My Learner’s License, Senior Certificate & Mum’s Broken Toe (30 November-6 December)

Monday 30/11/87

I woke to a few phonecalls, ignored them and kept sleeping. Around 11:00 – jemima saw me open my eyes.. I felt terrible…they’d all been up for ages. [This is pretty much ‘unheard of’ for me.. I was usually unable to sleep in – and was often the first one awake – at sleepovers…] and Fi was there (had been for an hour!) so we went (via my place to get money & change of clothes & take my pill) & got 2 videos & lotsa food [that is, junk… stuff I wouldn’t class as ‘food’ these days]. A Life in WordsFinally at mima’s, we watched LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS (newer one) […I’m assuming by “newer one” I meant the 1986 production as opposed to the original 1960’s version] – Funny!! Then Playing Beattie Bow through which Joannah arrived (Peter & Edward M already there) After that (not-so-good) video – talked about the party … Fi dropped me home Mum wasn’t extremely happy. She’s getting really ‘uppity’ about the amount of time I spend at home (“very little”) but I’m YOUNG and I’ve just finished SCHOOL! I need to get out and make friends & have fun!! [Ha! Dad would abruptly counter this attitude with “No, you need to get a job and start paying your way” (justified!) but mum wasn’t quite as direct as he, and I’m certain that for her it was more personal: apart from possibly feeling like she was being taken for granted (in her care-giver role) she would also have been simply missing me. I’ve always been more social than my mother & sister (this I inherit from my dad) so our motivation and understanding of each other in this respect was ‘misaligned’. Even in my later years, when I’d moved to the Gold Coast, she (& my sister) whinged about the amount of time I didn’t spend ‘at home’ when I came to visit them, but I understand that it’s fundamentally derivative of their love for me. I can certainly see however the selfishness and immaturity in my teenaged attitude now…] Anyway I nearly went to sleep around 6:00, but got up & had a shower – I knew I had to ring Crabbie. Jo & mima weren’t home. Couldn’t tell [him] much. Got Jo & mima later – they’ve no definite plans yet either so all plan-making will be done 2morrow (last minute – as usual) I [← I have no idea what this marking actually was – whether it was a capital ‘I’ or the number ‘1’ – nor, of course, why it was there: had I meant to begin another sentence or was I simply going to record the time?]

Tuesday 1/12/87

Disappointment! The party was cancelled and I only found out as I was ready to leave. Today I stayed home – sunbaked (& got a bit burnt) in the morning, as well as writing to mark (but what’s the point?)A Life in Words [The point most likely being no address to send it to? I’m not sure why else I’d consider it pointless…] and spent the afternoon unpicking [the stitching of] an old dress of mums. (I have heaps of old clothes & material to make clothes – no time & patience, though) [surprise, surprise] Jo rang a number of times during the day (Wayne did [only once] too, to say he wasn’t coming) so I started to get ready around 5:15 (and of course couldn’t find anything I wanted to wear) so finally ready at 6:50.. rang Fi to tell her I’m coming & sorry I’m late, but she still wasn’t home, so I rang mima “Oh, sorry, didn’t anyone tell you it’s been cancelled?” I must’ve shown my disappointment more than I thought cos when Fi rang, she noticed. So I stayed home – watched TV, during big thunder-/rain storms. Now is about 9:30. Early nite for once???!

Wednesday 2/12/87

10:34 – yet another night at home. But a busy day! This morning I woke around 8:00 (woke a fair bit last nite – felt still very tired & weak this morning) and Jemima rang around 9:30. We finally left for town around 11:00 (Deanne rang me beforehand, too!) I tried to ring Jo, but phone was engaged. So, met Seigi & Colleen & Danaë and Jude in town . . told us the party (ended up at Mulgrave Rd) was excellent (Great) [←Can you feel the disappointment oozing from this solitary sarcastic comment?] so I got a pair of $47 black on white (stripes) bikinis (finally!) then we all went to the beach – not many people at all! Dropped Jude & Danaë off (fi dropped off Colleen) then went around town trying to find the (indoor) soccer team etc… watched indoor soccer (Fi told me a deep secret and I feel priveleged – finally find out something about her (her love for…..)) [I have no absolutely NO recollection of the identity represented by these dots now] at home 7:30 (BIG STORMS tonite!) (No letter from Mark yet) So, a nite at home yet again. A Life in WordsMum told me at 9:30 that Jo rang so I couldn’t ring her back.. […because one of our house rules was no phone calls after 8pm …a guideline I still follow now. In fact, these days I rarely make, and sometimes choose not to answer, phone calls at all after dusk!]  GREAT!!!

Thursday 3/12/87

Well, less than a month left of this horrible revolting worst-year-of-my-life year. [This is so interesting, because unbeknownst to me, the coming year (1988) was to prove quite difficult for me as well (nothing as traumatic as the bus accident though of course) and for many, many years to follow, I despised it more than 1987. In fact, pretty much up until I began this blog, I actually considered 1987 (coupled with ’86) the best year(s) of my life. Much of this I think related to my burgeoning social and love lives, as well as the freedom of responsibility of childhood/school-life entwined with the imminent privileges of adulthood. Thankfully this very blogging process has released me from that limiting belief: whilst I’m re-living my past in detail, I’m also an observer and this has perfectly unlocked whatever deep, powerful connection I had to these times in my life (for which I am still grateful nonetheless, for the lessons they have individually and collectively presented to me). It’s truly liberating.] Thank God! But what’ll I do now? For the rest of my life? It’s a worry. [See my line of thought? Responsibility = Worry. Much of the time these are directly proportional to one another…] I spent the (nearly the) whole day at home …sewing!! (I’m making things out of mum’s old clothes – chop, chop!) Wrote a bit more to Mark, and in the mail, got a note to pick up a parcel at Freshwater P.O. .. it was my (very battered and carelessly handled) [art] folio So, I didn’t get an interview, nor a note ..so Kelvin Grove .. UP YOURS!! A Life in WordsI’ll just have to do something totally different to Uni career [one rejection and “it’s all over”…] – other apprenticeships like hairdressing, nursing & journalist cadetship on a magazine, till Jo, Jude & I open our boutique. [The flights of fancy we kiddies have/had! I’m fairly sure nursing required formal study even back then, and as for the magazine cadetship… ha! I think that Hollywood & the media in general might have ‘duped’ me there. As for the boutique with my friends… well, I’d forgotten all about that and in fact, didn’t realise I was still considering a fashion career at this stage…] Anyway Fi came down & took me and I GOT MY LEARNERS (FINALLY!) and my hair show ticket. [Another hair show? There was one just last week…] Home again, but she took me late nite shopping. No cuties [read: no ‘talent’ to perve on] was fun with CB, Glyn, Anna, Colleen LAUGH! Saw John C – not so stunningly gorgeous as he used to be – but I still wouldn’t mind him falling for me (laugh in a million) [self deprecating humour] Went to KFC after (Jeff, Cam, Glyn, CB, Anna, Fi Col & me) [Jesus, again? You might as well have lived there…]

