Transgression & Reunion: the Final Week of School (16-22 November)

Monday 16/11/87

I’m not feeling overly happy. And it’s got nothing to do with the fact that I failed my maths, for sure .. it’s to do with mark. [Surprise surprise] It doesn’t bother me [hang on, have I just back-flipped here?] -I’m not sure if it’s really my problem- but there’s some slight depression, unhappiness, melancholy, hanging over me. I don’t know what or how. I can’t explain. Maybe it’s just a “down” period. [Alcohol is classed as a depressant drug, just sayin’. And with hormones naturally surging through your teenaged body, the combined result’s not going to be rosy…] Apparently (I didn’t talk to Mark today only saw him briefly, twice, but he rang me) [privacy omission] thought he’d given me the lovebites and she’d said “Bastard” or something like that. I feel good, but not really -it’s not reassuring enough- I still must talk to him. A Life in WordsI couldn’t tonight – we were getting on so well (on the phone) and he’d said (when I tried to give him shit about [her]) “it’s terrible, isn’t it?” when I said about [her] calling him a bastard. I HATE IT. It hurts me. [Because I interpreted it as him discounting MY feelings. But reading this back now, it seems equally possible that he may have been disregarding her (alleged) response, in order to hearten me. Again, who knows?] I need to let him know: fast. Oh, why me? I feel so down. Got my Euroka [our school magazine/yearbook] not as good as last year’s. May have passed my chem prac. (probly not with my luck) Not at all worried about chem exam- I don’t care. Is 10:00 now – will probly be up a while yet.

Tuesday 17/11/87

WOW. It’s 11:30- I’d wanted an early nite – in preparation for 2morrow. Oh well. I wrote to Lucy & actually, to all the tertiary institutions, that I needed to, so it’s all out of the way, finally!! (Post it all tomorrow) Ugh! What a day! Woke – went to psycologist -she was nice- talked to my ♥’s content – she feels (& I know) it [the accident] has benefitted me – the trauma made me much stronger – self-determined etc. more will & potential to succeed now than I ever would’ve had before [hmm, except academically…] (& the break-up with Mark helped too) So, at home after, didn’t feel like studying anymore[!]– chem exam a big ha, ha. (tho’ I think I shall be better than maths!) Home after Glyn & Cameron popped around ..Glyn saw my [contraceptive] pills (great – I’ll never hear the end of it) Fi’s ringing me back 2 morrow to finalize plans for 2morrow. I rang mark but was at Keith’s watching a video (my guess is [privacy omission]‘s muff) anyway- he rang me – it was almost 10:00, I think! short phone call. Oh god I’m tired. 2morrow nite – I can’t wait!

Wednesday 18/11/87

Well, I woke up to Fi’s phonecall, around 8:00 – I was DEAD! And we were in town around 8:45/9:00. A Life in WordsWe looked around after buying photographic paper, then walked to Fi’s shop to get the car. I failed my learners: one question wrong (because I’d studied from an old book – they’d changed the rule) [I can’t for the life of me remember what that changed rule was] Didn’t see mark at all today. Nor Jo. I couldn’t find a damn thing to wear to the Valedictory Dinner (we picked mima up after her exam-bought her flowers!!) in town, let alone out tonite. Went over to see Cynthia (Fi dropped me there) Had Kentucky Fried for tea; had to rush at home, to get to mima’s (I got a skirt to wear) At Scandals, I had a Kahlua & milk + 2 banana dacquiris – at Croc. Rock, barely talked to Mark, to start with. Had one explosion [the super-toxic, flaming cocktail to which I’d become partial] with Cameron, then another with Mark (his first) we ended up talking (he was quite drunk) alone for ages – about us. I can’t remember everything [he said] & what I do, I don’t have room for!! Was good – he said I turn him on the most all the others were substitutes – he’d put off & put off getting with them. We didn’t get together cause he didn’t want people saying he did it cause he was drunk- respects me too much. Fi came up & told me

Thursday 19/11/87

→we were leaving- he & she talked & when driving me home, she said he said “there’s only one person I love more than you- (that’s elissa)” so, I woke 7:30 – very dead. The art test was boring – not really very easy – just basic (difference!) [Wow. Did I really get on the piss heavily the night before an exam? I never realised I was so badass…] After, I missed mark, but waited round the school area for most of the afternoon (well, a bit: went to Fi’s [parents’] shop & I lay down out the back, trying to get some sleep for tonite (from last nite!)) Jason took me home… I ended up not resting there ..had to rush to get ready for the movies. A Life in WordsLIVING DAYLIGHTS was cool. (Jay drove mima & I there) We walked to Esplanade after (saw Steven at International Hostel [a guy I’d pashed a few weeks back] – he ‘giggled’ mima said) then drove to the school. Mark & Chris were drinking first – it was a mess – it was stupid – idiot K. was throwing furniture etc. Not many there. [It’s pretty much an unwritten seniors’ tradition to ‘prank’ the school for their final day… I’d envisaged organised decoration (the OCD in me) so was pretty disappointed to find a bunch of somewhat aggressive drunk guys just making a huge mess.] Then the guys went for a swim [breaking into the school’s pool enclosure] & threw a bin [full] of water at me (Keith) & the guys all hit into him) [I think I was wearing a white top so was more concerned with modesty than the fact that I was actually sopping wet] then there was a cry of Police. I don’t know why, but some people ran, & [privacy omission] & I did too-straight into the “arms” of the police (juvenile aid) lectured us – searched bags. And took my & [privacy omission]‘s names, addresses, ages etc. WHY US? […I have wondered about this and the simplest conclusion I could come to was that we were the only two girls …and maybe from a (still gender-biased point of view) they were more concerned with our safety, amongst a group of boys …if you catch my drift? But I am purely speculating…] We were going to leave, but went back. [Privacy omission] left with Jay & I rang mum to say I was staying at Mark’s. (told her about that & she seemed OK) so we hung round for ages, till Sandra P came & Chris, Mark & I got a lift to Greenslopes & Pease → walked so far then→

Friday 20/11/87

A Life in Words
Hangin’ in town on the last day of school

→stopped & talked .. about the accident a lot. Ended up sitting down on the road, but in the bike lane part. Talking & saw headlights. I said “he’s going to turn” but he didn’t indicate & looked like he was going straight ahead till he was 3m away- turned really quickly & slammed on brakes -stopping just before hitting us- the Police! (Great – twice in one nite) [you little dissident, you!] They said there’d been a break & enter 2 mins away- told us off & told us to clear out. We walked away & stood shaking .. we’d just been talking about the accident and we nearly got run down by a cop car!!! [yes, I see the irony in that] At Mark’s we mucked around, then got down to business .. then got 1-2 hrs sleep .. and made love again in the morning. He said [privacy omission, even though they were nice things]. So mum picked us (& Chris) up (I got changed first of course) & at school, got photos – bummed round doing nothing in particular. Mark & a whole heap of guys went to Crystals. We ended up Megan, Fi, Jo & I going driving around town (& Saints) I got a big white Tshirt & white skirt from Kaffa, for the Valedictory Dinner. At home I rushed to get ready -got to Marks & went to the DDIAE talks. [….an information session I assume, for one of the tertiary institutions to which I had applied] BORING. The Valedictory Dinner I spent nearly all my time with mima & Fi. Hardly with Mark. He left earlier than I. It made me depressed- it was a massive anti-climax. [I neglected to include the ‘award’ I received – in conjunction with Mark – at the dinner. The photo below will forever remind me of it. Basically, thanks to a couple of large & very obvious hickies Mark had given me at different times throughout the year, I was presented with a can of Aeroguard insect repellant to protect myself  from big mosquitoes (like Mark) in the future. We were both called up for the presentation but poor Mark was left standing there to dwell in his jovial embarrassment empty-handed.] So that, at Brett’s party (seeing there was barely anyone there

A Life in Words
That’s me walking off to the left – slightly embarrassed – with my Aeroguard insect repellant trophy.

