Formal Permission, Hickie Harassment & The Controversial Portrait (1-7 June)

Monday 1/6/87

Keith told me (after Mark had got it out of me before school) that he & Mark had worked out what that sheet was ..my timetable, Mark’s and Nicole’s (last night with saw it just lying there & I got v. embarrassed) [LOL taking Insecurity to the next level! I don’t recall this at all… and for good reason! I’m imagining I’d’ve been trying to ascertain how often they might have come in contact during school hours. What I didn’t know was that this ‘project’ would only feed my angst: not benefit me in any way at all. Geez, maybe I should’ve been a detective?] I thought Mark might’ve gotten ‘upset’ by it ..thinks I’m spying on him. NO! It’s not fair. He can’t think that: it’s not true. [No, really?] Anyway, I don’t think it bothered him much- school, boring as usual, but I got 3 goodbye kisses this arvy Yummy. My art exam was a laugh. I didn’t know anything; I’m sure I’ve failed (no, I could pass, really. Came home after julia got new school shoes (& we browsed at other shoes) & I found a doona on my bed! A Life in WordsUnreal! The only prob is I think it’s too small [here’s the critical perfectionist…] – I mean, it’s meant to fit a single bed, but I’d have liked a bit bigger, but not quite double bed size. [Not asking for much – just a non-standard sized doona, perhaps custom-made? (I’m not sure that ‘King Singles’ existed back in the 80’s?) Pssssh! …Unless I was considering size difference amongst different brands?] Actually did a little HW – maths. I really must get down to some serious study now. Also get classwork done. Esp. art. Copped shit about this hickie, alright – [OF COURSE] Nigel, mima, justine lots (Nicole saw – she kept looking at me SKINT) And Tricia. HaHa. Oh boring school hurry up, holidays. It’s 10:00 now

Tuesday 2/6/87

Gordon C (??) has asked me to his formal. I was really excited (overwhelmed at being asked to another formal) at first, but said later it depended on Mark. I asked him to ring Mark & ‘ask his permission. [Good god Elissa, permission? Are you sure you weren’t born in the 1800’s? So upright, so traditional, so…antiquated!] I really don’t care whether I go or not. I’ll do what Mark wants. [Of course, Doormat!] Mark & I came close to fighting today. (Well, I was hurt, but got over it because he got “down off his high horse” and didn’t let it “carry on.” CONGRATS, markie-poo! (I love you!)) [I just vomitted a little in my mouth…] Otherwise boring day (isn’t every school day?) Mark and his gorgeous smile. He’s so cute! We passed him riding home this arvy (taking Nana back to the [nursing] home) [she still lived in her own self-contained unit at this stage] and I yelled out “spunky” & waved. He smiled & I melted! How can I take 4 days without him? I’ll die, I’m sure! Skin (mine) is terrible. Fixing up tho’. Most people forgetting my hickie now. Beaut cool weather. Wish it’d get even cooler tho’. oh, come on, holidays!

A Life in WordsWednesday 3/6/87

I asked Mark if Gordon rang him. He said yes. [Thank you for playing my silly game, Gordon] I said what’d you say? He said it’s alright with me if I wanted to go. And that was it. I think he didn’t want to talk about, tho I tried to explain I only want to go as a favour to Gordon… I’d rather spend a saturday night with Mark, anyway. Anyway, it was a pretty good day. Better than yesterday Aerobics was sickeningly hard! (I’ve got no co-ordination!) mark came up after & showed me the note he found in his bag (I put it there.) “Aaaargh! How will I survive four days? I love you! I need to see you before you go.” I hope, really hope, we spend it at his place tomorrow night. That’s the best! Hoping he’d ring. Gordon rang me instead. Then I rang Justine (had an excellent idea:) if she couldn’t think of anyone – invite MARK! [No, a very silly, unrealistic, entirely selfish idea] He’d probably refuse. [Yes. Because he doesn’t know these people…] But that’d be great. If he went, that is. Raining now. Not so cold. SHIT. 10:40 SHIT! I ♥ MARK 4 EVA & EVA

Thursday 4/6/87

Ow! My neck’s sore – wonder if it’s out? A Life in WordsTalked a fair bit to him again today. Then tonight he was ‘crazy’ (probably excited about going to Mackay) – we went shopping & driving with Keith. They came back & watched TV at our place .. Mark & I fighting (quite rough) then.. then he had to go. Joking about staying for 4 months ..I said I’d kill him if he stayed away for more than 4 days. [Uh-huh. That’s not displaying dependance-related psychotic tendencies …much.] (Busy day at school today… am doing something in art: Mark! I don’t know if I will though.. it’ll turn out all wrong, I bet. [Oh yes, one of the most retrospectively embarrassing things I did, painting a portrait of  my boyfriend. And it wasn’t a small canvas either. Oh, the shame! Little over-besotted me…] Did chem contract prac in 4th.. & big lunch, with Linda. will just get them finished tomorrow arvy, after school.) Am so tired.. the last 2 days in a row I got out of bed 7:15, when I was woken at 7:00 .. sleeping in!! Usually I’m the last one out of the house! [This doesn’t even make sense to me: how does being the “last one out of the house” relate to usually getting up early? I get that sleeping in = running late = being the last one out of the house but it’s inferred that I don’t normally sleep in?] Boring day tomorrow: ho, hum. 10:30 (by Jule’s swatch) Crikey. Will miss mark. But I’m not suicidal yet; [No …really?]

Friday 5/6/87

(Neck’s still sore) Well, I made it ..no sweat! One day (& night) without mark was O.K. (though I kept thinking (& keep thinking) how exactly a week ago was one of the best nights of my life!!) [Livin’ in the past, girl! A neat little example of how Attachment can cause ‘Pain’: in this case, a positive experience creating Desire for (Wanting, Craving) more…] I did my painting today, mostly & it’s lookin’ great! I’m proud to say I love it! (Of Mark) I can’t believe how much it’s working; resembling him quite well, indeed! [Oh dear. *facepalm*] (Heard Megan, with Tricia, say something & I’m sure she referred to my painting. BITCH.) Everyone else (even Ms Mars.) thinks it’s beaut (NO! Daggy word!) [You correct yourself for a daggy word… when you’re talking about a totally daggy artistic decision?!] Great! Oh I’m tired.. late night shopping ..tried on lotsa dresses in Val Carnes. Liz convinced me red looks best on me (believe it?) And mum & julia too .. so Mark’ll be happy (I can be his LADY IN RED!) [For those new to this serial, Chris DeBurgh’s track “Lady In Red” became a relationship theme song for me one night early in our budding ‘romance’. Here’s the link to that ‘episode’ in late 1986.] Keith rang this morning ∼ 7:15 told me my bankbook was in his car. I said I’d leave it till Tuesday. Won’t be needing it I think. A Life in Words[Oh my, the Bankbook! Most young readers wouldn’t have the first idea what this was. Back in the day, those amazing machines (ATMs) that spit cash out for you at the press of a few buttons, didn’t exist. We had to physically go into a bank (during business hours) and queue up to see a bank teller, to make our manual cash withdrawals. Too bad if you didn’t take enough money out on a Friday afternoon. Ah, the good ol’ days…] Rainy, cold weather BEAUTIFUL!! I’m in a great mood (inside, that is)

Saturday 6/6/87

Boring, wasted day. . couldn’t believe how I wasted it. Woke just before 8:00.. and spent most of morning doing a poster for Cheryl G (TBallers Disco). Then Julia left for dad’s & I watched Airwaves [a locally (well, Townsville) produced music video TV show] alone Having lunch after it, I was going to start study when Amanda & Cherie came. They stayed till about 5:00. [They were actually my sister’s friends too, so it’s even more surprising that they spent the rest of afternoon with me…] So my day was indeed wasted (Amanda & Cherie are so funny, though!) A Life in WordsGot ready after, & mum & I went to the Drive In (to see A Dog’s Tale – FOOTROT FLATS & “COOL CHANGE – an Aussie movie – OK.) Was beautiful and cold! (But not cold enough to dislike it.. just a cold breeze/wind.) I kept thinking about the show & wishing Mark had his own car so we could go to the drive in alone. So now it’s 10:50. And I’m waiting for “RAGE” on the ABC . . (starts 12:30), listening to 4CCR in the meantime (on mum’s clock radio) She’s next door at the Fishers for a quick drink. [Uh-oh. The last time that happened they had to carry her home and worse; we had a ‘prowler’ around our house which frightened the bejesus out of Julia and I and mum couldn’t be woken… see here for that story.] The Perrems are s’posed to be there too. Wonder what’ll happen? So cold & beautiful! (Still, isn’t cold enough!) The wind helps, though. LOVE IT! (Only 2 days left.) Must study tomorrow. MUST.

Sunday 7/6/87

I really have to lose weight. My diet is disgusting. I ate so much crap today. And I did nothing to wear it off. A boring day; I did study. .but only got ½ of bio study done. Have my assignment to do for Friday, yet. Plus bloody chem. study. I have chem, bio & hist. of art tests on Tuesday. Do you believe it? I’m going to fail. And my majors exams start next Tuesday, there’s no way I’ll do well, unless I knuckle right down this week & weekend. I’ve got to do well in them. I’m determined not to cram like I have the rest of my life (this is still cramming though, I guess.. just not overnight .. over a week!) [Uh, yep! While I have a certain ‘photographic memory’ some self discipline would have helped me avoid establishing this bad habit, which only worsened at Uni…] It’s 9:15. Listening to radio till 10:00, Last night I listened to 4CCR all night ..sleeping then waking. A Life in WordsAbout 4:30 turned on “RAGE” stupid heavy metal crap music. So tired this morning – woke around 10:00. Great dream. Raining lots today. These holidays I must diet, exercise & sun bake to get tanned, slim & nice skin for the formal [hmm, many would refute the sunbaking + nice skin correlation these days…] I MUST!! I’m so fat now

Venom, Pedestals, Bruised Fruit & Bed-Swapping (25-31 May)

Monday 25/5/87

Well today was different. Got on really good though. (Though?) Yes, “though”. (Though, what?) [Love the conversive story telling? One might relate it to a touch of schizophrenia?] Well, there’s rumours he got with (you guessed it) Nicole. I don’t want to believe them. See, I didn’t think Mark would get with anybody – it didn’t cross my mind once I trusted him. Then these rumours: I chose to disbelieve, but more evidence against my opinion .. I am too afraid to say anything to him in case he gets angry [Alarm bells! If you fear ANY kind of interaction with a partner, should you be there at all?] .. he can’t see that I do trust him, but I wish (if this did happen) that he would tell me . . be honest. Going behind my back destroys trust… A Life in Words[um, so you are saying you accept cheating …as long as you’re informed of it? It’s certain that a lack of honest & openness is not conducive to trust but, well, I certainly wouldn’t accept certain behaviours from a partner now even if he was open about it…] but I think he didn’t tell me because (1) he was afraid of losing me because of it.. and/or (2) he knew it would destroy what trust I had in him, totally. [Ya think? Analyse, analyse, analyse….] But I’m all worked up. [Privacy omission] broke up. He got with Nina Nina admitted it to Julia. She & [privacy omission] and Nicole & Mark. I HATE that Fuckin bitch. [Ill-begotten blame: it takes two to tango, young Lissa…] Oh Mark. Why are you doing this? Why did it happen? How could you let it?

