Thigh Numbness, Inquest Prep & A ‘Pissy’ Weekend (7-13 September)

Monday 7/9/87

I got out of doing my bio test tomorrow. I’ll have to do it Friday big lunch into 6th period, tute (CAD for me). But I’m not “off the hook”… my Maths will not be “good” . . I’ll stuff it, I’m sure. If I can learn the theory tonite & try to revise more prac. stuff (problems) tomorrow, maybe I’ll scrape through. Fi, & mima went home at little lunch- Joannah wasn’t even at school. Mark stayed.. I hung around him, Chris, Cameron, Steven at big lunch (laughed so much → my stomach muscles are so sore after the weekend) [!!!] Also, strangely (and fucking very annoyingly & disturbingly & upsettingly) my left knee, above it – inside thigh is numb. Been like that for the whole day (since last night) WHY? Hope its not permanent. [It wasn’t. But my concern was borne of the struggle to accept the permanence of the scar on my right leg. During a consult with a ‘revisive’ (plastic) surgeon only a few weeks earlier (see Saturday’s entry in this post) the penny dropped: it was affirmed, I realised and had to begin to accept, that my body could not ‘right’ (heal) this injury to the extent that it could render other superficial flesh wounds (virtually) invisible over time. The damage was too great, the result was permanent and I, as a teenaged girl obsessed (just like any other) with body image, had to come to terms with this. Any wonder I was nervous?] A Life in WordsActually started Fash. Des. work in art today . [Considering fashion design had been one of my strongest career dreams this would have been exciting for me.] Got separated for talking in english . [Ha! That’s a rare occurrence.] Handed in about 4 pracs in chem this morning. I’ll be so glad when this week’s over!! It’s 10:36 – hope I’m not too tired during the exam 2morrow

Tuesday 8/9/87

Ha, ha. Fail in maths, severely. left out 2Q’s (each worth 4 marks) to begin with (the last 2) & all the rest I practically am “hoping” they’re right. /40 I’ll probly get about 5 -no more than 15 for sure. Did chem HW tonite (nothing really substantial tho’.. must try 2morrow morning, then esp. at night: exam Thursday.) Found out during lunch & 6th on Friday – we’ll be at the courthouse, going thru’ proceedings with police (or whatever) [The bus crash inquiry (“death inquest”) was to begin next week. This was a big deal not just for me, but everyone involved in the crash …and pretty much the entire Cairns community…] Postpone biol. exam yet again! Chem. lecture tomorrow (I think) Wonder if it’s interschool? Hope so. [You wanna perve don’tcha, Liss?] Hot day → cloudy towards the end. I’m addicted to Kit Kats A Life in Words[and I’d say they’re probably still one of my top picks IF I were coaxed into buying a commercial chocolate…] (choc. in general) I must give it up- I’m getting fatter & my face is starting to break out again. Oh no! It’s 9:40 now. Earlier nite than previous 4 or 5 nights. Free dress day Friday, too. I want to party this weekend!! G’night!

Wednesday 9/9/87

Mark was away today. that’s the main thing. Aside from that, the chem lecture was (interschool – only some schools & not many people at all -held at Civic Centre) boring. [I was most likely comparing this event to last year’s, at which (unbeknownst to me, until a few days later) I was ‘noticed’ by an attractive guy from another school. (Check out Friday’s and Sunday’s entries in this post if you’d like the background) So perhaps I had my radar up, hoping for some kind of similar experience?] Cameron distracting. [Just as he was in every all of my chem classes!] Fiona’s going to Saint’s formal too, now. Not fair! Everyone is, it seems! Well I’ll just have to spend the whole weekend with Mark to make up for it. [Well, that’s interesting: it sounds very much like spending time with your boyfriend comes second to attending a social event (at which there’d potentially be many attractive guys) with your friends. Hmm… why are you in this relationship again?] We’ll probably end up going to the party afterwards, anyway. Cloudy day. * More junk today – I can’t help myself. A Life in WordsOn the scales this arvy (I expected them to break) I weighed only 61½kgs- I thought I’d be well over 64! Lucky! [Scales don’t mean anything. Really, how much of that weight is fat and how much lean tissue?] But I feel fat & my skins not too good. [That’s a better indicator of your health. What’s happening at the cellular level?] Wonder why on earth Mark was away? Julia said she saw them driving Sheridan Street just around 3:00 or something heading north cairns direction. Would like to have rung him- had they the phone on at David’s.. . he got 25 for maths exam! (I got 22 so surprised I passed!) Also gorgeous (& funny) photos I saw of Mark (& Steven) that are going in the Euroka [our school magazine/yearbook]. SO TIRED. WILL POSSIBLY FAIL CHEM TOO. Strangely, I don’t feel I will, though. Hopefully…

