Stevie Wonder, Fisticuffs & The Sleaze (9-15 November)

Monday 9/11/87

A Life in WordsStevie Wonder was excellent! [I saw him twice on this day: he made a special appearance at our school and then I attended his concert …] Today was really good! Got Jo, and at school took last photos, wasted remaining exposures [on ourselves, see right]– folios [proper commercially manufactured ones] not suitable + too expensive (saw Mr. W) late for parade! Everyone loved my new shoes! Bludge in chem & maths. Didn’t see Mark at little lunch. Double art I raced around getting my folio completed – at lunchtime went to the hall. with Cameron, Chris Glyn, Brett, Jo, Justine, Fi & Mima – a laugh waiting for Stevie to arrive. [I don’t know for sure, but I’ve always assumed that Stevie Wonder’s appearance at our school was directly related to the bus accident: a compassionate response by the man. At the time however a reason wasn’t warranted; we were pretty darned excited simply because international stars rarely visited Cairns, let alone to our school.] Stuart smiled at me & I didn’t know what to do after I smiled back – I was really embarrassed! He [Stevie] finally came around 2:00 and talked & sang (a little) till 3:00 (missed eng & biol – yay!) Only talked to Mark a little after school. Picked Jo up around 5:45. . pizza tea. Not many people we knew at the concert – not many people full stop- but they made the noise of a big crowd!! At the end I saw a guy who talked to me (really cute) I think it was James from Playpen. see – I can’t really remember what they both looked like [uh, yeah: this is but one of the many effects copious amounts of alcohol will have upon you] – but he was cute!! YUM YUM Jo’s flipped! [as in, she thought he was very attractive too…]

Whilst I actually can’t recall whether Stevie sang “I Just Called to Say I Love You” during his appearance at our school, I had to include it because it holds the most sentiment for me: firstly – and of less relevance – I think of it as my father and stepmother’s anthem, since they met around the time it was released in 1984 and I remember Dad literally singing it on the phone to Jenny at some stage (I’m fairly sure it was also their wedding song). But at our 20th Year School Reunion (2007) our principal performed an amazing operatic rendition for us (unbeknownst to many of us he was a classically trained singer) not merely because Stevie’s historic visit was a highlight of our senior year, but also for the lyrical sentiment.

Tuesday 10/11/87

talked to Mark a fair bit today. And Stuart, well, it’s really wierd – I’M SHY!! [People still don’t believe this about me, to this day. I am inherently shy.] I can’t bring myself to even look at him, in case he looks at me. But I’d really like to talk to him. Shit. I can’t believe exams start on Thursday & I haven’t even begun to study. All my artwork’s done now (marked too) Oh, I forgot to ring Jo – [she] was away at Fitzroy with Mark [‘her’ Mark, not ‘mine’]. Talked a lot in biol. chris reckons some St’s guys said I was going out with Trevor G. No way! “I barely know the guy.” Chris said “Well, they know you!” SKINT! [At the time, I was more chuffed than confused: “guys I didn’t know, knew of me? Wow!” But retrospectively, I sense this could have had a kind of unsavoury edge to it: I mean, how would a rumour about me ‘dating’ a guy I hardly knew begin to circulate? Had I gained a reputation of ‘some kind’?] Watched the water polo today – Mark in it. What an arse that guy has!! Lost my diamonté bracelet sometime from 7th p. chem. till when I got home (we dropped cameron home this arvy) Great, huh?! […sarcasm about the loss of my bracelet, not ‘elation’ for giving a mate a ride home…] I’m so tired – that’s the only reason I haven’t studied – nearly fell asleep this arvy. Mark rang to find out what prac. it was we had to do for 2 morrow. V. short phone call. We still need to have that “talk” yet, I wonder!!! So tired tonite – I can’t wait! 10 days till it’s all over! (& that’s including days I don’t have exams!) WOW! Great! [I’m surprised I was so eager for the end of school, considering I had no set plans for the future. I think I was more focussed at this point in time on the post-school, pre-Christmas partying I had imagined there would be. Like school holidays but with a more significant sense of freedom. *Sigh* So short-sighted…]

Wednesday 11/11/87

A Life in Words
The back of my skirt was just as – if not more – messy than this…

Today was quite exciting! Our last working day at school. Actually, I didn’t feel emotional at all.. I just had fun running round doing things we don’t normally do – signing each other’s clothes [see my school skirt above] -signing walls tables, etc getting photos taken – doing no work despite exams! Rearranging rooms & furniture! I talked a fair bit to Mark today. He gave me a note – I was speechless after I read it. I don’t understand what he’s trying to say- he realizes he needs me, he thinks I’m changing too fast .. he can’t understand me. Oh dear – we need a talk (big talk) soon. Wonder if that’s what he was going to say on Saturday night He doesn’t talk to Nicole anymore – wonder if he said anything to her? he loves me & needs me. I can’t believe he needs me. Anyway it’s almost 12:00 – I’ve been studying english – I must do well in this – I need to get over 82% Mark wanted to fight Stuart W. today. Why? But everyone’s saying he’s signing his own deathwish – Stuart’s black belt in karate. Well! Looks like TD & him are back together. Stewart P. drove by school this arvy. I had so much fun esp. this arvy.

