Mrs. M’s consent till 6th p. thought I was late, so ran up & burst into a year 11 class – Mr K (Chris’ dad) the teacher! Shame!) [I don’t remember this at all but I can imagine it as scene in a teen high school movie] I told him about that & he looked at me as if I was stupid so I “sulked” in maths.. am sure at one stage, I caught him looking at me & felt worse, still. Big lunch – [He] went to buy his lunch & when he came back talked little  before going again.. A Life in Wordsback to say ‘goodbye’ v. nicely too. Wow. Aerobics I got a cramp, but was a bit better than last week. Mr G. dropped us home again (I apologized for missing the [english] lesson then) Tania finally rang me ≈5:00 & picked me up. Tea at her place. FOOTSTEPS TO FAME [Cairns High’s annual ‘talent quest’ concert] was excellent! So many people (supportive cos of the crash, I reckon) [highly likely] Mark wasn’t there- said he wasn’t going anyway. When I told him the good news about him being invited to dad’s wedding, he (& I knew it’d happen) said “I don’t know if I should” All this stuff about family etc. [as I said earlier, I had a feeling “…if he still wants to go”…] After all the trouble I went to… [Trouble? Meaning the ‘challenge’ of asking my father?]

Thursday 7/5/87

Today was, indeed, different. I missed the bus, planning to miss 1st period…biology (to do my english assignment & get out of handing in my Rat. prac.) then, when Roger M dropped the car in, mum could take me in. But the car never came. We heard from Roger after 12:00 (too late for me to catch a town bus in.. what’s the point of being there for 2 lessons?) so I stayed home. Tried to do english (I’m really having trouble doing this bloody assignment) but, when I gave up I stuck cards in my camp scrapbook. A Life in WordsA Life in WordsJules came home (raining all day) & told me Mark had asked about me. I rang & talked briefly with Fi. Mark rang around 5:00, I think… was O.K. got ready & he & Keith (K. got his license (P’s) today!) drove round & picked me up. A bit yukky at first, at Earlville, but O.K. after. To town for a pizza, then home around 9:30 I think. Keith & Mark stayed for a cuppa coffee. Cutey. Gorgeous Marky. Left a little while ago (Is 10:35) …actually, about 40 mins or so, ago. Purity [I’d’ve meant ‘pretty’ but deliberately spelled it wrong to insinuate a ‘drawl’ (‘purr-itty’) unaware I was using another actual (unrelated) word] good day. Tomorrow will be even better!!!

Friday 8/5/87

Caught the bus in (Mark came with Keith) Double eng. just didn’t get assignment done, so finished it in 3rd period-art & handed it in at little lunch. Double art next was fun- in darkroom.. mucking round Steven, Jamie D, Keith, Mark. Got dirty – paint on the navy shorts & on my long sleeved grandpa shirt. Big lunch a bludge – can’t remember much (raining lots) Ingrid & I painted the donut sign in 6th & 7th (Mark & Steven visited) waited for the footy match to start..got umbrella off mum. CHS won of course-pouring rain- people huddling under umbrellas. Fete was boring sold lotsa donuts. Went to Fi’s shop & got dressed. At fete again saw Mark — he went to ‘booze’ up with the others. Came to dance again round 8:45. Danced, rested, danced. He went off to the loo .. was gone almost (or more than) 1 hr. Michael B said he saw him with Tricia. I got upset; telling people. When Mark came back, took me outside & revved me about Trust. (Keith’d told him I thought they were doing something) So he got angry & I cried. A Life in WordsHe told me he loved me so much. [Here I basically quoted a lot of what Mark said to me in the talk that ensued and I have chosen to ‘omit’ parts to respect his privacy.] Even Terry said “you don’t believe anything between Mark & TriciaHe loves you heaps.. so much.” Later he’d said things like [apologies, but again I feel I must omit some of the things he said, to respect his privacy] “…[omission]. It was the night I’d hoped to get with you..I so badly wanted you to go to that party. [omission] ..and now more than ever….[omission] This is long overdue .. we should’ve been together earlier.. if one of us had said how we felt ..because we both felt the same .. I stopped reading your 86 diary because I felt [omission] so bad seeing how hurt you were.” Then we danced. Rested. I danced & came back. He was crying. Said he was going & walked home in the→ [I crossed over to the next page…]