Saturday 21/11/87

→anyway, I did not feel like partying (no drink or anything) I felt like a joint -but that made me angrier -waited ages for it, then didn’t get any. FUCKED! I walked back in, myself really pissed off & [privacy omission] outside said Mark went to Freshy school looking for me. I found him.. and the effect of beer bongs hit him (hard) We lay down on the grass & he was deliriously mumbling; I finally dragged him to my place, seeing Chris (& Jo for the first time that nite) on the way- telling them to tell Fi I couldn’t stay. Mark was really stuffed. That was about 1:30. Woken 8:00, he left around 9:10- [privacy omission] I rang mima & Fi & her picked me up- got KFC (Kentucky) ate at Esplanade. At the shop I helped Fi (her mum was sick – mima at hair show practise) till Martin & Mr D came rang Mark at home, then went virtually straight away to his place. Mucked around – Keith came over – we went for a drive to the beach (Trinity) & ate pizza. Picked up my clothes on the way back to Mark’s. Mucked around 4 ages … went to Chris’s late .. swam, drank gin & tarina (!) Then Glyn rang said there was a party (Peta W’s – Jo was there – she’d rung (and told me she was going) at Mark’s) Cameron came (Mark & I rode quickly & got dressed)→

Sunday 22/11/87

→ And we got a cab. Cameron & I got out .. Mark, Chris & Glyn further up.. they ran the cab, and, sure enough, it came back to us. So stupid. [Yep. And since lying is not my forte, the cabbie’s interrogation wasn’t fun for me. We pretended we were just cab-sharing with the other guys and didn’t know them very well. When pressed for any names, the best I could come up with was John Smith. Yep, duh. And Cameron sure didn’t let me live that down, either…] We found them, then Aumuller St ..saw Brendan L & he said it was DEAD. So we walked to Draper St (Samanda C’s) Party .. small party it was & everyone was being told to leave once we got there. Were desperate for a cab lift home – finally got one with Trevor G to chris’s. Mark & I walked to his place & after a shower- bombed. No sex. In the morning I woke 8:45- he woke around 10:00 to the phone. Mucked around right up until noon, I think (yeah, beautiful LM) [←my semi-modest abbreviation for ‘love making’] Bacon & scrambled eggs brekky, wasted time then he dropped me home. Mum, Julia, & 2nd cous. Lyn came home & I rang Jo, then we went to the beaches (at Clifton I looked for Phillip’s place- NO hope! [privacy omission]) At home before 4:00, waited. (filling in diary from past 4 days/5 days) rang Fi waited. At 7:30 I rang him. Said he thought I was meant to ring him (said he was gonna ring me anyway) writing a big letter -prob. is don’t have enough time to make it really big : only 4 pages so far & I’d wanted to write over 32 (novel size!!) [He was about to go overseas on a family holiday and I’d decided to write him a huge letter – yep, like a novel – for something to do …but also, to keep him thinking of me. Oh the things we do…] A Life in WordsMovie was good. But I’m so dead!! [How dead? Apparently 4 underlines worth – see pic]

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

Monday 2/11/87

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

Tuesday 3/11/87

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

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

Wednesday 4/11/87

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

Thursday 5/11/87

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

Friday 6/11/87

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

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

Saturday 7/11/87

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

Sunday 8/11/87

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

Kicking the Wall, Drunk at the Dance & Moonlighting (26 October-1 November)

Monday 26/10/87

Well, that was one hard exam (3 actually: 15 min english, then 20min math, then 1¾hr fashion design/knowledge exam. HARD!!!) Jo & I then went into town, spent the whole arvy there and at 3:15 caught town bus [back] to school… went [home] on St’s bus ..no Philip C. Geoff was on it- I said hello & goodbye: thought “what if he thought I caught the bus to see him!” [You’ll never know, huh?] SKINT – [privacy omission] reckon’s he’s vain enough (to think it) Jemima & Anna & Danae knew about Geoff & me: gave me a bit about it: if all the Yr11 girls know -Jenny’ll find out for sure, GREAT. [Uh huh. I wasn’t sure whether we had kissed outside the club on Saturday night (see previous blogpost) because I hadn’t specifically mentioned it, but this makes it pretty clear. Jenny must have been his girlfriend? My bad.] Cameron came over this arvy- said he’s not going out with CB, Mima said Mark only talked to Nicole after school; Fiona didn’t see them at all, same as Cameron. I found out Chris likes me (Cameron said it then made it a joke – but I know he meant it cause he asked me what I thought..) Apparently that night Mark & Nicole went for a swim at Edge Hill State School Pool while Cameron & CB occupied a free house there. Cameron thinks [privacy omission]– but he wouldn’t know for sure.

A Life in Words
Unless my memory has failed me, this used to be the Park Royal hotel, on Abbott Street. It’s now known as the Pullman Cairns International.

So hot today! Got quite a few compliments today! Jo & I got 13 whistles, 2 catcalls as we walked past the Park Royale today!! [Wow, to be so excited by sexist heckling? I’m thinking the Park Royal – one of the first 5 star high-rise hotels in the CBD – was under construction at this point in tme… because I can’t imagine hotel staff or guests gesturing to two schoolgirls in this way…] Dad wasn’t there [at his workplace] when I went to get money so I didn’t get any. I could easily slip into the habit of missing school. 2day was fun! [hmmm, such rebelliousness…]

Tuesday 27/10/87

We got on so well today. I felt a little sick (jealousy) only once (or twice) when Nicole was around. Mark & her have hickies on their necks. Mark got embarrassed.. I kept poking them, so they stay longer. (Why the hell would I do that?) [Because you were enjoying his discomfort. It was a minor yet satisfying form of ‘retribution’…] Joking a lot – getting on so well! He said & did some affectionate things. Gave me songwords- to do with him being faithful? I don’t think he knows about Jeffry or even Stuart. (But nothing’s come of those …yet – Stuart.) A Life in WordsHad a modelling practise [for our CAD art fashion parade] today at lunch time. And Mrs McI visited this arvy. Didn’t see Phillip on the bus: (didn’t catch it ’cause had to take paintings to get stretchers) Saw Jeff tho. God he’s got beautiful eyes. when will I give Stuart his tie back? [LOL, that’s right! This was the fashion era of skinny ties for the blokes. Hilarious!] God I hope Phillip goes to the exhib. opening! [Within a matter of seconds I’d had three separate thoughts about three different guys. Distracted much?] Tonite I cut out the pattern pieces for my silver dress & sewed the lining to each. (took all nite) At one stage I got so angry, I kicked the wall (bathroom – outside) & the plasterboard broke – there’s a hole there now. Mum got so upset – I felt really bad. [I remember this vividly. Mum had pretty much always reacted to my temper so well (even though it had concerned her enough in my youth to warrant visiting a specialist and having an EEG to check my brain function…) but this straw broke the camel’s back: because the house we lived in was unfinished, the very last thing she needed was yet another expense to add to the list of unaffordable jobs. As I’ve said before, we were not financially comfortable. Mum worked tirelessly not just to support the three of us, but to build a home, and I was totally taking her for granted. As much as it pains me knowing I upset her, I’m thankful that mum reacted as she did, and forced me into a momentary ‘awakening’: surpassing my Ego to expose some Compassion.] SO HOT! A Life in WordsI am so behind. english ass., art ass.’s, study + revision, letters to write concerning unis & colleges .. I need more time & money . . . [First World problems. Seriously.]

Wednesday 28/10/87

The radio just said it’s 12:06. I have had such an unreal time! I am still drunk, excuse my expressions! Today was really good. Started off by seeing Stuart, although he didn’t look at me, as he talked (riding to school with jay) God, I could love Him! [Um, sorry, what? You “could love” someone who won’t look you in the eye when he’s talking to you? Elissa, come on. You are, however, writing this in a highly intoxicated state, so your comprehension is definitely compromised…] But Mark & I got on excellently. He hung around Nicole a bit, but he gave me a note tonite (“Mark loves Elissa 4eva”. WOW! I am so drunk. I got barely anywork done- I don’t feel like sleeping -just dreaming. Jeffrey was there tonite- don’t think he likes me much. [But that’s okay because I have so many other ‘distractions’…] I asked David to make Phillip come to the art exhibition. I went to Croc Rock with A. Marie, Megan Sharon (slept in the car) & Chris H. I am so drunk – I must ring Stuart in the morning- he rang me tonite. oh I could love that guy but I want Phillip too. I am so confused at the moment I need to sleep. I’ve had such a GREAT Day! (NigHt actually) A Life in Words[I’m fairly certain this was the one and only school dance I went to intoxicated. I have a vivid recollection of sharing a bottle of Stone’s Green Ginger wine (which I hated, but drank purely for the effects) with a couple of girlfriends on the Esplanade before heading to the dance at school. This is the only fragment of memory – I don’t recall getting to the dance at all…]

Thursday 29/10/87

It’s 11:12. I’m so tired, but I haven’t got even half of this assignment done I should get it finished, tho. (How?) I’ll have tomorrow’s lesson to write it out.) I’m so HOT. I had a good day. I rang Stewart [decided to spell his name differently today?] this morning – he said he’d just rung to talk. (I said I thought it was urgent – bad) & he said “the opposite actually. He drove me to school [oh again! That’s so cool…] we get on so well- so easy to talk. He said sorry he hadn’t rung earlier in the week – he’d been doing a lot of thinking. Now, what am I going to do? I’ve told him to come to the art exhib. open. (can’t wait! There are going to be tonnes of people there! I can’t wait!) left school at big lunch (got material finished printed in art) A Life in WordsBludged at home (should’ve started this damn assignment then) Only started after “MOONLIGHTING” [I loved this show. And it launched Bruce Willis’s career.] 9:30 Shit Thank god mum’s got a book on British History! [Yes kids, we had to use actual books for all our research in the 80’s…] so tired. so hot. I heard mice or rats running on the roof just a sec. ago. [We’d had a pretty gnarly experience earlier in the year (see this post) with the discovery of a dead rodent in a bagful of clothes, so I would’ve been a bit perturbed by the idea of these creatures infesting our house again…] I think I’ll go to bed & wake & finish this in the morning. I want to go out tomorrow nite – so bad! (Get Stewart to) Got on really well with Mark – I have to talk to him soon to find out what’s going on – I think he likes Nicole – I must make him “choose”. [LOL. So very naive…]