A Life in WordsThursday 12/11/87

It happened today- Mark & Stewart fought – end of little lunch (after my disgustingly difficult english exam- so much for a VH overall! That was some hard test!) I nearly choked on my hot dog – Mark’s shirt was destroyed- had a blood nose. Why were they fighting? [I never found out. Or if I did, I can’t remember why, but I’m fairly sure that it bore no relevance to me …to my knowledge.] FOOLS. God, I don’t understand… [you wouldn’t Liss, physical combat is a testosterone thing…] we didn’t get to talk today, but before he left, I talked to him briefly- was being very nice. I rang mum – answering machine on. Sat & waited, & waited & waited. At home did 1st chapter – all arvy. Is now almost 11:30 and I’m nearly  totally unprepared for the rest of the exam. I so badly need to do well in it. SHIT! Mark actually rang this arvy – wanted to come around to have that talk, but I was studying. [Damn, you may have had a better chance of discovering the reason for the fight…] He’s coming over 2morrow – after his geog. exam. [I’m] Nervous! Bloody biol. It’s not fair – if only I’d not been so pushed for time, I could’ve started earlier like I’d wanted to. [Um, if you hadn’t been partying like a rockstar for the past four-to-five weeks…] Shit, shit, shit! Am so tired now Please do me a big favour God- let me do exceptionally well in biol- it’s my last hope. See ya 2morrow. Can’t wait for next week!

Friday 13/11/87

Biol wasn’t too bad after all .. I’ll pass it, no sweat, but will I do well enough? That’s the question. It seemed pretty easy, tho’. I didn’t talk too much to Mark today… I didn’t go home straight after the exam either. In fact we waited around till about 2:00! (BORING!) Went for drive (mima had the brown alfa for the day!) Fi dropped me home, where I waited for Mark to come around. I rang his place just after 4:00 and Sandra said he was out .. he rang back at 5:35! I told him I was going out so I’d ring him tomorrow. Well, Jo & I were very late – about 7:45, but thankfully, so was everyone else. [I am only guessing when I say this may have been a dinner for our CAD art class… I can’t imagine what else it could could have been. More detail in future Liss, please!] I had 2 cocktails, and we’d only gotten thru’ 3 courses before everyone started making speeches and crying etc. [Crying? …sounds like our art class…plied with alcohol…] So we all left. At Playpen Jo realized she lost Robbie’s watch and wasn’t happy. Met Angie & we went to Croc. Rock. More people there, but not necessarily a rage. A Life in WordsI was so and I mean so drunk – was really off my face – don’t remember quite a few things, except this sleazy guy who (his friend) drove me home & wanted me to “suck him off…” […and this is exactly the kind of thing parents would fear. The intoxicated girl brushes it off in her sense-impaired state, but what if that ‘sleaze’ had been more aggressive? Oh the risks we take in Life… By the way, in case there was a shadow of a doubt, I certainly didn’t fulfill his wish…]

Saturday 14/11/87

I’ve got lovebites from him. YUK. [Perfect: an unavoidable, (temporary) physical reminder of what getting “off your face” can do to you. The question is, was your lesson learned?] So after stumbling to bed, then to the loo to vomit, slept till about 8:30 (??) Cameron & Glyn came over after weights, for a short while, then Jo rang around 10:00. I rang Mark after that. He said he couldn’t come over – Sandra had the car. Said he’d come when she bought it home. So I did nothing – slept, veged (still drunk!) He came, we didn’t say anything to start with He is sort of going out with [privacy omission]. He won’t say he is- it’s a completely “Physical” relationship. I felt so sick. The talk I feel was fruitless, pointless. [Why? Because you didn’t hear what you wanted or expected to hear?] I wasn’t one bit resolved [the most powerful resolution is the one You make for yourself: there was certainly revelation during this talk… for all your analyzing abilities, could you not reach a resolution for yourself, by yourself?] and after he left (we’d agreed to be friends & build it up, even try before he left [for an overseas family holiday]) But I can’t. Not while I know he’s [privacy omission]. Jo rang, otherwise I did nothing went to bed 7:30 – slept from about 9:30 on. Shit, I can’t do it. I need someone – I’m so dependant – so dependant [this is painfully clear] – God it hurts to know they’re together. I’m gonna have to talk to him Monday or ring him tomorrow – tell him I can’t do it. It’s killing me.