Tuesday 26/5/87

I got to school and no one was there (Fi, mima that is) so, Cameron talked to me. And he told me nothing happened. And I knew he was right because Fiona had seen Nicole go (so how could she possibly have gotten with him “in the last 5 minutes”? as Seigi said.) Mima said she didn’t think it happened after all. I AM A FOOL to let it worry me. [Worry is your middle name, girl] Nicole WISHES. She spread rumours herself. And it backfired. SUCK IT BITCH. I hate you & am gonna see your dreams get squashed. [Wow, super venomous! There’s some serious hurt, insecurity & fear on display there…] You’re trying (in vain) to break us up. Boring day at school. I think it was because I spent most of it with Mark. I mean, I like spending time with him, but the less time we spend together, the more special our moments together are. He gets bored too easily. A Life in WordsToday he even said I was boring & predictable. [a hint?] I should take it as a joke [should you?] ..but sometimes I wonder. [hmm, that’s related to gut instinct…] He is so gorgeous!!! […despite it all, I clearly had this guy on a pedestal; a very high pedestal. No one belongs on a pedestal, and amongst all the lessons this relationship presented me, this was one of the most significant.] There’s a new record out (compilation album) & it’s got Favourite Waste of time on it. I HAVE TO GET IT!! Oh I’m tired! [privacy omission] are “on the rocks”.

Wednesday 27/5/87

I did a lot. Well that’s what it seems like In fact, I did very little. Biology HW & that was it. I should have done my english. I now have 1 day to do 2 assignments. Well done, Lissa. And with all my other work, that could virtually be regarded as impossible. Oh dear. It was rather dull today. I ate a fair bit. (Just killed a gi-normous mozzie) Gi-normous spider last night, which we killed thank god. It was a “whopper”! [While I’m not into killing, I have to admit I still can’t allow living creepy-crawlies to share my house. If there’s no one around to remove them, I admit that I will terminate the creature’s life.] Can’t wait for the weekend. To spend with Mark. Hope he doesn’t get sick of me. Worked out today was our 18th week together: just over 4 months. Also worked out he’d been with Trish & Nicole for only about 7 weeks each! Ha, ha! Thought Mark might’ve rung me ..forgot to ring him anyway He probly doesn’t mind. wonder if he’d come late night shopping tomorrow night (again?) He’s probly getting sick of that, too. [Good god, the analysing! It’s so much more about ME than it is him…] God I wish winter would come. It’s normally rather cool by now. NOT FAIR. Oh I’m tired. 9:50. Late! Need lotsa sleep.

Thursday 28/5/87

Fi went home early today. She was so upset: her grandfather died last night. A Life in Words[Fis’ grandfather was a lovely quiet, soft soul whom I recall used to shuffle around the house in his slippers, and kept smarties in his trouser pockets, which he would then proffer to us with a cheeky grin, as if collaborating against parental authority.] Boring day today really. Mark came late. Looked grumpy, but was O.K. Did very little in art: made a stretcher; put on canvas & painted it white. Big lunch I did bio prac. then went up to room A5 to see about trip to Snowy’s. [The Snowy Mountains in NSW] I can’t afford it & it’s certain dad won’t pay. [It sucked being low-middle class – or upper-lower, whichever we were: I never went on one long distance excursion in all my years of schooling.] I said something to Mark later & he said “right that’s it; we’re not going out anymore. I’m not taking you to the formal.” I know he was joking [really? with the benefit of hindsight, I’d say a glaring hint…] but it hurt. He Went for driving lesson straight after school so I didn’t see him. I did a little english tonight. Nowhere near enough Mark rang: carrying on his jokes. They really do hurt me. I’ll have to let him know. He’s “bruising the fruit”. Gotta be careful not to “squash” me. [Not saying it was the case (how am I to know what someone else is or was thinking or feeling?) but perhaps he was trying to encourage ME to end the relationship?] Dad & Jenny’s wedding photo was in the Cairns Times. Whoopee! My bio assign. seeds are growing so fast!! Am dreading tomorrow. My english is unfinished. must wake early to do my assignments. Is 9:40

Friday 29/5/87

Mark seemed in rather a dull, shitty mood today, but he wasn’t angry with me. I guess it was the usual boredom of school. I got to school later than usual; just in time for form: had to go into town and get photographic paper. Got 1st assignment written out & 2nd rough copy started in double english: Elisia & I stayed in the darkroom -doing english all day! [And so begins the habit of last-minute assignment productions! I thought this behaviour had begun at Uni but I am clearly mistaken…] Handed mine in after going to the library for about 20-25mins at lunchtime… then went to Fi’s grandpa’s (Da’s) funeral. (He died at 9:00 at night) It was small & short. And I thought mostly of Monique. Why her? [Not so much, why was I thinking of her at another’s funeral, but rather asking the Philosophical ‘Why’ with regard to Death, yet again: why was she taken from me?] Back at school, for ≈ 15 mins of chem. talked very briefly to Mark before leaving with mum. A Life in WordsRang him around 4:30.. got ready around 5:00. . . picked him up at 6:00 . . walking round town (bought that excellent record (tape) I told you about – it’s 2 actually) Looking at clothes, mainly Then after dinner – to the Capri. Mark loved JUMPIN’ JACK FLASH. But we were both bored to tears during ALIENS …seen it too recently before to enjoy it again. Then we caught taxi to his place. (my gear I left there when we picked him up.) We lazed on his bed: talking & mucking round- listening to the new tapes…

Saturday 30/5/87

→ stayed up till ≈ 4:00…kissing (cutest – love it!) [So, “All is Well” in the world again?] Fell asleep then & I woke to movement at 6:30 (“Uh-oh!” I think, “Sandra knows I’m in here!” – she went to her room, I heard her. She would’ve known I was in Mark’s room. So I got up – got a drink from the bathroom tap, then went to Sandra’s bedroom; into her bed (well, under the top blanket) [oh Liss, that only makes you look more guilty!] slept & dozed till about 11:00, no 10:30. After brekky (Keith came) we lazed in his room talking (kissing) again, till about 2:00. I got changed and they dropped me home. . there’s this really big red hickie [lovebite that is, in case this slang is too ancient for some readers?] on the front of my neck.. shit ..it’s bad (Keith gave me heaps about it imagine school on Monday – oh no!) Spent the rest of the day listening to music, mainly. Rang Mark’s place – he was at work. Rang him at work – he said to ring him at home after 9:00. It was a short, but sweet phone call. Oh, I so badly wanted to see him tonight. Hope I can tomorrow. I Love You, Mark. So very much.

Sunday 31/5/87

A Life in Words
I bought the cassettes and they copped an absolute flogging in their lifetime!

JULIA’S B’DAY! BORING! No! I woke & wrapped Julia’s present – just in time! (Julia walked in from Amanda’s just as I finished!) Listened to my (our) tapes this morning (Hungry for Hits that is) Played Triv. Pursuit with Jules when Amanda came. Around 2:45 Mark rang. Nana came so I had to ring him back (3:30!) Michael (mum’s couz.) & Cynthia (wife) came over. Played a little Monopoly during the day, too. Was boring for me. Till about 5:00 I got ready (rush!) And Michael took me to pick up Mark & take us to work. Watched ½ of About Last Night & ½ of some other one ..forget it. Keith came too- his car’s fixed. So drove me home – they had coffee. Didn’t get to kiss Mark enough. And he’s going away next weekend. My God!! How will I ever make it? It’s never boring at work with him- it might sound boring but I’m never bored when I’m around him. It’s late: 10:25. I think I know when Mark first saw me.. he said 2nite the Xmas hol’s ..after the CAD parents meeting (Dec. 3) & had to be before Dec 27. (cause my hair cut short then)

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

Monday 4/5/87

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

Tuesday 5/5/87

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

Wednesday 6/5/87

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

Thursday 7/5/87

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

Friday 8/5/87

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

Saturday 9/5/87

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

Sunday 10/5/87

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

Emotional Depths & A Message From Monique (20-26 April)

Monday 20/4/87

Um, was woken early by the others getting ready to go to Green Island… we dropped them off, went to the dump &, at home mum cleaned the car.. went to pick up the Dandos (remember them? John & Christine – – not the kids) [I am of course, asking to myself this question; not expecting you readers to know who these people were… Oh, and the answer is yes, I do remember them.] they stayed a while. All I did was finish covering my books & write out my chem. notes…no assignments done at all. SHIT. (all day!) The others came back around 4:00 (I cut mag. pictures & decorated my diary) After roast dinner (early) . . went to Nana’s (6:30) time flew . . at 7:30 I wanted to go ..slowly, so bloody slowly we finally got home 8:00. [I was too young and self-centred to realise that this was the last visit my aunt who lived interstate would have with her mother (Nana) before they left Cairns tomorrow. So very selfish, in hindsight…] I rang him as soon as I got in the door… cutie (short -10 min) phone call, just to hear his voice before school. A Life in WordsAfter shower, watching NORTH & SOUTH & fucking mother turned it off & made us “have an early night” …it’s fuckin 9:40.. thats not fuckin early …what’s the fuckin point? It’s shit. She’s so dumb I’m not gonna get up at 5:00. . I can get ready in  10 minutes → we’re leaving 6:15 … I’m getting up at 6:00. FUCK YOU. [Well there’s a dummy-spit and a half! Kids really don’t like Discipline do they?!]

