A Bleeding Mole, a Prudent Prescription & the Show (13-19 July)

Monday 13/7/87

Ugh! I hate school. It’s so boring & ….. boring!! Rebecca G’s back in Cairns – at school. But that doesn’t really bother me – she doesn’t talk anyway (to me) We’re back in F block for maths. Wowee. How boring. Mark came late, but smiled at me when I saw him. A Life in WordsWe barely talked at all (end of recess, in biol & after school). Most of it was stirring anyway. On the way home we honked the horn & I gave him the forks – he rang me tonight & everything seemed much better (even though we were still joking around). I think he got off his “high horse” (maybe?) – realised what he was doing. Anyway was really cool today & is cool tonite. Spent the lunch hour on the oval in the sun. There’s a mole on stomach- bleeding. [Well aren’t these back-to-back sentences pretty much ‘oxymoronic’? The sun + bleeding moles = ?!?!] Worrying me a bit. [Really?] Hope its not cancerous. [In all fairness, the lunchtime sun-soak wouldn’t’ve registered to me at all because we didn’t know back then that skin cancers (esp. melanoma) can ‘originate’ in places never seen by the sun…] Talked to mum tonight about the pill – she’s not really impressed, but she knows its for the best [What mama is ever truly happy about her girl reaching this rite-of-passage? (I don’t even have to mention Dads!) I imagine it’s more just a sign of her baby growing up too fast…] Watching mini series again tonight. Finished 11:30 last nite. Same tonite???

Tuesday 14/7/87

10:30 it finished last night & 10:30 again tonite. Gosh it’s cool! Beautiful weather Just right. I’d love summers like this – imagine, then, the winters! [Hmmm, my attitude towards the seasons has pretty much reversed over the years…] Today was O.K. seemed to go rather fast. Rang Mark tonight, briefly.A Life in Words I went to see Mrs E this afternoon – for a dress fitting – she’s only just begun the lining! Hope it gets finished! Then I went to the doctor to see about this bleeding mole- he said it’s “malignant” (whatever that means) [“not good”] & he ripped it off. [..which I find confusing. If it was truly malignant, there should have been further testing. If I had misunderstood the doctor, and he was simply intimating that it may become malignant – removal without follow up could be expected. But if there was minimal chance of it being a threat (and I have realised many ‘mole-morphing’ experiences over the years) the removal may have been some sadistic power-play?!!] Now I’ve got a kind of scab. I also asked (shame!) [shame because it’s an ‘admission’!] about the pill – he wrote a prescription out, but said to start first pack after next period; even then, must wait until I’ve finished that pack (of approx. 21 or 28 pills) before it becomes effective.A Life in Words So it’ll be a while yet. Did barely any homework. am so tired. Riding tomorrow 1st dance practise tomorrow night but Mark doesn’t want to go: State of Origin III match is on. mini-series ended tonite – was fantastic!!! Busy day tomorrow (I think!) SHOW!!! [Oh how I loved the Show back then. I think it stemmed from my social nature: as a younger teen it was the most ‘popular’ event I could ever attend… I used to get excited wondering how many people I would run into in the crowd of strangers…]

Wednesday 15/7/87

All these late nights!! It’s almost 11:00 now. Today was O.K. I thought I’d missed mima & fiona, but they were just a little late. Dad stopped us around Suicide Bend [a severe curve in the road between Stratford and Aeroglen at which a number of historic fatalities occurred. The road is now known as the Stratford Connection Road but we certainly didn’t know it by that name back in the 80’s …I just can’t remember what it was: Aeroglen Drive or Kamerunga Road? …Anyone?] and, get this, gave me $40 (for Jules & I for the show) can you believe it? We didn’t even have to ask! Wow!! A Life in Words[As often happens with split homes, one parent ends up dishing out more money than the other in the rearing of offspring. I think it’s unavoidable even in the most amicable of relationships disintegrations. Living with mum meant she bore the financial brunt of our upbringing. Rather than Dad being a conscious miser, I believe things simply just ‘didn’t occur’ to him. It fits with the adage “out of sight, out of mind”.] Did biol. HW at school. Got on really well with mark today- I mean we didn’t talk too much more than usual, but we were in better spirits (I think) – he seemed much nicer; a little more affectionate (although he wasn’t) [what the?! …he was but he wasn’t?] Don’t worry – I can’t explain. [obviously] At lunchtime (after) Mima, Fi, Polly, Anna, Joannah, Myuko & I went to Fi’s shop to miss athletics tryouts. Talked, laughed ate. After 3:00, got our bikes & (after mima’s dress fitting) rode home really fast! (Pushing my leg to its limit! Ha, ha) Late nite was v. unsuccessful – nothing at all, I really like. At home watched TV & got bag from mima’s. OW! Bit my gum this arvy – its sore now. my stomach mole’s O.K now. Mum’s pushing me about the pill “Are you sure about Mark? I want you to be absolutely sure about him…” etc [Well, this is truly an eye-opener for me. Aside from mum’s innate parental concern for her daughter, this is the first moment I have realised that she perhaps didn’t overly approve of my boyfriend. In her defense, it would have been crystal clear how affected I was by him; my moods and reactions relative to the relationship highs and lows. I mean, if I as an adult now cringe at what I allowed myself to experience, I can imagine how it could have felt for my loving mother to watch…] Had to pay for painting stretcher today (out of my $20 for the show – now I have only $14 left. Great)