Friday 30/10/87

Boring. That’s all that can be said. Got to school rather late: Joannah wasn’t there: I went to the library for only 3 minutes! Did a fair bit in double english, but needed to do more work on the assignment – in art – 3rd, little lunch, 4 & 5th lessons! At big lunch Mark seemed in an untalkative mood. Then Nicole came up (Glyn first actually) & he was fine. He sat on the stone “bench” with his legs apart & she leant on the ledge in between them. when mum picked me up, I just about balled my eyes out. Then we had a 1½hr wait at the hospital, […for what?] before finally leaving to pick up Jules & buy some stuff for the exhib Back at clinic at 3:40, & got in to the doctor at 4:30. [hospital? clinic? doctor? What? Please explain! …I literally have no recollection of this.] Home rather late …few phone calls. Sharon & I went to Playpen (free) [free entry] Jo & Mark [B.] were there (Stewart worked tonite) Sharon & I left. House On the Hill was nearly just as dead. Sharon was drunk & cranky. Nigel took us home. [This next sentence proves I had actually written this entry the next day …which often happened when I had big nights out.] I bombed out & felt very, very tired in the morning. [ [“Very, very tired” on Saturday morning, when I woke up…]

A Life in WordsSaturday 31/10/87

Got up & went to finish buying exhib. stuff – I was so tired. At home, worked very slowly on outfits. [Sewing my creations for the fashion parade at the CAD art exhibition] Sat alone while mum & Julia were at Mike & Cynthia’s thinking about Mark & Stewart & Philip -getting all (very) pessimistic. Jo & Nigel came round & stayed a while – I was boring them. When they left mum & jules came home. I started to get really depressed so I rang Mark. I didn’t want to talk on the phone – he couldn’t get to my place I asked what he did last nite – said visited Steven & he & Cam. went to Deanne’s for pizza. When I rang cameron after, he said they went to Nicole’s. He said Mark does like Nicole (A bit more than a friend) so I only just got off the phone before balling my eyes out. Fi rang & I rang Jude. Picked Jude up about 8:15. Got to the Aboriginal party (Mooroobool) [Irene Street, for those who remember. I think it was literally at Kangaroos Leagues (football) Club…?] & heaps of people, but the party was DEAD. Mark, Nicole, Cameron & CB all arrived together in a taxi, so that really dulled my nite to start with. On the lookout for Stewart, but he never showed

Sunday 1/11/87

→Mark had to come up to me first. I was kind of pissed off or upset – I wasn’t going to talk first. Then, I kind of walked off.. he came up a second time, but I did it again. Then he seemed to be angry with me. He was kind of resisting Nicole must’ve said something cos’ she stayed out of his way a lot. Wonder if he was depressed about me? (Don’t flatter yourself Elissa) Brett took Jude & I to the Hill, Mark was in the car -left Nicole at the party. (That’s not nice, Marky) Wonder what he did after that? HOTH was DEAD too. I had the worst weekend – no one, no body, nothing- just wasted money. I talked to Dean L in Victor’s car (drank goon) a while before getting a cab home. Made myself sick, [as in, vomitted] then bombed. At school, I touched up paintings while Jude mounted her work. A Life in WordsJo came late: Jo, Megan, Jude & I went to Kentucky 4 lunch ..fash. parade practise for Jo at It’s Williams (boring). Our practise at school was FUN! After, mum took Jo & Jude here [to our house] too.. they watched TV while I sewed. I did a lot tonite – shoes done, bracelet done. Brown outfit almost totally complete. It’s really late now- & I’m tired. BUSY day 2morrow!!

Catching A Ride, Cleaning the Slate & A Kiss Fest (12-18 October)

Monday 12/10/87

A Life in Words
So ‘teen American’…the cool guy driving a hot chick to school in his sweet ride…

Stuart drove us to school today: Jo & I (!!) [I remember reveling in this experience because it felt so uber-cool …you know, American culture wherein the hotshot guy gives his chick a ride to school?] And we arrived, just as people began to assemble for parade. [Oh, what a shame; that means no one would’ve seen you? Bugger.] Double chem went well – doing experiments. Jeez, the weekend seemed so long! Like holidays! So busy & so much fun! Saw Mark outside his maths class, but walked on past .. bopped him with my art [as in, with my my artwork rolled up into a ‘tube’ then used (lightly) as a baton] at end of little lunch & said Hi. Double art was fun & I was generally so happy today- couldn’t get a smile off my face! Big lunch I spent finishing QTAC forms etc [I’d spent the day prior drafting an application for ‘Special Consideration’ to submit to the authorities (QTAC) responsible for calculating my TE (tertiary entrance) score, pertaining to the accident and its potentially detrimental effects – both direct & indirect – upon my studies. I included a copy of the finished draft so if you’d like to check it out head back to last week’s post for a squizz] (had to escort police to library, wow!) [What for? Why ‘wow’? …it’d be nice to know…] then, talked to Mark, but he talked to Mr Stopford, so I went to artroom to get my tape when I came back talked to Fi, & he walked past & (get this!) PINCHED MY BUM! It was so unexpected. I felt so happy & excited & shocked! [Really? I mean, is it really that big a deal?] WOW! Talked after school, too (not much in biol.) Jo told Nigel about me ([smoking] dope) I told Nigel not to say a word to anyone. [Not the right kind of ‘cool’, in your books Liss?] Sharon rang tonite: she’s bitching at David (good on her) [Again, why? What happened? I can’t remember the story!] & she said something about Fi & Jason (did they…?)→ Saturday night. [I had to consider whether or not to omit this for privacy reasons but decided that, since it was merely speculation (read: unsubstantiated, therefore just gossip) it was safe to include] Mark said he likes SIGN YOUR NAME [YouTube link below] & that revolting untitled song best. Good choice [‘Sign Your Name’ I meant, as I’d drawn an arrow back to it in my diary] Getting v. hot again now. Am feeling so good! My life’s pretty great at the moment!!

Tuesday 13/10/87

Didn’t talk to him till biology. Laughed a lot. Big lunch, I thought we’d talk, (I was laughing so much because he was staring at me-he found it hard to keep his face straight now & then) but I went to Kentucky Fried with mima, Fi, Lisa Vikki & Sharon (W). [Back in the days before deep frying became a truly cardinal sin, KFC was known by its full title: Kentucky Fried Chicken. The company admitted that its formal name change to the acronym KFC (in the early 1990’s) was a specific PR/marketing move in response to the negative connotations of the word ‘Fried’.] Back at school, he talked in the room with Cameron & Nicole A Life in Words(I felt resentment.. building up inside, but Jo & I joked about it after we “screamed” for fun (for me to release my “anger”) [or stress…] After school, I asked about when we were going to finish our talk. He said “we don’t need to” I was kind of puzzled & he just smiled; so I went. Does that mean we’re together again? [Highly unlikely…] I still want to talk & I’m going to tell him so. I don’t want, in a way, to be “going out” again. . I don’t know. I’ll get jealous & possessive again. [This is quite telling, with the benefit of hindsight] NO! ELISSA, YOU ARE FINE – DON’T THINK ABOUT HIM – PUT YOURSELF FIRST. [Ah that’s the spirit! Great self-pep talk, Liss] It’s 9:42 & one of my all-time fav’s on the radio: You oughta be in love by Dave Dobbyn. [YouTube inclusion below, again, in case you wanna listen. What a musical week it is this week!] I wanna do some HW before I go to sleep. [Well that’s gotta be a first?] Can’t wait for the weekend – what’ll I do? LOTS! Keep busy & stoned on Saturday night, with [privacy omission]. YAY! [This is quite a surprise; I thought I’d said when I first tried it (the week before) that it “didn’t affect me”. So why would I bother doing it again? Especially since I also didn’t want people to know?]

Wednesday 14/10/87

I don’t believe how much I’ve changed in the past month (since breaking up with Mark) I am so much more bold.. more confidence (god knows why) (or how!) [Alcohol, first & foremost. And probably the fact that you’ve discovered other guys seem to be attracted to you, so you may not NEED Mark as much as you previously thought? Only the day before you were unconvinced of the idea of being in a relationship with him again …basically because you didn’t like the person you were when you were with him, so…?] Got on well in bio … big lunch was a let down. I still don’t know for sure if we’re going out – I think it’s a yes. [Really?] He had a mood swing while I was talking to him (happy, talkative) then while I talked with Jo about Stuart, after he became quiet & “distant”. I whispered at the end of lunchtime “I love you” and he smiled. So I thought O.K. but after school he was quiet again + didn’t say goodbye. It hurt, but I got over it quick enough..much more so than I would’ve before. […so you think…] In town after school I was so energetic Saw Stuart – talked (exclusively) to me, at one stage. Jo told me today he tried to make Glyn jealous by saying alot about what he’s done with me (+Jo kind of) Apparently – it’s working(?!) [Oh the games people play…] Not that she really cares. So I’ll have to do something with Mark this weekend. [So? This infers that since Stuart is ‘unavailable’, you need to fill the space with another option… the guy you think you are – or want to be – dating is the second-best option? Tell me again why you are ‘there’?] What? Must talk. [Talk, talk, talk, talk…] Hot! Hot Day: Throat is still persistently sore or aching when I swallow. Couldn’t go to indoor soccer – mum wouldn’t take me in there. A Life in WordsSaw PN this arvy, really shortly tho’ tried to find him but couldn’t – going late nite 2morrow nite hopefully He’ll be there!!! [Girl, you have crushes and infatuations (‘distractions’) going on everywhere at the moment.]