Friday 4/12/87

Today, I stayed home (yet again!) Wasn’t too occupied: I mean, in the morning I went to school briefly to pick up my report (senior certificate) I got VH for eng! WOW! Sounds for maths & chem and highs for biol & arts.. [To this day, it amazes me that English was my best subject, considering the very reason I moved to Cairns High in the first place was for the CAD Art ‘School of Excellence’ course. I remember feeling disappointed (and even embarrassed) with myself for not attaining the same (top) achievement level in my art subjects. But Liss, it’s not like you put a great deal of time & effort into your schoolwork in order to realise those preferred results, yes? There’s no room for your perfectionism now; too little, too late!] Ms Forbes said I’ll get in 800’s, could even possibly get 880!!! wow, cool! [Cool, but not cool enough for the institutions and courses that were my first preferences…] Rang Kelvin Grove while I was there – about my interview – they said “no offer”. (REJECTION! Great) So at home, I made a skirt out of one of mum’s old daggy skirts.. and I wore it out tonight .. with Fi’s white shirt .. got asked for I.D. showed my ‘melted’ false I.D. and was allowed! [That scenario these days? Not. A. Chance!] (But privacy omission], Colleen Anna & Fi got in no q’s) Anyway, overall was a pretty cool nite! Slow to start with.. but Geoffry M, Jim C and a few others provided drool materialA Life in Words . . got fairly drunk (won bottle of bubbly with Marney & Joyce & Colleen & [privacy omission]) Saw lotsa older people – Rodney B etc (all college, uni people: Tanya!) Left around 2:00 or so . .. I got home 2:30 to sleep. Jo rang tonite. She told me she talked to [privacy omission]: she’s screwed Steven & Mark . that’s all. But she said Mark saw a bit of [her] before he left. -ie. sunday nite. She said they just talked, I don’t know if so… but I’m angry cos he lied to me…. (WHAT’S NEW??)→ can only be expected of him – he’ll never change

Saturday 5/12/87

WORKED! Dad let me drive to the Red Beret and I did quite well! Nearly knocked over a bicyclist and missed the gates to the Red Beret and almost took out a tree. Apart from that, I was good! […well, at least I’m remaining positive…] Did barely any work at work: talked to Jenny mostly about Julia & mainly my career …she’s pushing me to be a nurse. [Dad on the other hand wanted me to join the Armed Forces: it would have been the ideal situation; discipline, commitment and (the big bonus for him) paid education.] But I still got $10 for the day…and a big healthy yummy lunch. Rush to get ready – were heaps of people. I felt ‘out of it’ to start with – wearing not black & white, but khaki & white. [So it was evidently a Black & White themed hair show…] Anyway, my view position was good, but bad at the same time – I was seated, behind Jim C but much some of my vision obscured. It was pretty good: altogether, as a show, unco-ordinated but some individual salon productions were excellent (All amateurish) after, tried to find the party- traipsed all over town looking. Playpen Hill & party & nest. I was so pissed off with [privacy omission]. Stewart was there outside Nest one stage & [she] was being slimy and she knew I was there (she thought I was in a bad mood with her, so I’m sure she did it on purpose. [No Liss, you can’t ever be sure…] Even if not, she knows the way I feel about him) Eventually (saw Phil C. Jim C. at show) Sue, Fi & I grabbed food from a 24hr→

Sunday 6/12/87

→shop & (I rang mum) we stayed at Fi’s. A Life in WordsI got a bit emotional (worried) about Mark, but we got to sleep around 3:00 I’d say. ..Woken around 9:00-9:30 by Banks’s cat (all over us) After brekky etc, went (picked up my gear) to Palm Cove; about 11:30. Got there & engine was overheating (radiator we filled last nite at Alison’s) It was empty again. Idsteins helped us out – we went to Bitter Creek [ummm, I have NO memory of knowledge of this place in the Cairns region, at all. Can anyone fill me in?] & they fixed pipe connection (radiator thermostat corroder) […er, whatever that is…] for us. At beach (after lunch (saw tanya!)) baked (and now I’m mostly brown – bit red) saw Jo & on our way home noticed overheating again. Back to Bitter Creek. they said a whole lot of things were going wrong.. water in oil feul filter melted (hole) but mainly water reservoir not full enough. We attempted getting back to Cairns – having to stop every 100m or so to let it cool down (useless) about Kewarra, a guy helped us ..said H2O reservoir needed to be EMPTY so radiator H2O vapour could go there.. [he] was right – perfect all the way to D’s newsagency. car overheatingLeft the car there – Sue went with her parents home. Fi & I drove round – got a pizza (for tea) & had a talk… got home 6:40 .. watched TV listened to Take 40 is now 11:30 & I’m buggared. *Mum has suspected broken (little) toe: cos I rang 2:00 in the morning to tell her where I was; she kicked it hard. MY FAULT. [This exact incident occurred years later as well. Mum had established a Trust system with me when my social life began to ‘intensify’ (read: basically when I began attending nightclubs) that allowed me a generous amount of freedom in exchange for honesty and ‘accountability’. In other words, she just wanted to know my plans, my whereabouts and if they changed to inform her as soon as possible “no matter what time of the night …or day”. So, whilst I felt terrible both times she ‘ran’ for the phone in the middle of the night kicking and breaking toes on the way, I consoled myself in the knowledge that I was doing as she asked, that I had done ‘the Right Thing’…]

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

Monday 2/11/87

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

Tuesday 3/11/87

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

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

Wednesday 4/11/87

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

Thursday 5/11/87

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

Friday 6/11/87

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

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

Saturday 7/11/87

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

Sunday 8/11/87

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

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

Monday 26/10/87

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

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

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

Tuesday 27/10/87

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

Wednesday 28/10/87

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

Thursday 29/10/87

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

Friday 30/10/87

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

A Life in WordsSaturday 31/10/87

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

Sunday 1/11/87

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

Ringing Ears, Ticklish Spots & Roses for Monique (24-30 August)