Sunday 15/11/87

Woke around 9:00 – almost 12hrs of sleep! WOW! But it was a little restless, this sleep. Really depressed a lot of the day -didn’t feel like studying – didn’t care. [Excessive alcohol consumption + a negative experience = certain depression] It’s 9:10 now- I’ve had coffee so it’s useless going to bed. So I may as well study_lot of good that’ll do me. I’ll fail anyway. I really don’t give a fucking shit anymore. Not a shit about anything. I might as well curl up and die. Mima visited tonite, Jo rang this morning, I rang Fi twice & I saw Gordon at Licks when we went to get Pizza for dinner. Wishing Well’s on now. [Another Terence Trent D’Arby song (see below). I was so ‘attached’ to his album…] So what? God I’m pissed off. I’m so sick of life. I hate school & I hate work & I hate myself and I hate Mark. That’s a lie. I hate what he’s done to me. I hate him getting his own way all the time. I can’t let him have it all the time. [So…….] What about me? He doesn’t care – just make himself happy Jo said Stewart didn’t say much about me_ _said he’d been keeping in touch (LIE) said he’d ring me – he WON’T. [Wow, I really got dem ‘bad feels’…]

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Doom’s Day (4 February)

Wednesday 4/2/87

A Life in Words
a candid shot during camp pack-up

[Since I typically make my diary entries at the end of each day, it stands to reason that the likelihood of that happening on this particular day is slim, even though the wording seems to suggest otherwise…]

TRAGEDY. After packing up etc this morning I took heaps of photos. Then we boarded buses. Erica, Monique, me, Fiona, mima Mark, Brent, Steven, Keith, Cameron, Chris, Glyn, Judy Jason P, Brett H, Becca G Michelle W. . . all on our bus. At first we had fun .. food fights too. Down the Gillies range I swapped places with Mark- he got the window seat – I snuggled back into his arms. Half Dozing (???) I felt us going really quickly around a corner, too fast .. I saw gravel and the bus rolled. I blacked out. When I woke Erica was on my left – head covered in blood; Jody K & Lee-anne W on my right and Mark underneath me, under a seat too. It was a nightmare. I couldn’t accept it as real, my right leg was jammed under the bus. After ages I was “pulled” out & soon taken by helicopter to hospital. The rest of the night & events are blurred. I went into theatre . . saw heaps of people .. Fiona, Kay H, Jacki W, Miss (MF) DeJourdan and Miss (R.) Bowles were in my ward. I was very tired.

A Life in Words[Make sure you’re comfortable: there are seven pages of the scrapbook dedicated to this one day, with as many details as I could recall…]

Yes, it really was the last day…time to leave. Absolute chaos trying to tidy up & pack up our belongings. Out came the cameras too…until now, we’d forgotten all about them. […that was something I later considered a prescient phenomena: how lucky were we to have remembered our cameras and gotten as many photos as we did, within just hours of the tragedy?] With the cameras came some candid shots, of course! A few misplaced items, but mainly the problem was fitting things back into bags and boxes. Most of us couldn’t wait to get home to get clean – shower, wash hair & clothes. A Life in WordsAfter taking down the tent (I’m sure we left some pegs or something behind) [ooh, Dad wouldn’t’ve been happy about that…] we lugged all the gear up to the covered area, where everyone else was, with theirs. Then, a barrage of photos taken as people stood around talking, fighting & mucking around until the buses arrived. When they did there was a mad rush to pack the buses and grab the best seats, but we were stopped by the teachers. We had to wait till they let us pack…then there was a longer wait til we were finally allowed on the buses. Only one bus was filled at a time: girls got on first…

A Life in Words
Waiting for the word. Our bus is on the left.

We chose the second bus because of its big sliding windows [better ventilation, for a cooler ride] (I also thought we’d have a better chance of getting good seats). Jemima was the first on, and I second. She sat in the second last seat on the driver’s side [what I call the ‘right side’ for future reference…] and I, after a quick decision, [aware that others were very likely queueing up the aisle behind me] slipped into the seat in front [of her], instead of the one opposite, where Monique and Fiona sat. [I have no doubt that the choice I made in this fleeting moment was pre-determined; not a (conscious) choice at all. I was destined to survive.]