Thursday 15/10/87

So pissed off (no, I hate saying that) angry today. [Hmm, interesting: can’t say I like the word angry these days. I’d rather say pissed off. Oh how we can change…] Started off O.K …not great, but at least he smiled once.. then I didn’t speak till big lunch, & he wasn’t talking to me (That’s what gets me: he says he’s not in a talkative mood, yet he’ll yabber away with anyone but me) said wasn’t angry at me, but fuckin’ tell he was. I was so damned hurt but I recovered faster. Fiona & mum both think it’s still the same, [objective views are usually more on point than subjective…] but it’s not: [sounds like denial?] I’m not depressed as long now, and besides, we’ve made a bad start […er, bad start to what exactly? Relationship Part Two that you are currently guessing you’re in?] -we still need to talk a lot (regardless what he thinks) [LOL, that’s right Liss, you wear the pants! Pffft.] Rang him, but was too busy (PE exam 2morrow) to go to movies or late nite A Life in Words(Went with Sharon & Colleen and had a cool time! Phillip wasn’t there tho’ – either one!!) No one was, in fact (oh – David VM, Wade etc) He’s going out tomorrow night – Sharon & I are too. S’posed to go to the movies with him (well, I proposed it, but he’s deciding) – deliberately delaying – hanging me in the air. [You mean, leaving you hanging…] fucked day. My stars were right – couldn’t impress anyone [Ah, good old newspaper horoscopes…]

Friday 16/10/87

I barely saw him. He appeared to be avoiding me before school. I wasn’t feeling too happy, but wasn’t overly depressed. Did lots of work in art Got out of doing english oral – Nigel had been away & had a medical certificate. After school was the first time I tried to talk to him. He barely spoke (didn’t want to go to the movies) when I asked him why he wasn’t talking to me, said “I’ve got nothing to say.” (Laugh) A Life in WordsI got upset, went off [as in, walked away, not ‘threw a hissy fit’]. Mima came – I calmed down & back there Chris, Cameron & Glyn joked with me (cheer me up). I walked down to Sharon (he left totally oblivious to me) tears.. Mum took me home & I did little until Sharon’s mum took us to town, around 8:15. Met Glyn B. & this girl & Justin – Glyn & Janine S went to Playpen – Sharon, Justin & I drank tequila at the Port Authority building [I’m fairly sure we’d bought a bottle to share between us, but can’t remember whether we had a mixer of some sort or were drinking it ‘neat’. Urgh.] (met the nice night watchman, Bob) [Oh how entertaining that must have been for Bob, interacting with three drunk teenagers. I can almost imagine it, now that I’m probably Bob’s age!] Sharon drank most..when we caught taxi to croc. rock, she was sick. bored at C.R. for 1 hr. got a lift to Playpen- met Stuart P: looking for Glyn.. told she was at croc rock so we drove back – many more people ..better! Sharon was ‘off’ most of the time. I ended up hanging around Giles, Praybon, Alan (met at Smithfield formal) I ended up “with” Alan. [Sorry folks, just kissing. I was still quite ‘innocent’ at this stage…] (Stupid) [regret much?] went outside for a while, then tried to find Sharon – to get a lift home with them. Couldn’t so I thought definitely I wasn’t going to miss out on→

Saturday 17/10/87

a free ride. Mikey O’S drove really fast & around Brinsmead Glen, we caught up to …Stuart! + Sharon! At my place, I got out kissed Alan goodbye and went over to Stuart talking (I was drunk) and ended up kissing him. [Oh you hussy!] God, he’s so nice. Bombed at 3:30. Woken at 7:00, walked Sharon to bus stop. Bludged the whole day: no! Rang Mark & went to his place at 11:00. The best talk we’ve ever had – sorting out. I got upset (well, let him know my feelings) about loyalty [fidelity]. His idea of cheating on someone is is sexual (intercourse) – not kissing That is totally different to mine and most other people’s concepts. TOTALLY. [So, with differing ideas or expectations, the potential for more… ‘discomfort’ in the relationship is greater…] A Life in WordsWe decided on wiping the slate clean “meeting” each other for the first time. ie: pretending we’d only met today & disregard the last 10 months of our knowing each other. [Oh, ’cause that’ll work. Pffft. I couldn’t think of anything worse than going back to Square One. How would you learn from your mistakes if slates were wiped clean?] So he drove me home & we were fine. Around 8:30 tonight we got to Jason’s (Fi & I) then to Sharon’s. The Palm Cove party was dead. Pouring in town, when Fi dropped Sharon & I at the Playpen. Mark & Keith were there. Great. I didn’t know what really to do.. I moved around a lot … bored at first – no money for drinks & not many people I knew. Eventually I ended up hanging round Nicole, Keith & Mark. (Scabbed drinks) [Oh now there’s something to be proud of. Not.] (Jo was cool in the [fashion] parade)-(Stuart still likes her) I thought something→

Sunday 18/10/87

would happen. Mark was paying a fair bit of attention to me. The rest to Nicole (I wasn’t jealous – only maybe now & then, a tinge) She was going to stay at Keith’s ..I presumed she’d get with Mark. We ended up sitting near dance floor – Mark & I biting each others noses (ouch!) A Life in WordsBut sometimes gentle – Biting necks, ears. a few kisses – yeah he turns me on..Stuart and (esp.) Alan don’t.. I get feelings all through me when I kiss Mark. So we’ve only known each other one day & we got together (!!) [*rolls eyes*] I don’t think it will be long till we get back together. In the meantime, I’ll try not to get too possessive. Anyway Sharon wanted to go ..so we got a cab . . I bombed (big hickie on my neck again. Wonder if he gave Nicole one? Wonder if they even got together) Woke around 9:00.. Waited 1½hrs till I had to wake Sharon to ring mum. At home, around 11:30 (went to see Sandra next door..talk about the (her) party) [?? I have no idea what this was about] Wasted the day. Mark rang he ’cause he was given a message that I rang him, but I didn’t: I think maybe Nicole. (no, won’t pin names to anyone) […because you recognised that you were only guessing and the likelihood of your being wrong was great, IF you ever found out at all…] Keith rang & tried his (usual) hardest to get me jealous or curious about Mark & Nicole – he could’ve been lying anyway but I doubt it. Of course it hurts to think he would’ve gotten with her, but it’s none of my business and besides, my weekend wasn’t bad: 3 guys!! that’s a first! [Definitely.] And there’s always Stuart – I’m sure Mark’s jealous of him. I could be bitchy to Nicole, but I realised that’d prove to Mark & Keith that it hurts etc. [In other words, jealousy would be my undoing; displaying weakness.] Mum got drunk at the Fishers today & was very upset depressed about Geoff [he ex-partner].. she slept all arvy into nite. [My mum wasn’t a big drinker at all. She and Geoff would’ve been separated for well over eight months by this stage, so my guess is her depression was merely a result of the alcohol, inflating any existing feelings of loneliness, because to my knowledge she never attempted to resurrect their relationship…]

Indoor Soccer, Grass Cutting & Special Consideration (5-11 October)

Monday 5/10/87A Life in Words

WOW! What a day! It wasn’t too bad a day, so far as school goes. I got to school & sat in Yr11 area with mima, too chicken to go past Mark in the room. I didn’t make any effort to talk to him; tried not to look at him. I was so sure it was going to be ages before he contacted me. If ever, yet it looked like he wanted to talk today (sometimes) Angela & her “mob” I barely saw, but Megan, Michelle & Linda talked to me. (NICE people!) [Still resentful much?] Had AIDS talk in 4th & 5th (12B) [back then, it was all AIDS – HIV wasn’t fully understood by the public] so I missed art cos’ of that – didn’t get to play T.T.D’arby for Jo A Life in Words[ah, there it is: the Terence Trent D’Arby onslaught had not yet begun…] (or see Angie & Trish) Nicole I talked to today ..she had lovebites & I thought it was probably mark ..[privacy omission] but they’re too small, really. Still, some people (fucking Keith B.) will lie & shit-stir. God I hate him. So I talked to Chris this arvy (mentioned the Darling Downs Uni etc- he said Mark, Steven & Keith also wanted to go there, but in 1989.) so I rang Jo tonite as she asked me & talked – I was so confused whether I liked (missed) Mark or not [constant analysing!]. then around 8:40 mima rang. Brent had been talking to Chris & he’d said how much Mark was missing me. Do you believe it? I thought he’d hate me by now. Apparently he thinks I hate him, has been talking to Steven a lot .. waiting 4 me to call. [Uh, I don’t know about all this ‘hearsay’ aka gossip…]