A Life in WordsMonday 24/8/87

It’s 10:50. INXS was cool! I had a really great time despite the lack of people I knew [Why do you have to know heaps of people at a concert? Aren’t you just there to enjoy the music? No; in case you hadn’t previously gathered, I preferred social events to involve lots of people, and particularly ones I knew, because I’m innately shy. Another fact, which no one seems to believe…] .. Jo came, tho (late, but) Sharon, Sandie & Donna were there – Sandie hung around Jules & I. It really was a cool rage!! Now my ears are ringing bad & I’ll never wake up in the morning!!  The drummer [Jon Farriss] looked so much like Mark – was unbelievable. Sometimes he didn’t, but lotsa times he did!! [And it wasn’t just ‘infatuated little me’ that thought so: my friend Jo agreed wholeheartedly.] Speaking of whom – we got on pretty well today, considering. […considering the way things had been between us for the previous 3-4 weeks…] (I’m into running writing at the moment) [This comment isn’t so random in context. Basically, I wrote this entry (and the next 3 days) in my diary in ‘running writing’ – the Aussie term for longhand or cursive script. I considered including a snapshot of it but it’s not terribly attractive (neat!)] Talked a bit (at big lunch I was in A block room for careers meeting – not many people in the group turned up – including Mark.) No HW done again (To be expected) Mark’s really bored with life- wants to move out of home- live in Keith’s caravan by himself. Oh dear. Must get to sleep! Nite!!

Tuesday 25/8/87

OK day. not great; rather hot in the afternoon. Got on rather well with Mark today – talked a bit more than usual (or at least hung around him more) we’re going to movies Saturday night. Boring day actually – nothing worth noting. Hung around cameron a bit too, today. (Lunchtime) Jeez, I’m into running writing lately (it’s messy- but, well, I don’t know why I like it!) [….and it takes up a lot more space. It’s just as well I didn’t have much to say: check out how ‘short’ this entry is …thanks to my big, clumsy longhand writing.] It’s 9:00 – need an early night cause school dance tomorrow night. My ears were still ringing this morning. Had a parade in the new covered area, tho’ its still officially out of bounds. [Still technically a construction site, I guess?] God I’m tired. Hope someone goes tomorrow night (the guys are – I know that) [Someone WHO? It doesn’t sound like I was referring to Mark because I’m quite sure I’d include him in ‘the guys’…] Justine visited this arvy – she’s got a bad habit of talking all about herself !!! […..ummm…..?!]

Wednesday 26/8/87

O.K. day again. I talked a bit more to Mark, tho’ I saw him less- pretty affectionate (compared to what we’ve been over the past 2 weeks (or 3??)) at the dance (which was piss-poor for an open [meaning open to students from other schools] dance) Went in this arvy & bought 12 red roses (for delivery to Perrems tomorrow) [it would have been Monique’s 17th birthday] + another 3 to put under the [memorial] tree at school. + at home, we rang Cairns Post & placed the ad in (I’ll cut it out & stick it in) [Because the lyrics resonated with me, Chrissie Hynde’s track ‘Hymn to Her’ became one of my anthems for Monique after her death and since they were so apt, I chose them for her birthday message. See Thursday’s entry (below) for the news clipping.] It’s 11:45 & I’m not even tired. So hot for summer. At soccer, our teacher wasn’t there, so we mucked around playing silly games (fun!) The walk was long & hot & boring! I’ll be glad of the sleep tonight. Did no HW again – so rushed! Tomorrow I’ll have to go late nite to get mima’s present + I have an english assignment + a textiles minor [assignment for art] due Friday. SHIT! So tired, now.

A Life in Words
My birthday message for Monique, followed by Mima’s and one by Elizabeth, the Year 9 student whose own sadness made me tear up.

Thursday 27/8/87  monique’s birthday

I almost forgot the roses: we had to turn around at Stratford & go home to get them- there were lots of flowers under the [bus crash memorial] tree by the end of the day: (& notes) I cried a bit in the morning – then Elizabeth (Gr 9.) made my eyes water when she came up to me after big lunch (crying) I sang Happy Birthday to her 3 times. Mark (& quite a few others) didn’t know it was her birthday. I went into town at big lunch & got Jemima’s present – 2 charms. (Barely saw Mark today- but he gave me Cameron’s & his silly letters & stories – I read them this arvy) [These guys had very vivid imaginations and interesting senses of humour so these made for entertaining reading…] Got started on my art tonight (the printing material was excellent but) – I stuffed up the sewing: total waste – so I didn’t even start my english- will miss double english 2morrow – going for 3rd period on – give me time to do my bag [for art] & make mima a card etc. Mr & Mrs Perrem rang tonite – thanking me for the flowers & message in the paper. (mima put one in too) [Aunties came 4 tea] [This little sentence was fully bordered: an impossible thing to reproduce in here in print…] Auntie Ruth bought my old diptych from the art exhibition last year – $80!!!

Friday 28/8/87

A Life in Words
All ‘cosied up’ at mima’s birthday sleepover party

MIMA’S B’DAY Well I missed not only double english, but also 3rd & little lunch. Got the bag sewn roughly together then Mrs Marsland said she wasn’t looking at the stitchery anyway. So by the time I talked to Mark it was big lunch & he barely spoke at all. I saw him barely at all. He seemed to be not talking only to me. So I spent nearly all the day with mima & fi & the Yr 11girls (& Jo) Mima’s cake was yummy. I went with Fi to her shop after school & we had to wait till 5:20 before Martin brought the car back, then trying to find Thorstein’s place, we got to Rugby Union around 5:45 (started at 5:00) Mark hurt his knee – but talked a little more to me. At home I got ready [for Mima’s birthday party] & made a card. The party was quite good, indeed! Quite a few people turned up! […including a number of fellas I found attractive!] Philip (N), Glyn & Thorstein found my ticklish spots 2 [‘too’, not literally ‘two’. There’s definitely more than two!] that was unreal [I’ll bet! And you’d’ve absolutely cherished the attention…] – I laughed so much! Fell asleep during a video after 2:00 (the guys left – they had to) [a parental order] Slept badly – squashy, hot (now & then) between Juliet & Jo