Saturday 9/5/87

rain. Wouldn’t let Keith drive him…wanted to  walk. Wouldn’t tell me what was wrong.. left at 12:15 (Beka & Alan D are doin’ great!!!) Looks like Cameron & Nicole too. I think. Slept almost as soon as I got home. Woke around 10:10 this morning … read ’86 diary, up to where Mark said he’d stopped. [trying to ascertain what he may have ‘experienced’ as he read…] Otherwise watched music shows on TV till about 1:30 or 2:00 Thinking about the beautiful things he’d said & I feel really guilty ..I stuff things up all the time. [No, you don’t. It takes two to tango.] I’d asked him why he never admitted that he’d liked me & he said “I don’t know.” He said he’d thrown out his ’86 diary (not a really secretive one like mine, but not just a school diary) but I was all through it. I’m sure people were looking at us. We were just at the bottom of the steps [of Croswell Hall] outside the main entrance during the bulk of the fight. & when I cried. Went to pick up my bag from Fi’s.. could only have a very short talk to her. Read diary at home again – finished it. Did nothing but that all day. Mark didn’t ring me. I rang at 7:30, Mrs W. said he was at Keith’s relative’s 21st birthday party. And he was working from 9:00 tomorrow. So I watched TV tonight. Am kind of upset in a small way that he didn’t ring me. I wish I knew what was wrong. Rainy all day again. very cool. Wasted day, really. Hope he rings me tomorrow.. from work at least. Please, Mark: I love you so much .. let me know what’s troubling you. It’s me, I bet. It’s just after 12:00.

Sunday 10/5/87

A terrible day. I woke, wondering if he’d ring me But I rang him (around 11:30) in the end. And it was a very short call.. just as I’d thought: he was not at all talkative. I hung up disappointed. Cried so much. Then rang him later to get Keith’s phone number then I got upset with him.. hung up on a really terrible note. Rang Keith [seeking answers]. He said he was just in one of his moods..not angry with anyone in particular ..just angry. I felt better, a bit. Went to visit Nana [I’m fairly sure that by this time, she had moved into a nursing home community – residing in her own unit however, not yet interred in a ‘ward’…] (I did nothing today. Nothing at all, except cry & worry) came back wondered if I should ring & apologise. Made mum dinner …finally after 8:00, got on to Fi.. she said ring him. I did. I found out it was me he was disappointed with. So I feel really terrible again. Rang Fi back after & talked. I’m such an idiot. I HATE MYSELF. HATE. [This was written boldly, and the second ‘HATE’ took up two lines on the page. Evidently I felt pretty strongly at the time… but oh, so potentially damaging…] I hurt him. & me. too much. A Life in WordsNot looking forward to school 2morrow. I feel terrible Need lots of sleep. I’m gonna die of an ulcer before I’m 20. [Clearly that hasn’t happened… but I’m surprised! I really was an expert worrier…]

Surgery, Seat Belts & the Birth of my Spiritual Belief System (16-22 February)

Monday 16/2/87

Feeling still very depressed. The doctors caught up with me today. (Dining room for breakfast & lunch. were late for brekky …squashy next to 2 black guys ..PAINFUL) [I’m quite certain this was a statement of discomfort rather than racist ‘slur’, for those who may be wondering…] After my shower they came back. Wasn’t too painful… they took out the drains. Redressed  my leg after a while. 2 dressings a day now… this arvy, mima was with me. Fi came in, too. Mark didn’t come today- I knew he wouldn’t. Probably won’t tomorrow, too. But he should come before 3 weeks. See, I’m going to surgery (skin graft for the big hole, stitch up the little hole) on Wed, then I’ll be in about a week after that. Then Drs say I have to spend at least 2 weeks at home. No I won’t. [Um, if the doctors say so…] I’m missing too much schoolwork. & friends. Dad told me yesterday: Jenny & him are getting married in May. I was shocked, but hid the surprise good as possible. Jacque visited. A Life in WordsBoring, depressed.. my  leg feels like no progress still hurts as much to stand now as it did when I first did – I’m not getting used to the blood rushing down, thru’ the sore. Painful, still. Tania gave me a big photo frame with photo of me, moni, fi, sharon &  mima taken end of last year, It’s beautiful. Monique is beautiful. ♥ her 4eva.

Tuesday 17/2/87

I went to the Valentine’s Dance! On crutches!! Tania drove me. I’d had painkillers – walking, sitting etc was a breeze!! [I found another notation elsewhere that also mentioned I got in for free!] Felt so good today… I mean tonight … walking, etc.. I’ve improved heaps – can lift my leg straight, in the air. Just finished dressing …did it when I came back.. (while after) about 9:00. surgery tomorrow. very few visitors. Oh, I’m tired. Sleep well. Ha! Mark wasn’t there tonight, but he’s going to the swim. carnival tomorrow – I won’t be allowed. Have to stay flat in bed for 3 days…will be murder getting on crutches again. The “report” on the bus accident on the Today Show was disappointing. Not much about the actual crash.