Tuesday 6/10/87

I think I’m getting a stye. Well, I sent that card I bought on the holidays, this afternoon [to Mark, I assume]. He didn’t talk to me today either. And I, neither, to him. I was unsure at first – mima said “careful, it mightn’t be true”. [Wise Mima…] But why would those guys do something as low as that? [Boredom maybe? I clearly trusted in the ‘Innate Good’ in people. I couldn’t (and still can’t) fathom how others’ pain can be entertaining to some.] Chris wouldn’t (couldn’t?) tell me anymore. And I don’t want to start asking around (Steven especially) cos mark doesn’t like that, remember?! Boring-ish day. Am eating junk now that I’m back at school. A Life in WordsDon’t want to get fat legs again; must control myself! Went to mima’s indoor soccer finals tonite. They lost (they “knew” they would) 3 nil, no 3-1. They played so well, considering all the other teams are comprised of women, not teenage[d] school-girls. God, I hope mark takes notice of that card tomorrow (will get it tomorrow arvy, I think) [I can’t recall it at all.] Hope he talks or rings, or even just writes a reply→ that’s still good enough for me. But if he does nothing… well… CONFUSION! [And more Stress for you…waiting, waiting, waiting…]  Talked to Jo about sex this arvy. She thinks Mark’s 1st time was actually with [privacy omission]. That surprised me.

Wednesday 7/10/87

Well I got no phone call. I’m so nervous about tomorrow. [This is a perfect example of the Buddhist idea that Hope creates Suffering. I was living in hope for a response, so the entire time I waited for a response, in expectation, I was stressed…suffering.] Will he talk to me? Oh, Jesus! Today was pretty bad, actually. (But not SO bad, in a way) A Life in WordsAt lunchtime, Steven threw Mark’s crushed up corn chips at me, and when I was talking (laughing at) the Year 11 girls, someone threw an apple at us & called us poor bitches. So I didn’t feel too good. [SO sensitive… bordering on paranoid…] This arvy, Nigel drove Jo & I into town, in Suzette’s car (with her & Deena) mark watched it all the way (nearly, apparently) [“apparently” = hearsay = high potential for inaccuracy = misunderstanding = pain. How’s that for an equation?!] After Jo got Anna & Colleen’s presents, we caught the bus (town was packed with Saints guys -Philip N Geoff M, Aaron K, Brendan L mmmmmm!) with Geoffry & Adam G. Did nothing at home – bludge. HW tonite Um, my throat’s been kinda funny lately mucous congestion + kinda sore (but not, sometimes) Getting hotter, faster: God this week’s gone fast!!!! Wish me luck for tomorrow. God knows I’ll probably need it (Why didn’t he call me??) Uh-oh… So many people today commented on how much weight I’ve (apparently) lost- I can notice it in my face!

Thursday 8/10/87

Well today I felt more depressed than I have in weeks. I got to school late as possible (that Julia & mum would let me) and stayed in the Yr 11 area. Mark said nothing to me all day. (I saw him looking sometimes- Gemila also, said to me, everytime she looks at him, he’s looking at me.) I got depressed (disappointed) I thought he’d try to talk or say something. In biol I asked if the chair next to him was taken and he kind of grunted a reply. Then again most of the day I didn’t really give him a chance to talk to me. So I was quite depressed this arvy & early tonight. Asked mum to take me late-nite [shopping] (to get out & stop thinking about him). Was good. Geoffry M (YUM) Adam G (cutie) and Philip N (YUM!) were there, and we all said hello. I would’ve stopped to talk, had I not been with mum. A Life in WordsSo I’m O.K. now, thinking of Philip N’s gorgeous smile & him looking at me!! Did no HW- first time this week! Caught Saints bus home (no one on it -that I like, that is) God I need some questions answered. Hope I see PN or PC or GM on the weekend.

Friday 9/10/87

Well he seemed pretty depressed today.. on his own a lot. I had a pretty good day, despite the tiny nagging feelings of anxiety beginning to show themselves. He really was DOWN; I can’t believe it. He did look at me. But, of course, that was it. I did nothing really un-boring (exciting) at school, except at lunchtime Chris, Cameron, Glyn, Fi & a whole lot of us mucked around (laughed so much!) Caught the bus home: so excited about the Pancake House. Were late into town ..I left my wallet in mums car & freaked out cos I thought I lost it ..but mum bought it back in for me. Pretty unexciting at the Pancake House. Jo, Sharon, Colleen & I went with the guys to Playpen I wasn’t really having fun. We were on our way to Croc Rock when David had a crash. (not really bad) so no one went but Mark B took Jo, Col & I up. Boring! Stuart P came & took us back to the playpen. I was so worried at the Hill- I saw Sandra W. and she avoided me – did not look at me at all – straight thru’ me . . I was so worried Mark’d said something to make her hate me. [Really? Guesses and assumptions are so useless and downright stressful.] Anyway at Playpen again (Sharon & Nigel wo!) [←I’m assuming this means they got together] told me Stuart liked me. But whenever he touched me, Joannah touched him. Eventually we were “all together”→A Life in Words

Saturday 10/10/87

type-thing. It felt yukky (sleazy) to me. [I’m certainly not into group things…] So I left Stuart with Joannah. Sharon had said to me “don’t let Joannah get him..” too bad. [This was a comment of resignation, meaning “I’m not going to fight over a guy”, especially one whom I knew at some level wasn’t really into me. If he was, Jo wouldn’t’ve gotten a look-in…] We went to Holloways Bch (his place) & walked on the beach. I lay staring at the moon thinking of Mark while Jo & Stuart got together. [Awkward.] I don’t believe she took him from under me. And she had the audacity to say we were best friends. Not likely. [Yeah, this is a tad confusing (!) but it’s actually easy to break down: I experiencing conflicting thoughts and feelings – honesty versus indignation. I didn’t “believe she took him from under me” because I knew deep down he wasn’t really into me: if he was, he would have rejected her advances. But I was at the same time bothered that her words and actions seemed so contradictory, because in my books best friends shouldn’t “cut your grass”…] Anyway, he dropped us home, just after 4:00. I woke quite early – 8:30 I got up. Not hungry. Anxious, worried about Mark. Rang F. Rang Cameron (he said “ring him”) Rang Chris (not home) Rang mima (she said “ring him”) I cried so much. But eventually rang and arranged to meet him 1:30 at the mall, before the Fun In the Sun procession. Fi took me in (for something to do). We barely talked to start with – he said he’d been mad with me for (supposedly) talking about all the girls he was with. It wasn’t too bad .. he couldn’t believe how I could change in 2 weeks & he couldn’t (live without me – missed me. Wow – I found out lotsa nice things.) In the end, it swung around (the “tone” of the conversation) and, we decided to keep talking. He looked at me so sweetly as we said bye I felt like kissing him. I felt his eyes on me as I turned and walked away. [A very romantic notion, but how do you know if you’d turned away? …oooh cynical me…] A Life in WordsThe procession was boring compared to all the other years (short!) but we had fun with water pistols – shooting people! At Munro Martin→ [next diary page…]

Sunday 11/10/87

Park after, was packed. Had gelati before going home. Hurried & got ready . .picked up Jo. I felt sick at the CAD party drinking .. the ice cream wasn’t enough in my tummy, but I wasn’t sick thank god. Jude & Jo were drunk. Danced, mucked around with the video: Filming each other. And (believe it or not) spent a while getting stoned. Yes, me, that’s unbelievable. [Yes, very much, considering how much I hated smoking in general (and still do).] The only thing is it didn’t work very well (at all) on me. [Now this is a funny statement. Firstly, I have to wonder if I was even doing it right (that is, inhaling properly!) and secondly, and most importantly, I have apparently been ‘guilty’ of claiming this at various times in the future, with other substances. I don’t seem to feel any effects, but witnesses usually tell a different story…] At croc. rock, was dead, so we went to Jo’s. Fell asleep and I woke 4:20.. got home 5:00. Did nothing today. Auntie Thelma, Ross, Mike Cynthia & Dougie came over. Honestly, I got up at 10:00 ..and the only thing I did was cut up some material to take to school to print on for art. What a waste. And it’s 10:00 now- I needed an early nite (too busy & shitty (!!) writing the “special consideration essay” for QTAC form [This was pretty important. Being absent from school for seven weeks – almost the entire first term – after the bus accident would definitely have had an impact on my Tertiary Entrance (T.E.) score. I needed to apply for ‘Special Consideration’ for a better end result… I included a copy of my essay (as printed up for me by school staff) below] Gonna be weird at school tomorrow. Mark, I mean. No, elissa. Remember: you’re in control: don’t matter what happens [poor grammar, not like you Liss…] – don’t put him first! He doesn’t want it (God, some of the things he said or told me Saturday really were amazing and nice (some, not many, bad)) WOWEE. I hope it’s Great this time!! It will be! [….umm, did I miss something? Wherever was it mentioned you’d be getting back together? I don’t think it was, Liss. You could be setting yourself up for another fall….?]A Life in WordsA Life in Words