Tuesday 21/4/87

[My cousin wrote “Bye Lis ♥ Jo xox” on the first line of this page] I was cranky at being woken at 5:45… but, once they were gone (it was freezing at the airport!) [Really? Freezing in Cairns?] I was feeling better [hmm, that doesn’t sound very nice, but I’m quite sure it wasn’t anything personal toward my cousins; I would’ve meant that my crankiness dissipated by the time they left]. .a bit nervous going to school again… dunno why .. perhaps that I wasn’t wearing the bandage? Well, that wasn’t bad at all .. most people didn’t notice (well, didn’t stare when I looked at ’em – I didn’t notice anyone noticing) [Strangely, my self consciousness about my scar had a direct effect on my courage: not typically one to make eye contact with strangers, I brazenly held my gaze upon those who noticed it, as most of them would eventually look up from leg to my face. (To assign identity? Or search for a clue in the owner’s face of the story behind the deformity?) Having grown up believing it was rude to stare, there may have been a certain self-righteousness driving my courage: by catching them gawking was I hoping to embarrass them for their overt curiosity?] s’posed to be 19º tonite YAY!! Mark & I got on v. well!! A Life in WordsSpending lotsa time together (argh – mozzies.) Had a biro fight in biology ..almost serious (was saying to Fi . . I think we can sense (well I do) when our “picking” is getting too close to a fight & thus “back off” at least a little! now Cool, great!) He rang me this arvy – wowee!!! We are becoming slightly more openly affectionate (ie: at school etc in public) Almost had a blue on the phone tonite ..but solved again! I wanna serious talk to him soon.. ask him how I’m going… whether I’m doing anything now that bugs him (I’m doing everything else he asked … talking to him – going up to him – relaxing (I think!)) [OMG, who IS this person?! The proverbial doormat? Why so eager to please, to change, for one person? Even if you’re not one to believe in Karmic debts or patterns, it’s obvious that he was an important ‘teacher’ and that this relationship presented me with some significant life lessons, for which I can only be grateful.] Walked to shop this arvy…got mima & fiona easter goodies. Am getting so fat. . . I think it may be my Freddy soon, that’s the prob! [For those that mightn’t have heard of it before, ‘Freddy’ was (yet another) slang term for menstruation…] Early! Is only 8:55 & I’m ready 4 bed!

Wednesday 22/4/87

I’m really scared. I mean really scared.. about my future. My life. These horrible feelings I have…that life is pointless [uh-huh! here it is..]. .and it all has mainly to do with Mark [oh, no, not what I was thinking…]…he is very bored (I rang him briefly tonight) with life and (we nearly had a big fight tonight) it is getting me… I feel it, too [but Elissa, you are very sensitive and often subject to the moods of others…] and it scares me.. A Life in Wordswe are too young to be sick of life already … and another thought.. no matter how I try, I don’t think I’ll ever love anyone the way I love Mark [well, to begin with, you can’t TRY to love people…] ..even when I go to Brisbane ..I’ll always have him on my mind. That’s scary, too, to think I love him so much, when I haven’t loved a guy before. [There’s always a first, for every one, in every thing…] I am capable of very deep love .. but incapable of getting over a broken love (as deep as that) I’m sure I know what’ll happen – he’ll find someone for himself, who he’ll love more than me & want to marry & I’ll still love him because I can’t get him out of my mind or heart, to love another guy… Or try to. [Good news, people; my pessimistic predictions were wrong… I didn’t suffer a loveless life. What a tragic-romantic!] Boring day. School always is … Life is. I did HW tonight. It rained today. A Life in WordsI got my senior badge. Went grocery shopping with mum after school. Ate a lot of junk. [….and THAT would’ve helped your mood. Not.]

Thursday 23/4/87

I felt kind of happy today. I still felt depressed & scared this morning.. I said I wished I’d died in the crash and so mum made an appointment with kerri [the social worker from my hospital stay, with whom I’d had the best connection] for after school. I actually hung around Mark less today..and I think it made me feel better for it …before school a little, during bio, a little of recess, a little at big lunch (was with Fi, Seigi, Nicole, Juliet the rest _ _ he missed me too: looking for me!) & minute after school. So I was happy when I went to see Kerri.. but talking brought up all my fears, worries & depression. I realised, however, that Kerri was right- I’m depending on Mark only (that’s too much for him) …I know what I need ..spend more time with Fiona, Mima, Sharon .. do the things I used to do…go out, to parties etc.. without Mark .. to free him & get some excitement or change of scene for me.. then I’ll enjoy other things more! [Hallelujah. Yes, Be Your Own Person: Life Lesson 101!] Rainy – pouring late this arvy & tonight. 9:34. A Life in WordsI must have a positive outlook to make me feel better Pessimism always nags me, tho’. I actually started some art today! Getting fat (& periods)

Friday 24/4/87

It’s raining – I love rain at night. Today was good, indeed. I didn’t talk before school & very little at little lunch ..when we did see each other at big lunch & after school.. we were happier ..for sure (well I was!) I think  the less time we spend together ..the more sacred & exciting our time together becomes. And that’s what I need; excitement .. I am seeing a difference in my life .. I’ve acquired a primarily positive outlook! [Wow, that was quick, like the flick of  switch? At risk of sounding like the pessimist I can be, let’s see how long it lasts…] Lotsa HW this weekend..english assignment & art contract due Monday. Went home in Brewer’s combi – Brent drove it to school- stopped at Kentucky Fried! Mark rang – said he’s working 1pm-9pm Sat. night – can’t go bowling (with me, mim, Brent, Fi ..) but we’ll get around that, we decided (HOW? Well, that we didn’t decide)A Life in Words went to see PLATOON Gory – gruesome. Brent, Steven & Keith were there too. (M&I walked around town first- met Gordon C. & Clayton E. & Russell C.) Dropped Keith home as well as Mark. Mark is being so much nicer lately. . .  I have 2 theories as to why ..either it’s because I feel happier that he is, or appears to me to be, [well hello! here’s a hint of the Law of Attraction] OR he has hi’s & lo’s in his personality depending on moods & he just happens to be in a good one

Saturday 25/4/87

I woke around 9:20!! Wow! Watched TV & listened to music & doing (little) homework all day… rang mima twice, Sharon once. She rang me once again & I rang Mark & he rang me. Well, I had a shower etc when mima fi & Brent came, Sharon was late. Off to Kentucky Fried (yummy! laughs!) Bowling was fun! I came last in the 1st game, but 2nd in the 2nd! Big jump! .. I needed to warm up first, that’s why I did badly 1st game. [Also, I’ve never been a star athlete… but if I try my hand at something I can usually master it, over time.] Well I rang Mark from the alley to say we’d be a little longer. It was O.K. . he’d only just got home. (Found out I’d forgotten to change before I left home..thought all night I’d leak ..but was so surprised when I got home .. NOTHING at all!!! Only night 3, too!) [I guess there’s no need to explain what that was all about?] Picked Mark up . . party boring, very boring at first ..but soon we started holding hands etc. almost got ‘there’ [no, still not what y’all think!] but this guy came up & talked to him for ages..so I had to go.. he came to say goodbye. . only 1 big kiss Poopy! said he’d ring me tomorrow (rainy weather still!) Oh, I wish (!!) Fi & I once on our way home realised (we both had wanted to stay!) we had enough $ between us, to get a taxi home. TOO LATE!

Sunday 26/4/87

Today was boring, but something very freaky happened tonight. I woke just before 9:00 & spent (what time I did) the day doing my art.. have 3 left to do. . . argh! (Mucking around, otherwise) Mark rang me during my dinner ..at work (he was) talked briefly- a customer came in. Oh well .. I was doing my work, listening to the radio [via my walkman, so I had headphones on] (at the dining room table – Julia in her armchair) I heard a “thump” [it wasn’t loud, I saw something out of the corner of my eye…] ..looked at a 45″ record (single) on the floor. Took little notice for a few seconds ..How did it get there, from being wedged in the mantelpiece thingy? Turned off my radio [removed my headphones] & bent down to pick it up. A Life in WordsGuess what it was .. Walk Like An Egyptian… the only 45″ we own, that was one of Moni’s favourite songs. I was a little frightened, but mostly bewildered & shocked. FREAKY ..or just coincidence? Wow. when I told Jules, I could tell she was scared (not very scared.. just shaken up.) [We put the record on, to ‘acknowledge’ her…] Anyway, I feel spooked a bit, thinking about it..but I’m not scared.. If it was Monique .. I’m glad she let me know she’s there. [There’s no doubt in my mind that it was Monique. I analysed the situation over and over and there’s NO other explanation. The windows were closed so there was no air movement. And our numerous 45″ records were firmly wedged by a basketful of cassettes into a recess (shelf) in “the mantelpiece thingy” (which was directly behind me as I worked at the dining room table). Further inspection revealed that the shelf inclined towards the front (opening) so anything rolling forward out of it would defy laws of Physics. What are the chances? What are the chances that of all the singles records we owned, the one that meant the most to Monique, rolled out of its cover, forward out of an up-slanting shelf, to land right-side up, by my feet? I’m sorry if you’re a skeptic, but that shit doesn’t just happen. That’s WAY beyond coincidence.]

The Scene of the Crime, A Family Gathering & An Innocent Sleepover (13-19 April)

Monday 13/4/87

Almost missed the bus – my pants were wet [I’m thinkin’ perspiration…] & I forgot camp photos ‘n’ everything, but I did just get the bus! Boring day – walked round a lot (Lucy’s put on lotsa weight & smokes now) I tried on some formal dresses- some so gorgeous (my favourite a silver dress $499) [which was definitely mega-expensive for that era, and totally out of my reach] We went to the movies “TOP GUN” yet again. After, I finally bought some shoes – gorgeous white flats with a cut-out heel A Life in Words[and here I’d included an illustration for better clarity…see right] & punched holes [like the patterns in leather ‘brogues’ (see pic below) …which by the way were just coming into fashion in a big way.] only $30 from Sportsgirl (believe it or not!! Gorgeous! A Life in WordsLucy came to our place till her dad picked her up. Got the TV & video rental Gonna watch “About Last Night” tomorrow. Missing Mark terribly already. Wonder when he’ll ring? oooh! 10:30 I’m tired Ate so much chocolate tonight. I feel fat!! [Uh huh, you feel fat …but you are totally oblivious to the more serious damage that rubbish is doing to you inside…at the cellular level…] Another mouse this morning – sick – caught it & ‘fore throwing it down the back, Mike bashed it, to make sure it was dead. [Boys love that shit, huh? I know plenty of ‘fellas’ who’ve taken to toads like they were golf balls over the years. Not to generalise of course: I’m sure some girls may have had a turn or two as well…] Ooh! No more mices! I hope!