Thursday 16/7/87A Life in Words

Great day! I’m in a really good mood! Only one problem – Fi’s sick .. but if she rests tomorrow all day she should be O.K (I hope so) for it. School was boring, of course .. the Canadian marching band did a display this morning after parade, so that shortened our lessons. (It was really good!) I rode by myself. to school (wondering at the time why I possibly did) but on the way home I enjoyed it. We got ready, took Amanda & Jules to the show then went to Earlville. I was almost giving up hope when, wait for it, we went in to ROCKMANS & I found some black pants!! WOW! Then I purchased” a red shaker-knit cotton jumper (men’s) so I was in a good mood – watched the model search thingy (with mima, Pol, anna, danae, colleen, juliet, nina …so on) _both heats (Tricia was in the last one – my God – I would never dream of doing that if I was her (if I was me, anyway!)) [Such high and rigid expectations of Beauty thanks to the Media and my own low Self Esteem..] VOMIT! [Harsh reactions again hint at Insecurity… and perhaps Jealousy: that she had the self confidence/esteem/love to have a go in the first place. We often attack or lash out when coming from a place of Fear…] went home with Brewers .. mima & I decided to ride to the beach tomorrow morning – At home I rang Mark straight away – but I’m going to ring again tomorrow. Still not sure exactly what the plans are for tomorrow (night) – after the show, too (the [House on the] Hill, [that is, Crocodile Rock nightclub] staying at Fi’s.) Hafta work it all out.

Friday 17/7/87

Didn’t ride to the beach-mima had to stay to meet her granny. I “wasted” the morning – watching TV, weaving (for art).  A Life in WordsDid a little exercise→ rode to the shop for mum. Rang mima & fi & got “plans” sorted out; got ready around 3:30→ went to Fi’s at 4:20 – finished getting ready, before walking to mima’s. Picked up Jo & Geoff. M too . . got there around 5:45 – got to the Big Ferris wheel [the ‘meeting point’] around 6:03, I reckon. Mark showed up at 6:15- had been waiting at the little Ferris wheel. But, he went again to the pub. Met him at 7:00 – he was teasing me about Phil C (was there with P. N. & some others) YUM, YUM. I did end up talking to him, too; he has changed- is much, much less shy than last year. I think he’d be a really cool friend to have. I went on 1 ride spent a record minimum (less than $5 I’m sure) this year. Mark was away most the time – at the end I felt I was being ignored/avoided. IT HURTS so much. Around 11:30 went to the Hill. I got in no sweat (no questions . nothing!! WOWEE) Was good, except was hot & smoky inside. But I wasn’t exactly happy. I felt, especially towards the end, very unloved, boring, sad, lonely, depressed & a bit pissed off. […anything else?…] Why does Mark treat me the way he does? God it hurts so much. [No…why do you put up with the ‘treatment’? You have a choice. It’s nothing to do with him …but everything to do with You…] But I can’t say anything- he’ll only confirm his beliefs that I’m a weak, boring sook. (whinger, complainer) Pretty well bombed at Fi’s, around 3:30. Cold!!! left around 8:30 – Fi’d already gone to work, mima home. Jo & I cleaned up, then walked to bus stop sat until she caught bus to Redlynch – I walked home. Spent the day lying, resting, reading thinking= being depressed. [Allowing the Mind to replay the Past, re-tell its Stories to keep you Down…] “Well I’ll see you when I see you” he said. Jesus that hurt. Maybe I’m just going through an extremely sensitive period or something but I can’t help it; A Life in WordsI’m feeling down today & I can’t change it. [You can. But sometimes you’re not meant to…] Had a short sleep (about 1-1½hrs) after 3:00→ rang Fi & Sharon after (both weren’t home) Mark rang me. I felt a little better (he made the effort to ring me, after all) & we decided to go to the movies (he didn’t want to go to the party) Got calls from Beka & Sharon after. Got to odeon just before him. Lethal Weapon again. He appeared very quiet – uncomfortable (moody) but relaxed a bit after. (We walked around→ to Pacific & had a cocktail – Pink Blonde YUMMY) Left odeon after ringing mum (him→Sandra) & getting himself a steakburger .. I was a little pissed off again. . . .→