Beaches, Shots, Cocktails: A Party Animal is Born (28 September-4 October)

Monday 28/9/87

[Having gone out clubbing on the Sunday night (to my first ‘Beach Party’ night at the Playpen!) this entry kicks off with my continuing recount of the ‘rage’ we were having in the wee hours…]

→ And I was O.K! [referring to my having consumed ten tequila shots] Stumbled now & then, but I was standing & taking the stairs well and I knew (almost) everything I was doing. I had no money left by the end. There was this cute blonde guy called Scott who danced with me, but the Americans later on, were unreal. “Will” was quite cute (what I remember!) kept saying I had a cute smile; [that] I was cute. IT WAS TOTALLY UNREAL. We were all drunk. (Fi & Sharon worst!) We lost Lucy & Sharon after cos Fi & I went to Yanks for hot dog & milkshake & they’d gone when we got back. Fi & I drove round. [I’d normally have omitted this to respect Fiona’s privacy (because we all know drink-driving is, apart from illegal, an extremely dangerous & foolish activity) but I was stunned when she insisted I publish it. It demonstrates she’s completely prepared to admit to and accept responsibility for her actions: one of the primary reasons I began this project for myself – to be responsible for all I have thought, said and done…”right” or “wrong”, “good” or “bad” …irrespective of criticism or judgement. For what it’s worth, I was also guilty of this idiotic practice for a while in the not-too-distant future. Alcohol-induced bravado aside, the problem is we think we are invincible at this age. Or we just don’t think. Drink-driving was really only just starting to become a serious community issue in the late ’80’s: it definitely didn’t seem to bear quite the significance it does today. Suffice to say, we were just plain “lucky”.] We found them – fi dropped us home (Lucy’s) WE BOMBED!! A Life in WordsWoke early (haven’t been able to sleep in at all so far) we decided (Sharon, Fi & I) to go to Palm Cove. Sharon & I walked to her place – her mum took us & Fi drove there about 12:30. Beautiful weather, Didn’t really sunbake- walked, swam & socialized! A Life in Words[…and took heaps of photos] Home around 3:30-4:00. Wanted to go to movies tonite. so rang Jo, but she was really depressed about Victor. SO I talked to her. And watched the sick movie tonite. It’s 10:15 now. I’m dead! →can’t wait for Wednesday nite

Tuesday 29/9/87

Everyone else is so busy! I went around Earlville & town with mum & Julia today after ringing nearly everyone: Fi with Jason, Mima with Brent, Joannah with Victor, Sharon at work & Lucy “not home”A Life in Words Julia got Jenny Morris’ tape. I still love T.T.D. (Terence Trent D’arby) even tho it reminds me of Mark’s & my break-up. [Someone actually mentioned to me (at a recent reunion, I think) that they couldn’t stand Terence Trent D’Arby because I’d played his album repeatedly in our CAD art classes. Whoops!] We visited Leonie in hospital. Genelle & Amanda weren’t there, but Brooke is Gorgeous!! So cute. At home, I unpicked the tulle from my black dress- have to alter it again- my boobs getting bigger, still! [That must’ve been all due to the contraceptive pill, because I remember noticing (& loving) the weight my fresh singledom & heavy partying was shedding from me…] I’m going to shorten it & wear it out tomorrow nite ($nite!!) [Back in the days of lax liquor legislation, ‘Dollar Drinks’ nights were huge crowd pullers. For obvious reasons. It’s now illegal to promote alcohol in any way that even implies the potential to binge-drink, let alone encourages it.] I rang Fi (night with Jason) Jo (nite with V.) Sharon (saving her money for tomorrow nite) Justine (engaged) finally Beka, Jules & I went to see RAISING ARIZONA. A Life in WordsFunny! I cracked up in the cinema -something I’ve never done. [Hmm, must watch that one again to see if I still find it as amusing. There’s nothing like a good laugh, especially if it’s out loud in a public place.] Caught up on news (updated her) with Beka. She’s got a guy too. [Feeling lonely, much?] God, tomorrow nite’d better be good! Philip’s gonna be there – Jo told me! Yay! (She also told me Deena B likes him. Uhoh) 10:30. Sleep 4 2morrow!

Wednesday 30/9/87

I just can’t seem to sleep in & I so badly need the sleep. Today I went, around 11:30, into town with Fi – We didn’t do too much constructive; we were so tired: saw Glyn, Cameron & Deanne. I copped shit from Glyn about Friday night (-SO bad!) [I’m assuming this was just referring to my being drunk, but god knows what I said. I’m clearly quite an ‘open book’ without alcohol in my system… I can only imagine what came out of my mouth while I was under the influence.] Home around 3:00 I bludged, lazed. Phoned Fi, Jo. Eventually. I got ready, Sharon came & we went to Fi’s. To Jo’s (I asked Fi, [privacy omission] if I should apologize to Angie if she was there – they all said no. [Privacy omission] said she did get with him that night. So I started to feel depressed & sick) [A typical stress reaction…] Sharon & Jo got in, Fi & I waited with Jas. & Brendan We all got in. They said there’d be a raid […meaning police raid] There wasn’t. [It sounds so sinister, and as a law-breaking, underaged patron it certainly felt like it to me but in reality it was most likely just a routine ‘patrol’. A Life in WordsI do recall one or two people I knew getting turfed out on occaision, but I’m fairly sure that’s as far as it ever went (no formal penalties, that is). These days there’d be seriously large fines involved for everyone: the ‘minor’, the staff and the business proprietors/company.] Basically, I had a good night. Tricia was there. With Astia. Mark & Keith (Keith talked to me) Apparently they were at Green Island today with the Year 11 girls (Nicole) I didn’t say one word to mark – neither did I even look at him (deliberately) He left early. I was certain I told everyone I saw, he was with Tricia, [although it seems very much like I was deliberately gossip-mongering it wasn’t the case at all: my expectation, my belief that they’d get together was so intense, I created a ‘reality’ from it] but Jason & Sharon both told me at the end, that Tricia was nowhere around him, when it was supposed to have →

A Life in WordsThursday 1/10/87

←happened. Amazing. I’ll bet something did tho. It had to. […them Trust issues!] I talked to Astia briefly about it (I was drunk, so was she) & also, at one stage, Sandra (W) & I had a long talk outside (I told her about the weird dream I had about him Wed. Morning. Great talking to her). [Oh dear yes, you see? Alcohol + Elissa = Blabbermouth] Basically, what happened was, I barely saw him (left early I think) I danced, and drank (talked to Martin G.) all nite. FUN! I was so blotto [slang for “blind rotten drunk”] when I got home: David actually said goodbye to me. WOW. [Um, yeah ….WOW?] Sharon was there. Woke early for her [Sharon, I assume – perhaps she had to go to work?] this morning gave mum her $50 + cards. Boring day at home – a total waste – but you need a good “waste” now & then, huh? [Yes, you do. I’ve deduced over many years that ‘Wastage’ (in all its  forms) is a huge issue for me – underlying many of my actions and idiosyncrasies – so this wee rumination from my past self is uncannily relevent, even now.] The more I think about it, the more inevitable it looks that Mark won’t get in contact with me, at all. It’s so sad. But I’m not feeling sick with depression at the moment. [That’s called “getting over it”] Went out late nite Earlville mum spent some (most) of her money. I saw Steven & Glyn, Sandra W (couldn’t stop to talk) Philip N & Colleen A Life in Words(She said at green Island she, Nicole got a surfski, tipped & Mark & Keith swam out & “saved” them) [I can just feel the sarcasm (weakly disguising my pain) in these words] Also, Mark & Keith were home (or??) before 12:00, they left. Screw Trish maybe? […oh and most definitely here!]