Saturday 29/8/87

Woke around 7:00. So tired. Everyone left pretty early (for work etc) Mum came and got me around 9:00. Bad news from the plastic surgeon- he reckons the scars will fade & flatten, but the dents & actual scars will never disappear. I found it so hard to hold back the tears till I left the surgery. [Kudos to me for even doing that. While I am usually pretty hard on myself (especially my younger self) I can’t put myself down for this. It was a huge deal. Realising the permanence of this huge deformity goes beyond simple aesthetics: similar to the loss of a limb or the loss of use of regions of your body (think blindness or para/quadraplegia) there has to be a corresponding mental & emotional adjustment that necessarily involves grief: I would never be ‘normal’ (as I’d experienced or defined it in my life up to that point in time) again …even though I have gone on to achieve things I’d never have dreamed possible – especially at that very moment in time – how was I to know?] At home, Keith rang & they (him, Mark & Glyn (B)) took me to the beach. Only one problem (fucking big, tho)- Mark was back to not talking to me. Why? Keith reckons (all night, too) that I’ve done nothing.A Life in Words BULL SHIT BULLSHIT – why will he only grunt when I talk to him? Sometimes he wouldn’t even answer my questions. We went to my place, Mark’s & Glyn’s – we got stuff for the movies ..at Keith’s I slept – had nothing else to do-Mark being like that. (My affectionate advances fell flat, too, except at the movies: we held hands) But after, he still seemed so bored, moody or angry .. that, when they dropped me off – I simply said goodbye. I think he was waiting for me to give him a kiss, but I couldn’t. Now I feel sick sick & upset with worry. I’ll have to ring tomorrow & apologise, [are you serious?] but I’m POSITIVE there’s something concerning me, wrong.

Sunday 30/8/87

I did nothing today- felt nothing but sickness .. a kind of nausea. Wasted away the morning – talked to Amanda when she came up, then slept when she left. At 4:15, I rang Mark & (it was very short) asked him if he could come over. He came around 4:30 I think – the talk was absolutely fruitless. I wish I could give up & just leave him. Why does he have to be so [physically] attractive? He says I’m crazy to like him – he doesn’t know why. Well, news for you; either do I. All I know is that I can’t [break up with him]. Now that must mean something. Of course it does. [Yep…] I fucking love him. A Life in Words[Nope. It just means you’re ‘hooked’ and afraid to let go. You’ve created a pattern based on an Attachment to something/someone you Desire and like the majority of people on this planet, you’ll (continue to) endure Pain rather than face (the) Fear (of relinquishing your ‘Need’).] When was the last time I wrote something cute or nice about him? He’s bored, so bored & it’s rubbing off on me. [Oh rubbish.] I want the magic and romance, but it’s just not there. [If it’s not there, it’s just not there…] God it hurts to realize this. So Mark left around 5:45. I did no HW. I’m really in a very deep rut & I can’t, won’t get out. Warmer weather. Ate only 3 meals today – no snacking- wow. What the fuck can I do to make our relationship exciting? [Not much if there’s no reciprocated effort or interest…]

Shoes, Gloves, Suits & My Beach Bonfire Birthday (6 -12 July)

Monday 6/7/87A Life in Words

Had to answer the phone this morning – mum was in the shower yelling to Julia & I – of course I got up to answer it. Made me angry – only 8 or so hours sleep. [A lot of people would kill for that much sleep in one night…] Could’ve gotten 9 or 10 like last night. Oh well. Went to town (all around Cairns as a matter of fact) with mum today ..saw Mrs E about my dress, then spent the next 3 hours running around getting fabric for it. At home this arvy, I read my Dolly mag, watched TV (generally: “bludged”) Mark rang about 5 or 6 times consecutively (quickly) – they were at Keith’s, testing out the new phone. Anyway he rang me around 7:30 tonight (I think) Talked not long- said he’d ring me tomorrow (getting his license Wednesday – said he’d also visit me then) I think it’s working better this way – the less worried I am, the less I think about him, the more relaxed I am [in general, the less you worry, the more relaxed you will be. Just sayin’]_ _ he was right. [When did he say that?] Now he’s doing some of the “chasing” instead. It’s 10:40. Watched the new mini-series (everyone else was in bed) Is so cool now – BEAUTIFUL weather (tho’ it’s overcast – pity)

Tuesday 7/7/87

Woke around 8:00 – another 8½-9hrs sleep, I think. Good! Got ready & went to Kmart to get socks for dad, then gave him his prezzies (told me he’s going to pay for all my formal expenses: isn’t that great?!!) [There’s gratitude right there] A Life in WordsThen, on to other places, before getting home (to a phonecall from Mark – just a quick one to say that he’d received ’87 RIGHT ON TRACK [pretty much my favourite of all the compilation albums I owned] from his uncle, so he didn’t need it to be taped anymore. [Music Piracy in the ’80’s involved copying onto blank cassette tapes, either someone else’s albums or directly recording from the radio (average sound quality). As I’ve mentioned previously, we were lucky enough to somehow receive ABC TV audio on the FM bandwidth (all of our local radio stations were only on AM) so our illegal recordings sounded better than everyone else’s!] And that was it – so I’ll ring him tomorrow morning to wish him luck for his test & if not (if he doesn’t visit me) I’ll ring around 6:00 to see if he passed & if he’d take me to the Drive In – Little Shop of Horrors is on & I’d love to see it -so funny!) Bludged the afternoon doing scrapbook in front of the TV then bathed & Mike & Cynthia & Kylie (their niece, so my 3rd cousin or something like that) came for dinner. BORING! No, not really. Was a pretty goodnight. But I’m tired now. It’s 10:30. Get some (lots of) shut-eye.

Wednesday 8/7/87

BORING!! Terrible day – one of the most terrible days I’ve had for ages (compared to my other holidays). Actually, I’m exaggerating a bit. [At least I admit it…] It’s really been like most of the other days this week .. spent morning in town (in and around town) grocery shopping, looking at shoes etc. Ate a lot today. A Life in WordsAnyway, home around 1:00, I watched TV & fiddled around with dresses & material. Have started making a skirt .. don’t have enough fabric to finish it now!! Oh dear! I rang Mark’s place around 4:30 – he didn’t come over (then rang him at Keith’s) He passed his driving test, of course. Seemed very bored (or maybe I’m imagining it) I haven’t seen him for 3 days & tomorrow, I’ll bet will be the 4th. [Oh so maybe this is why you felt your day was “one of the most terrible you’ve had for ages”?] SHIT. I want to see him very soon. [Wanting causes Pain…] That call this arvy was very short – I thought he was going to come around after it, but no – of course not. Why do I bother?? [You’re asking the question; it’s your choice to make…] Gordon rang tonight to see if I’d go late nite with him, Justine & Jason – to look for their suits. (I can’t – my B’day). [Ah, he must’ve meant in town: what I usually labelled ‘late night’ was the Thursday late night trading at suburban shopping centres but the CBD had extended trading hours on Fridays. I think it’s still the same…] Then I rang Fi tonite. Hopefully we’ll go to town 2morrow (with my luck Mark’ll come round while I’m not home.) Justine also rang me later 2nite. V. rainy & cool & windy. Beautiful! (But “stop!” rain, for my B’day & the show!) Is 11:00.

