A Photo Alive, A Bar On Fire & Revelation Devastation (4-10 January)

Monday 4/1/88

I slept quite badly last night, actually. I felt every move I made because of my sunburn. But strangely, today, (maybe because I was busy) (but not busy enough as you’ll see) I didn’t notice it too much. No mail for me this morning. I waited awhile before I went to the P.O. with mum [to investigate sending a telegram to my boyfriend]. The man said it’d be cheaper to ring!! (every word costs 60¢ and that includes your addresses etc, so mine would’ve been $11.25 even though I was only going to write DESPERATE FOR YOUR RETURN. LOVE ALWAYS) so I’ll ring tomorrow (gotta work out when I might catch him at the Hotel) so back home I spent the day (eating)(cheese on toast) and ‘cleaning out’ (yes, STILL!) and I still haven’t finished! So I must go into town tomorrow to get their presents, finish cleaning up room (decide whether or not to shift the furniture)A Life in Words and definitely do my QTAC preference thingy. [This ‘thingy” was pretty important if I’d wanted tertiary study to be one of my options for the coming year. I had to submit my chosen course preferences to QTAC (the Queensland Tertiary Admissions Centre) by a certain deadline or I’d have to apply to each institution personally and that would be a right pain in the arse…] It’s 10:00 now. Hope I can sleep better and I hope to god that my burns have gone down (in tone [redness] and pain) before Mark gets back. I HAVE SO MUCH TO DO!! No one rang me today. I wonder why – Joannah hasn’t been in touch. Maybe she’s shitty? (what for?) [Well, you won’t know unless you talk to her?] God, I’m hot.

Tuesday 5/1/88

I am so excited! It’s almost 10:00 (if not past that) which means there’s only 10½hrs or so till I see him! Today was, to put it bluntly, eventful. I woke, and when the mailman came there was nothing for me. A Life in WordsMy burns were still tender, but not so much sore & I thanked the Skin Repair for that [a moisturizer that my mum always bought. I’m fairly sure – unlike the pic (left) – that the container was yellow in the 80’s] (so I got away with wearing a bra & cotton dress easily enough!) So much mum & I went into town & traipsed all over the place looking for chains for Mark. I had one chain on hold at nearly every shop I went into! At the Liquor Barn I couldn’t decide what type of liquor to get the W’s so I thought I’d leave it till I rang mark. So at home I rang QANTAS and found out the time distance. [Er, I’d’ve been referring to time zones here. I find it amusing that I chose to call Qantas to find out; we obviously had no idea and no handy resources to work it out, ourselves. These days everyone has Google at their fingertips…] It was 12:00pm at that time, so it would’ve been 9am there. But my phone call was stuffed. I didn’t “book” it to start with, which meant I was ringing the Hotel, not directly Mark [hmm, that I don’t understand] and I was paying for a waste of time trying to page him (which the stupid singapore bitch didn’t – I couldn’t understand a word she said) but I was so upset when I got off that I cried (a bit) Then I decided to try and sort my room out… Joannah rang! She’s having her birthday dinner at Pizza Corner on Thursday night (and guess who’s going? [privacy omission] of course. God I hope Mark’ll come) Well I’m glad she rang. I’ve gotta ring her and see her some time tomorrow [privacy omission] Mum came home soon after that and we went to Earlville (saw Sue!) and I found the perfect (??!! Hope he thinks so) chain. So at home I tried again to sort my room out… I got really upset then, about the shape & layout of my room & how I hated the furniture etc, so I was fairly baulling over that (worst I’ve been in ages) Then after we got through to Mark A Life in Words(Yep! Mum tried and did it better – saved time & money & he was there!) [God my mum was good to me. Really.] I got happier after talking to him [..and that’s the only reason she would’ve tried again. To make me happy.] (so excited) that I forgot my room & just left it the same [that is, forgot about shifting the furniture around] and packed away (most of) the junk off the floor. Gosh the room’s bare now! (My burns aren’t sore – I’ll sleep really well tonight! HOORAY!) I feel really good now! (Although I didn’t get my QTAC done, and my eyes are sore from crying) [!!] well it’s 10:13, I’ve got to get some sleep – up at 7.30 to go & greet Mark. GORGEOUS MARK!!♥♥