Friday 2/10/87

I went to Fitzroy, tired as I was, and it was GREAT! I had an unreal time (esp. perving on David.) Didn’t get burnt, but look browner now! Swam, walked, talked. It was totally unreal; best day I’ve had, I think. Remembered Monique; the last time I’d been to Fitzroy was a year ago – october holidays with her, Sharon, Lucy, Beka and Fiona. Was very self-conscious about my leg, for the first time. [Maybe because this was the first time your ‘deformity’ was exposed to a crush who had no involvement or direct connection to the ordeal (unlike your recent ex) and was therefore – according to your perception – in a greater position to judge and reject you? Another perfect example of an over-active Mind delivering Stress…] Anyway, they didn’t stay over at Fitzroy cos’ the weather didn’t look too promising; were going to have a BBQ, and I badly wanted to go to that, but remembered I’d promised to go out with Sharon. Fi rang later & said it wasn’t on anyway. Sharon & I went to town- tequila in the Hideaway (yukky) A Life in Words[yukky meaning I wasn’t comfortable there: it was a dark, dingy pub that I actually think was called the Hides Hotel. Did I get the name wrong or did it undergo a name change at some stage …anyone?] saw Glyn B & Cameron & Glyn W. in mall. Rang Jo (wasn’t going to come) couldn’t get a taxi so [Sharon] tricked me into hitching a ride there (saying she knew the guys) [Hitchhiking was something my parents educated me very well against. Even now it’s not something I would do, and I was more adamantly against it back then so Sharon would have to have lied to get me to do it…] Got in. Saw Michelle danced. Drank. Danced. Upstairs for $ drink, saw Liam, David, Wade.. we talked to them.. .I met Stuart P & (formally) Vlaco. Danced, hung around Glyn B, (lost Sharon) found her with David (she’d previously been with Wade) then lost her. Stuart & I talked; he made me buy a→

Saturday 3/10/87

→cocktail “EXPLOSION”. […and oh how this particular beverage led to some interesting experiences. A combination of numerous neat spirits (no mixers at all) set alight, you had to suck it up through a straw…quickly.] We kissed. I GOT WITH HIM! He kisses so tenderly (he knows Mark) But he said “I’m so confused: I don’t want to hurt you- I like Glyn too.” But I could tell, he only really liked Glyn (more) [well, it’s good to know my ‘radar’ was working on some level…] I was totally understanding & I think that impressed him. [Ha! Cute.] He said I was special & he’d never forget me & wants to be good friends. [Aren’t drunkenness & immaturity an entertaining combination?!] Well, they say love grows from friendship, right?) A Life in WordsI left him with Glyn & hung around Dean (told him the guys I like -god, I’m a fool!) [Drunkie-Blabbermouth strikes again] Went outside- I was really drunk & falling asleep! Sat down on grass, going in, I (vomitted) shh! Embarrassing (as good as when I smashed the glass on the bar in IMAGES [the upstairs bar at the House on the Hill nightclub.] SKINT!) [Yes, always a ‘proud’ moment breaking, dropping or spilling your drink in an establishment while intoxicated.] Finally Sharon came back -David all over her. We got a taxi home with Dean, David & Wade. Woken at 8:30 – late for work! Worked till 2:00, at home, rang Fi then went up to tell her & Jason all about the nite (Dav. & Sharon esp.) They laughed: David took Sharon for a ride, badly! She thinks he loves her & she loves him. Home: Sharon rang – I went to her place, we waited till 8:20 for Fiona .. not going to Kentucky [that’s KFC] tea anymore. At bottle shop, got heaps of liquor (sharon & I : tequila+)orange juice also for me. at the party (up the street abit) drank a bit. I knew I’d be sick drinking, let alone on an empty stomach [Textbook Teenaged Drinking: you know the dangers but you charge on regardless…] – was O.K. till Megan & I (V. – David’s sister) went to party …danced alot. She’s so nice

Sunday 4/10/87

→saw Mark, but walked away. Was sick [literally vomited] after dancing a while .. felt much better after […as you do…]. Stuart P. was there; didn’t see him much. Phillip wasn’t there (N. was) Met Jo, (& Gordon McK -remember him?) [Ahhh…nope.] Was rather boring.. Mark was standing round. Keith the bastard came up & reckons “so, have you come to terms with it yet? That you’re not going out?” That made me quite a bit depressed. Geoffry M (cutie) was being really nice. Cameron was drunk – didn’t talk to him. Jo, Vlaco & I standing, when Jo went after Victor. Vlaco & I went up to the cars, sat with Fiona (gone!!) [by that, I am thinking ‘blotto’…] & the rest. Chris (David’s brother) was (so cute) getting really close, but, like, he’s only 15 (if he was older.. yum!) [I wouldn’t think twice about a buy being two years younger than me now… but there’s a BIG difference between males and females in the teen years…] Finally we drove to 24HR, then dropped Chris & Liam off. (Chris said goodbye a few times) I bombed at home & woke this morning depressed at what Keith said. Jo rang early (she was depressed- Vic. & her broke off – I knew it wouldn’t last) so I went to her place. We talked a lot .. finally around 2:30, went to the boutique (Palm Cove) walked to jetty – Deena & Adrienne we talked to (Deena really likes Philip – doesn’t look too rosy for me) A Life in Wordsand ate ice-cream with (!!) then Jo & I went to Ramada & had 2 cocktails (for $4!) Mark B was working – gave us 1 for free, and the other ½ price. YUMMY! Home late. had to ring to talk to Sharon. David still lying (or is he?) & Sharon’s in too deep. I’m not worried about seeing Mark tomorrow. I don’t care. My sights are set on Phillip; I do have a chance, I’m sure cos he liked me a lot last year (P.H. said he doesn’t often like girls so much) [Ok, that was not well worded. What I should have said was that Phil, as a confirmed heterosexual male, had ‘refined tastes’ with regard to girls – maybe the most suitable word is ‘choosey’? Or, he simply didn’t chase a lot of skirt, wasn’t a ‘womaniser’. Oh dear, I hope I have redeemed myself…]

Heartbreak Week: the Bus Crash Inquest & the Inevitable Break-Up (14-20 September)

Before launching into this week’s entries, I thought I’d include a copy of a letter that our principal sent out to us in the previous week. It didn’t really apply to me because I was summonsed to appear – I had to go – but outside of that commitment, I think I managed to witness most of the proceedings. My mum had no problem with me attending either, because she spent as much time there as she could outside of her work commitments as well.

A Life in Words

I have also included, where possible, scans of news clippings related to the inquest that I’ve attempted (with my meagre means) to make as legible as possible in case you were interested in reading them. I apologise in advance if the quality is too poor.

Monday 14/9/87

At Steve S’s [my solicitor] at about 7:45, we started on my statement. I told him things (answ. his Q’s) & he spoke into a tape. Downstairs, around 8:30 I waited with Trina while Becca was up there. I hated my statement [the perfectionist in me: but I knew this was an extremely important document so had to relate my experience accurately] so, while Becca & Trina & Steve went to the Courthouse, I rewrote my statement & a lady typed it etc & drove me down. It was 11:00 & everyone was coming out – cameras everywhere ..Mr & Mrs Perrem, Strooper & Fisher [parents of the deceased] all trying to avoid them. Court had adjourned until Guy (the driver) could arrive (they’d waited all morning for him- wrong date issued on his summons) so, killed an hour with Trina & Edith. So, actually started again at 12:00 – stopped at 1:00 for lunch (so boring waiting- the detective on for that hour) Mum dropped me at school- got things from Ms. Forbes. Sat Yr 12 area. Mark went to drive in Fri. night & Tamara’s party saturday “Forgot” to ring me. That hurts. And all he could do is laugh. Mum picked me up at end of lunch hour – I bought lunch, then waited outside again (Glyn, Steven, Trina, Edith, Brian etc..) Finally, around 3:00, Yru first one in. In for 20 mins (shitting ourselves) Recess then Steven L, Sean D & me .. not really scary – I felt like laughing- [laughter is my default stress response…] wanted to be asked more Q’s ..got $31 for it! & photo for Courier Mail! News coverage wasn’t “hot” ..Steven, Glyn were in background!!!!!!!

Tuesday 15/9/87

A Life in Words
Part of Tuesday’s article on the inquest in the Cairns Post. Note Detective Brooks’ opinion (second paragraph)

Today, everything ran according to schedule. We sat in the hearing until about 11:00; the machinery inspector (an engineer) (inspector of bus remains) was in for all that time & basically what came out of it was that there was no handbrake at all, the rear brakes were not operational (the adjustment was very ‘out of place’ incorrect) [To clarify: the bus had, prior to its fateful journey, received a service by Northland’s mechanics specifically on the brakes only a week before, after the driver Guy had complained about them failing at an intersection in the CBD. The service (the ‘adjustment’) was improper; the mechanics were negligent] & the whole frame of the bus was rust infested (hence the roof slicing off) […and this was the fault of the previous owner of the bus (who appears on the stand later on). See the news clipping below Wednesday’s entry…] Did my biol. test .. it was rather easy for the little amount of study I did (some things I’d neglected to look at stuck me, tho I know I’ll pass at least). Didn’t talk to Mark at all at school .. went to Home Ec room with Justine & Fi & had some cake. Fi was really interested in what was going on. She wants a copy of the records, too (a manuscript) [I still have the a copy of the findings in my possession to this day…] I missed out on the guy who saw the bus go over the edge [there was only one witness to the accident, who wasn’t actually involved in it, that is…] & quite a few student testimonies, but after lunch another inspector (a mechanic) took up nearly all afternoon, just re-iterating what the guy this morning had said. Made news again tonight. I wasn’t in the Courier Mail today, maybe tomorrow. [Ah, the Ego!] Rang Mark this arvy . . talked long about (well jokes about) me being evil & horrid & satantistic & him being good & innocent (Bullshit!) Getting warmer (courthouse is airconditioned) [← believe it or not, airconditioning wasn’t standard in all buildings in FNQ back in the 80’s, unlike today. We definitely felt summer in our classrooms at school!] Got my shorts from Kaffa but they’re too short – take em back, but you can’t [I think I meant, I wanted to return them, but couldn’t for ? reason…?]