Tuesday 14/4/87

A Life in Words
A (marginally) better view of my scar, than in the full picture (below)

We went to the site today (after mum worked in the morning & I finished all the choc. out of my ‘show bags’) we drove to the site. I cried a bit to start with but went down & collected as many souvineers as possible. [Really, all that I gathered up was junk and ended up being binned at a later stage. I think the act of ‘collecting souvenirs’ was itself symbolic or a method of ‘processing’; an excuse to physically return (down in)to the very place where so much trauma had hid me all at once on that fateful day.] I couldn’t believe how different it was, to my thoughts[Memory. In other words, it wasn’t as I remembered it…] Then, stopped at Edmonton to see the bus- yeuch. It’s a bloody mess. [I have included photos of it at the end of this post.] Stopping at K-Mart, then once home, around 5:30 Mark rang – was cut off first & after 2nd time, didn’t ring back – but it was good to talk to him. Video tonight “Best Defense” was stupid. Is 9:40. Only just found out, on the answering machine, that Fi rang, so I’ll have to ring her tomorrow. Damn it! Rainy-Overcast weather set the scene perfectly at the site .. it was so much steeper than I thought .. & the bend less sharp, but also shorter than I imagined. Otherwise I recognised it all. Can’t wait till Mark gets back. Oh I’m tired. Boring day (strange, untalkative mood after the bus site revisit?) [Sounds like a rhetorical question to me: I’m fairly sure I knew deep down that visiting the site would bring ‘stuff’ up… even if I wasn’t exactly able to define what…]

A Life in Words
At the top of the drop (you can’t even see the bottom of the gully) my crouching pose deliberately emphasises the scar that was born in this place. Interestingly enough, this verge on the side of the road seems not to exist anymore: when I returned in 2012, the drop from the guardrail at the edge of the road is almost immediate. The road must have been widened since the accident….?

Wednesday 15/4/87

Boring, boring, boring. I rang Fi _ _ she said she’d rung to talk cos she hadn’t talked to me “for ages” ..said Jemima wanted everyone to go bowling tonite – GREAT! I thought. so I went to town & Earlville with cousins etc. At home, did very little ..sunbaked (lemon juice in hair) & started my camp/crash scrapbook. Then after ringing Fi (not home) & mima, found out they went to Green Island so I decided I wouldn’t go bowling [a reaction purely based on hurt, the thought processes behind being “all or nothing”: if I’m not invited to everything, I won’t attend anything… I won’t be missed…] ..went late nite at Kmart instead. Laughed a lot! Watched “North & South” at home. Saw Linda P & Steven- actually talked rather comfortably with him for a few minutes (shit this pen’s stuffed) [the biro I was using that night wasn’t working so well] cloudy & sunny day – Marks coming home tomorrow I CAN’T WAIT!! Want to see him so badly. Shit, so many late nights since Jo & Mike came (I can’t stand the mess & laziness they show.) Mark..!!! LOVE YOU!!

Thursday 16/4/87

Mark rang tonight – 10 minutes after he got home! (I thought that was so sweet – straight away, practically) we didn’t decide what to do tomorrow so I’ll ring him around 9:00 Woken by the phone ([our] mums were at the dump) I answered & it was for Julia. SHIT OFF TO THE MAX! [Ha! “..to the max(imum)” was a great adverbial phrase.] Watched TOP SECRET, while doing my camp scrapbook ..sat in the sun browning myself & then to to work on my scrapbook again (altogether I didn’t do much at all on it today!) A Life in WordsWent to get the video on dusk… and it was soon after our getting back that Mark rang about 7:20 I think. (Watched TV & now the new chosen video – MONEY PIT) I hope we do decide on something to do- I badly want to see him again. Mrs B visited today – and Mr. G. also dropped in – I thought he’d rev me about my assignments; luckily no! warm day Brent finally brought the typewriter back!!

Friday 17/4/87

Well, I rang ‘im about 9:30 – & as I thought, he was still asleep… so I felt really terrible- talked abit & finally decided I go to his place (& take my photo albums too!) at 11:00. Well, we mucked around (& tickled- ouch!) Looked at photo albums- I went into his room (umah) – almost slammed the door on my fingers. Was good, but the time went so quickly ..only 2 little kisses, But some affectionate moments, when we just looked at each other. Ate cheese sandwich for lunch..mum came & was talking for awhile to Mr. & Mrs W (told me later we may be going to Josephine Falls with them on Sunday for a BBQ) HOPE SO!! So I told Mark to ring me, when he wasn’t tired. I love him I know I do… I feel it all through me ..this wonderfully happy, relaxed feeling when I’m with him (ESPECIALLY when we’re alone & at night!) [Um, yeah Liss, that’s a different four-letter ‘L’ word…] Did nothing at home. boring. Watched EUROPEAN VACATION tonight … bore! [I’ve never been fussed on the National Lampoon series. Give me Monty Python any day…] Is now 9:15.. early really! (compared to other nights I’ve had) god I hope he rings me soon .. am dying to see him again soon.

A Life in Words
The last photo I have of my Nana was taken on this day. She was wheelchair-bound by this stage due to her rheumatoid arthritis. See her gnarled right hand? …and by the way, the cigarettes in her handbag? She smoked right up until she was unable to hold anything in her fingers…

Saturday 18/4/87

mmph! woke only after 7:00 (got up around 7:45) this morning – not fair – I can’t sleep in. Did nothing, basically.. watched Between the Teeth [a quite short-lived music programme on the ABC] & that was about it. (all that I did) Michael & I went with mum around 11:00 to get chicken, change the video & get Nana (saw Paul W on the way) When Auntie Thel, Uncle Ross, Michael (mum’s cousin) & cynthia (his wife) & child came, we were watching BACK TO THE FUTURE. Sharon rang me .. we talked for yonks (she did). Auntie Thel helped me make a big (solve a big problem) decision…my CAREER ..She said Libby (daughter) was booming in her interior dec. business & could (does) need help.. so all of a sudden, I’m interested..think of the prospects!! It’s an excellent idea! [That, like the few others I ever had, left my consciousness after that day. What do they say…”all talk no action”?] Anyway, Mark rang after Sharon..talked for ages (mum & Mrs W decided on tomorrow’s trip to Josephine Falls) & after (visitors left) I got ready to go to his place . . . it wasn’t quite as “touching” this time ..we did kiss now & then (not that I didn’t like that – I loved it! But, ah, somehow it was less “touching”… we watched TV, ate dinner late, during the sick movie.. mucked around mainly.. tickling not much talking ↵

Sunday 19/4/87

But, anyway when I rang a taxi at 11:15, no answer… Mr & Mrs W came home after their dinner & suggested I stay.. I thought so..Mark didn’t want me to..wonder why? But anyway, I rang mum & it was O.K. I was in Sandra’s room, with FM4CCR on her clock radio (Mark set it up for me!!) I went to sleep around 12:30, I guess woke around 7:00, but snoozed till 8:15 – Mrs W got me up (I heard Mark play “Candy” – he played it to me last night) this morning) Had brekky & finally around 9:30 mum & the gang came. I went with the W’s.. Mr & Mrs & Mark and Keith too..trip up there & swam ice-cold water (not many people looked at my leg – I wasn’t really embarrassed at all!) After lunch (BBQ) left (I went with them again) stopped in for a look at the Bus at Edmonton. Left Mark’s ..went to Nana ..BORING!! Got a video SHORT CIRCUIT after that & watch it this arvy .. then dad came (I got $15 believe it or not) ..then we watched the movie again. Mark was working 3pm to 9pm tonight, so unless he rings me soon, or tomorrow, I’ll speak to him again Monday night before school. J&M and Julia & A.H. are going to G. Island 2morrow – I’m staying home to do the work I should’ve done over the hol’s. Saw Lyn. C. at the BIG TOMATO today (working there) Ugh! Am tired… have had an unreal weekend!!

A Life in Words
The bus wreckage was housed at Edmonton Police Station for quite some time. Here, I’m pointing out to my sister & cousin approximately where I had been sitting. The window struts caved in as we rolled so the roof sheared off the vehicle as it came to rest.

 

A Life in Words
All of the deceased had been sitting on the left-hand side of the bus & mostly toward this rear corner.
A Life in Words
the front of the bus
A Life in Words
The rear righthand side just behind where I had been sitting. This is the luggage compartment: the extra weight in the rear most likely decreased our chance of staying on the road…

Friendship Feelings, A Debut Drive & A Rotting Rodent (6-12 April)

Monday 6/4/87

A Life in Words
duotone doodle of Monique from a photo

I’m a glutton for punishment; it’s 10:45 – another late night & worse still; I did absolutely no HW again today & I have a frigging maths exam tomorrow. Can you believe it? I’m a total dickhead! [No, just a brilliant procrastinator] (Read my ’86 diary tonight getting frustrated like finding out things like – me knowing Monique 8 months ..hanging round her for ≈5 months & only 4 months of true [best] friendship. It isn’t fair… why her? Why this year? [The ultimate, unanswerable questions…] Good day with Mark. Fiona & Jemima are closer now. And I’m left out in the open I think Jemima doesn’t like me too much – wants to be my “best friend too” (that letter) [During my first week back at school, she gave me a letter about Monique. I didn’t actually say much about it in my diary entry other than “I cried” so I won’t include a link back to it. It was on Wednesday 18 March if you’re really keen to take a look…] HUH! What laugh – they do everything together & leave me out. . I don’t mind tho’ I spent the whole day with Mark & hopefully will do the for the rest of the year (see, they both went home at little lunch) who needs friends? I need Monique. She was the best MONIQUE FOREVER. Mark loves me (I mean [privacy omission] – this song by Cameo – he thinks is perfect for me “Candy” – so that’s my name now!” [Suffice to say this became one of my favourite songs. I still like it, but OMG the video… quintessential 80’s… ugh, those outfits!]