Wednesday 6/1/88

A Life in Words
my best friend, behind glass…

Had a really hard time trying to get to sleep last night. I kept hearing a really faint noise, like slight tapping on glass & I freaked myself out thinking it might’ve been Moni tapping the glass separating her from our world (ie: the picture frame) [I remember this. I had a black & white photo (still do!) of Monique in a small brass picture frame on my bedside table and I’d imagined that she was ‘alive’ behind the glass, tapping on it from the inside, from her black-and-white ‘nether’ world.] I got to sleep  eventually but woke up a few times this morning (thinking “only an hour away – he’s in Australia!”) I got up at 7.10 and somehow, we left home at 8:05 (I’m sure I was ready earlier!) And we saw the plane descending as we rounded Suicide Bend at Stratford, so when we got there, I hopped out & went to wait while mum parked the car. Lo & Behold, I see Nicole with the B’s (what a shock!) Anyway, they finally came out of customs around 9:30 (mum had left for work then) Mark didn’t look too much different. Paler, but not too much fatter and I walked over and hugged him & I heard him murmur “Oh baby!” It was rather exciting! We all went back to the W’s, then the B’s & Nicole left. Mark & I mucked around then, [privacy omission] I mentioned the ‘guys’ [I’d pashed while he was away] he didn’t really care: I said “are you disappointed?” and he said “No, I’ve not really got any right to be” (meaning after what he did to me) & I mentioned that [privacy omission] thing [I’d discovered – after he’d left on his holiday – that he’d been at an ex-girlfriend’s house the night before they departed. See Friday 4 December in this post if you’d like the full story] – he said he’d just been there to collect the remaining bet money (with Keith) I said “well, I decided its either me, only me, all me, totally completely me, me, me or nothing, nothing of me, nothing to do with me.” [Nice ‘Drama Queen’ ultimatum, Liss] He didn’t say anything but I said “Well?” and he replied “I don’t think I need to answer that – I think you know the answer.” So, he dropped me home around 12.30, I rang Jo and said I’d go around there. I gave her her present (Mark B. was there for awhile & Jeffrey dropped in too) Mark & Jo were swimming & I sat & admired the watch (my) Mark had given me: black & red (mostly black – gold trimming & roman numerals) A Life in WordsGUCCI!! I couldn’t believe it! It’s gorgeous! […having never travelled out of Australia at this age, I had no idea that imitiations even existed…] Anyway, we watched TV & listened to records all arvy.. I got home around 5.00 and listened to (his) Pet Shop Boys tape on my walkman & watched TV, waiting for his call. Sharon rang around 6.00 or so wanting me to go out but I had perfect reason: Mark just didn’t feel like it (!!) [OMG *facepalm* this is truly exasperating …a perfect example of living your life through someone else. Take note, kids: don’t do this! Don’t make decisions based on the wants of others. Be your own person!] So, he hadn’t rung by 6:30, so I rang him. He said I could go to his place. I started to get ready but he rang back & said we’d go to Croc. Rock because Terry’d told him it was the last $ nite, […see? He’s not living his life for you! (but – considerately – wasn’t excluding you at the same time) oh and that “$ nite” thing? Back in the day, before Liquor Licensing began clamping down on binge-drinking, bars and clubs could attract patrons with all kinds of price-sensitive campaigns and for many years the House on the Hill ‘owned’ Wednesday nights – commonly referred to as “Dollar Night”. The crack-down may have been in its inception, if this was indeed “the last $ nite”…] so around 7:20 I got to his place. He was asleep. We both talked a little but then both dozed off (well, I dozed – he slept) Then Sandra woke us & we got ready. (we were just in time: Keith, Mr B & Nicole pulled up) Fine inside… weren’t many people. Mark appeared pretty bored; I tried to mingle (without leaving Mark out) Um, I had quite a bit to drink, including a cocktail with Mark, and I was feeling pretty good.. I found out my GUCCI isn’t genuine Gucci [der] he couldn’t afford one of those. [Der!] But don’t mind – it’ll fool anyone else! […ummm, likelihood of that is low…] We had a dance & I saw Delanie! I think we left quite soon after that. I remember not feeling too well, and everyone said I looked like I was about to drop dead with fatigue. So Mark said “Do you want to go home, or would you like to stay at my place?” You know what I chose! We prepared for sleep around 12.30…

Thursday 7/1/88

…Of course, we didn’t feel tired then we talked a fair bit, actually about people, us, etc, A really good talk. I remember stroking his stomach near his belly button & we’d stopped talking; [privacy omission] I was about to say “do you want to make love?” (working up the guts) when he said “come here.” So I fell asleep in his arms after it. So I moved up to his bed again later [we’d been on a mattress on the floor] -it was too cramped. We woke fairly early – about 8:00 & we mucked around: teasing. sometimes talking. [privacy omission] We made it again. And after that, faced the family (of course they were surprised to see me) A Life in WordsI noticed I’d given him a hickie too: embarrassing!! We watched TV from about 10.00 or 10.30 through till about 2:00 or so, affectionately stroking or touching each other throughout. We walked to the shop to buy soft drink and he tidied up his room a bit, then we looked at the Holiday photos before he dropped me home. I’m sure this trip has done him the world of good – he is so affectionate now (compared to what he used to be) and he seems to have a better attitude towards people (talking about [privacy omission]: he said he doesn’t really hate them – thinks [privacy omission] A very different attitude! I rang Fi but she was talking to Jason (said she’d ring back, but didn’t) Rang Jo, too. Otherwise I just watched the cricket (CB rang me too but that was much later) At 4.50 I realised I hadn’t done my QTAC. [Here we go…] We rushed to the P.O. but the man said it’d get there Monday, even by airmail – so I’m going to have to send it by courier tomorrow. Great. Well, I left [for my friend’s birthday dinner] around 7:25. Mark didn’t seem too excited (can I blame him?) [I don’t know, can you?] We were early so went for a walk. He said he was really tired (I was too) Keith & Greg were nearby & we talked to them until we had to go in. Jo & Nicole & Dean & Jeffrey were very late. Had the rest of us (Fiona, Sue, Megan, Jim & Philip) not gone in, we would’ve lost the tables: they only hold them for 10 mins. The waitress was a real bitch. Mark & I kinda talked to ourselves, mostly. I drank a little wine. It wasn’t really great overall. We walked to the mall. I rang mum & we waited. Saw CB & [privacy omission] just before mum came. Dropped Mark off at home. I’m preparing to BOMB! I’m so exhausted – tired. I have to get that QTAC away tomorrow. We’re having car & rat troubles (again). My room’s still not neat yet. Oh, I really need to hit the sack. Goodnight!