Sunday 19/7/87

→ no kiss again→ I knew it – it had to do with what I’d said last  Saturday night – about never kissing him again. I’d said to forget it & he said he did, but no→ he has to carry it on – that’s what upsets me the way he carries things on, for days, weeks. I hate it – it hurts. It makes me afraid to say anything to him now in case he carries it on. [And this is a perfect example of how fears develop into life-long instinctive reactions or habits. “Avoid Confrontation at all costs, Liss” the Mind says…] So he laughed as we drove away. At home I watched TV, right up untill 1:15 or so. I bombed and woke this morning at about 9:30→ really dead! (Mum painting the entrance room) Amanda left around 11:00 (she stayed last night) God, it depresses me to think about Mark→why does he do it? Deliberately to provoke me; make me sulk. [Maybe? Maybe trying to push you away? Or maybe he has no intention at all. The thing is, you can never really know …which means it’s beyond your Control …which means ya gotta… Let. It. Go.] I can’t stand it. formal dancingAfter wasting the day (totally) Beka picked me up: at dance practise I got a very mixed feeling about him. He seemed O.K. (nice) now & then – but sometimes he was very “stiff” as if he wished he didn’t go. Kept calling me a Sook. I can see he doesn’t like me (being a “Sook”) But I can’t convince him when I’m not sulking. DON’T HURT ME ANYMORE. PLEASE forget all this shit. After it I had a terribly sore throat – hard to swallow, yawn & speak. God it’s killing me. Mark wouldn’t believe me when I told him it was sore – just said “sook

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Keloids, Oedema & Back on Two Feet (9-15 March)

A Life in Words
Finally, here’s a (poor quality) photo of my original scar in all its Glory. Unfortunately, we’d never thought of taking photos at any other time so this is the earliest I have. (Damned shame we didn’t get any pics of the raw wound.) The large red rectangle at the top of the photo is where the surgeon took the skin for the graft and directly below it is the ‘meat pie’ hole to which they grafted it …around which, incidentally, you can see the horrid suture marks from the first job by the surgeons botched. The scar directly under my finger is, I assume, where I was impaled by the metal which I yelled at the rescue worker to “just fucking rip …out”.

Monday 9/3/87

Did I tell you I’m 60kg again? Well, I was measured yesterday. Oh, and by the way, Mark’s shitty with me again. I said something about all I need is Jemima & Fiona as friends & he (taking I didn’t need him) said he’d never talk to me again, no matter what I said or did. So he’s shitty with me. I s’pose I can expect another goodbye letter perhaps in Wednesday’s mail? Oh well. My appointment was the major news of the day, originally (god its hot) He (the dr.) said it’s excellent. Looks a bit “gooby” to me …but I’M ALLOWED TO WALK AND GO OUT ETC!! WOWEE! That’s what I was waiting to hear. Back at school next Monday YAY!! Although, I dunno; if Mark’s so shitty. I’ve been slowly trying to straighten my leg. IT IS SO HARD. I haven’t yet. WOWEE!!

Tuesday 10/3/87

Hope I sleep better tonight – the last few nights have been terrible – I keep waking. Oooooh! I am doing SO well! I can straighten my leg almost completely back, now & can put most my weight on it for a few secs. And I’m so proud. [Good!] At this rate, maybe I will be walking by the (or for the) weekend! Sandra W rang me this arvy -said Mark understands what I meant ..it’s just he’s upset that I spend more time with my friends at school, than him [what? you haven’t been at school for all bar 3 days of the school term so far…?] (it really matters to him.. he does care) I thought he might ring tonight but no. Oh well. Went & saw nana today. Well & good. . . (boring visit) [oh, to have had hindsight…] also Jo & Mike rang. A Life in WordsThey’re counting the days til they come up. I did no schoolwork this morning again. Justine & Mrs Mac came this arvy, as they left, mima & polly came. Yru gave Julia an enormous leaf of aloe vera to give to me. I haven’t been putting anything on my scars lately UMAH! [I can be ‘religious’ about certain things (obviously!) but it seems treating my scarring was not one of them. I have very soft skin which is a blessing but the trade-off  seems to be that I scar badly: hypertrophic-keloid scars are reddish, raised lumps (you can easily spot them in the photo of my leg above) which thankfully often fade and flatten out over time, but never disappear, unfortunately. While not yet fully understood, keloid scarring seems to result from excessive collagen in the wound healing process; one of my doctors gave me the impression it’s as if your body heals over-zealously?!] mmm… hot, yes. Rain? yes. pimples? Yes – going away? Yes (I hope) Mark – I love you? YES!