Tuesday 7/4/87

Mark told me (on the phone tonight) for the 2nd time ever “I love you” – I’ve said it countless (!!) [What, it’s a competition?] Nah, about 4 I think, or 5. […but still keeping count…] Today started off shaky .. barely talked to him before school & during bio (little lunch was O.K!!) & most of big lunch it was “wierd” – picking on me (I think!) I rang him & we talked about little in particular …oh, I love him so much. Friday night is Glyn’s party, now .. mima & I are goin’ to do something (as both our boyfriends are going to the “stag” party (!!)) (Lord knows what!) […talk about fickle friendships!] Anyway he’ll be at that & on Saturday night he’s working & Sunday leaving from Bramston Beach till Thursday. (I’m not going to school tomorrow – cross country) BOO HOO! I won’t get to spend any time with him! Aaargh – I’ll die [uh huh] Maths exam – big laugh (not really- I couldn’t do anything practically) Bio & english yesterday 56/80 and 6½/10 respectively→ so surprising! I was sure I’d fail (First “fine” day in days today! Still cool tho’.) Love you mark. started writing back to Tania today

Wednesday 8/4/87

What a wasted day- I stayed home from the cross country to “do chemistry study” (I wrote to Tania & Lucy, sunbaked – got burnt & listened to music. WASTED DAY) Julia deliberately missed the bus, after mum left, Mr H came over around 2:30 & put up the pelments [read: pelmets – the framework above windows, used to conceal curtaining fixtures] – the ones in my room (& Julia’s) are too big – for our long louvres. (Yukky) A Life in WordsWhen mum came home, I WENT FOR A DRIVE!!! Was so much fun! Unreal! (Tho I almost drove into Sandra’s car!!) [I vividly recall this: hitting the wrong pedal and speeding up suddenly toward our neighbour’s car as I was meant to be turning into our driveway. Luckily I found the brake in time. What a rush.] my problem is getting co-ordinated – the pedals & gears. Steering’s easiest (tho’ not easy – understand?) [Ok, this I need to explain: the ‘power steering’ that is now standard in all vehicles didn’t feature in the 1979 Toyota Corolla in which I was learning to drive. Those of you who were ‘lucky’ enough to experience driving vehicles without this smooth steering mechanism, will understand why I thought steering wasn’t quite the easiest thing to do. Without this creature comfort, kids, you literally had to wrench the steering wheel to make sharp turns. Upper body strength required!] Oh I’m tired .. man we have bad luck – hot water system broke down & we have a rat (or a very big mouse) in the house. I’m busting to go to the loo. It was a ‘nice’ phone call tonight – he was being more “understanding’ I think. A tease, yes, but being “gentler”. Hottish day! (only in the sun, that is) wonder how the cross-country run went? I’ll fail chem tomorrow. Haven’t studied at all. I AM STUPID. No- I’ve just lost interest in school – I just don’t care anymore. [Good correction there, Liss]

Thursday 9/4/87

The doctor wasn’t as overly excited about the progress of my leg as I thought he would be. [It’s funny how the attitude of a ‘professional’ (a superior, an elder) can affect you. There’s no doubt I’d’ve left that appointment somewhat deflated.] I missed biology & didn’t talk very much at all to Mark in maths. Chemistry exam I failed ..I really have lost all interest in school. At big lunch, Mark & I were more affectionate than ever – we both talked a fair bit (seriously) about life. He feels much the same as me . . nothing excites him anymore – wants a big change to happen so he can get on with life – the crash & its effects haunt him, too… feels, like me, that the crash spoilt possibly the best year of our lives ..definitely I agree. [So, I have to wonder… how many others felt exactly the same?] I also talked about my lack of friends – that’s also bothering me a lot. He seems more understanding lately. & gentle. I love that. Boring day- didn’t see jemima or Fiona after chem..probly left together again – I know they went late night shopping together – tried to ring them. A Life in WordsMark also went with Keith. I couldn’t get his chain [for his up-coming birthday] today, damn. Practised gears & clutch in the (stationary) car this arvy. FUN. Haven’t done english assignment -am not going to go to school tomorrow (Am so tired) Mark won’t be there – is going to the beach with Steven. Who knows about mima & fi they wouldn’t take me anywhere anyway [I’d always perceived I’d been more bitter about their exclusive friendship when I was younger, but I’m sensing some intensity here…] 

Friday 10/4/87

Boring day, indeed. I didn’t do my english assignment. After Mr. H came to fix the pelments, we left for town. I finally chose a silver-plated fob chain ($31), but now I think it’ll be a bit too short for his thick neck. [Masculine thickness, of course …not fat!] Oh well. [I know it doesn’t sound much, but $31 was a fair bit to spend back in those days…especially considering we weren’t financially ‘comfortable’. Forgive my ignorance, but I have no idea how that would compare price-wise to silver plated jewellery today; does anyone even buy silver-plated stuff anymore?] That’s another thing . . I’m missing him already. Am planning (if he doesn’t ring me first) to ring him & provided he’s not “dead” from tonight’s “party” at Cameron’s, will see if he’d like to do something. I so badly want to see him before he goes. We saw Nana today – feel so sorry for her – I hope she dies soon & I don’t mean that cruelly. I want her to be with God; feeling no pain. [She suffered brutally with rheumatoid arthritis. I wasn’t aware if there were any other underlying health issues contributing to her ill-health – Cancer was definitely never mentioned – but she had been a long term smoker.] Hottish weather. Is rainy (finally!) again tonight. Beka came over this arvy . . talked for yonks- I haven’t got her anything – her birthday tomorrow & I forgot completely. (till this arvy!) Mark, I miss you already. A Life in WordsThe mice or rats are getting in still: running along the beams on the roof. SHIT I hate them. Think I have another ringworm starting – back of right leg – near my scarring. Oh no. Wanna get brown these holidays- tan around my scars etc. 8:45 early night * * But I’m waking at 11:30pm to listen to the 4CCR Party Nite music

Saturday 11/4/87

Woke rather early.. boring-ish day ..I watched TV, covered my books & watered the plants. I ate heaps too. Went for another drive today! Much better than the  last time. . but still not quite perfect. Lucy rang after I rang Mark … had a longish talk to her Hope to see her Mon &/or Tuesday. Listened to approx. 1¾hrs of the 4CCR Party thing – stupid (didn’t know any of the music last night. Watched Countdown [yeah, that commercial stuff was more ‘me’!] after Lucy rang, then quickly got ready to go to Mark’s. A little late – everybody gone [?] & pizza man just delivered dinner- when I arrived. We watched TV mucking round- tickling mostly a few little kisses. After the TV movie, though, we got ‘down’ to business [Nope, still not what you think…]. . then mum came (dammit!) He said he’d ring & perhaps write (which means yes) Sandra was there quickly, earlier – I showed her & her (2) friends my leg- yukkypoo! Mum’s complaining about a smell (I can’t smell it) But thinks it’s the rat – no more scuffling noises. My blinds are up now. WOW! It’s 12:10.. gonna listen to 4CCR [Um, why? You’ve just said you didn’t enjoy it on the previous night… oh how much more beneficial sleep would be for you!] -in love with M.

Sunday 12/4/87

4CCR was better this week, [touché] but I had to turn off- I was so tired. Woke just after (or before?) 8:00 did nothing – the stench of the rat is strong now. Yuck. Danced to music before going to airport . . [to collect our cousins] Jodie, Michael & Auntie Hilary unpacked- Nana came over. A waste of an afternoon – they bought us [Royal Easter Show] show bags [from Sydney – their home] (I’ve eaten heaps already!) I ate & just lazed around. . . Boring! (Thought about Mark lots … his kisses last night were so beautiful – tender, romantic. Yummy. I love him, I’m sure.) Beka rang – I’m going to town with her & Lucy tomorrow- Jodie, Mike & Jules can come, but they don’t have to if they don’t want to. Oh, Mark I can’t stop thinking about you. Late-ish night – it’s 9:40. Gotta catch 9:00 train. (Big mess cleaning up Nana’s clothes this arvy – they found the rat full of maggots. Yuk. [Now this is confusing. My recollection of finding the dead rat was that it was wedged (of all places) between a ceiling beam and the roof insulation in a corner of MY bedroom. Perhaps this was a different dead rat scenario, one that obliterated my memory of this vom-fest in my grandmother’s clothes? A Life in WordsOh and just to clarify, I expect that we are talking about a garbage bag of my Nana’s stored/unused clothing rather than that which she happened to be currently wearing.] Windy cool & sometimes overcast today. J & M are hot at the moment. Can you believe ….?? [They hail from a place 2,500klms south of the tropics Liss… yes, I can.] Feel like a full, fat pig!

 

Red-Eye Radio, Dead Roses & Heavy Hypotheticals (30 March-5 April)

Monday 30/3/87

Ugh! It seemed like he was avoiding me – came very late, rushed out of maths (to do a geography exam – so not ‘around’ at little lunch) Not round during beginning of big lunch – but near tuck-shop met him & Keith. Said he’d tell me in biology [whether we were still an item or not]. During bio he sat with Duane & Alan C away from me – waiting for me to come up to him .. our talk after school didn’t do much …but I think we’re still “going for it” ..just need to try harder [Again, what does this mean? Try harder to what? Not be yourself?].. phoned me this arvy- ended up talking rubbish (jokes) I don’t know.. sometimes he seemed so negative ..but [privacy omission] “did you really think I was going to break it off?”. I really didn’t know. I thought that’s what he thought was the “practical” thing to do. So my day was depressed & nervous. (stood on bus talking to Fi on the way home .. she helps me so much.) Big talk to Jules about the crash tonight – did no study for bio exam tomorrow. Will fail for sure. 9:45. OOPS!

Tuesday 31/3/87

A Life in Words
Yep, this was pretty much the quality of our technology in 1986…

MMMM… couldn’t go up to him this morning ..embarrassed – no; unsure. Double maths – I got my own computer now!! And I did very well in my programming!! [That’s about all we did with computers back in the day… or at least, that’s all I can recall ‘learning’…] Happy with myself indeed! Talked little at little lunch . . I went up to him! During bio exam (Ha, ha, ha… biggest failure out . . terrible) I sat next to Donna. He “nicked off” at big lunch . . to begin with (computer room) talked little & after school. & he rang me just before – always going on about the “in-depth talk” 2 things I’ve gotta give him 2morrow – (1) The big talk & (2) (finally I got it out of him) a big kiss. (Also [I] said about my going up to him- I thought I did well for the first day – [privacy omission]) Otherwise, boring, hot day . . walked down to the shop with Jules. (leg uncovered) this arvy -both got skint [I had hoped I’d’ve stopped using this silly word – meaning ’embarrassed’ in this particular context – by now] (swearing in front of people accidentally) [It’s quite interesting how swearing was still considered so impolite back then that we actually felt ashamed being ‘caught’ doing it.] Life is boring without Monique. All I talk about now is Mark. [Yup.] God its hot (even tho’ we’re getting low at night) Leg’s O.K. Gettin’ better (I guess!)

Wednesday 1/4/87

APRIL FOOL’S DAY I realised this is the 2nd last week before the holidays (Mark or Cameron didn’t fool me- or try to.. a guy in my bio class did tho .. said “why’s your bandage on your left leg?” A Life in WordsI looked down- just about to say “no it’s on my right” – too late! Mark [privacy omission] wasn’t in bio .. Spent rather little time with him really & it wasn’t so crash-hot.. I think I should’ve rung him tonightA Life in Words (in art splashed yellow ink all over the front of me – had to wash my shirt + put it in Home EC[onomics] dryer (wore a paint shirt meanwhile). Mum picked me up & we went shopping during recreation Mark went weight-training. Read Dolly this arvy – no news on my bio test ..not many others have done well. Brent came over to borrow our typewriter stayed for a bit of a talk (’bout the crash mostly) Mark & I have to get together [read: hook up] sometime, I feel, before everything’s right again. [Because a bit of pashing will solve everything, right?] ∗ Beautiful rainy, windy cool weather late this arvy & tonite!