Thursday 9/7/87

A Life in WordsWent shopping – in town – looking for my formal shoes – and I got them (!!) Black patent leather – pointed toe and the heel’s about 5cm ($60) and Gloves. I have a choice – fingerless net gloves to about before the elbow, or white, full finger gloves, past my elbow (I’d have to dye them) I don’t know what I’m going to get!! [*facepalm* the 80’s was an embarrassing era for fashion. Gloves… seriously? Thanks a lot, Michael and Madonna!] Anyway after visiting Nana I got home & Keith & Mark came! (see last night at 11:40 they came & I “snuck” out – we drove around and mum found out, cause I couldn’t get in the house when I got home) [Oh that is hilarious. Why am I not surprised?] So, we went to Trinity Beach (Sandle, [no, not a typo – ‘Sandle’ was her nickname] Fi & Brent ate their lunch their, too) Played T.P. at home – Keith & Mark cheated! They left around 3:00. wasted the afternoon, Before getting ready for the Drive In. We went despite the weather – It didn’t rain too much. Back at Keith’s new place [privacy omission] we decided to get some videos .. a porno. one (type thing) [uh, really? I don’t remember that at all! What an awkward situation with my boyfriend’s mate there too?] and a horror or suspense. It was O.K. [LOL, OK? Obviously porn doesn’t do it for me?!] Then Keith went to→

Friday 10/7/87

bed and Mark & I mucked around on the divan .. kissing etc. [Nope! Still not what you think…] About 4:00 [privacy omission] then bombed. I woke around 10:00. The weather was… not too good – quite overcast, but there was some sun & blue sky. Mark gave me his present – a sterling silver fob chain (its beautiful) after breakfast, went to Mark’s, then my place (Mike, Cynthia, Kylie & Dougie were there) I got $10 Julia, $45 from them (lots, huh!) A Life in WordsMum $20 so far + doona & tri-pillow cover. [Oh, the tri-pillow! A furnishing trend of the late 80’s, early 90’s… I think they were designed to support your back whilst sitting up in bed. Did anyone else have one?] We went to the beach – trinity was very clouded & windy. Up at Wangetti, it was quite beautiful still overcast in patches, but mostly sunny. Back at my place, the guys left around 3:30. We had nothing planned. After lots of phone calls (to Fi’s & Keith’s) we decided on a bonfire at the beach. Dad came tonight & gave me $50 + 2 charms from my c. bracelet. […which I still have to this day…] Mark & Keith came at 7:15 ..Sat until about 7:40. Fi & Sandle fussed around taking heaps of things, then we picked up Brent. At Trinity there was no beach! (the tide was too high) So we went to Ellis. And there we stayed. Getting fire “stuff”, sitting, lying, running, chasing (& falling – so funny!)→

Saturday 11/7/87

Marshmallow fights! Mark & I were lying kissing [privacy omission] up the beach”. [Privacy omission] I wanted to do it, so much, but knew if I did I’d worry myself sick about getting pregnant. I’ll have to get something. We talked a little – the pill’s about the best, I guess. Anyway, we left when Mark & I got back. Got home about 1:45. I was rather tired. (Mark said he’d ring me – hope he doesn’t forget) Woke around 8:00 – slept till 8:30. Got ready for town. Sat for ages – Justine rang wondering if I knew where Gordon was – but he came as she was on the phone. A Life in WordsSo we were out 2 hours. [Suit hunting for the boys, for the Smithfield High formal I was to attend with Gordon] Boring! At home, I wasted the arvy – till Mark & Keith popped in. We sat doing nothing (mum invited them to stay for dinner) Mark & I were joking around alot. And at the end, he really started to hurt me but I don’t think he knew it- thought I was pretending to be sooky still, but I really was getting upset. I think he left angry. Oh, not really angry. I don’t know, but I’m sure as hell a bit upset now. They’re going to take me to the beach tomorrow. Wonder if they still will? Oh, I really must mention this. I love him so much it hurts me. [That doesn’t sound wonderful …nor ‘healthy’…] 9:44 now, but I’m gonna watch the movie

Sunday 12/7/87

Well, it’s weird. I don’t know. I woke & got up around 10:30. They came around 12:30 (I was beginning to think they’d gone to baseball, after all) But, the brakes on the car were stuffed. So, mum drove us to Trinity Beach. We were getting on O.K. Not spectacularly affectionately. He & Keith went for a walk (long time!) Then, soon after their return, we hired out a catamaran… Mark & Keith had a go first, then Keith & I had it & it was fun -(we got caught in the shark net to start with…!!) A Life in WordsWe weren’t off it long before we decided to go. At home, the joking continued until finally it ended in the “I’m never going to talk to you again” routine [clearly predictable by now or I wouldn’t’ve referred to it as a ‘routine’] which I hate so much – it hurts so much. I sat out the back. When Mark came out, I could tell he was still joking but my sooky-ness (seriously – I was upset) got to him, I’m sure. I don’t know if he’s angry with me or not. I didn’t ring I think that’d be too pushy cos if he isn’t really angry he would get that way. [Well that’s wise. But the ‘distance’ – giving yourself space – is more on point…] I spent a lot of time talking to Fi on the phone about it. I really have to make my own decisions more. I partly did that tonite, for once. Hope everything’s OK at school tomorrow SCHOOL – I HATE IT.