A Life in Words
How would seat belts have saved lives in this wreckage?

[Of course by this time there were preliminary investigations under way but very little had been published, since a formal inquiry was to be held at a future date. Naturally there was media & public speculation about the cause of the accident and associated discussions about prevention. The most prevalent opinion was that wearing seat belts would have saved lives. Absolute RUBBISH. One look at the bus wreckage should be totally explanatory. Interestingly enough, there was an article in the Cairns Post on this topic (not however in the manner of my specific argument) on Friday 20 (see below). I’m not against seat belts at all (if it’s even possible – per the article) but if WE had been strapped into our seats when that bus roof sheared off & seats were ripped from their places, the death toll would’ve been much higher…] Oh, I’m upset..Tania said to me tonight – talking to [privacy omission] he said something about Mark wanting to _ _ _ _ me She said they were pretty close… I’m upset; is that all Mark wants?? [Well, he’s a teenaged boy…?] I like him so much.. so very much… Oh, I’m so worried. . . . Too bad if I forgot anything – I’m so tired. Night. . . painful leg – skin graft oooh It’s 10:30

Wednesday 18/2/87

I was late – I mean THEY were [for surgery]. I was s’posed to go in at 8:00, but I got my pre-op(eration) needle at 8:30, and was taken up awhile after that. A Life in WordsI waited for ages, up there, dozing & finally around 10:00 I think I was rolled in & soon after, given the “knock-out” needle. When I woke, drowsy, really drowsy I was in heaps of pain. Finally got back down here around 11:45. Crying & whinging in pain. [I don’t seem to have diarised anything about this but sometimes the nurses would administer needles for pain relief, rather than just oral pills. I can’t recall the name of the drug, but I do remember asking for it on a few occasions. I can imagine this would be one of the moments they would not have denied me.] It soon settled. Spent the rest of the day lazing . . dozed a little around 5:00. Mark came up today – but to see Trina he reckoned. I think he’s shitty with me. (Oh, my leg’s so itchy) Doctor told me I didn’t have a skin graft after all – GREAT, HUH?! The flesh repairing was so elastic they could just stitch it up!! No major scars! Great! [Oh how the tables turned in just a few days’ time…and months later I begged my mother to try to recall whether she had signed any consent forms that specifically outlined the surgeons’ original intentions…] No major visitors (‘cept Mark) …I mean very few but the ones who came were nice. A case of quality, not quantity. [Of course ALL of my visitors were ‘nice’!] Another school kid’s bus crash in N.Z. about 5 people killed… not nearly as badly smashed as our bus, was their’s. [Competitive? Sheesh. Trying to source information about this accident was almost as difficult as it is to find information about ours on the net. This article celebrates the growth & success of one of the survivors of the Woodford House girl’s school bus accident which killed two students, two teachers & the driver. The victim doesn’t recall anything of the accident, waking up with  permanent paraplegia two weeks later in hospital.] It’s just after 9:00. I may be going home soon. Keep thinking about mark.. he wouldn’t be after “one thing”.. he writes too much caring stuff. He doesn’t intend to ever hurt me

A Life in Words
Before I was “reduced to square one -again”

Thursday 19/2/87

A “down’ Day, definitely: few visitors, pain in my leg. Hurts to walk: put it this way…I can’t anymore… I can’t straighten my leg and find it easier to ‘hop’ on my left leg, keeping the right foot totally off the ground. But tonight, after doing my teeth I kept up [stayed up] & went for exercise walk …keeping foot on floor, stretching & bending knee as much as possible. [In hindsight, this makes me cringe.] mima, Fi, Brent, Jason came up at lunchtime – Mark was at school. . he didn’t come up here. I think I should’ve written a note for mim to give to him for me. Of course I care that he doesn’t visit me… I care a lot. Am getting anxious… hope Trish doesn’t get hooks into him. (Tania visited this morning…had to work rest of the day.. BOOHOO! She’s leaving tomorrow-MISS HER! Hope I can get out to see her off – have a prezzy for her silver bracelet (sterling.)) My leg- how can it be – I walk fine Tues. & after an operation am reduced to square one -again: A veggie? Is 9:30. Try to get to sleep. Ate little (cos too lazy to go to dining room for meals – too sore.)