Thursday 2/4/87

Good day (I mean, this arvy, with Mark, at least) I thought he was away – not at parade, or in bio or maths. In art, after periods 3, little lunch & 4 (english comprehension exam – I stuffed- didn’t get finished) Paula said she saw him come in late to the exam. Absent for lots of big-lunch, then end part -was great – we laughed so much (I couldn’t relax my facial muscles from a smile) and after school (& on the phone tonight) all mostly about Greg & what he told me [back in 1986, when I first discovered that Mark might have been interested in me.. here’s the link to it], but also about the picture I drew of Mark, that Glyn saw last year (remember?) [Vaguely…. and as a result, I unfortunately can’t for the life of me find the relevant post to direct you to…] SKINT! I should’ve done an english assignment tonight, but didn’t – too lazy (and forgot to write a note in phonetics for mark – reckons he can read it) A Life in WordsI’ve read astrology book all arvy – Cancer woman & Taurus man (by Linda Goodman) are so much like Mark & I – it’s unbelievable. [Really?] I must work harder in subjects. [Duh.] (Beautiful rain again this vary- so cool. It’s 9:35. I’ve gotta get to sleep so I can write a quick essay tomorrow… Ugh! LOVE YOU, MARK

Friday 3/4/87

Today was good, indeed! Spent more time with him than I ever have before (at school or on a school day, anyway) -before school (showed him the little picture of him- he’s got it, now.) & little lunch – (I “unpicked” my jumper band – and he kept it!) Big lunch & for a few seconds after school (I thought it wasn’t too cool so I wanted to ring him- at 8:00 he wasn’t home – at work – his newly acquired job [privacy omission] when he rang me at 8:45 when mum finally got off the phone to her cousin Michael. (sweet phone call, from Keith’s – has to work tomorrow nite so can’t go to Bramston Beach – is coming over 2morrow! Beautiful!!!!) English (Mr Grossetti realised he made a date mistake) is deadline next Friday not today – so I’m off the hook (for the time being!) Cool day…wore my jumper most of it (rainy & cool esp. this arvy & now) spent after school listening to FM radio 4CCR – Mark listens to it you see! I feel Mark is all I have – Fiona is Jemima’s [how’s all this ‘ownership’ business?!]– all that stuff she wrote about wanting to be my best friend is crap. I think at the moment she’s “fighting” me for Fiona – thinks I’m taking her or something. [Great assumption, Liss.] That’s STUPID. [Uhuh…]

Saturday 4/4/87

A Life in WordsGood! Although he didn’t come over >sob< I woke around 7:45 (to mum’s voice) my haircut – short fringe (eyebrows) looks so cute! when I leave it brushed down flat – page-boy style (almost grown into full bob!) [I’m thinkin’ it would’ve looked something akin to the ‘do in the picture to the right…] Julia got a perm! (Bodywave) [yes, perms were still very trendy back then] looks cute, too! I cleaned out my drawers what time I didn’t spend on the phone to Mark (or watching TV/listening to music) – that badly needed doing .. not enough sun to sunbake or even bleach my hair. 1st phone call was muck around – neat? The one I called at 4:00 (woke him up – said he wasn’t allowed & didn’t think he needed to call me to tell me – hmph! I was waiting for him to arrive!) lasted 1 hour. Near the end we got serious ..something led on from my “living in a dream”…on to us being married etc . . our future together (I told him how I fantasise (dream) about possibilities & he was asking me “hypothetical” (dream) questions [privacy omissions]  (I didn’t realise!) But it’s certain we’ll be together “for a while, yet” (at least this year, I think!) ♥ is this [puppy] love? YEP! [YEP!]

Sunday 5/4/87

I got to sleep around 4:00 this morning – listening to 4CCR FM Stereo 12-4 Party & Dance music – I was so tired – so restless. bored – but I kept listening in case something I knew (liked a lot) came on. Not really good. I tidied off my desk today – being a handy woman … nailed  (put hooks) in the exposed beams & hung up the basket of dead roses & my fern. [A basket of … DEAD roses? Sounds morbid I know, but it was a Monique thing. She loved dead roses – used them in some of her artwork – so they held a great deal of sentimental value to me …even though I can’t recall where I would have gotten them. Something tells me her parents may have bequeathed me hers?] Cute! A Life in Words(Funny thing is I’m not tired after such a late night!) Think I’m getting a stye. My leg’s great – fading (slowly) but quickly!!?!! Mark rang (dunno what time, but) after lunch & we mostly joked – no more serious talk (except, I think, when I told him about my day’s “handiwork” – he said “so you’re going to build our house?” I think.) I didn’t do any HW this weekend. STUPID Wasted day. Wasted weekend – rainy, even more today. . cool weather is beautiful!! I should get to bed soon -or I’ll be too tired. I love Mark so much. (what’s new?!!)

A Bittersweet Return to School (16-22 March)

Monday 16/3/87

My foot did not swell up too much today (But the fact is, it did swell) Well, I thought I did well, walking round – doing stairs at a great pace (ha! wattabout your sore feet & knees – the pain?) [Go easy, Liss! You’ve hardly used your feet and knees for almost 6 weeks; of course they’ll suffer after your first 8 hour day on them.] Well, ..it’ll get better! (Bloody rags today) Dressing- painfully took off the dressing from where the skin was taken looks like a big graize. Euch! Generally good. I was abit nervous this morning. At school, Mark did not talk to me, look at me or come near me. At home, I rang mima tonight (Fi’s run out of things to say- I needed a new opinion) she insisted I ring him. I had a shower -talked to Jodie on the phone, and, after a lot of deliberation, finally dialled. It was a ‘sad’ phone call.. uncomfortable – probly lots more for him (I cried – I couldn’t help it) A Life in WordsHe hadn’t read the letter …wasn’t thinking about me. Angry at my ‘attitudes’ [?] .. finally apologised (made a real mess) … “I really stuffed up this time didn’t I?” [Really? How? By being yourself?] He said “I love you” .. I said “I love you too and you know it & never forget it.” [oh purleeease…] With that.. I rang Fi & told her .. I’m nervous again. It’s like we’re starting all over again… I’m going to be rather unsure tomorrow. [Such deep insecurity…] I’m glad the worst is over though. [Is it?] Euch! I felt confident (in a way) today- felt slim, pretty & flirtatious. [I’m sorry, what? How ironic: insecure, needy and self-deprecating on the one hand and yet….self confident on the other?]

Tuesday 17/3/87

It didn’t go too smoothly .. we didn’t talk before school, during double maths or after art ..at little lunch he came up & talked to Fi .. I stood by. In bio. he sat next to me. we got on “famously” and ..he slipped a note in my bio book. Big lunch-mucked round a fair bit. In art curiosity killed me- I read a beautiful letter of forgiveness & ‘repent’.. [privacy omission]. Still doesn’t think I have total trust in him. But, that’s it! (I also finally got the photo of us in hospital back from Fi!) Good day, all told! I did HW from about 5:00 till 9:50 …now it’s 10:25 – I had to have my shower ‘n’ everything – I knew I’d lose track of time (only doing biology HW, too! mozzies bad!) There was interruption- Justine McP. visited. Cool weather now (not hot at all really- my leg’s good- kept it “up” [elevated] when not in use – and it stayed “unswollen” all day!! Hopefully.. it’ll stay that way!! A Life in WordsMr P. rang tonite ..saying how soon as Monique got home from Brissy – dropped her bags & rang me. And of course, when she finally got on to me, I got to her place in ½ hr. B.F. Always. I LOVE YOU MONIQUE.

Wednesday 18/3/87

My foot’s O.K! Even after bushdancing tonight! Unreal! (Swelling, that is ..not ‘pain’) Yeah, well .. it did ache for some time, but, I’m doin’ extremely well! (Bandage slipped last night.) (Mima gave me a note today about monique etc. I cried.. was so sad.) Mark ‘n’ I did O.K. again… esp. beginning of tonight.. I gave him a kiss when I’d said something bad.. [‘bad’ meaning something that had the potential to be taken the wrong way?] he gave one back (YUM) But later during dancing .. he went off on his own .. I went up to him (outside) but left him alone (he wanted to be .. I’d asked him) that worried me. (wants to cut my hair tomorrow.. has $20 riding [betting] $12 me, $2 mima $2 Julie H. $4 Fiona. Lose, Mark!) I love him & I hope it’s not me he’s upset with (again). [I] Caught up in computers this arvy.. dunno too much though. It’s 10:25 – need to go to hosp. for dressing tomorrow, before school. Wonder if Mark’ll miss me? (Didn’t do bio HW – got marked down & didn’t do tonight’s either ..great -another against my name. I love you, Honey. HOT

A Life in Words
A Google search for “Henry Scott death” generates many links to this poem, so I can only assume that this was what upset Mark. Given all we had experienced in the recent past, it is very pertinent.

Thursday 19/3/87

I can wash my leg now, change my dressings myself. I HATE my leg. It is so ugly. IT IS NOT FAIR .. NOT FAIR .. it’s deformed – I’ve lost my nerves [the wound included some permanent nerve damage; I have no/minimal superficial (dermal) feeling over/around most of my knee and extending part way down my inner calf] .. It’s fat & swollen. I cried for Monique today again. in art. I am a lot more lately. Found out, through Cameron that Mark was given a note “A few words from Henry Scott” or something a quote on death ..and he was upset about Monique..that’s why he was as he was .. he came at little lunch (I came at 2nd period after “dressing” & seeing Ms. DeJourdan) End of big lunch, talked, mucked round – ID. card is revolting I wrecked it tonight cut it up!!

A Life in Words
Yeah, not the best pic…

After school [Mark] tried to cut my hair I got a bit violent in “defence”.. but OK. Brent cut Fi’s instead. I am so angry about my leg ..happy this morning but looking at it open depresses me so much. It’s ugly- I’d rather be dead. I’m only living for Mark ..I’d miss him too much if I went to Monique. Like now I miss her too much .. I’m with Mark. [It’s quite bizarre to think I’d’ve given up my life up for some bodily scarring, and even more so that one random human being was my sole reason for not. I’m fairly sure I knew deep down that Life held more than that…] Is. 9:45. Night.