Thursday 10/9/87

Chemistry? What a frigging laugh! I know I have 3 marks, for sure. I’ll get more than 15 I think, but it’s /50 so that’s not good enough. Mark said he slept yesterday & watched videos & when julia saw them, was when they were going to the “wreckers” to get a something-or-other for the fuel tank (a lid?) So, art was boring cause people were in town doing the fence-painting.. Ms . Marsland interviewing CAD music kids at Trinity Bay. English bludge – Mr G. away: talked to Mr McKenzie. [our principle – he may have been caretaking our class? That didn’t happen often…] Lunchtime was fun : Yr 11 girls/Yr 12 guys feud ..makes me laugh!! So funny! Went late night with Fi tonite (had to do grocery shopping  for her mum – who’s sick) (!!!) Could not find anything I liked, to wear for tomorrow Not a single thing. Fi &I were so pissed off_ we actually had money to spend, but there was nothing we wanted to spend it on. A Life in WordsMark & Keith appeared (pinched my bum hard) disappeared, then reappeared before they left. Mark wanted me to buy him a shirt or something . too bad! Sweetie!!! (yukky word) Cutie! Yeah! [Oh mah Gawd] Well only biol. exam Tues. & english assign. for Friday. ∗ Gonna rage this weekend!!!! [Expectation …can lead to Disappointment…]

Friday 11/9/87

I’m tired – it’s 10:00 – I’m going to do something tomorrow night, no matter what. Pissed off, I am pissed off. I know I shouldn’t be, and I don’t want to be, but deep down I am. I went late nite shopping (with Julia) with Cameron (and as it turned out, Glyn, Deanne & Her sister) and it was so boring. Again, I saw some stuff, but nothing I thought was actually worth buying. I thought it’d be good & get my mind off Mark going to the [House on the] Hill [nightclub] tonight (Glyn was too, I think) Cameron didn’t want to & I don’t know about Steven Anyway, he was quite affectionate (well, his responses to me were very good) after school (when, incidentally, he said he wouldn’t go late night shopping with me, but denied he was going to the Hill. “Ring you tomorrow” he said) Got 24¼/50 for chem. Much better than I thought (almost passed!) [My how attitudes change! In primary school and at my previous high school (Smithfield High) this would literally have been the End of the World. Anything less than a High Achievement ‘killed’ me. I guess it’s a positive that I learnt (by default: losing interest in schoolwork due to my burgeoning social & love lives since the switch to Cairns High) to accept failure/disappointment with less Stress?] Busy day really : appointment with Ms Forbes took a while (I wore all black today) Mark wore his green shirt. I love it – so spunky! Trip to Courthouse was short really.. Trina, Becca G & I will have to be crossexamined cause we didn’t write statements .. will have to tell our story & will then be questioned. SHIT!

A Life in Words
I received my summons to appear in court for the bus crash inquest on 24 July.