Friday 8/1/88

Well, I had a big sleep last night: mum woke me briefly this morning around 8.00 to tell me she was going to get the car brakes fixed: I barely recall that! I fell asleep again & was woken again by mum telling me to hurry: we had to get my QTAC on the 10:00 Ansett airfreight cargo. [Good ol’ Ansett. It was the major competitor to Qantas in Australia up until its demise in 2001, since Richard Branson’s Virgin Airlines had only begun operation in Australia a year earlier.] A Life in WordsMum had a few things to do beforehand & I was scared we wouldn’t make it. At the desk, we explained that we needed it delivered That day and the guy said “Oh well, that’ll be $85.86.” SHIT! He said possibly the best (cheapest & only) was was to go to the P.O. & get a facsimile. It cost us $9 and I’m pretty sure (hoping desperately) That QTAC will accept a fax. [Ah, the old fax! We hardly knew what it was even then, because they were so ‘new’ but thanks to the Internet, they are now hardly utilised so I imagine many young people wouldn’t know what they are either. It’s kind of like sending a scanned copy of a document down a telephone line… so, quite similar to what we now more commonly do through the internet …at home, and for ‘free’.] At home after, I listened to headphones & watched TV for a little while, before finally finishing clearing my room, then dusting it, then vacuuming the house. I rang Mark & he said he wanted to stay home. I was a little disappointed. I said I wanted to see him before the party… whether it was tonight or sometime tomorrow .. he said if he organised anything tonight, he’d ring. I had a feeling he wouldn’t.  That’s why, when Sharon rang I accepted her invitation to go out! (oh! Fi visited this avry, just after Sharon rang… I let her read Mark’s letter & caught her up on all the “goss”. Heather W & Sandra F came by, too – god knows why) she came over around 7.00 and I got v. angry trying to decide what to wear. [Choosing an outfit can be agonising for most females but it can be catastrophic for a hormonal teenaged girl. Or… maybe just for this perfectionist teenaged girl?] Heather W lent me a black shirt eventually. Mum dropped us up there – 9:15 or so (really early – quite empty) Tania was working again. We danced – saw the Saints guys, Megan V, too! Yeah she & Chris (& her friend Renee) are back in town! Aaron K had 3 sleazy cousins. Sharon got a guy she was after, so I spent a lot of time with Aaron. He is quite affectionate towards his close female friends apparently (eg: Sue) and he was being rather nice to me, too! In fact, I got a bit nervous when he started sucking my fingers. Alison M bought me a N.Y’s drink – triple vodka & orange – wo! strong! So eventually (god I danced a lot – not drunk: I had an unreal time though. Oh god, you should’ve seen in Smithy’s earlier on: I spilt a (lit) Explosion & the bar caught alight! A Life in WordsBartender reckons “you stupid, brainless bitch.” I was SO embarrassed.) [THIS is a standout memory for me, and I’m positive that it’s the very reason I’ve never forgotten about those ‘Explosion’ cocktails. As I’ve mentioned previously, they were a concoction of straight spirit nips – no mixers or other additives, just pure alcohol – set alight and consumed through a straw. I’d downed many of them in the past but for some strange reason (I guess it’s always a little nerve-wracking lower your face toward a naked flame?) this time I knocked the glass over and as the alcohol soaked the bar-mat, the flame instantly blazed. The female bartender flew into a frenzy but I’ll never forget the tall blonde man calmly standing behind her, with his contemptuous expression, slowly shaking his head as he verbally abused me. I turned on my heel, dropped my head and exited the lounge as fast as I could. Gold, pure gold!] got home ’round 2:30 (well I did) And I bombed.

Saturday 9/1/88

… sleeping rather soundly till about 9.15… Mark rang. I hate talking to him on the phone: he sounds so bored. Told me what he was going to do & I said I’d ring him back later in the afternoon. Julia watched the cricket all day – Sri Lanka vs. N.Z. so I did too A Life in Words(still listening to Pet Shop Boys – Mark’s – tape) So many phonecalls to jo, especially late in the afternoon, early evening. Fi visited again this afternoon (did I say she was out last night too?. With Sue, of course) [a little possessive, green-eyed monster there?] Mark rang from Steven’s …were going to come to the party together.. I told him they were both welcome, if the need arose, to stay at my place. So I got ready & got to Jo’s (with our stereo) about 7.30. I was boiling hot. By 8.15 there were about 10 or so people there… more came slowly, informing us that most people were outside. Around 9.30, everyone was inside & there were MASSES of people.. it was so hot & cramped! Nicole & I were trying to find alcohol. (Mark & Steven still hadn’t turned up) We were going out with [privacy omission] to have some pot, when they arrived. I scared the daylights out of him (accidentally) when we came back (I didn’t get any, anyway) I talked briefly before going off to find drink again (he seemed bored with me) I came back, then left again. When I returned, Nicole was right in front of him. I pushed my way in… felt unwelcome, though (Nicole had moved away a little) so left again. When I returned, she was back again – I started to get very angry (upset) I cried to Fiona & Sue ..they went to get in her way (they were both quite drunk) I wanted to avoid him. I noticed the bitch was standing practically in between his legs. I was spewing with rage. Eventually he came up & said “can we talk?” In the kitchen he said “What’s happening? What’s with us?” We had a D+M. [Deep & Meaningful talk for those who’ve never heard the term before] it was BAD. He wanted to try & find out what our situation was (our relationship) He said there wasn’t much time before he left and he wanted to spend it all with me ..he didn’t want to lose me ..he didn’t want me to leave. He said a lot of guys are interested in me now & then he said how people had been saying who I’d been with (most of them were lies- Phil N. Phil C. Jeff M) I don’t know: we were talking about the past ..trust, lies, cheating & he wanted to know about the 3 guys (argumentative). [I’m not sure what I meant by ‘argumentative’ but the “3 guys” referred to the boys I’d ‘gotten with’ during his absence… the knowledge of which I had openly offered up days before, mind you…] He wanted, then, to know how far I’d gone – he said he’d never gone all the way… he asked me. I couldn’t lie [I’ve never been good at it]: it hurt so much to say the truth- then, he asked me who. Pause. “WHO?” “[privacy omission]” He couldn’t believe it. I tried to explain it wasn’t me- [that] I was drunk […literally legless…] (but he put it down to a ‘lame excuse’) […which it definitely wasn’t. For the full story – or, my experience at least – see this post] A Life in WordsEventually he slammed (punched) a cupboard door, said “God that makes me mad” & walked off. I burst out in tears. I tried to find Fi. Jo couldn’t understand. God it hurt so much. I wish like HELL it never happened . I hate [privacy omission] for it… I hate that night. Mark wouldn’t talk to me … I wouldn’t go near him anyway. Of course Nicole was stuck there like glue. I talked to [privacy omission]; she sympathized- hates Nicole too. I became v. moody & unsociable – the party had moved outside by then anyway. Mark, Steven & of course Nicole stayed (together) for ages …I wish they’d just left earlier. I eventually got Fi to talk to him.. she said he was very cut ..said it’d take time (& that hurts ’cause there’s not much at all) He couldn’t, just couldn’t believe it. I was positive it’d be over ..he’d hate me, never forgive me for it and it hurt so much. I was hurting so much: because of Nicole, because of that horrid argument & mostly because he loved me so much & I hurt him so much. [….by being honest? Yep, because the truth hurts…] I can understand him hating me for it […only because he didn’t believe I was as ‘innocent’ as I claimed …but since I was, his contempt would be unjust…] – I’ve hated him for his indiscretions and I’ve held it against him… [for my perception of his level of ‘participation’ in them…] he can hold it against me, [well, you can’t change anyone else’s mind, so I guess…] but I want him back I love him SO MUCH. God I love you … [Hm, I don’t think you do. I think you’re dependant and in love with the idea of Love; “dem rose-coloured glasses”…] I didn’t know it was, oh shit. You won’t accept anything I say in my defense. It’s my word against [privacy omission]‘s & you’ll stick with [him] cause he’s your [privacy omission] friend. [Finally my gut kicked in: I knew “how it was” and that I was fighting an uphill battle…] OH PLEASE have me back. I want you.