A Life in Words
Cairns Post, Wednesday 11 March 1987
Since its completion a decade later, the memorial has been everything our great principal desired.

Wednesday 11/3/87

Mr P [Monique’s father] rang this arvy..sounds so ‘tired’ and ‘weak’ ..Mrs P will not be back for another 2 weeks or so. No call from Mark (of course). Nor any mail. I wrote him a letter which I’ll post tomorrow. Hope it doesn’t sound silly. GUESS WHAT? I CAN WALK WITHOUT CRUTCHES!!!! UNREAL, HUH?! After only 2 days – I can let go and (hobble, limp) walk ’round! (Today I went to Earlville with mum – did shopping but I took crutches – needed them – got tired easily. Oooh runny nose. (Fi & mim came round this arvy, too.) I actually read my novel today (although that was the only schoolwork I did) And didn’t have a bath tonight – just ran out of time. [ew!] Rainy again – but cooler today at times. I slept rather well last night!! Oh, I wish Mark’d ring or something I wish he’d talk to me. Oh I love you. Don’t treat me this way.. PLEASE!!

Thursday 12/3/87

Well, I’m doin’ good . . . walking’ (limpin’ really!!) round! Mum woke me early Dropped Jules at school (went past the seniors – saw him) then we waited an hour or so before we went in. . .took off the dressing. I think doctor Clark was pleased I could walk… I asked questions – they were answered [I’d love to know what I asked…] – nothing to worry about (physically, anyway; I didn’t send the letter to Mark, or even give it to Jules to give to him – will tomorrow – damn, I forgot to re-write it.) Read my play today so .. that’s it. I’ll have to do some solid work tomorrow: MUST. Am going to the movies 2morrow nite with Fi & Jules! Hey, hey! Gonna ask mark (if I get that letter re-written. Shaved me legs 2nite & armpits – didun wanna but had to. [I preferred waxing… but that must have been too large a feat for me to accomplish, somehow?] Ankle looks absolutely revolting – fat (swollen) Leg a bit sore from using it lots I think – it’s looking even better today- I can’t believe it! mm ..hot. rain, though! Fi came down ‘S’ arvy→ ambulance man dropped off some videos drove to fi’s & Watched them. BORING seen before! [I’m guessing they were a collection of news clips/footage that, like everyone, I’d’ve seen repeatedly over the past month.] Oh neckache.

Friday 13/3/87

A Life in Words
This isn’t my ankle, but it could have looked very similar…

Today (not bad luck – much) I took my first WALK. I mean WALK, NOT LIMP!! Fantastic! (And I had a shower, standing all the time!) [I think I can vaguely remember this feeling: the uncertainty of pressing down into my foot was dwarfed by confidence and the knowledge that it was okay to do this, after the doctor’s positivity yesterday. Oh yes, it felt really good!] This morning I hurried a new letter to Mark .. to give to Jules to give to Fiona to give to him. But, we didn’t go to the movies tonight after all – Fi wants to invite mima, tomorrow night (she works 2nite) & even if mima can’t come we’ll still go. So, (Fi was convinced he’d ring me – he didn’t) if he went, we wouldn’t’ve been there – he’ll be even angrier. And if he didn’t go, it means (he didn’t ring) that he doesn’t care. Oh shit. I need you to contact me, Mark. Please, please God, let things be the way they were before the crash. It’s not fair. My life’s the pits. My ankle’s so ugly & fat (swollen) [I failed to understand that my entire leg had been blown up like a balloon during the accident, so the elasticity in the entire appendage (not just the dermis) would have been incredibly tested and it would take some time for it to return to somewhere near normal (thank God I was young and still growing). The fact is, my right leg would never be the same size as its counterpart again: even after a night’s rest, my right lower leg is always 1-1.5cm thicker in circumference than the left.] Beka (came round this arvy) said hers took awhile to go down. [I think she had had a sprained ankle. A somewhat different injury (!) but wonderfully supportive of her.] GREAT. But I walked today that’s something right? [Yes.] And I did some work. And Trina dropped over my negatives & photocopies of photos of Monique. And I sunbaked (towel over my legs so I don’t get a mark from the bandage) & get this – got burnt slightly after only 15 minutes! [Ah the FNQ sun: it cooks you quick!] OH MARK. PLEASE RING ME or come over.