Saturday 12/9/87

After a pissy night last night, I wanted a great night tonight –  seems everybody, everything is against me. […here we go…] I went to town this morning with Julia & mum & finally bought some tan shoes from Sportsgirl (you guessed it – to wear tonight) (After last nite – I slept badly waking lots – hoping Mark’d  come to my window, like I am now) So I waited all arvy. Around 3:30-4:00, I got a little tense; still no call, let alone visit. [….and I couldn’t contact him because he was staying at a place where there was no phone…] (I’d seen him (& he saw us) in his car around 12:00, when we  were on our way home & he waved) I’m SO hurt. I couldn’t stop tears now & then. He said he’d ring me & he didn’t. He must’ve forgotten (& that really hurts – to think he could forget me) After being out last night, without me, doesn’t he want to see me tonight? I am so hurt. So, of course, I stayed home even after making a skirt to wear as well. I want to get angry with him but I know I won’t. [Just as well… it wouldn’t do any good. But you have other options…] GOD IT HURTS. How could he “forget” me & if he didn’t , why didn’t he call? There’s no excuse. What’s he doing now? Who’s he with[For all your claims about trusting him…] God, I worry too much. NO! I’VE GOT THE  RIGHT to be worried & HURTA Life in Words

Sunday 13/9/87

I was still pissed-off (hurt) today, but it was wearing thin(-ner). I rang Fi around 11:00 – she said Jay’s BBQ wasn’t very good because Chris H rolled his car (8 or so people in it) at the bottom of Petersen St. Made Fi feel sick after that. [I can imagine: rolling bus, rolling car… too similar a feeling. I still react to excessive speed on right-hand curves to this day. A fast veer left doesn’t ignite a vague, deep-seated panic in me like the righthand turn.] I did nothing, really, all day (should’ve studied biology or done English assignment) Half-hoping Mark’d call or visit. But, alas (??), no. I thought how I’d be angry with him. So we got ready to go to the LeBerhz’s around 4:00 – leaving just after 5:00. Watched TV & video there – also talked alot about the crash, inquiry & showed my photos. Was quite good. At home, 9:30 I knew it – message for me to ring Mark (where?) […was he back at his parents’ house where there was a phone, now?] but mum said it was too late. [Our general rule was no phone calls after 7:30-8pm. It’s one I still follow today and, to be honest, I usually won’t answer my phone if someone calls after those times too. Night time is quiet time for me. (But I’m also not one for talking on the phone much anyway…)] So now I’m ready for bed: not yet too nervous about tomorrow. When will I call Mark? Where do I call him? I’ll see him tomorrow lunchtime : I will be nonchalant to him – but get angry if I need to (ha, ha as if I could.) Well I’ll try. [Entertaining Mind conversations…]

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An Anaesthetic Hangover & Getting Out of Bed (7-8 February)

[Having gotten no further than the 6th February in my scrapbook, we now return to simply my diary entries, so here I have included the weekend and as of Monday 9th, posts will revert to weekly publishing again.]

Saturday 7/2/87

I saw Mark for about one minute today. He wasn’t very happy – looked stiff, like in a lot of discomfort. [I can’t imagine sitting upright in a wheelchair with a punctured lung would be terribly comfortable.] This was about 1:30 today. I wish we could’ve had more time and privacy. Gave me a pink teddy (I’ve called Yowie) and a cute little bunch of dried flowers with one red rose. (and said simply “Elissa, get well soon babe, Lots of Love, Mark.” I am really tired now. I went into surgery about 9:00, came out at 10:00 but didn’t wake til about 12:30. [Apparently this surgery was merely a dressing change, on my right leg’s injury. Because it was the first one since my ‘scrub’ surgery when I was first admitted (on Wednesday evening) I have assumed that the medics needed to assess the state of the wound, without the added complication of my ‘response’ in the conscious state. I could of course be completely mistaken…] A Life in WordsCrabbe (Wayne) was here again. Rebecca P even came in too. The effect of the anaesthetic hasn’t worn off all day – been dopey etc. [The state of my handwriting attests to this… see the picture] My drip was changed back to my right arm – now its so painful. There is much less dressing on my left knee – can move quite well still. Gordon C & Clayton E came in today too. Had quite a few visitors again. Slept badly.. woke early again cos of restlessness- inability to move during sleep.