Sunday 10/1/88

… So when they left I totally ignored Nicole (even more) & she knew I hated her… talked to Megan & Jo about it …Jo & I lay down to watch Rage – I promised to wake her if she fell asleep, so we could sleep in proper beds (comfort) but we both fell asleep (unaware of time) & left the TV on all night. I remember Nigel putting a cushion under my head, I remember G-FORCE being on when I first stirred in the morning (& Jo got up) I remember coughing a lot & a german speaking show was on when I got up. We cleaned up – hosing, collecting trash etc (I still ignored Nicole as much as possible) then after a trip to the shop, had breakfast, talked, played CLEUDO, some TV (atari-type) games. A Life in Words[…the 80’s version of video gaming, for those too young to know – that’s a photo of an ’87 console to the right] Megan left. Nicole & I were left alone in the room & she asked me straight out if I was pissed off with her. I said YES. “Basically, I hate you talking to Mark.” We didn’t get to finish it, though. Mum wasn’t home, so I had to go to the shop with Jo .. it was so boring, we nearly (Jo did, out the back) fell asleep. I minded the shop ..looking across the road at a couple hugging and kissing… I got upset all over again (Tried ringing mum, all arvy, but still no answer) Eventually, got back to Jo’s & I rang the Fishers. . Fiona went across & got mum: she’d left ½ of the answering machine on, so that’s why I never go through. Came quickly & I told her the whole story (the truth about [privacy omission] included) [oh, I’d’ve thought I’d told her about that much sooner; I had no problem opening up to my mum] crying at most of it… then at home, crying more telling Julia (& alone in the shower) I’d like to send him some roses, but what to say on the card? I am so hurt, thinking about how he’d be feeling & thinking about how long it will be till (if he ever does) talk to me again. He CAN’T end it. I gave him a second chance, SURELY he can give me one. [I was so upset, so desperate, that I truly believed I was in the wrong. How sad. Young and naive…] GOD I LOVE HIM SO MUCH. Don’t lose me, Mark. You love me too much …”What is the truth? Love: the unselfish & forgiving kind.” A Life in Words[This (slightly misquoted) maxim from Linda Goodman’s book “Love Signs” had stuck with me because it was the conclusion to her section on our particular sun sign compatibilities: something I had obviously read a few times…] Well it’s almost 10.00. Thorn Birds is on TV. I want to watch it – hope I can sleep in a long time. I want him to call me. Oh please, call me soon Mark.

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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

The School Mag, Some Sewing & A Dip in the Pool (3-9 November)

Monday 3/11/86

A Life in Words
My (now very aged) copy of the 1986 CHS yearbook

It’s in there [in our school magazine, ‘Euroka’]. That photo [one that was taken of Mark & I at a dance back in August – I was kind of obsessed with it. If you’d like to re/acquaint yourself with that episode, take a look at this post and the one that succeeds it: 11-17 August]. On page 7. At first I was embarrassed but I am glad its in there (not telling anyone (well almost) that, tho!) Cameron talking to me in chem. about Sunday. Told me none of them got sleep (him, Mark, Brett H) Chris, Glynn and Alan D were all in the beds at Cameron’s place so they sat in chairs!!! Were going to ring us up and tell us to take them to the beach and come over and make them something to eat! (wish they did!!) [Wish they did? …at first reading this horrified me; did I really want to be treated like a… like a 1950’s housewife? But to be fair to my little self, I know that my only desire was to spend more time around Mark.] At aerobics saw a cute guy who Mark & Cameron were talking to at Croc. Rock. Dylan [don’t recall that one (guy) at all] yummy!! I love the Euroka! I’ve coloured in pictures…I think I’ve wrecked it , but stuff it – it’s too late now!! I really don’t know about Mark. [What? Know what? Such confusion…] Am tired (not really) is 9:50. Did no HW. Oh well!!