Performance Anxiety, Rum ‘n’ Coke & A Sore Bum (22-28 June)

Monday 22/6/87

Had sad dream about Monique last night -we were at the camp, ready to go home & I knew the crash was going to happen. I tried telling Monique she was going to die. Sharon & Julia (??!!) balling their eyes out (me too).A Life in Words [I think my bracketed punctuation refers to puzzlement about these two characters in the ‘geography’ of this dream… since neither of them attended the camp…] Monique did understand or believe what I was trying to say. […which could be a subconscious expression of my belief or ‘acceptance’ that it was ‘Her Time’ to ‘leave’?] God, it’s not fair. I got 66% for board art this semester. That’s all I need. Isn’t it bad enough I’m getting a very limited ach. for chem, a limited for maths.?? Now a ‘sound’ for Art – & I’m a fuckin’ CAD student. [For those who aren’t aware, CAD (Centre for Artistic Development) was (and still is) a ‘School of Excellence’ Fine Arts programme that commenced at Cairns High in 1986 …to which I applied at the recommendation of my previous high school art teacher and was accepted. It was the primary reason for my move to CHS. We did fourteen (40 minute) ‘periods’ per week, as opposed to the five per week for standard subjects so, with the dedication and prestige one could attribute to this, it’s understandable why I felt extremely disappointed in myself for failing to ‘excel’…] Today I dressed & spent the whole day in the dark room. Did about 20 prints altogether. Now have to choose which ones to hand in. Was O.K. myself. Ange & Michelle & Nev were in & out (+ their visitors) mum took me home. I rang Mark at 5:00. I rang Keith at 5:05 to ask if he’d take us to the drive in. [Wow, that’s kind of …rude. At least, I’m sure that mum would not have approved of that ‘impertinence’…] Mark didn’t ring me back, so I rang him at 6:00. A Life in WordsThey picked me up around 6:30. I had the distinct feeling all night that Mark was dis-interested in me. I have a horrible feeling deep inside [gut feeling?] that he wants to end it – that he doesn’t love me. I don’t know why – it’s just there & it frightens/sickens me. [Super strong gut feeling?] Saw Burglar with Club Paradise. Both funny! They came to our place & stayed till 12:30. Even though we kissed & mucked around normally, I have this horrible, horrible feeling there’s something wrong.

Tuesday 23/6/87

Well – a boring day at home. (Beautiful sunny weather!) I did a little study, but not enough. I spent most of the day worrying/working out my T.E. score – what I could possibly get. [For younger readers, the T.E. (“Tertiary Entrance”) score was our equivalent to your O.P. (“Overall Position”) …all University entrance determinants. The silly thing is, trying to ‘calculate’ it really is a waste of time…] I need to pull myself right up: 90% for eng. biol & art, and 60% at least for chem. & maths. Shit. I am in trouble & it’s hitting me now. So what chem I did do, I haven’t really learnt. And I’m so tired. It’s 9:45 now – if I study I’ll be up all night – dead for tomorrow. And I have to catch the bus; mum had a crash this arvy. Ran into the back of a QRX truck (her fault). A Life in WordsWhen I rang Mark tonite, he said he saw it. Terrible!! Rang Mima – they’re not sure if they’re [she & Fiona I’m guessing, are] going [to school]– but they think so. I frigging hope so. they’d better! I need to get a lift with them! Ow pain. [Pain? Why? ….random comment…] Well, guess I’d better get to & study a bit. Can’t wait for the holidays – free time! (Crash scrapbook to get finished + can try & sew for practise for next semester in art. Can’t wait!! I ♥ HOLIDAYS!) Woke up depressed (crying) about my art. Can’t believe it. 66% & I’m a CAD student. It’s terrible. Surely Ms Marsland would take it into account. It’s not fair

Wednesday 24/6/87

Yay, yay, yay! Exams are OVER! (But I’ll still have to get up early tomorrow, to do my school art folio – to be handed in before 9:00 tomorrow morning – DEEP SHIT!) I stayed up till 1:00 last night studying – knew I wouldn’t sleep if I didn’t try. Woke & had to catch the bus.. chem theory I failed, for sure, but (I’d expected it, anyway) I don’t think I failed absolutely miserably! Big long lunch hour .. then prac. exam. Was easy- did everything fine!! Went to town after school (mum’s got Mike’s – cousin – car (ute) to use – isn’t that nice of him?!) with mima, pol, fi, jude & peter (McM.) Caught bus home … got ready for dance around 7:30. Got there 8:00. Empty (practically) But it filled a little. By 9:00, I knew Mark was not just drinking (with Steve) .. they were at Michelle & Angie’s housewarming party. When they came . . he was only grumpy anyway cos he was so sick (drunk). Keith took him home (I went too) A Life in Words[This is a tad confusing because in just a few lines ahead I mention getting a lift home with someone else?] Otherwise, raged dancing! Had a ball. (Geoffry M is so yummy!!!) Waited till 11:50- Martin was drunk & we had an “adventurous” trip home. Well, its 12:25 – I’ll have to wake & rush to get my art done.

Thursday 25/6/87

Well, Mark came for biology & that was it. And in biol. he was punching or just “bashing” me. I took it as a joke, of course – I have to take everything as a joke now. [Really?] Left without saying bye. I’m sure he’s not interested in me anymore. It’s just like [privacy omission] last year- he was “keen” for so many days & then the slackening off Well, I know I shouldn’t feel this way, but I just have this horrible feeling. Something is WRONG. Nobody was at school (practically) I got 70% for biol, 43% maths, 78% art & (believe it or not) 80% for english (WOW!). [English turns out to be my best subject…] In art Ms. Marsland told me the teachers reconsidered & took into account my state of health (mentally & physically) & took me up 12% Great that’s fine. I need 90% next sem to get VHA overall for art. Cleaning room up in art. Bludge of a bore of a day. Got some material this arvy & made some black shorts (almost totally by myself!!) Also got vinyl for a satchel to make! Rang Fi, Cameron & Mark & Mima. Not going horse riding tomorrow now – mima can’t. Fi’s ringing me in the morning to see what we’ll do. Cameron told me they’re gonna try to play golf – if not; watch videos at Steven’s as they did today. 10:45. Another late nite

Friday 26/6/87

Woke 7:15 (shit! Had wanted to sleep in longer!) Rang Fi around 8:45. She said we couldn’t go with Jason. We went to town around 11:30 (Fi drove in – really good!) We opened an account for Martin, [um… how is it possible to open what I’m assuming is a bank account for another person? Oh the things you used to be able to do, back in the day!] then looked at clothes, shoes (all the normal stuff). Finally got a seat at Sidney’s Cafe – yummy lunch. Saw quite a few people (plenty!) that weren’t at school! (Glyn & his girlfriend Lisa, for eg.) Caught the 4:00 bus home. Rang Mark ..no, he rang me, around 6:30 (Mima came during it; see if I wanted to go to the Eisteddfod)(←no!)(←I didn’t go!) I kinda talked about my “neglected” feeling & we were talking. He sounded bored. I have no room- I’d like to write what I can remember he said. But anyway, he & Keith came & after a stay for a while, we went to drive in bottle shop (liquor barn) one bottle rum-5 litres coke . . to Keith’s brother’s place to video shop then back there. I got happy v. quickly – the “happiest” I’ve ever gotten before. A Life in WordsNear drunk, I’d say [LOL Liss, deluded! You were drunk!] But mate it was good! Watching videos-leaning back ..looking up at Mark. God it was great! Then after watching a bit of Rage after.. (4 good songs, believe it or not!) Keith’s brother & his girlfriend drove us to Keith’s .. his parents were away ..Mark & I had their bed. We did a fair bit of  talking (till about 3:30→)