Sunday 8/2/87

A Life in Words
In my hospital bed, with my fav teddies Monique & Yowie

I was in the best of spirits today- my left leg is so mobile!! I can even (with a lot of effort) lift it off the bed!! Slept badly last night – waking up in pain from my drip. [Good god, if it’s not one thing, it’s another…] Moved it again in the morning to my left (elbow) again .. then took it out for good!! I got in a wheelchair & had a shower & washed my hair for the first time in one week!! Then I felt so great & comfortable that the nurses let me go down & see Mark!! We sat – didn’t say much at all. Wondering if he’s shitty with me cause everybody else says he natters away when they’re with him. [Believe it or not, it actually crossed my mind that he might have been ‘shitty’ because I didn’t get Erica off him while trapped under the bus. This is, of course, ridiculous. But it’s the kind of paranoid imaginings a young girl with shaky self confidence and a kind of inferiority complex can have…] Anyway Sandra took me to see Melinda B after. We laughed so much. I felt really great today – no pain when I coughed or laughed. [I was completely unaware that I’d felt any pain of that kind, but I realise it’s almost to be expected: being thrown around like a rag doll is bound to affect thoracic musculature…] magic. more patients came later in the arvy – VISITORS, I mean!! [hasn’t that anaesthetic worn off yet?] I’m pooped now. Just realised how this thing has changed my life – the crash that is. [I’d love to know exactly what I meant by this, what my specific thoughts were. It’s an ambivalent statement, a tease if you will: what Change was my imagination envisaging precisely? I wish I had had the diary space (or merely inclination?) to provide more detail.] I’m not looking forward to the next 14 days – the doctors this morning reckon I’ll be in for another fortnight. SHIT. I don’t know if I will be able to cope with the pain of physio & “dressing changing” tomorrow. [I must have had ESP…] I ♥ u Mark. It’s about 8:50 now I think.

Clean Teeth, Therapy & the School’s Commemoration Service (6 February)

Friday 6/2/87

Have tried to get as much info as possible. It really was national news – I couldn’t believe it. Also partly international. We had group therapy today – talking about the accident There was me, Jason, Steven L, Ms Bowles, Ms DeJourdan, Mr Stopford, Yru, Fi, Jacki & Cameron and the social workers. Talking is to help us remember so we can cope. [The problem is, not enough of us were counselled, full stop. Only a handful of us (mostly injured victims) received any kind of psychological support, let alone being encouraged simply to talk, to each other or our families, anyone. Sadly, it’s just ‘the way it was’ back then; ‘Mental Health’ was a shameful, unsavoury topic. I am so, so relieved that society has embraced it in a positive light and it’s reassuring to know that had this happened in this day and age, counselling would be available to not just ALL Year 12 students, but the entire school community, at every other school in the region, and to the general public, for that matter.] A Life in WordsIt was extremely distressing. Oh I love Monique so much. They changed my knee dressing today .. that was painful. Although there weren’t too many visitors today, they stayed longer and helped me feel brighter. Mark’s coming out of ICU tomorrow. I gave him a note, a teddy & a red rose today (not directly, of course – I can’t have) I also had a sponge bath. And cleaned my teeth for the first time in 2½ days Slept soundly last night, but woke uncomfortable this morning because I could’t roll over. [I have always been a side-sleeper] I am so tired now. Jason & Yru went home. Cameron’s on his own (with an old man) next door. [I recall that scenario providing some cheer, thanks to his sarcastic sense of humour.] He’s expecting to go home on Saturday. I got lots more flowers today. Mima gave me a white Teddy Bear in a ballerina suit. It’s name is Monique. [In her previous life in Brisbane, Monique had practised ballet. That was another defining characteristic: she was our ballerina.] Sleep now.