Tuesday 4/11/86

A Life in Words
the ‘designated space’ for signatures on the back cover was never enough…

Got lotsa signatures – however the only guys were Duane, Chris K and Nev. Duane wrote a really nice one. He’s so nice. I wrote a nice one to him too (funny). Didn’t have the guts to get Mark to sign, let alone all the rest of the guys. Oh well, take it tomorrow & see what happens. I really wonder about Mark. I dream . . . wish. [Oh yes. We know, we know…] Mum dropped me to school again this morning – her offer, tho! Julia stayed home – extremely tired (what from – we don’t know) And in sweepstakes at Geoff’s work – her horse got 3rd in the Melbourne cup, so she won $8. Mine I don’t know what happened to it – “Just Now”. [Damn, I just consulted Dr Google and discovered she won the Oaks in Sydney just two days later.] Raining a lot today. Didn’t get a seat on the way home again. fucking annoying. I hate the bus. [Oh how prophetic those words were… If you don’t already know what I’m talking about, you’ll find out in about 3 months’ time…] Is about 9:00. waste all my time colouring in my Euroka. Did no HW again today. Double bio tomorrow, again. Blech! Got 20/40 for my test – probly worst in the class.

Wednesday 5/11/86

Guess what? (again!) I got him to sign – 5th period Bio. Him & Duane had it the whole lesson. Donna & I looked at it on the way to little lunch [I had to have meant ‘big lunch’ here, because 4th & 5th period came after little lunch]. This is what he wrote on the front cover: “To dear Elissa, you’re my favourite lolly-pop lady. Hope that what happened is forgotten. [My guess is that this refers to his behaviour on the night of the final performance of our school musical, back in late August. Click here if you’d like a recap.] I hope to see you & your friends out more (crocodile rock) See you next year in ’87’ ‘GRADE 12’ UNREAL Then a monstrous signature. the buddiesAnd a cartoon Got neatest writing. Then throughout the book graffiti – on our photo. This is great… he liquid papered out the saying [you know how yearbook creators put those speech & thought ‘bubbles’ in over some photos? see pic] & wrote in. “So how about you & me going to a movie!” CAN YOU BELIEVE IT? A Life in WordsAs soon as I got to school, even, Kathy showed me what he wrote in hers – near our photo again something like “Hi Cathy. Mark. I don’t like this photo of me much but I do like this one” (me!) my signings increased so much today.. aerobics fun speech funny. Jeez I don’t believe what happened today. Don’t know how to reply to Mark’s invitation – even whether it’s a joke or not. 9:00

Thursday 6/11/86

Didn’t talk to him – have no guts! Poor guy – probly thinks I hate him (how dare he?) Hope he’s at Megan’s party tomorrow night – that’d be excellent. Rainy weather makes it cool.. wore sharon’s jumper for awhile today. Did a big ‘picture’ of Mark! Tonight, I enlarged a traced picture from Euroka and it turned out excellent!! I’ve stuck it on my wall tonight so I can look at it in the morning when I wake up. [oh dear] Love it! (Love him) Cameron wrote something decent in my mag. today – really sweet too… “Elissa, one of my close friends, hope you had a great ’86. Keep on smilin’, Cameron.” I thought it was so sweet. Sometimes I really feel like giving him a big hug!! Must tell him to go to Mege’s party! Is 10:00 – will be so tired tomorrow night  Can’t wait.

Friday 7/11/86

Ate one piece of pizza & watched a (silly) video, in art. Took up 4th, 5th, big lunch & 6th. I got so damned excited in chemistry about the party . Couldn’t wait – was practically having ‘fits’. Off the bus rode over & picked up Fi’s silk shirt. Was only  a very little behind time – began making a bag but didn’t get it finished so wrapped it up like a “bundle” (swag) Neat! Got to Pancake House. Sharon & I went for a walk met Fi & mima & some others. Back at P.H., Mark, Cam, Duane, Chris & Steven were there. I sat next to cam. Drank a fair bit. I got very tipsy – probly the closest I’ve ever come to ‘drunk‘. Was good – I really thought M. liked me. Talked a lot afterwards, waiting for a lift with Brent (Duane too.) At the party things changed. I got upset. [Here we go again…] Fiona spent heaps of time with him – I was pushed in the pool & being in this “state” wet[you mean drunk? Oh, upset. Upset …and drunk] began crying – alright tho – talking heaps to Cameron – told him how much I love him (as a great friend) [Haha, ‘textbook’ drinking behaviour] About Mark – Fi talked heaps to him about me. I think he doesn’t like me. Only wants to be friends.