Friday 20/3/87

Puritty good day!! Sayin’ goodbye was good, but at the time disappointing – a smack on the bum! Double eng …bore! art .. my painting sux – A Life in Wordsbut I’m going to work it and call it “the freaky memory” in remembrance of monique’s & my coincidental experience (concerning Cameron, last year.) [If you missed it, see Wednesday’s entry in this postUnreal! chem. prac boring… lunchtime Mark tried to make me shitty (was funny!) Did no HW in arvy- ready for Ms. Marsland’s CAD dinner party, at 7:10 mark rang! Talked for ages! Finally arrived at ∼8:30. Drank a whole bottle of apple cider (alcoholic) FUN! Boring for me ..dunno ..Monique missing..seemed incomplete (& kept thinking of Mark) Had a go on the video recorder (didn’t eat much dinner – not fussed on Italian food) Trina & me veged! Most left around 11:30.. I, Michelle & Nev (me lift home with Nev.) watched the video after they’d gone. Mark on my mind. (Went to Terry’s – Terry rang Astia there ..Mark didn’t talk to me..) I was under-dressed! Home at about 1:45 (thinking of mark)

Saturday 21/3/87

Woke 9:20!! Got ready – spent morning at Earlville buying undies – 4 pairs!! [Woo!] At home (after visiting Nana – feel sorry for her) Michael B came round while I picked dead skin off my wound. (Kept it ‘open’ today – this arvy – drying – did yesterday arvy too – “paraded” up ‘n’ down street showing neighbours!!) Mark rang. Then wouldn’t speak – Cameron did. Mark “hung up”. Didn’t ring back so after ∼10mins I did. Mark talked ..Cameron did then M. hung up I rang back immediately. I thought he was shitty – wanted me to decide what to do tonight (I watched TV arvy) & he rang back 5:00. MOVIES ..Colour of Money. I was worried – he’d mentioned something about a “TALK” – rang Fi – made me feel better [as she always did…]. A Life in WordsGot to Odeon [cinema] Just 4/5 mins ‘fore him …walked round ..Glyn & Hayley were there! During interval – he came back & (through joke) I think he had “the talk” .. I’m officially his girlfriend!! During movie – holding hands – [privacy omission]. Soooo nice. We dropped him home (mum, after ringing her) I’M IN LOVE!!

Sunday 22/3/87

Woke 9:30!! Slept in yet again!! And, with dressing off all day ..noticed changes compared to yesterday! I can see differences already!! Well, I went down to Amanda’s place with Julia watched the video GODS MUST BE CRAZY silly/funny ..mostly silly. Walking home after, Polly & Mrs B. stopped in the car, invited us up. A Life in WordsDid nothing much at home -not one scrap of homework. . . shit, then went to Brewers .. had a ‘dip’ (very quick) did nothing much- watched Young Talent Time. Rather boring day, really. (Altogether) Can’t wait till I have enough time (on the holidays??) to clean out my room & make my CAMP/CRASH/MONIQUE scrapbook. Rather warm today. Ugh . . 3 weeks till Jodie & Mike (& Lucy) come!! I wish I had more spare time- wish my leg would heal even faster!! I love Mark. I’ll say it yet again. Can’t wait for BBQ on Wed nite (interschool – seniors only! UNREAL!)

More Trauma, More Surgery, More Drugs… (23 February-1 March)

Monday 23/2/87

Shit. I slept well last night…ready to finally go home..had shower, then the nurse took off my dressing for the doctors. They came, Talked. Then looked. MY STITCHES BURST, I HAVE TO HAVE A SKIN GRAFT ON WEDNESDAY. [In other words, I had to go under the knife again: to have the procedure I was meant to have in the first place. Not just insensitive & arrogant, but also incompetent surgeons?] I couldn’t stop crying when they left – mum & Kerri the social worker were with me. A Life in WordsI didn’t realise just how much I was looking forward to going home, till I couldn’t. Bastard. Bitch. I hate my leg… I’m going to have the biggest scars & a totally deformed thigh. it’s not fair. I’ll miss out on the carnival.. wednesday night. I hate my leg, I hate that bus, I hate life. Everything’s going wrong – my health, my “love-life” (Mark), my schoolwork. [Because I was so distraught about ‘everything’ by the end of the day, I failed to mention the tortuous consequence of the failed surgery; the removal of the stitches. It was horrendous, quite possibly the most physically painful experience in my life to date. At least I was in shock whilst pinned under the bus. I was given no local anaesthetic, no heavy-duty painkillers… just a couple of pills (‘digesics’) before the nurse began tugging (albeit as gently as possible) at the sutures stuck in the raw flesh around the entire circumference of the hole in my leg. You have NO idea…] I had a few visitors ..Justine & Angela & their mums, Yru & Mr Gordon & Dad came. [Dad] Got back from Adelaide today. God, I’m hot. And pissed off & depressed. Oh life’s a shit, a bitch. Imagine my scars .. to think I would’ve liked to do modelling [I’m not sure that I had ever really desired that myself: I think this was more of a notion inserted into my consciousness by others…] Everybody’s telling me it mightn’t (most likely it won’t) be bad… [being optimistic for me] They’ll disappear/fade with time. But I haven’t got lots of that. [? What did I mean by this?] It’s not fair. And Mark…that’s not fair, either.. we need to get on better.. I want to walk & go out …SHIT I’ll be here at least another week, I’ll bet. Not fair.

Tuesday 24/2/87

I was thrown into depression again, today. After showering I went with Kerri down to her office We had a talk about the crash etc. Fiona & her mum were waiting for me outside ..walked back to my bed.. A Life in Wordsmum came with the letter from Mark. It said “goodbye” & envelope contained the necklace which he “washed”. [Thanks for the ‘double whammy’, Universe. Talk about Murphy’s Law…] He was really angry about me sending him away. I got rather upset. Fi read it … I wrote a note for her to give to him & the photo of us… I was so upset. The rest of the day went slowly. I watched TV but wasn’t ‘there’. This arvy Miss Stephenson & Mrs Connors came & talked. Mark came up, while they were here. I had a heart attack – honestly, I thought you could see my chest pounding. When they left, we (or I) talked (mostly) He’s coming back tomorrow. We have quite a bit of sorting out to do. He can’t understand that I “don’t trust him”- ANYBODY. I’ve got to explain, but I’m afraid he won’t understand & will say goodbye for good. [Actually, I’m not even sure now what my reasoning was…] Had lots of visitors tonight. Is 9:30. Big day tomorrow – skin graft. Huh. Great. And bloody carnival I’ll miss out on.

Wednesday 25/2/87

A Life in Words
I’ve no idea why I decided I needed to keep this bottle of ‘Hibiclens’ pre-op soap…

I am rather ‘happy’ compared to yesterday & Monday. I slept badly last night – I mean, I couldn’t get to sleep to start with. This morning I had my pre-op soap shower & put on my lingerie (ha, ha!) (op. costume) about 10:00 I think, they started wheeling me away – but I stopped them: I wanted my pre-op needle!! [Junkie!] I got it. Waited less time this time, outside. [By now an old-hat with the pre-op experience, I had decided it was time to try to fight the grogginess and remember everything I could.  The wardsmen had stationed me right beside a tropical fish tank in the surgical waiting area and with my head lolling to the left for better focus on the aquatic life, I remember thinking “gotta count the fish”. Did I remember how many there were? LOL] At 10:55 they knocked me out totally. I remember being put back into bed.. When I woke, Mark was here, with Jules, Leanne (J) & mum. We talked well. He came up during lunch. .spent rest of the arvy with me. said he’s coming tomorrow too! YAHOO! He left me a letter, you see, telling me just how much he loves me. It is a gorgeous letter. Few more visitors today. (Jaque & Trina!!) BLOODY SWIMMING CARNIVAL on TONIGHT I’M MISSING IT. SHIT. NOT FAIR. I’ll be laid up in bed for “about 5 days”. Great. Huh. Little hot. I come out of anaesthetics pretty well, pretty quickly. [Like I said, I was a professional by now…] Am feeling slightly more confident about my scars now. Have a feeling I’ll get rid of them rather quickly! [Hmmm, seems I still didn’t understand the extent of my injury?] Hope so. Damn missing the carnival. Damn. G’night!

Thursday 26/2/87

Mark didn’t come up today. But I wrote a letter for him this morning. Numbness of my leg wore off at 2:00 this morning – I woke – my leg was ‘burning’ – stinging so much it felt on fire. I got a needle & my leg hasn’t hurt too much since. I wrote a letter to Roger [my cousin]. Got a letter from Lucy- she’s coming up at Easter. Nothing much happened … Keith came up! So did some others – mima – told me about some notes [privacy omission] had written in [privacy omission]‘s biology book – something like “I heard Elissa & Mark have broken up- I feel guilty but I’m so happy.” Ha, ha! He loves me! She’s skint! I gave Julia my letter to give to him tomorrow. I wish he’d come up today. I might be out Monday according to the doctors & “how I feel” A Life in Wordsso hot ..have to have washes in bed ..no more showers – & bloody bedpans – I did a poop tonight – hate doing ’em in bedpans. SKINT [privacy omission]! mark – I love you!! Conversation mostly about carnival- I missed one hell of a night DAMMIT!!

Friday 27/2/87

He came this afternoon ..no kisses, but holding hands.. yum, yum, yum ..I’m in love! Julia said she gave the letter to Lynette C to give to him & Sharon told me he got it. (Mima, fi, justine, megan, sharon came at lunchtime) I did a little bit of work today, listened to music, watched TV … all the same boring stuff. Oh, he’s coming tomorrow, too. Can’t wait till I’m out of here. Longing. A longing to be with him as much as possible. My leg’s annoying. Needed a needle last night again . . woke 1st – got digesics (??) [oral painkillers] 2nd time given the needle. Wowee! Police Academy’s on TV now UNREAL!! ♥ Mark. Trina visited. I’m getting used to the food – I eat most of it now that’s how long I’ve been in hospital. Oh dear. All I can think about is Mark. I’ll bet he liked the letter. I hope. YUMMY – hot afternoon. Pain-in-the-arse leg. Oh, I wish time would fly. Am sleeping badly. Lucy’s coming for Easter hol’s – so are Jodie & Michael & A. Hilary & Delanie should have moved back up here my then too! WOW!

Saturday 28/2/87

mark spent about 3½-4 hrs with me this arvy- left at 5:30. (Although Andrew J & Martin J interrupted for about ½ hr – I think I gave them the hint … I didn’t know what to talk about – so didn’t say much… Mark mucked around with the stuff on my bedside table!) [How completely uncomfortable, but inexcusably rude. I am retrospectively embarrassed.] It was funny… affection now & then, (no kisses, though … not even goodbye) but mostly “buddies” …Crabby came up tonight and, believe it or not, Marney & Nola R! But I kept talking to Wayne I don’t believe how well we get on! He gave me a goodbye kiss, cos it’d be the last time I see him for a long time. They’re leaving for their leadership camp tomorrow afternoon. I want to go home Monday, for sure. I want to get better really quickly so I can walk & dance, at least. Even if it’s a limp. I want to go out & get with Mark; something I haven’t down for nearly a month now. I think, in a strange, twisted sort of) way, this crash has made me more “well known”….people being more friendly ..and perhaps (guys) noticing me. But I’m for Mark. I know how [privacy omission] feels now .. heaps of guys you’d love to flirt with, get with for a night – but the one guy you love and want forever. No one will ever replace mark. I wish we could have a future together – I mean life-long, you know. But it won’t happen … I’m sure. [A fairly safe prediction, that one: teenage romances burgeoning into lifelong partnerships are as rare as hens’ teeth] HOT again. Can’t wait to have a proper shower again!