Saturday 14/3/87

No phone calls from Mark, today, let alone a visit. Hope, really hope he didn’t go Friday night..he’d be so shitty (so much more shitty) with me. I rang Fi twice ..3rd time lucky. Mima might not be going tonight – depends whether she gets her schoolwork done or not (speaking of which, I did none) I danced today! (Not really physically jolting- just “bopping” around! I spent most the day writting out the major things that’d happened in the weeks past .. ready to do up my scrapbook. Fiona’s late!! ..it’s 7:20 – movie Jumpin Jack Flash starts at 7:30. Oh Mark, stuff you. (Told Fi, she said she’d ring him tomorrow for me. She’d really expected him to ring me last night.) NO VISITORS today Rather boring day ‘But Jeez, my ankle’s gone down! (I spent ½hr or so in the sun again today – just head & shoulders..wanna bleach my hair. where’s the lemon juice?)A Life in Words [After 4 weeks in hospital my hair had darkened considerably… and as a natural blonde this was displeasing to me. We used lemon juice whenever we could but I don’t know how well it actually worked…] tell you ’bout the movie tomorrow. My ankle – I can’t believe how much it went down, after putting it under a pillow last night. [yeah. I’m sure I meant the pillow was under my leg, not vice versa…] UNBELIEVABLE! Dad & Jenny came over today – this arvy. Amazed at me walking

Sunday 15/3/87

I’m not so worried about school, even though I got bad news from Fi tonight (well..not good .. not bad(??)) I’ll probly get the nerves tomorrow. See, he & Steven & Cameron & Keith were going to see the Stroopers, so they went to Fi’s …she tried talking to him, but he didn’t say “anything”. (At one stage she said “I was going to call you tonight” & he said “why don’t you tell her you rang but I wasn’t home?” Nice, huh? What’m’ I s’posed to think of that? KNOWing me- the worst. [Well, it’s hardly inspiring…] He hates me. But he can’t. I couldn’t accept that.) Wonder what’ll happen at school? (Today I did chem. & nothing much else – a bit of art) I was going to rest my foot as much as possible today so it wouldn’t hurt for school tomorrow… know what happened? (It’d gone down even more this morning (not much more) but more) It swelled right up again. [A perfect example of what happens when sitting for too long… unless elevated of course, which I doubt I would have been continuing now that I was almost ‘back to normal’…] NO visitors of course. Esp. not mark even though they were in the area. It’s too much to ask. Oh I’m nervous. Angela R. rang tonite – is coming over wednesday arvy. Oooh.. I’m worried. I’m hurt. His song’s on the radio now Miracle of Love. [Hmm, don’t remember that. But I still like the song. Check it out below…] SHIT it’s NOT FAIR.

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

Monday 16/2/87

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

Tuesday 17/2/87

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

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

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

Wednesday 18/2/87

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

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

Thursday 19/2/87

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

Friday 20/2/87

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

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

Saturday 21/2/87

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

Sunday 22/2/87

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

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

Monday 9/2/87

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

A Life in Words
Goodbye my beautiful friend x

Tuesday 10/2/87

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

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

Wednesday 11/2/87

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

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

Thursday 12/2/87

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

Friday 13/2/87

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

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

Saturday 14/2/87

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

Sunday 15/2/87

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

Leadership Camp, Day Three (3 February)

Tuesday 3/2/87

I kind of ignored him today. After the 1st group session – group dynamics, he walked past me. I didn’t react in any way. I didn’t think he wanted to see me. Bush dancing was next. I had a swim after that. A really long one. He came up to me finally. We talked about it . . he said most beautiful, caring things. I’m sure they’re true. A Life in WordsWe kissed, yes, near the yacht. [I vaguely recall that small yacht anchored in the dam] (mima, Brent & Glyn saw us) After adventure walk, we, or I swam quickly again to get clean. My ringworm is drying & scabbing – my feet are absolutely covered in blisters and my colds not gone yet. [I completely forgot I’d had a ringworm. I think it’s the only one I’ve ever had in my life, too. It’s somewhat ironic that I was suffering so many ‘minor’ ailments considering what was about to befall us in less than 24 hours’ time.] We had the concert, for which we sat together, Mark hugging me. We got those “warm fuzzies” that we wrote about people back – when I didn’t [get any warm fuzzies] Mark whispered about 10 in my ear [privacy omission]. The concert was great entertainment. So funny then there were “awards” after it. That was funny too. Mark & I [privacy omission] went inside our tent. I spent the next hour or so completely elated. [OMG, what is this? Mills & Boon? FYI, is still not what y’all think either…] we ate a bit before we finally crashed. (when? I don’t even have a clue!)