Saturday 8/11/86

I didn’t talk to him again that night avoided him all the time – Sharon got with him. was all over him that made it worse. Cried with mimey – [privacy omission here] –  will take ages for me to ‘hate’ (well, not love) him (anymore) Fi spent so much time talking – she wasn’t with him – I trusted her to tell me the truth. And Cameron & Fi were the ones I was “looking for” all night. Esp. when I was being harassed by guys like Jahrad B Michael I. Chris, Duane & Cameron, esp the latter one, I decided are my best male friends. Duane is so nice. Everyone knew I was upset about Mark. In the end, when the guys finally left and we were revved for disobeying instructions (I’m sure Megan hates me) watched videos all night drifted off very little. Had snacks around 3:00. I tried to get Fi to tell me what they talked about – [she said it was] just why monique & I wouldn’t talk to him. [This has just made me realise Monique wasn’t at the party. I wonder why? I’ll bet I’d wished she was when Sharon started acting out with Mark…] Nicole I made friends with. In fact we hung round a fair bit early morning. Went home around 9:30 I think. Slept today – too tired to study much & I almost finished the bag – Is bloody excellent for an amateur I reckon!! Thinking alot; mark – if he only wants to be friends, why did he write so nice about me in Cathy’s Euroka? [I’m really searching for some Hope, huh?] (The movies thing was a “joke” – Duane told him to write it) And cameron my best friend. Really confused I am. REALLY CONFUSED. And tired. Early night tonight (Broke diet badly last night & lost my purse with $10 in it SHIT [Believe it or not, ten dollars warranted getting a little upset about back then. Nowadays it’s only two coffees.]A Life in Words

Sunday 9/11/86

Today I rather wasted. [Surprise, surprise!] Did very little to continue Bio studies. Besides that, I sewed. Mum was having a sewing day – fixing up mending – using up material. I scored  2 new pairs of shorts + a skirt (I haven’t finished yet) and of course, my bag is not yet finished, but looking excellent (well I think so!) Fi rang late this arvy – didn’t tell me anything new. she thinks he’s strange, too. said he really wants to talk to me. I don’t know if I can, I’d like to but I also don’t want to. [What?] Ha! Hot, rather, today! No rain clouds in sight today. Pity. I should do some work before I go bed – is 8:35 now. Should I? I’m to that tired – shouldn’t take me long to attempt it – I’ll see… well, nothing else to say except I’m going to see to it that everyone except Fi thinks I don’t like him anymore. [Hahaha] NITE NITE  Turn over a new leaf! →

A Failed Exam, a Grease Preview & THE Photo Again (11-17 August)

Monday 11/8/86

Today was a better day than I thought it would be. See, Mark was away… but in double chemistry (everyone else, it seems, was too – on the musical camp) Mr Lavers was away so I wrote a 12 page letter to Lucy all about Mark!! Then, thru triple art & little lunch, we watched a video – had to do sketches from it. But BIG LUNCH was the BEST PART!! We went in the dark room and soon Mr Short came. He developed (at my request) 2 photos of Mark & me from the dance!!!! The photography was excellent (not bad of me – excellent of Mark, tho!! Except looks as if he is holding his breath & struggling to keep from smiling)A Life in Words [Apparently he was partway through an exhalation, lips pursed and cheeks inflated…kinda like a puffer fish?! Sorry to disappoint: I felt obliged to  edit him out of the photo out of respect for his privacy.] I cannot stop looking at it!! I’m really happy!! So now those who know of it are, Sandie, Moni, Donna, Sharon, Mima fi Polly & Judy & of course, Mr Short (Mark & his friends would, too, but they won’t see it!!!) Went to speech this arvy for final tips on work etc. Is 9:20. Gonna stare at the photo so[me] more. [Now that sounds ‘creepy’…]

Tuesday 12/8/86

My speech exam was… average. Probably a “B”, I think. My reading was good, my poem was good, my talk was stuffed and my news report was fair. We had to wait ages (she was running at least 40 minutes behind!!) Mima came round. We spent the morning typing out our work and practising. After lunch we left, riding on our bikes. Got there and changed in the loos [‘loos’ are toilets/bathrooms for those who aren’t familiar with this Australian slang]. Then worked up our nerves for ages. After, we laughed about it – the conversations we’d had were bloody hilarious!! Rode to sly cones [an ice creamery] (did not pass the school) then into town. Rode home – stopped at the Aeroglen park & laughed & sang. Rode on home slowly. Hot day today – couldn’t believe it!!! It’s 8:45 – earlyish night. Exams are over!! CAN’T WAIT for school tomorrow!! See Mark in the flesh. I am still drooling over the photos!! Julia took one to school [she was still attending Smithfield High at this stage]. Most thought he was O.K. Amanda said YUK. 2 girls she barely knew said yum & about me: is that your sister? God she’s beautiful, so pretty etc Can you believe it? [Perhaps you weren’t as plain as you thought, Liss?]

Wednesday 13/8/86

Ha! I knew something’d go wrong today. It was for the best, though. (I suppose). I did take the photo to show Monique (Mark was away yesterday too; not at baseball; he’s in the play – a dancer (was on the camp) Monique said he’s good, too!) Anyway she said this girl (Joannah C’s cousin) in Yr 9 was flirting with him. A Life in WordsThat made me depressed. But mima told him about the photo. He badly wanted to see it. I said no..way. Cameron asked Sharon She said no, then he actually said to me. I said no. But before Fi & I left for the Trobuk Pools, I gave it to mime & said don’t let anyone else see it. Boring at the Pools. Wanted to rush back & see Mark (why, god knows) Tonight on the phone, mima said Steven, Brent, Cameron & Megan also saw it. They all said it was a good photo. Mark didn’t say much (about me – not that she told me) but he asked her if I still liked him. Mima said, I’m not going to say anything. He is rather worried or is he? Speech on my own. It’s 10:30

Thursday 14/8/86

I think I’ve stuffed my chances now. I was going to make him ‘grovel’ or at least, worry a bit about whether I liked him or not… I don’t know what’ll happen now. In 6th period, biology, I put across the feeling of disappointment, depression cos I thought he was avoiding me. Anyway at the end, before we all left the room, Chris K was talking about Sandie and I said (a bit too loud I think) “So what’s it like to be in love?” If Mark heard that he probably would’ve assumed I didn’t like him. Tricia, in 7th p. art., was crying too.. what about? I think it was most likely about Mark cos after school, he & her sat on opposite bike racks and at one stage, he walked away to Terry & Raymond etc. I watched him talking. What about? Then he came back. Is it all over between them? I hope Cameron says something to me in Chem tomorrow 10:05. Went late night tonight. Then to see mum’s cousin up from Sydney. His 3 kids are nice the 7 yr old boy isn’t. Failed Chemistry exam & mima is having so much trouble with Brent.