[By the time I came to write about this day in the scrapbook (and incidentally, it’s the point at which I gave the project away) it was literally months after the accident, so my memory was not as clear and in some instances I virtually copied almost word-for-word from my diary:]

A Life in WordsWoke early because I was uncomfortable, not being able to turn over because of my right leg injury. Mum came for a little while, bringing the paper. . and also toothbrush & other toiletries that she had collected from Croswell Hall when she dropped Julia at school. [Clearly that was where the ‘remainder’ of our possessions were housed after retrieval from the crash site.] First ‘teeth wash’ for 2½ Days…

Tried to get as much information as I could… I couldn’t believe it was national (& even partly international) news. But I got a little more ‘personal info’ from 9:30 in the morning, just after mum left… we had group councelling session for an hour. Fiona Ms Bowles & Kay returned [to the hospital] for it & there was also Jacqie, Mr Stopford, Ms DeJourdan, Yru, Cameron, Jason & Steven L (& the 3 councellors) I found it distressing, in fact…cried a lot, especially at Mr Stopford’s & Jason’s recounts.. both of Monique. scrapbook Fri 6:2[I can’t recall much of what was said but I do know that Mr Stopford pulled Monique out from under the bus (she wasn’t pinned) and rested her against a tree; I can’t remember whether he’d had to try resuscitating her. One of them – I think it might have been Jason – mentioned something about her face being a bluish-grey colour. I’d guessed then, that she was the first pronounced dead.] Jason was next to me in his wheelchair holding my hand the whole time. General consensus was guilt that we survived… I couldn’t believe people were dead. After the councelling session and a bit of ‘informal mingling’ everyone left for the private memorial at Cairns High ([those] who could, that is) Yru and Jason were released from hospital so Cameron, Jacquie Ms DeJourdan Steven L & I couldn’t go. A Life in Words[There was no mention at all in my personal diary about the school memorial …did my inability to attend hurt so much that I deliberately omitted it? It doesn’t seem like something I would do…] Mum returned from doing some work and sat with me during it .. I was upset also because I had to miss it, but they promised to video it. In the meantime, I had the dressing on my left knee changed …it was quite painful as they had to remove the drain from the wound [it was not the ‘huge gash’ I’d earlier believed. The right leg injury however…] But the new bandage was much lighter and allowed more movement (not that I’d move much!) Petra and Julia came up after the memorial service ..bearing little gifts ..and stayed with me after mum left around noon. Julia gave me a little chocolate brown teddy which I named ‘Anton’ and Leanne J (her other friend) gave me a little snoopy dog. A little dolly off the flowers Dad and Jenny gave me, I called ‘Lisa’ (after Monique) [it was her middle name]

The Day After: Heartbreak (5 February)

Thursday 5/2/87

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Monique..”

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

“was one of them.”

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

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

“MONIQUE, NOOOOOO, MONIQUE, MONIQUE…”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

The Cast of Grease & the Honour Rejected (12-18 May)

Monday 12/5/86

He was on a geography excursion today. I caught a glance of him as he was getting on the bus. So the “school” was quite empty i.e.: only Keith, Cameron, Brent (really) were left. “Excitement” about the party – everyone gossiping. Angie J has told all the girls they were only kissing but the guys knew differently. Personally, I believe she did have sex with him. [I really think this belief is half based in jealousy (obviously) but also Pessimism: assuming the ‘worst’.] A little depressing today was, on our way home (we (Fi & I) were in the back seat (“as usual)) & Cameron was too. were talking about ‘loves’ Cameron says most of the guys like Sharon. (think she’s good looking, anyway) Mark too. He didn’t say much about that. But I’m wondering seriously whether Mark does like Sharon or not. I keep telling myself ME MEANS NOTHING TO ME. [Haha, keep going…] 9:40. Jeez, I’m confused. I wish someone would tell me, straight out, whether Mark likes me or not. [Strangely enough it’s these comments that piss me off the most, now. FFS, was I really such a persistently wishful-thinking sook?! Oops, now I have to chastise myself for being so hard on myself! Especially being so hard on my little 15 year-old self.]