[Part of the text on this page in the scrapbook has begun to fade, mostly because of the colour I chose to write in…]

A Life in Wordsduring the night last night, jemima woke .. sick & sick still this morning .. we assumed it was the dip she ate last night. [But no one else was sick?] After breakfast time (& a swim!!!!) we assembled to find out what activities we were doing next. Jemima was allowed to sit out of her first two activities. We did “group dynamics” ..another basic get-to-know-each-other exercise + ‘trust’ activities.. being led blindfolded by a partner around the camp for example. After our break, we did bushdancing .. that was .. hmm .. funny (a scream!) At lunch time today, I had a very long swim .. much longer than usual .. (my cold is still there, but not quite as bad.) Adventure walk was the last activity & I thought the best. Exercises to do with balance & co-ordination and strength→ great fun! […and I end up teaching this kind of stuff to people 20 years later…] (Minus the pain of blisters & sunburn) After that I ‘dipped’ quickly to wash off mud while Erica & Monique washed their hair After dinner break, were called for an (earlier) assembly. First we were “lectured” about leadership & those responsibilities etc, but afterwards, the “warm fuzzies” (written by each & every person, for each & every person) were handed out. (However, some people (me for example) didn’t get them because the people who’d written them (or supposed to have written them) didn’t hand them in (or forgot to, like Trina for example)) After this there was a short break when concert entries  prepared (or began to prepare) for their items. Then came the awards . . Monique got one for the ‘most pitiful expression’ (the ‘feel sorry for me’ look) [I have absolutely no recollection of that at all] . . [privacy omission] (along with Jody & Lee-anne) for the inseparable couple . . and Mark & Steven the ‘camp scabs’. (To name a few) Finally the concert began and it was quite funny. The first item was a fashion parade (of, of course, the oldest & most daggy clothes) then others followed. . A Life in WordsMark M’s (winning) impersonations, [ha! “winning”! Eatcha heart out, Charlie Sheen] Jody K’s Kiwi warcry [the ‘Haka’] & a few other ‘singular’ & group efforts. This was the best night . . people (surprisingly) had rather early nights .. generally turning out lights & getting shut-eye when the authorities asked. Of course.. the last night & day are usually always the best anyway.

Leadership Camp, Day Two (2 February)

Monday 2/2/87

Woken quite early – tent’s going thru’ rain – well, have no worries about getting wet. [Dad always owned good quality camping equipment] Got in groups today- I have Fi, Justine, Lynette C and others. we did “PERSONALITIES”. Was ‘interesting’. we have to write nice things about someone in our group. I got Tricia. Did canoing this arvy – I thought I got my periods Lucky I didn’t. A little boring canoeing was .. too windy to enjoy. Spent little time with Mark today. I can’t handle being around him in group situations like this camp. It’s hard for me. We’re better off on our own. [But hardly realistic…] A Life in WordsTonight we had the bonfire & joke telling Trish & Mark were in a tent together I was really worried. Later they had a “dance”. I stayed alone in the tent crying a little etc. I didn’t see anymore of him that night. I was really upset when everybody came back to the tent they tried to make me feel better. It was a late night, but not quite as late as last night. I was very confused & upset, being told “Nothing happened”. I couldn’t help doubting

[And the scrapbook entry, providing no clue about my emotional condition:]

A Life in WordsWeather’s mostly overcast, although there’s not much rain After breakfast time (& a swim) the airhorn sounded & we had an assembly to run through the camp routine. 6 groups & 6 activities were to fill Monday & Tuesday. The groups were mainly of alphabetical order [by surname] Eg: Jemima in group A, me & fiona in group B, monique in group E and Erica in group F. Group B (ours) did “personalities”. Were given out name of one person to write 6 nice things (known as “warm fuzzies” about. The main ‘object’ of this group was to discover differences in arguments. Eg: aggressiveness (aggression!).. we talked about things like smoking, homosexuals, etc. After a free-time break, we did second activity . . canoeing. Justine & I went in Mr Dobe’s canoe .. the safest! Fiona, with Alan & the others had trouble first… we didn’t get too far, before Mr Dobe decided the weather was too bad to carry on. Lunch & free time next (& a swim, of course, for me, anyway) then the last activity for today; the bushwalk . . fantastic. HA HA . . most of it was along bitumen road . .  up to a lookout (through some rain of course) & back (oh. .blisters!). another swim & free-time for dinner. Tonight a big bonfire was lit & there was ‘mass’ joke-telling… we sat dozing on David’s lie-low .. Erica, Monique, Cameron, Chris & David. After there was a (sort-of) dance (but I party-pooped & stayed in our tent) When that finished we were allowed time before lights out, so we had some visitors . . Linda & Justine to mention a few. [Some of the ‘comforters’ or ‘reassurers’ I spoke of in my diary, perhaps?] A Life in Wordswe all (not me though) ate corn chips & hot dip. Rather a late night.