Friday 15/8/86

*Cameron said nothing. In fact, he’s a big snob now, won’t even sit next to me, let alone talk to me. I failed chem 13/30, but the great thing is I only failed by 2 marks! A Life in Words[This is a radically different reaction to that I would have had only a year earlier. Exam failure would have gutted me. At least at this point I have found the positive in a negative!] Mark is avoiding me… I’m sure. Today, we walked to the City Place; Grease was being acted out as a “preview”. was great! (Went in lunchtime) got back ½ way thru’ period 6. No one in art noticed I was late. Fi also told me today how Mark & Tricia kiss goodbye in the “arvies”. I really wanted to see them do it [really? are you a masochist?] but we were held up after by talking etc. By the time we got there, Tricia’s bus was there. AND Mark was talking to Nicole C; yes, the same one who was flirting with him on the camp. BITCH. Anyway, At home I rang Lucy all arvy & got ready. Finally got on to Jane [her sister] said she’d be in on the 8:30 plane. POOP!! Fi came around 6:45→ we walked round town. picked up mima & she changed then we spent all the time at Licks cafe [an ice creamery] in Mellick Centre where Jay works. Didn’t go to pancake house at all. Met Justine & Beka. Stayed there till about 9:30… went walking… finally found Lucy..

Saturday 16/8/86

Last nite, we caught a taxi home. Justine, Fi & I stayed at mima’s. Watched View to a Kill on video. Bed at 1:15 – woke 7:15 this morning. A Life in WordsAfter small brekky, Justine & I walked to my place I changed and mima rode in …we rode together into town – mima to get her hair permed – me to work – (saw Heath. & Marge.) Justine’s dad took her home. Worked 4hrs 15 mins. Mima’s hair looks absolutely terrificly fantastic!! (Giles & Andrew D. were working – I immediately thought of what Mark said on the phone that night “we talked about you at Mackay”) We rode, picked Fi up from the newsagency & went to mima’s (mum wasn’t home) Watched music videos and bombed out – rested. Went home around 5:15. Petra’s staying over. Talking a lot about Mark… mima said he also thought I was taller than him she said “as if she’d crouch down for a photo!” Also, she told me exactly what he said that day (I can’t remember, but it was bad. He really thinks I hate him. I’m so depressed – so depressed that I didn’t go to the party tonight. Betcha he was there. 10:55

Sunday 17/8/86

I did nothing today. It was a BIG waste of time. Watched a little TV, drew and looked at photo albums and, of course, I ate. I had maths, english & speech HW to do, too. SHIT, huh? Oh well; It’s 9:00. I’m listening to Take 40 Australia. Will finish at 10:00. Hopefully I’ll get to sleep quickly Been thinking about Mark a lot too. Am really depressed. Why has all this happened? I’ve lost faith in him. (I can’t trust him) but I still want him badly. I’m also very frightened- frightened that if I went out with him & fell totally head over heels in love with him (like mima is with Brent) that what happened to mima & brent would happen to us, except that mark wouldn’t like me. Asking Petra today, before she left, to keep her eye on him & Nicole C at rehearsals today. She also thinks he’s a fantastic dancer & got a cute bum.

Recital, Singing, Study & THE Photo (4-10 August)

Monday 4/8/86

Stuff Mark W. Yes, he’s still going, strong as ever, with Tricia. He can lay his hopes to rest; I think he’s gutless. He should’ve at least made some move to let Tricia ‘down’ ‘slowly’ by now. [This is all still under the assumption fed to me by a friend of his a few weeks earlier that he was only in the relationship out of ‘obligation’. Clearly I was clinging to this Hope.] Unless he doesn’t like me anymore. [Oh, little Liss, there are potentially many more reasons than just that one.] Talk about ‘like’ . . . I think no one likes me. Today I was totally depressed; felt alone, hated, an outsider. (Tho Monique & Donna were being (fairly) nice) Fiona was (whether it really was becos’ she was feeling sick or not). grumpy. And mima holding little attention (interest in me). Even Sharon seemed turned against me. And as for the rest of the group, I’ve felt ‘hated’ or just ‘disliked’ by everyone ever since I found out that they all knew I liked Mark. [It’s tragic how one ‘negative’ thing in your life has the power to ‘blacken’ everything else. Your perception is fully tainted.] 9:00. well almost. Did no HW. Nasty habit procrastination. Lucy rang; I’m jealous she has a rage all the time. Is coming up soon for her dad’s wedding.