Friday 20/2/87

* Another down day. Still painful…worse to walk. Trina left this arvy, around 2:00 I think. This morning, the doctors came- but not all of them… thanks to the charge sister, Lisa, they decided to take my dressing off  On the way, he [one of them?] called me a sook. Bastard. It stuck a bit & it hurts so much. [I still cannot grasp the insensitivity of these medical ‘professionals’…] So, after, I waited about ½hr before someone redressed it, then, too late to have a shower, I dressed & mum took me to see Tania off. No tears shed. But I’ll miss her. Another friend gone. [Developing a life ‘theme’?] Showered after I got back (had lunch – a pie – got some food) Few visitors .. Mrs McI gave me a beautiful book (for end of 9 yrs of speech-huh? That’s not right…yep! it is!) Mr Paddy & Yru (came seperately, but) talked in depth about the crash..esp. Mr Paddy …he helped me understand/accept death etc .. It’s still scary to me…but I’m sure it’s  a big step to recovery of shock. [I’d never had anything to do with Mr ‘Paddy’ (I got his surname wrong) since he was a Music teacher, but this conversation had an incredibly massive impact upon me. I believe it was the catalyst for the development of my entire spiritual belief system, for life. All he did was offer his ideas about ‘what happens’ after we ‘pass over’ but it put me at ease by intimating that death is not ‘The End’. So I came to believe in reincarnation or at least, endurance of Spirit. One particular suggestion he made actually came to pass just a few months later; it was an indisputable experience and perhaps this is what irrevocably cemented my belief, and therefore eternal gratitude, love & respect for him.] Mark didn’t come. I’m really worried. [Privacy omission] mentioned something about sex today, too… it would absolutely break me if that’s all he wanted – I know it’s not ..I think …some little doubt in side …well, my mind’s made up.. he’s not going to get it, ever . . till I’m ready -and that’ll be ages. [He] told me he did to [privacy omission]..didnt really surprise me much 8:55

A Life in Words
In case you’re unable to decipher the fine print, the article basically discusses the impracticality of seat belt installation from an engineering point of view. While there is no reference to our bus’s detached roof, the displaced seats are mentioned.

Saturday 21/2/87

They told me I could go home today. But I didn’t. I wanted to stay in til Monday. Everyone probably thinks I’m crazy- I s’pose I am – but I’m smart; I’ll stay in just to be sure -no infections. [If there was ever a point in my life up till then that I should have respected myself for heeding my ‘Gut’, this was it…] And besides; my visitors have to be told!! [oh you Social Butterfly you!] On Monday I’d also like to see the physio & drs before I go They took out the drain this morning- my leg’s quite a bit better! Walking a bit easier!! Except for Mark’s visit, today was an “up” day.. he came – we got on alright…but he left the same way he did the  last 2 times..without saying goodbye…just walking off in a shit..I’d said something about him being mean to me [and then] “well you can leave” … [so he answered] “alright I will” ..he walked off & didn’t come back. That upset me. I really am worried about if he does like me. (God it’s hot.) he’s so moody; impatient I can’t understand him. We really need a good talk.. it’ll be a long time though.. you can’t really talk well in a hospital..or even at school. Oh, I’ve a headache… feel hot..feel terrible. Can’t sleep very well. Quite a few visitors..very lazy day.     Oh . . . I fell terrible. Must try to sleep.

Sunday 22/2/87

What a waste of a day. Here I was thinking I’d get hoardes of visitors:- mum, the McKenzies (principal), Justin F & Wayne C. That’s it. Leg’s O.K. I get pain “jabs” – throbbing now & then…but noticed walking is getting a bit better. Totally boring day… so sleepy, but couldn’t sleep. Thinking about mark…. I thought maybe that I’d changed & he’d changed (y’know – from the crash’n’everything) and we just don’t “click” anymore. Oh I wish everything was “normal” again.  home tomorrow – I have mixed feelings about that, too. . . good cos’ I’ll get work done (less visitors) & be able to exercise my leg – go for walks (crutches!) BUT – I’m apprehensive – haven’t been home since before the camp – before the crash that’s 3 weeks exactly…the memories – it’s going to be different – “overwhelming” is the word I think of. [Wow, well said.] Oh dear… Hot (-ish) today. Didn’t see Jules. Mike B went to see her this arvy, mum said. Wo, Jules!! ♥ mark – u poop! DAMN YOU