A Life in WordsThe diary I used in 1987 was a generic one (not specific to the year) so it had a page for 29 February (perchance the owner happened to use it in one of those). Since ’87 wasn’t a leap year, I had extra space to write for Saturday… but underneath this very important notation:

Sunday 1/3/87

He didn’t come up today. In fact, besides Justin, Mr McKenzie & his family and  (of course) mum & jules, no one did. Boring! I watched TV, read magazines .. that’s about it. God, I hope this is my last night here. I really don’t think I could stand much longer – one more night. NO! I need to get out ..get better quickly.. I’m dying to go out & do things again. I wonder when I’ll see Mark again . . . would he come to our house? I wonder! Talked about the crash with Justin- I’d love to find out what happened- when. Wouldn’t it be great if we could put back the hands of time. But, no, I shouldn’t think that. What’s done, is done. [Nice little hint of Wisdom there] I hope it doesn’t hurt me to walk on crutches again… I want to be able to do it so I can get out. God, I want to go. I’m still in a bit of pain… but not near as bad as thursday  I still need tablets (digesics) but I can roll over at night again. I’m looking forward to a shower again, too (wash my hair!)

 

Mucking Around, Love Signs & Jaffles (19-25 January)

Monday 19/1/87

Blitz day! I got a letter and a card! In his letter there were some really gorgeous things. – it started Hi cutey! The best I’ve received yet. Um, I went with mum & Jules .. we stayed at [dad’s] work a long time talking to dad & Jenny (mostly about my career) A Life in WordsShit what am I going to do? [The very same anxiety pretty much all high school kids experience…] After went to Earlville. I bought 2 cards One for mark for ‘fun’ like his and one for Valentine’s day. Also, Countdown Diaries have been sold out everywhere. Shit. Then after a very hot, boring afternoon, Mark rang, inviting me to Angie J’s party Wed. night. That means Robbie’ll be there (saw him in town too; dodged outta sight!) OH NO! No worries; I’ll be with Mark. [so you think: things rarely go to plan] So we talked for ages when I rang back. We’re going to Devil’s tomorrow. I have to ring him 9:05. God it’s hot. We still need more rain than we’ve been getting.

Tuesday 20/1/87

Well today, mum woke me with 2 letters from Monique. She’s having a ball by the sounds of it. I waited till about 10:20 to ring Mark. At 11:30 I got there. He was already there – had been for a dip. At Devil’s I jumped off the “cliff”. once. (!!) [I don’t know if you would call it a cliff – but it was a sheer, sudden drop into the water from its edge. It wasn’t a very popular swimming hole.] we were talking & mucking around. Went to Brimsmead shop sat for ages. Mucking around. Saw Judy (Judy F.) walking past. And she saw us. (!!) [the double exclamation marks potentially referring to the thought “great, word will get around”…] We went back to another nearby (shallow) place for swim again. Mucked around. Was really nice there. Got out & talked & mucked around. Then finally back to the shop. And there, while mucking around, I (looking through his wallet) [I have a feeling this was not as bad as it sounds… almost like I’d been given permission… he may have been sitting right there…] found an ‘old’ love note from Nicole. I didn’t read it but it was signed off, “from [privacy omission] Nicole” (typing) I thought why is he keeping it? I’m a little worried now. A Life in WordsAnyway his wallet, sunnies & tape (UB40) are here – thought he’d be seeing me 2morrow. Rang him. & Fi. She’s coming to the party. It’s 11:30. Gonna watch a show now, then flop. I’m exhausted. An O.K. day. Wished it could’ve been a bit different. [How exactly?]

Wednesday 21/1/87

Waste of time waiting up to watch that show. Wasn’t good at all. So today mum woke me at 8:00. I was tired & grumpy. Went to Nana’s. Was boring I was so hot. [From memory, Nana lived in a little brick shoe-box of a unit, that had very poor ventilation. Back in the 80’s air-conditioning was not standard in rental properties.] Went to town after to do various things. Saw Mark & Keith on the the way!! Got my new skool shoes (just like my other ones) & did grocery shopping. At home I thought about the party. [As you read on, it turns out that we weren’t actually invited, so I was feeling uncomfortable about potentially gate-crashing…] I rang Fi. She didn’t want to go either. When Mark rang, he made “compromise”. He’d ask Angie when he got there if Fi & I could come & ring us up. That we did. At about 8:45 we left. Martin took us there. Talked to Mark a little; walked round. It was BORING. At 10:30, Mark, me, Fi, Sharon, Keith, Michelle (W) walked to Croc. Rock. → only 2 or 3 streets away. I got in easily Fi didn’t but later; yes – without even paying [the cover charge, evidently …that was probably only $3 or something dirt cheap like that]! Mark & I spent a lot of time in Smithy’s talking – mucking around. The “others” came & went as they pleased. We held hands for sometime ..later in the morning. A Life in WordsSoon it became natural holding hands all the time. then, arms → [the arrow led across to the next page of the diary…]

Thursday 22/1/87

round each other.. then I was meant to go with Fiona (& Martin) but she, being really happy [for me] & great friend convinced Terry to give me a lift home. Then it happened after she left. We were standing near a bar when Heather (blind)  came over, raving on. Told us how “fucking gorgeous” we looked together and to “kiss”. Yes but it was yuk.. [because… awkward! But…] when she left… It wasn’t. we stood there for ages. It was beautiful. [Of course! What other descriptive would a lovestruck teenaged girl use?]  Then eventually, they were coming in the same car. At 4:30 we left. We made so many stops. Mark was being gorgeous. [Privacy omission] Then he left at his place. Sad. Terry & Harry wanted to go to Freshy Ck. Sharon didn’t mind. So we stayed there till it got light. (Boring for me – my mind on Mark.) [of course…] Sharon rode my bike home. I had ≈ 2hrs sleep. Couldn’t sleep again, the rest of the day. Watched TV. Mark rang around 6:15. Saying ‘nice things. Gorgeous things. He wants to see me tomorrow. I rang Sharon – she’s gonna ride my bike here. I can’t wait – I want to see Mark again too. I’d spend my time with him rather than anyone else Is 9:40. I’m not even tired. Just boiling hot. Mark ♥♥♥

Friday 23/1/87

Today I ate nothing – only tonight – for dinner. I had a piece of bread & butter and an egg waffle. A Life in Words[I meant ‘jaffle’, but I think we might have grown up calling them waffles (which explains why I was so puzzled when I first heard about North American waffles years later, served up with bacon & maple syrup). Jaffles differ from ordinary toasties in that they’re sealed shut at the edges. Before electric toasted sandwich makers, there were a ‘jaffle irons’ (see pic) which we used to take camping.] See, sharon came round about 8:30 and I rang mark at 9:00. he said to ring him back when Sharon had gone (which was about 10:45) and we’d leave for Devil’s. Spent 1st 2hrs or so in water, mucking round with a stone few little kisses. Lying in the shade, together for another 1 or 2 hrs, then for another swim some other place for an hour or so. After sat for another 1/2hr & 1/2hr “saying goodbye” That was a yummy part. I rang him tonight. We can’t decide what to do on the weekend.. I must ring him tomorrow arvy with more suggestions. Watching the movie now. Was 36º at 10:00am today – dropped back to 35º rest of the day. Reckon be the same tomorrow. I’ll watch the cricket I guess. Tonight’s phonecall was boring – I said he’d get sick of seeing me. [Oh gawd…] He said never. I hope so. Am proud about my appetite. I wasn’t hungry with Mark. Wonder if that means anything. [Um, duh! Loss of appetite is just one of many symptoms or side-effects of ‘Being in Love’ and there’s science to back it up! Check out this article on live science.com website: it lists all the Signs… my little 16 year old self was displaying pretty much all of them…] 10:35 now. Should ring Fi sometime. And moni’s comin’ home sunday!! ACE!

Saturday 24/1/87

Slept in till about 9:00. I watched TV for a while in the morning, then for the rest of the day cut things out of my ’84 Dollys and tidied up (sorted out) the pile of junk on a dining chair, that has been there for days. Am watching the movie. . .a special about the history of musicals/broadway. It’s 10:00. I rang Mark around 5:00. He sounded fine for the first few minutes but the ultimate boredom of the phone call soon took effect. That must change. Anyway I’m ringing him tomorrow night to find out about going to Crystals on Australia Day with Terry (& the “mob” – Monique!) Was so hot – 36º max. But got a (kind of) storm late this arvy – and it’s still raining. Oh, I’m now being overwhelmed with fatigue: I’m bloody tired. Ate more today 3 pieces toast, banana, 4 shredded wheatmeal biccys & some crumbed steak & cheese & milk. And water & diet coke. [Ugh! Diet Coke. It’s frightening how much of that crap we consumed; sometimes mum, Julia and I would go through a 1.5 litre bottle in one day. Disgusting.] Pity, that!! Oh well. I’m looking slimmer I think. monique left Brissy today! HOORAY! [She would have been coming home by bus, which used to be the cheapest way to travel back then. It took a painful 24-26 hours as well, but airfares were just way too expensive in the 80’s.]

Sunday 25/1/87

Woke to a putrid, stinking hot day. Mum washed the windows. After helping a little, I cut out magazine pictures. Did that all morning (under my fan) till we went to see Nana. In hospital [to this day I am not certain what exactly my grandmother’s health issues were, apart from rheumatoid arthritis, and therefore have no idea why she was hospitalised], we just sat watching cricket, Jules & I. Was boring. When we got home, Monique called me, asked me over for the night. I rode over at about 4:20. A Life in WordsGot there about 4:45. Her pool is HOT!! [No shade = tepid pool water] We talked, then rode to the video shop & got out NIGHT PATROL (embarrassing the guy made us ring Mrs P. to get her consent cause it was an ‘R’ rated movie.) Back home, we rushed off to Pizza Hut to get our pan pizza. I rang mark when I got back. He hadn’t decided what he was doing tomorrow. I suggested he ring us, tomorrow. Then after saying bye, Moni & I had pizza & during the video (sick!) [as in, crap. “Sick” had not positive connotations back then] Fiona rang. She’s coming over tomorrow for the day. Had a late night.