Tuesday 5/8/86

A Life in Words
Not sure why I cut it out of the card, but this is the photo from my school ID

I felt strangely happy today: the first day I didn’t feel depressed about Mark!! I was in a really good mood all day!! [Oh my god, Miss Jekyll & Hyde…was I REALLY that moody?] Mima & I rode to school (went to congo’s [a local bakery] – had junk!) Big lunch got our ID Cards… it was the 1st lunch hour Mark did not spend with Tricia. Wow! (I still think he’s a spunk, but I’m still hurt so I feel kinda ignorant when he’s around ie: I ignore him) [Ha!] Bad News: Fi might be away for tomorrow’s swimming recreation. What will I do?? [There’s my clingy side…] I don’t want to go on my own (Trish hates me, and Astia I’m not sure about) megan & Linda are doing it too, but I don’t know exactly what they’re gonna do tomorrow. OH woe is me!! This arvy, mima & I had to get her references for her new job (checkout girl at Coles!!) Took ages. Then took them there, she had to do a test. Rode home slowly! mima having more troubles with Brent, SAD. 9:43

Wednesday 6/8/86

Bloody Dance. Sharon & I were the only ones there, more about that after… cold today. Fi ended up going to town with her mum – I went with Becca G (she’s doing swimming too) was rather fun (Bit upsetting seeing Tricia giving Mark a massage) Mark looked at me a lot today: Sharon & I sat in the sun (to keep her warm and he stood right near us!) Then at the dance… when I said Sharon & I were the only ones; I meant girls. All the guys were there. Everyone (except Cameron, David & Chris K) A Life in WordsSharon’s purpose there was to take photos. She had fun. I was in one with Duane & Nick R then … it had to happen. Mark came up & Sharon said “I want a photo of you two.” How fucking embarrassing. We stood near a brick wall, the light for the flash was heating up) and all Mark’s friends were standing in a big group nearby. They wanted us to put arms around each other but I said No. Straight out. (Didn’t say why) Trisha, dearie. [Who wants to see a photo of their boyfriend with his arms around another girl? I was actually being considerate ….but because it takes “two to tango” there was definitely also an element of self-preservation.] Also Sharon had more problems with Terry. [One of the guys interested in her, on whom she was not keen.] But Mark was searching for me in the hall in the beginning! He stood on chairs to look over the dancing mob. [and you KNOW this because…? Someone actually told you that was what he was doing?] It’s 11:30 one night I will never forget.

Thursday 7/8/86

Fi and I rode today – we talked alot I told her about the dance (only told 4 others; Donna, Sandie, Moni, and Mima) Donna and Sandie were going to develop the photos at lunchtime – but couldn’t. (I want to get that photo so no one will see it) Anyway, I was quite depressed this morning, thinking I’d totally stuffed up my chances with mark until art (my picture’s looking’ good & that made me happy) But in chemistry, Cameron & I were talking; we got on to Mark. He was saying things and I was saying “I don’t care”. He said “if Mark dropped Tricia and asked you to go with him what’d you say?” “No” “What?” “No!” “Why?” “Cos he doesn’t like me” “Bull, he does so” .. “no he- doesn’t” “yes he does” “Nup” “Yes I should know.” “No, he doesn’t” … “Why not?” “Because (I couldn’t – didn’t have the guts to say that about him hurting me). because he just doesn’t. [Oh, the Fear! I want to go back and slap my young self!] 9:40 Is so freezing now finally!!

Friday 8/8/86

Oh I’m starting to feel a ‘want’ for Mark again. . . a real ‘want’, yet at the dance I was frightened (truly scared to death) about going to talk to him. I had wanted to be his friend first & make it go from there, but… it was like he avoided me this afternoon. I didn’t see him at all at big lunch. and he rode out the far gate after school. I really do like him – I think of how he smiled at me before the photo .. they didn’t process them today . . I’ve decided I’m gonna get them to process 3 for me (I’ll pay if I have to) so I can see them. [Three? Why three?] I want a picture of him, smiling. [I can’t help disclosing here it wasn’t the case, but more will be revealed in next week’s post…] It felt good, him standing so close to me for the  photo. Felt good – I just wish. . . . Twinge of hope that he might “turn up” at Adrienne’s party. He won’t so I shouldn’t get my hopes up. Speech exam Tuesday I will fail. [Pessimism or Realism?] 11:05. Just watched the movie. Am rather tired. God, I really want Mark W….

Saturday 9/8/86A Life in Words

Ow! My wisdom tooth’s coming up! Woke rather early…  after Julia left with dad, I went to Mrs McI’s Did mostly nothing at all, helpful there. At home, I abused my voice I read my chapter out aloud; put on my walkman & sang aloud to the songs, [my poor mother, or whomever else might have been unfortunate enough to experience that] read my poem over & over, and read my chapter over & over again. Finished that utterly stupid english assignment & maths HW. Have only speech, art, english & chem. left now!! Ha! Didn’t go to Adrienne’s party. Mima said she was going at 7:00pm when I rang, Polly said she’d walked to Fi’s and they’d walked there ages ago. Nice, huh? [Feeling ‘left out’ is something that has pervaded my life – evidently more so in my youth – but I now view it as part of the building of my independence in adulthood. While it’s admirable, independence isn’t necessarily always positive: apart from the fact that feelings of loneliness can recur, it can translate to commitment issues – which I don’t think I have, by the way…] So I rang Justine (to see if she was going – she wasn’t) & Beka was there, so we had a very long talk (mostly me, about Mark). God that guy is great. Do I love him? Early night (well 9:45!) Thinking about Mark. He is so gorgeous. Do I love him?? I don’t think so. But it’s a mighty big crush!!!

Sunday 10/8/86

Have now finished preparing all my speech items. (talk? yes!!) Just need to practise & practise & practise; flog myself!! About my othe[r] english assignment, I will ask Mr Grossetti if I can use my divorce survey (that is research) & will be easy for me. Otherwise, I pigged out, yet again. I really don’t know what’s gotten into me; my appetite is enormous. Also, from this past weekend, I have seen my schoolwork in a different view – I realise the importance of good grades & how much I need to work for them. I will (will I?) try to work harder to improve my grades. Also, thinking a bit about the party: wonder if by some chance, Mark was there. Oh, I wish things were different for us. (I really want that photo!!!) Oh Mark!! It’s 10:25. Movie should be finished soon – yes, now!! Gotosleep thinking about Mark. Yum