Tuesday 13/5/86A Life in Words

It’s 9:52. I’m watching part one of “Gone With the Wind”. It’s on TV. If it doesn’t finish soon, I’ll have to go to bed – I’m bugared. [That’s right, it WAS an Epic film wasn’t it? A 4 hour saga, it was actually broken up into two parts for television. Is it sill the longest (commercial/popular) film ever made?] Rode today. Riding home, stopped at Stratford (Fi got off the bus) & talked to Beka & Justine & Kym. Then Fi & mima (doubled [as in, doubled on a bike]) came over. At 5:30 they left. I did a little HW, had dinner, a bath & went to mima’s to watch “Grease”. Was great. Am so excited about the play! Today I was happy, in the morning. It “appeared” to me that Mark was trying to make me notice him. (Sharon shamed me – talking about him, in the library, and he was standing just behind) S’pose to have been ignoring Angie which made me happy too. But then he was talking to her later. Oh well. On the other hand, it wouldn’t be so good if someone told me whether Mark liked me or not cos if the answer was no I’d be mighty upset. [That’s Life, chick.]

Wednesday 14/5/86

9:55. Riding tomorrow. Stuff “Gone with the Wind”. I’m too tired to watch it. Pity, tho, huh? I HATE WEDNESDAYS so much. Cameron’s hanging around Mark a lot more since I told him that I like Mark. (Wonder why?) It’s probably got nothing to do with that. [Yep!] But I hate Wednesdays. And I “love” Mark (I know it’s not love, but if I could become goods friends – I’m sure it’d grow) [Well at least I was ‘aware’ enough to know that saying I loved someone didn’t necessarily mean I did…?!?] Ms. Black doesn’t like me, I’m sure. Mim & I didn’t do anything in recreational art today. Found out who got in the play Grease. I’m not listed. Either’s mima. Heather: Sandy, AnnMarie: Rizzo, Peta R: Marty, Clare McK – Frenchie, Tootsie is Patty, Steven – Danny, Neville Kenicki, Brent is Roger. Wow. I am tired. Speech – boring. HATE Wednesdays. Fi & I were asked to be ushers for the Yr 12 formal. Have to have partners so I own’t go. Everyone thinks I’m crazy (I know I am)

Thursday 15/5/86

Got a letter from Lucy: am writing back now – must also write back to Fran. News is she’s coming up in June Holidays for sure!!!! Riding to school today I had a prang on Aeroglen Drive: skinned my right knee – that’s all shook me up, tho→ I fell straight over & couldn’t get up for shaking. A council truck drove past & the 3 guys laughed. I chucked an enormous flash!!! [For those unaware, “chucking a flash” meant giving an eyeful – whether deliberately or accidentally – to some one – or more – of things you would rather or should NOT!] Shame. I went to the doctor’s this arvy too. Dr D said my nose is normal – the only way to rid nasality is speech exercises [read: I had a “lazy soft palate” so had to exercise the muscle – like any other weak muscles in the body] and I’ll just have to keep using my Becotide (until hopefully I grow out of my allergies) 9:35. I was kinda bored – unsettled today. I don’t want to do this ushering – but Carla reckons it’s an honour – so I can’t back out. What the fuck will I do?? I won’t get a partner. Am tired. I think. Kinda pissed off. Asked Mark a Q in Bio today. Barely answered

Friday 16/5/86

The “ushering” thing pushed me to my limits today. Spent almost whole lunch hour with Carla, Clare, Maureen B, & Heather, trying to decide what to do. I didn’t want to but according to Carla it was an honour – and I couldn’t refuse. But I have. I got so upset at the end – talking to Fi, that my eyes watered & I didn’t go to the dancing in tutorial. I am not going. It is part to do with Steven (being my partner, cos I don’t really know him well) but mostly in-confidence. i.e.: not enough. [Again, at least I was aware of and honest about my ‘failings’]A Life in Words Cameron couldn’t believe (& Brent) that I backed out. It’s almost as if he really wanted me to go. Ha! Anyway I’m not. It’s 10:15. Went late night: bought pr men’s PJ’s (snuggy!!) & fantastic new adidas sandshoes. I LOVE THEM!! In Coles, talking to Maureen – she offered me a job. think I might take it up, next time. So many people came up & said Hi. But I didn’t see Mark at all. BOO HOO. Also, in the carpark, I dropped a whole bag of oranges!! SHAME!! I couldn’t stop laughing: Torstein & this cute guy were doing trolleys helped me pick them up. HOW EMBARRASSING! ALSO – went to Freshy Pub with Geoff 4 tea. I didn’t eat. [??]