A Life in WordsWednesday 16/9/87

Well, Mark was the first up today; there were quite a few students today -Cameron, Brent, mima, Fiona, jason, bella, jaque & Mark to name a few. The courthouse was packed in the morning (Mark stayed for it) but spare seats in the afternoon – boring mechanic (brake specialist) testimony -went on for ages (he was being rather “evasive” – Mr McKenzie said when we talked to him at lunch & were filmed – yeah! I was on T.V.! (NQ10) Lunch went quickly. Still haven’t started my english assignment. SHIT. Due Friday. I rang Mark this arvy, cos’ Fi told me she heard Tricia talking about the Drive-In (I got worried) but he was at Terry’s. He rang back around 7:30 and it was probably one of the best talks we’ve had for ages . . I mean he was being really nice and he said “I love you” again, which made me feel even better. He said he wants to spend time just me & him together on the holidays.. which I also enjoyed hearing from him. Forgot to  take back the shorts from Kaffa today. Must do it tomorrow. […buuuut I thought you couldn’t?] Wore my white mini skirt in public today – actually felt more confident & care-free than I have ever!! [Perhaps because I was attending an ‘event’ that directly related to my scarring. If people saw it, they were more likely to “put two and two together”…and be compassionate. Not that anyone has ever been unsympathetic (or nasty) to me about my scar anyway…] WOW!! SO BORING IN COURTROOM – MAKES YOU SLEEPY!A Life in WordsThe tone of this article (a recap of Tuesday’s evidence) indicates the bus company and the mechanics were at fault: both a government engineer & a transport inspector saying as much.

Thursday 17/9/87

A Life in Words
This is where the inquest seems to make a turn against the driver. Monique’s father questioned the ‘independant’ brake specialist and some of my testimony features in this article, although true to the media’s form, they spelled my name incorrectly…

A Life in WordsIt’s 11:00; I’ve just finished a few ‘choices’ for my english assignment (descriptive passages) Only 2 that I’m happy with, in fact. But it’ll have to do. Who cares? (Me, of course) Today, Glyn, Cameron, Mark came to see Chris (he wasn’t on til after lunch tho’.) (Cameron, Mark & some others were on T.V, too) Well the previous owner was on the stand today & the prick has pretty well laid the blame on Guy [the bus driver]. I heard Guy could get “manslaughter”. It’s not fair he doesn’t deserve it. [Obviously I personally laid NO blame at the feet of the driver …even prior to the inquiry. In fact, from the word go, I never felt an ounce of animosity toward him (and of all those I knew, neither did anyone else). Why? Well, it’s hard to fathom but I think it basically boils down to pure compassion. Knowing this man would live with the deaths of eight children hanging over him for the rest of his life… that burden would be insufferable alone. He didn’t deserve the added torture of others’ ill-will or negativity. I only ever viewed him as a victim, like us. It was the bus’s fault (and therefore the company’s) …not this man.] It’s because he was in too high a gear (3 hi, instead of 3 low) Big diff, huh? [Well, clearly enough of a difference to be used against the driver…] This shithead owner reckons he could’ve made the trip down safely. [Oh.. would that be the same owner whose incompetent maintenance in the rusted out chassis of the bus resulted in its roof shearing off? Not quite a respected person, in my books…] What a shithead. Poor Guy. [What I failed to mention here is that it only took ONE one hour lesson to get a bus license. This previous owner of the bus – who claims to have expertly traversed the Gillies in that very bus many times himself – also happened to have been Guy’s instructor. (See Friday’s clippings) What I really want to know – and it didn’t come up at least in my recollection – is whether any trainee driver would be instructed how to negotiate a mountain range in one one hour lesson? Somehow, I highly doubt it. Yes, clearly I am still biased towards Guy, all these years later.] Mark was being quite a sweetie today – smiling a lot, a little affection I changed those shorts (refund) & got an excellent pair for $36 at GOOD TIME, get this – with a free tan leather belt (after I forked out $12 for one – shit this free one’s even a closer colour to my shoes than the $12) Saw Vikki & Gemila in Big W this arvy ..they’re funny. Dropped ½ my lunch at the Esplanade today (made me angry) God I need sleep. Ate SNAKES in courtroom. Mark, Cam & Keith told to stop talking or they’d get thrown out.

Friday 18/9/87
[Articles from this morning’s Cairns Post, re-capping Thursday’s proceedings…and looking grim for the bus driver]

A Life in WordsA Life in WordsIt’s SHIT. Results of today were absolute SHIT. First, at inquest, we heard the addresses. It seemed certain Guy would get some charge- almost every barrister was against him. But his representative put up a good arguement. Then Mr McKenzie spoke, accentuating the company’s fault. [After all, had Guy not been made to take that company’s unroadworthy, malfunctioning vehicle up the Gillies Range to begin with, his driving skills would never have been questioned.] Mr Perrem & Mr Strooper also spoke (both nervous – Mr Perrem shaking terribly) After recess, the judge related his findings I cried at the mention of Monique’s form of death + earlier when  her death certificates were handed up as exhibits etc.) A Life in WordsThe stupid shithead found Guy to be driving recklessly, causing death [So the official charge against him was Dangerous Driving Causing Death] Cameras reporters outside. Mum was interviewed on FNQ10 News. [She expressed her dissatisfaction with the outcome.] NO ONE agreed with his decision: the mechanics got off SCOT-FREE IT’S UNBELIEVABLE. What sort of dick, prick, cunt, wanker is Trevor Pollock? [One whom I personally believe may have potentially been instructed by a higher power to find scapegoat. Yes, I have my own conspiracy theory, which I won’t disclose simply because it is – of course – conjecture.] Fi, Jo & I after dropping my eng. assign. at school, stayed in town all arvy.. I got some $15 jeans from KAFFA – need taking in at the waist, tho- but they’re great. Mum, Jules & I went late nite: I got a tape, too. See I rang Mark at home & he wasn’t in a good mood at all – last night [privacy omission] So apparently everyone’s shitty with Mark. not his fault. So I thought “great”, another boring night… depending on his mood tomorrow, we might do something sat. night SHIT

A Life in WordsSaturday 19/9/87

[I chose this particular news clipping from my collection because it was the most succinct article, but also exactly highlights the sentiments of the wider community about the inquest results: shock & disbelief that the mechanics & the bus company were liberated of any responsibility. Monique’s father poses the question that everyone wanted the answer to… see the third last paragraph of the article. (I’ve deliberately broken the  article up into segments (separate photos) so that the text can be more easily read.)A Life in Words

A Life in WordsA Life in Words

Today I did very little. . I re-arranged or, re-organized my drawers in my desk, then wrote the overdue birthday thank-you letters. [Yep, that’s VERY overdue: my birthday was in July.] I rang Mark around 3:00, he was feeling better today – [privacy omission] (Bad, huh?) He said he’d ring me back .. by 6:00 I thought I’d ring him, it was getting late. So we mucked around talking – he didn’t know what he was doing – I got upset -he said he’d ring back. I rang Fi & Jo & decided to go to Judd’s party with them. When Mark rang back he said they were going to Steve’s & then if they went out after, would I like to go? Well I said I’d be at Judd’s. Sure enough, they came & Mark was rather drunk. I kept my eye on him.. I noticed him kissing this girl at the bar & I got upset. He smoked a cigar & I was repulsed. To cut the story short; we argued & he broke us up. A Life in WordsI’ve never cried so much in my life. I begged, pleaded & threatened [crossed over to the next page…]

Sunday 20/9/87

him not to do it, but he .. oh shit, it hurts so much. There’s so many things. He kept saying he killed it: 9 months down the drain with [privacy omission] he doesn’t even know (well I know: Trisha F according to Deanne – St Monica’s slut. And I nearly hit her) […now that I can’t believe…] I tried my hardest to talk it out with Mark. [privacy omission] I had to walk home got to sleep 1:30, woke at 2:30, 3:30, 4 & got up at 6:00 – couldn’t sleep & had no appetite all day (did nothing ..some crash scrapbook) SO WORRIED. SO. DEPRESSED SO UPSET. I planned to go to his place to take his denim jacket back & talk. It was so hard .. he wasn’t going to change his mind. I couldn’t understand what he said. .he, I remember, “forget me, elissa. I’m no good for you. You’re making a mistake.” DON’T MARK. How can you say that? [Maybe because he was being honest?] Finally, I convinced him he said we’ll have a break, till he wants to get in touch again.. but I can’t handle even that. I need him. [Urgh. Those words most certainly do not exist in my vocabulary now.] I was looking forward to the holidays with him, so much. FUCK THAT PARTY. FUCK IT [Sorry honey, but that party – and everything that happened at it – was necessary…]

As an afterthought, I decided to include this article from Sunday’s paper, penned by the father of one of my Year 12 classmates (who obviously had a vested interest in covering the inquest) He highlights what is to me an exquisite and genuine human virtue: Selflessness Sun 20 Sep headline

A Life in Words