Flat Tops, Failing & Friends on the Phone (17-23 November)

A Life in Words
Drago (Dolph Lundgren) sported a flat top ‘do in Rocky IV (1985)

Monday 17/11/86

Boring day. Mark I saw once (had a haircut – Cameron too; Flat top!! [ah, the old flat-top! Think ‘Ice-Man’ in Top GunLooks cute!!) Wasn’t at parade – just at the beginning of little lunch briefly. Talking to Cameron, Glynn, Chris & David lunch hour – everyone was gone – mima & Fiona & lots left after double chemistry. Monique & I did nothing. Studied chem a bit tonight and can understand most of what I’ve learnt (or read) Hope I can get the rest done tomorrow. Is only 9:00, but bags under my eyes make me go to bed. Talking to Chris & Cameron in maths – Cameron & Mark had a big fight Friday arvy. Chris did with Duane, too I think. said something about mark – Chris said “Have you talked to mark?” I said “what about?” He said “you know that night” I didn’t answer. [Perhaps not just because I may not have known what (which night) he was referring to, but also whether he was just…baiting?] Cameron said something can’t remember, but wasn’t positive. Got me wondering. Cameron’s always going on lately about how good a friend I am.. wonder If he was trying to say something [Haha, this young girl has not yet learnt that males don’t “drop hints”. Don’t read into everything, Liss.]

Tuesday 18/11/86

Fail. Written all over my brain. I could not do anything. It’ll be a miracle if I pass – a doggone miracle. Boring day. Not actually; studied this morning, but went to school around 12:00. Stayed talking to Monique. Then walked up to exam room with Heather, Linda & Justine (Cameron a little of the way) Is hot (had a big thunderstorm – lightning etc…) Raining lots – I got saturated! Caught bus home with Fi. Monique rang in the arvy. Talked about miscellaneous stuff. A Life in WordsIn shower, I got a phone call from a guy. Julia didn’t get name or anything. Cameron forgot to ring back – lucky I rang him. Talked abit about Moni – lots about miscellaneous – didn’t get any news ’bout mark ‘cept that he really likes Fiona a lot as a friend. “Jealousy?” Was Cameron trying to make me jealous? [Highly, highly unlikely!] Asked about what he’d said in maths – said I was hearing things. [The boys often said that. It simply means either “I don’t want to tell you” or more likely “I don’t remember”.] Thank God. (?) It’s 9:15. Gotta go.

Wednesday 19/11/86A Life in Words

Monique rang 4 times. For most of the time we talked about nothing in particular – sometimes not even talking. [This is another of the defining characteristics of our friendship, and it is said that this kind of sitting in silence is the stuff of true friendship: total comfort in each others’ presence. Monique was the first person with whom I’d ever experienced this ease, this depth of peace – besides my mother & sister of course. Mind you, I also hate being on the phone these days so this particular experience is unlikely to be replicated.] I’m ashamed to say I wasted the day. I did very little maths study and no art (practically) –  no english or anything. I ate one hell of a lot I think I’d better stick to the diet again – I’ve gone up to 62kgs again. So it’s been a waste of time. Waste of a day. I can’t believe how restless I get when studying. Wish Mark’d ring. Or even just Cameron. In a way I envy monique yet I think she envies me – that I can get on so well with him, so easily – like I envy Fiona and her friendship with Mark. I wonder if he envies Cameron? Wouldn’t that be nice? [No, it wouldn’t. Too much envy, too much Wanting!] Hottish day. Shoulda done some exercise – reading about it in a magazine – really good for all aspects of your life – fitness mentally, physically, socially… [Well isn’t this interesting? Perhaps a crack in the door opening to my future fitness career? Well thank you, trashy magazine!] Is about 9:20. English tomorrow SHIT!