Saturday 17/5/86

Earned $23. Yes! I am getting my normal $4 rate – but I’ll still ask Maureen about a job at school on Monday. Boring. Rushed home, rushed & got ready & rushed to pick up Nana to hurry & get to the Railway Station on time to pick up mum’s uncle (nana’s husband’s brother) [This took me a moment to work out: my grandmother was married twice, but this particular man would have been mum’s real (blood) relative – the brother of her father, whom I never met. Mum’s dad (my grandfather) died while mum was a teenager. Coincidentally, so did my father’s mother (my grandmother on the other side) Beginning to realise that there has been a fair bit of ‘premature death’ in my immediate family unit]. That took bloody 10 mins. Rush for nothing! Then we dropped Nana home & at the moment, I’m still writing Letter to lucy while watching Saturday Night Fever on TV (again) 10:22. I wish I could hurry & finish the letter. I’d like to get to bed – have heaps HW for tomorrow. Wanna get it done.

Sunday 18/5/86A Life in Words

“Officer & A Gentleman” will be finished soon, I think (I hope – it’s 10:42) Today, I did a bit of chemistry, maths & english HW. Just bits. But I’m glad I did do some of my english – at least I know where I’m at with my assignment. —Yes!! Now it’s finished and I love it! (the movie) now it’s 10:51. Pretty Cool tonight (i.e.: cooler than usual – and the usual is pretty cool now) Wrote to Fran today. Also ate quite little, thank god. But I’m tired. I think. I must’ve down something to my waist/hips/ribs when I fell off my bike, cos ever since then, around my waist, hurts when I laugh, etc (also had sore muscles esp in my right upper arm) maybe I pulled muscle?!! [Ya think?] School. I can wear my fab new shoes. Love ’em: just like Lucy’s and Rebecca G’s. LOVE THEM!

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An Injured Workman & a Prank Call (28 April-4 May)

Monday 28/4/86fall

Un-boring day today. In art, Rebecca G and I were painting in Mr Pugh’s art room and we heard an almighty crash. Thinking it was the workmen dropping wood or something, it didn’t bother us until Becca looked at [At? Possibly I meant to say “looked OUT AND”?] saw a guy land on the ground. I turned round. He was cringing (like he’d broken his arm) but then he moved his head and blood spurted out his neck. [Oh I remember this now!] I almost knocked myself out while running to get Ms Marsland (forgetting the glass door) Poor guy fell through a “roof” but only received a cut on his neck – no major injuries. Also Ms Marsland was videoing us. We watched in it 5th period. Funny! Not much of me  9:36. I wonder exactly when Mark’s birthday is. I know he’s a Taurus…. riding tomorrow. Am warm (hot)

Tuesday 29/4/86

Today was a good day. Nothing ‘special’ happened – It was just quite cheerful. We rode (mima, Fi & I) and were boiling. Went to area & had to pass Mark & Steven Shame! Hot, red faces, wet hair!! Anyway, in art we got some new work – really hard. Like philosophical “HEAVY” I can’t explain on this paper; I’d need a whole book practically, to put words into meaning (or vice versa) I’m hot … I’ve chucked my winter PJ’s – I was too hot. I put on a summer one. Was really hot & hard riding!! Did a fair bit of HW tonight – felt good about it. Also have ideas as to how I’ll do this (very hard) reading assignment for English 9:03. And I’m not too tired. Ate a lot this arvy. Got a head ache too. Wow!!

Wednesday 30/4/86

I am HOT. I can’t believe this is meant to be summer autumn, I mean! FOOTSTEPS TO FAME [our school ‘talent quest’] was…UNREAL! It was so funny. Mark was there. But he looked like he was looking for someone all the time (perhaps Angie?..) →but he wasn’t with her. Not me, of course. Never me. [Oh, cry me a river..] It’s 10:20 according to my Mickey Mouse watch. Riding again tomorrow (apparently) Oh, how I wish… I did no HW … almost forgot speech again (it’s on at 4:30 now) I HATE WEDNESDAYS They are so boring. Everyone leaves for sport and/or recreation. Shits me off (cos Mark goes too) Megan talked to me today. Quite a bit. Change, huh? BORWING, BORWING, BORWING. I HATE HATE HATE WEDNESDAYS.