Saturday 27/6/87

listening to 4CCR. Kissing as well. [still not what y’all think….!] But we talked a fair bit, about quite a lot . . he did get with Nicole – “just one kiss”. I didn’t get angry – I’m too soft. I should’ve. How could he? He said a lot about me going to be his wife – he’s never going to let me go. Somehow I don’t think he would stop me from leaving. Anyway, I woke around 7:00 – went to the loo (in the mirror I saw >gasp< a big hickie – to the right of my neck this time, but still big!) Mark woke around 10:30 (I’d gone back to sleep, too) We kissed >etc< [haha, STILL not what you’re thinking….!!] till about 12:30. He told me, when I asked if her remembered everything we talked about, “yes” and that he meant it. (He said “I mean it” twice – for me to get the picture). Anyway after breakfast (for lunch) they took me home. Had to go & see Nana. Back at home I rang mima… I got ready & rang Mark quickly .. Steve, Keith & Cameron were going to is place A Life in Words“BOYS NIGHT”. At Fi’s, I did my hair & we went to get 2 videos before running to the Odeon. Lethal Weapon was excellent (dramatic; suspense!) After walked around – to get money for tomorrow ..saw & talked to people ..then saw Keith & Mark & Steven & Cameron in Keith’s car …talked briefly CUTIE! Got to Fi’s by taxi .. too tired to watch the videos. . so cool, slept well. Cold, indeed!

Sunday 28/6/87

Woke around 8:30.. we watched one of the videos went to mima’s, then my place. Fi drove us to Palm Cove (around 11:00-11:30) We baked for only a short time, before pigging out at the shop. then we dressed & waited for Brent – he’d been there 10 mins & we hadn’t known! Went to the horse-place (!!!) I got a gentle, but stubborn horse. The ride was good! (¾hr long) OW! My bum is so sore! [I wouldn’t say I’m passionate about horse riding, but it’s an activity I would happily do again… even though I know I’d need up just as sore (if not more!) than I was after this…] We ate at a shop near Clifton, then dropped in  at Trinity Beach . . saw Mark, Keith & Jason (Mark & Jason only, really) play [baseball] ..God, Mark pitches a mean ball! A Life in WordsI’d hate to be the target of one of those! He didn’t talk to me much.. Keith & Jas. did. (He was just so caught up in the game, I guess.) We left (I didn’t get to say goodbye) Wasted the 2 hours till 6:00 Then had dinner, shower & rang Mark – tried to make it an interesting phone call, after what he’d said Friday nite (“that 1st phone call was so exciting.. now they seem routine- boring”) something like that Warm, but cool in shade day/ Getting cooler slowly & slowly..!! IS 9:55.. should’ve had an earlier night. Work (boring) tomorrow. YUKKY.

A Primary Reunion, Burnt Belly & Sydney Sojourn (8-14 December)

Monday 8/12/86

I realised today that I’ve seen or talked to Mark every single day of the holidays so far; until today. Believe me, I tried not to break the record; I rang just 15mins ago – but it was his fault; [“fault”? Really? Your choice of words is…average] he was at Keith’s – and won’t be back till 10:00, by which time I’ll be asleep – the bags under my eyes are enormous! I tried to get a brown tummy today – after 20 mins I stopped. After lunch, mima came down – spent the rest of the day here – we talked & sunbaked together OUCH! My stomach is the colour of a tomato – NO JOKE! A Life in  WordsI’m surprised also – I noticed my stomach is smaller! And I’m 59 kilos!! I’m still trying to ‘lose’, tho’. Wanna get a tiny stomach [My stomach was (& kinda still is) the bane of my life …or at least, my least liked area. The females in my family – my mother, sister and I – seem to have a slightly disproportionate amount of body fat sitting on our lower abdomen (something that was reinforced by a fitness professional doing a body fat test on me in my early 20’s). I’m fairly sure it would be a genetic thing – in terms of natural fat distribution – but I’m experimenting with my nutrition to see if certain macro-nutrients affect it more than others.] at least (and a brown one) if this burn peels – I’ll scream! I mean it! [Yep, the only after-effect of sunburn we cared about back then was peeling, and losing our ‘colour’. Skin cancer wasn’t given a thought, even though advertisements were beginning to be aired in the media] Sharon rang after mima left this arvy (we talked a lot!) we’re going to town tomorrow – I’m meeting her at school. I’m gonna wear shorts on my hips & a boob tube! OUCH! 9:07 sunny mostly 2day!!!

Tuesday 9/12/86

I went to town. We didn’t see a movie. Met her at school – on bus, talking to Joannah. At bus stop, Mrs M, Karen & Mrs P→ telling me all about Peter C what he does etc. [When I read this, it made no sense to me at all. I remember the guy’s name, and that he was at in my year at school, but I have absolutely NO idea why these people were telling me about him. I have a feeling it had something to do with trying to pique my interest. Sorry, no hope …as y’all can tell…] We walked round all day. Sharon bought a shirt [from] ‘Double Vision’ [local clothing store] – we might be modelling for them (‘Ha’) Also, Sharon helped me work up guts to ask Vic Mellick [whom I vaguely knew through my father] about casual work [in his men’s clothing store] – no sweat! No work now, but ‘yes’ for new year! Dim & Victor followed us, too. Rather cute (alright) but Mark is best. Caught 5:20 bus home. Nana was here. They told me Mark rang I rang back – talked only a little while – told me how Fitzroy is $22 now. RIP OFF! [That WAS a huge price to pay back then. We had been able to get student discount fares to Green Island for about $6. These days you’re looking at about $70 to get to Fitzroy.] A cabin for 2 is $22.50 per night. [That was also considered relatively expensive (although I’m assuming the idea would have been to split the cost with others – most likely Monique & Cameron at the very least) back then. Those cabins are “long gone” now and there’s really only a resort on the Island, to my knowledge – for which you’d be paying at least $130 per night for the cheapest room.] Were thinking of next Mon, Tues & Wed. but I’ll be gone. Also told him about Friday night. said I’d ring before then. He said “that’d be nice!” BLOODY STOMACH PAIN! Sunburn. Is 10:00 night!