Thursday 20/11/86

It’s 12:30. I’ve been doing maths. I just finished reading over bio notes and now I have to get started on my art – my fingers are rather ‘slow’ – I can’t write quickly – ah, yes I can… leaning on the table! Got another letter from Delanie; she writes back fast enough. Talking ’bout mark – she reckons we’re both flipped over each other, but are ‘playing games’ esp. Mark. [Haha, that’s so cute: a friend who knows nought but what I tell her (my one-sided story, full of hope & guesses) analyses & concludes in my favour. Ain’t friendship grand?!] I saw him briefly today before english exam (each! – Dunno if I passed – didn’t do too well.) Wasted this arvy, kind of, too. But I got a little worried about maths. After a phonecall to Fi, I was a little reassured and got ‘stuck into it’. There’s not much (well, there is really) that I can’t do – I just have to think – trouble is, you don’t get time in exams!! Hope I’m not too tired to do my maths & bio. Boy will I be glad when tomorrow’s over! Not really; still have my art to do. OH NO!

Friday 21/11/86

Boy, am I tired now! It’s 10:10. I failed maths; there were so many things I couldn’t do. Saw Mark a little. Lunchtime – all of us (YR11 group – who were there) sat in the library ‘studying’ – yacking! (talking) [I don’t recall our librarians being big on telling people to ‘Shhhh”!] He was in my room for bio. It was fairly simple – I’ll pass – probably only give me an HA [High Achievement] overall this sem. cos I couldn’t do a few Q’s. [Ah, there’s a hint of potential dissatisfaction with regard to my grades. I thought that concern had died with the advent of my social life; that all I cared about now was simply passing. No, the Perfectionist is not dead.] After, talking to people Mark & Cameron hangin’ round. Cameron talks to me a lot. Then they went. We (Monique, Sharon, mim, Fi & I) went to mime’s to watch video tape of Last night’s Return to Eden, which I’d watched anyway. Then, dropped home, got ready & went into town. A Life in WordsOn way in we passed bill & mum was sure Cameron was in the front seat. (GREAT!) Bought new album 1987 Let’s Party [one of my favs!] and had tea at Pizza Corner Played record at home; was always looking out the louvres, hoping to see Cameron walk up the street. [As. If.] Hope he is at his dad’s place!! Maybe Mark’ll go over tomorrow. [Always wishin’] Finish a reply letter to Delanie 2morrow

Saturday 22/11/86

A Life in Words
My (now aged) Lorikeet drawing

Did another piece for art – my lorikeet (well, something like that) is possibly my best work!! I spent the whole morning on it. I have 4 left to do. When Nana and (great) auntie Nancy & Uncle Raymond and Ruth came over, I ate. I shouldn’t have but I did. Raymond was looking at some of my work – I showed them all my ‘exhibit’, I think they might buy! [No, they were just ‘encouraging’] made lotsa phone calls about Sean’s party – Monique tried to get Cameron & the guys to go but was unsuccessful. Still went tho’. Monique & I were driven by mum to Sharon’s (monique got ready at my place) & Mrs Weeks took us there. It was … alright. Boring, yes. But not to the point of suicide. About 100 I think, turned up. I shouldn’t have drunk again. I got happy (was keeling now & then) I was eventually fine. [Hmmm, I don’t remember this one. Mind you, I suppose it’s silly to think you’ll remember every party you attend in your life… especially when you’re drinking at them…] But we scabbed a lift home with Justine at 2:00 (most people had gone or were going by then- ) Boring!! About 3:00 I got to sleep.

Sunday 23/11/86

Waste of a day. I started a piece of work. It progressed. But when I finished it tonight, Geoff pointed out something wrong. [This rings bells to me but I just can’t remember what that piece was] I tried to fix it but stuffed it up instead. So I scrunched it up & threw it away. I was a little upset, too. [You don’t say?] Monique left around 10:00 this morning (riding home) Boring day. I ate chocolate cake and chips. I think I’ll have to forget being really strict on my diet→ on the holidays it’s too hard. I’ll still try to balance what I do eat & “substitute” etc. [I’d love to know what I meant by that – “substitute” – back then. I’m quite certain there’d be a difference in meaning now.] Oh, I wish I could’ve gotten more art done. Don’t think I’ll get much finished. And, god, when am I going to get everything ‘framed’? How much will it cost?? OH NO! (Get dad to pay. He really should) [Of course, living with mum meant she forked out more in the act of rearing us. It’s almost unavoidable for the supporting parent, no matter how much the other may contribute via ‘maintenance payments’. This only intensifies my respect for her.] Can’t wait for the next weeks ahead (days) Befriend Mark, Elissa (your ambition for the week)