Thursday 1/5/86

Today was a pretty good day (sat in the back seat on the way home today: fun!! Gammon) [Gammon: local slang for “as if!”] Anyway, all my subjects were fun (if not, they were interesting anyway) And there was always Mark to drool over. It’s incredible… I can’t really use words to describe him… I just wish I could become good friends with him. Then I’d be a bit happier (than I already am!) [Oh here’s a wonderful example of one of the basic failings of human beings – believing Happiness is the result of external circumstances, when it’s completely & solely controlled by the individual. But this is obviously a lesson to be learned in life…] Got our bathroom mirror yesterday arvy and was put up today. Looks unreal!! I have no idea what to wear tomorrow. [It was a ‘free dress’ day – a break from the monotony of uniforms] Shorts – but what ones?? 9:50. I’ll hafta wake early so I can decide!! Now I’m stuck for words…!! Everyone is being so nice to me lately. I mean really friendly I’m happy about that

Friday 2/5/86

I felt a bit of a dag, wearing my dotty shorts and Julia’s roomy, old, full-of-holes blue T-shirt and my sandshoes. But I didn’t worry about it too much. Got all my maths HW out of the way. Have only Chem. & Eng. left (no Bio HW) Still am not sure what’s happening about Green Island. Don’t think any guys will turn up: I’m not counting on it. Not getting hopes up. Mark was half-free dressed so were most of the guys, anyway. I am tired – just watched the movie – it’s 11:25. Sleep in tomorrow! Am so tired. Am feeling a little better lately i.e.: more ‘accepted’ by every(most)one Dunno exactly what’s to happen this weekend!! TYRED eyes!

A Life in WordsSaturday 3/5/86

Running from the photographer (my sister) in one of the 'fashions' I'd made from the piece of material
Running from the photographer (my sister) in one of the ‘fashions’ I’d made from the piece of material

Boring! I knew I should have attempted to do my chemistry HW and my english assignment but I couldn’t get motivated. Instead, I read May “Dolly” my book “The dark Quartet” and ….and (?) …and …ate!! And listened to the radio and ate and ate. I ate too much I think. I also watched a bit of TV. And I made “fashions” out of an old (large) bit of fabric (togas) Some of them looked really great, especially with brooches and (my) make up. [My sister played at this with me and got a hold of my camera (see photo) to take ‘modelling shots’!] Anyhow, Sharon rang and she’s coming round late tomorrow arvy (she’s gotta work) Apparently, “lotsa people are going.” And I forgot to ring mima & fiona. Dammit. Remember in the morning. Is 12:30. Yes. I played Trivial Pursuit & got bored & tired. And now have had a late night. SHIT.

[On this day, in the ‘Notes’ section at the back of my diary I’d lamented:] Wish someone’d have another party. I’m longing for one!

Sunday 4/5/86

I got an obscene call today. Nah – it was just a prank call. A guy (I thought it really was someone I knew at first) told me to guess who he was saying “you remember me and you and that room”…. I said “Sorry! .. Bye!” And hung up. It frightened me after a bit – I have a feeling it might be someone I know. Today I wasted another day: did absolutely nothing useful. Sharon came around 6:00 Talked. She’s in the shower now – I’m hurrying to write this before she gets out so I can hide it – she saw it & wants (I’m sure) to read it. [To my knowledge, there were very few people who actually went to any lengths to read my diaries. I was amazed my mother and sister were never the slightest bit interested in snooping.] It’s 9:15 now – we’ll probably have a late night. Am taking Joannah & Fi tomorrow. WOW!! Weather just said will be rainy 2 morrow – Please be wrong!! Have told Sharon a lot of secrets tonight (esp. about Mark)