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

Monday 16/11/87

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

Tuesday 17/11/87

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

Wednesday 18/11/87

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

Thursday 19/11/87

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

Friday 20/11/87

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

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

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

Saturday 21/11/87

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

Sunday 22/11/87

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

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

Monday 16/2/87

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

Tuesday 17/2/87

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

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

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

Wednesday 18/2/87

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

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

Thursday 19/2/87

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

Friday 20/2/87

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

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

Saturday 21/2/87

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

Sunday 22/2/87

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