Wednesday 10/12/86

A Life in Words
Year One class photo. I’m 3rd from the right in the front row. And yes, that is my ‘barbie’ doll in my lap!

I spent the day at home, nursing my poor sore, burnt, ultra-red, stomach, watching TV and that was about it. I ate little – I’m glad! My appetite is not humungus! (Is that how you spell it?) [Nope. It’s ‘humongous’!] Anyway Monique called and I called Sharon & Mima called. We went to the [Grade One] reunion about 5:00 – I put vitamin E cream on my tummy – it’s good stuff! Not sore at all! Just still a little tender – but that can’t be helped. It was alright – a little boring, but mostly fun. I stayed at [privacy omission]; we wanted to sneak out. I rang Mark from Mr M’s …talked for awhile (I felt proud!!) […proud that I had a GUY …to call …that I didn’t REALLY have to call. I’m actually a bit ashamed now that it I used my host’s (my Grade One teacher – someone I obviously didn’t really know very well) landline to make a non-essential private call during a party. I’d consider that kind of rude now, definitely precocious.] He’s such a honey! We’re going to crystals Friday – he’s ringing me tomorrow night. We were fairly sprung at [privacy omission] – her mum got very suspicious cos of a few stupid things we did so we decided against going out (her mum found the house keys + $5 hidden. SKINT) [Five dollars…really? Even though things did cost a lot less than today, I still wouldn’t’ve thought $5 would even get us a cab to the nearest nightclub, let alone into it (cover charge) and drinks…?]

Thursday 11/12/86

A Life in Words
I can’t remember which were the two original charms, but one thing I do know is that I’d never have bought the gun, nor the scissors, myself. So they must have been gifted to me at some stage…

Woken by a phone call for me. Mum picked me up. Dressed at home, after a shower & fresh application of Vit. E cream. She did an ‘errand’ then we withdrew all our money out for our holiday. I got my artwork + cheque for $35 coming – can you believe I got $60 from this art thingy [exhibition]? $44 from my picture ($1 to endeavour foundation) & $16 from painting windows in Fun in the Sun. At home after lunch, I did big fat nothing. All the phone calls tonight! There was rather little gained from them, too! So many calls to be made tomorrow morning . . .my god! Dad, Jenny & Anthony came round – we got a watch (el cheapo) + sterling silver charm bracelet + 2 charms. That I love! It’s absolutely gorgeous – I started  packing this arvy – my stomach’s not sore at all – only very lithely [?!] tender! But its starting to peel… 11:50. Late umah! Night!

Friday 12/12/86

Phone calls, yes. Terry picked me up about 9:30-10:00. Patrick O’S + Peter P were there with Mark & Keith (& Monique) We picked up Fi. Was fun at crystals. Mark & I talked, of course. I had to ring him at 8:15 this morning He was tired. So was I, I guess. At home, I mucked round – busied ‘packing’ and sewing. Finally, after lotsa phone calls, and a rush to get ready, went to nana’s. Gave her her presents (my lorikeet picture) [there’s a photo of that piece in this post if you’d like to know what I’m talking about] I met Fi at the shop – we walked into town. Sat for yonks. Finally rang Mark . . he said they’d come ‘now’. They almost had a fight when they got here. Backpackers was too full. When [privacy omission] came back, we sat round the mall doing nothing. Finally, [privacy omission] megan & sharon tried to drag me to Subway Rock – was closed. Mark, Fiona, Keith, Torstein & Daniel went to get pizza – Megan etc. dragged me off to Nighthawkes. Didn’t go in again – [privacy omission] & I walked back to others [crossover to Saturday’s page…]

Saturday 13/12/86

(Megan & Sharon disappeared for the night.) They weren’t there – so we went to Backpackers. Just debating who’d buy the drinks [being underage made most of us highly reticent about approaching the bar, naturally. You had to be good at projecting an air of confidence] when the others came. We all crowded round a tiny table .. soon Torstein & Daniel went, then Mark, Keith & I sat until the people told us they were locking up. [I think the place used to close at midnight back then] Talking, mucking around …we went to Yanks [a coffee shop in town that was pretty much the only thing open – apart from nightclubs – past midnight.] Stayed for ages – soon Mark got shitty – we left. They barely said goodbye when I got in the taxi. Slept at 1:30. Woke 7:00. Rushing round this morning – taping music, packing. Lotsa phone calls. Fi & Monique said goodbye. So did Keith. He apologised about last night. Mark could’ve, at least. After all, it was his fault. I felt really sad about not ringing him when I left. Dunno whether to write him a letter or not (Moni said yes) Plane trip was a little boring .. I read ([had a] Big lunch!) & listened to music & comedy [channels. Back in the day, “in-flight entertainment” consisted of a pair of disposable headphones that plugged into your armrest giving you access to about 8 various music & comedy ‘radio’ channels – on ‘loop’]. In Sydney [visiting family], we drove round awhile looking at places. Unpacked & watched TV (I don’t remember anything!) Walked to shop. Had a bath. Now 9:50 (8:50 in Cairns – Qld)A Life in Words [the whole ‘daylight savings’ thing was a novelty for me: Queenslanders have never had to change their clocks for Summer. It’s actually a contentious issue because the southern part of Queensland – where the majority of the state’s population reside – experience similar daylight changes and in particular, the cities on the border with NSW (southern Gold Coast & Tweed Heads) struggle with time differences economically (businesses) and socially (schools et al)] MISSING THEM ALREADY

Sunday 14/12/86

I was still very tired today (mostly now) It’s only 10:00 (9:00 in Qld) Jodie’s working tonight – short notice. We went on the boat [yacht]. Julia was sick – anchored at “7 shillings” Beach near/at Double Bay. We lay in the sun (but mostly in the shade all day) slept a bit. Julia was too sick to go back on the boat, so caught a taxi with mum. Jodie & I were too exhausted so we went with them. Watched TV (the rest of Bachelor Party on video) Got a little browner today – a little burnt! Have a headache still. My neck is burnt, as is my face – but that’s it. Still really tender near my left boob- looks like a rash of some sort. Hafta get lotsa sleep tonight. I am missing Cairns. Will have to get down to some letter writing when I get postcards tomorrow. Esp. mima & fiona’s. I need to write lists of who to write letters to and get prezzies for. Wish Mark & I hadn’t left on bad terms. His fault. I keep wanting to ring him.