The rest of the seats filled quickly: we saved seats for Erica, Monique, Mark and Brent.

A Life in Words
The last photo I took. Erica asleep, Judy’s legs beside her and Jody & Leeanne’s heads visible in front

We left second; the journey started great: we ate any leftovers we had (including Coco Pops and 100’s & 1000’s fights!) Elisia E. had a drink container of water [the contents of] which disappeared as it was passed around the whole bus.

Up a steep hill, the 3rd bus passed us, but we soon overtook it again, as it stopped for Alan D. (Who was sick).

Down the range, we began singing songs…Beatles songs mostly. Soon we all settled down, snoozing and talking quietly to each other. Mark compained about the heat, so we swapped places: he had the window seat. I leaned back against his chest…I don’t recall what time it was. I must have dozed off….

A Life in WordsThe first thing I remember just prior to the crash, was as we were just nearing the bend…I was looking across the aisle, over Jody & Leeanne’s heads, to the view, thinking “we’re going a bit fast”…then (it felt like) we took the corner really wide. [In fact we didn’t at all: the bus driver apparently sounded the horn – of which I have no recollection – as a warning to any oncoming traffic that he intended to – and did – actually cut the corner in his valid attempt to avert disaster.] I must have stood or leaned up because I remember seeing the gravel (the road shoulder) before the drop…then looking to the front of the bus, past the driver, to the bank on the other side of the road, thinking, “Come on bus driver, keep turning and we’ll stay on the road” (which was really wierd when you think about it, because I didn’t know what was happening: that is, that we were actually going to go off the cliff…maybe I subconsciously knew) [Yes, I would have, we all would have…]

I remember the front of the bus seemingly stopping, while the rear slid [out, sideways], and slid over the shoulder, the left side dragging the rest of the bus over. [Which makes sense considering that only the front brakes were operational: with no functioning rear brakes and the added weight of the undercarriage storage also located at the rear of the vehicle, there was no stopping the ‘tail-swing’.] The rest of this, the actual descent, seemed more dreamlike than the events prior to it…I remember pitch darkness…flashes of light (where perhaps windows were?) I couldn’t see anything besides that but I could hear metal crunching and glass breaking…and feeling, well, I was thrown once, twice, then I recall nothing: [I deduced later that the bus would have rolled one & a half times, because it came to rest upside down: that amounts to 6 ‘throws’ in total.] I must’ve been knocked out, but as I was rolling it felt [as if it were] in slow motion, bodies and things brushing past me, not roughly or painfully. It felt much like I was floating…doing flying somersaults.

When I came to it seemed very slowly: like the dream (nightmare) was continuing. […emerging from an inky abyss…] My body was in almost total darkness (I was under the bus) [the roof had sheared off as we rolled down the embankment and, since it ended up upside down, the bottom effectively became the ceiling] and I felt an incredible pressure upon my right leg.. I only remember thinking I was dreaming & telling myself to scream, because you have to TRY to scream in a nightmare, even though your screams are inaudible. There was a hole in the bottom of the bus [the ‘roof’] so I could see out, up a slope. [This confused me in the weeks & even months to come (until I was able to return to the site) because I couldn’t fathom why I could see trees still upright: if we had rolled down the hillside, wouldn’t we have taken out everything in our path? It turned out that the angle at which the bus came to rest in the gully was different to that at which we left the road, so I had a ‘room with a view’ of the untouched environment.] I remember screaming to get the “fucking bus off my leg” and yelling the names of people I saw walk past…some of whom told me to shut up. Slowly I realised it wasn’t a dream. I noted Erica’s head on my right, sticking partly out from under a seat, and I could only just see (from my trapped position) two bodies, whom I believed to be Jemima & Brent, at first, on my left: they were in fact Jody & Leeanne.

A Life in Words
The bus as it came to rest. Apologies for the quality of these photos: I took them from video footage stills

Astia held & stroked my left foot outside the bus and helpers tried to comfort me. There was a pair of legs sticking out from the far end of the seat on top of Erica & I finally realised they were Mark’s. I must have been out for a little while because all those people [teachers & students from the third bus] were there when I’d regained consciousness. [The third bus was apparently only minutes behind us, but long enough for some of the lesser injured to scramble back up the hideous slope and flag them down.] When Mark did, he frantically yelled at and abused me…to “get this fucking person off him” Of course I couldn’t & his anger at me distressed me more. [I had to assume it was Erica’s body, and knowing she was (therefore they both were) under the bus seat that I was also partly on top of, I tried my best to keep my bodyweight off it. Pinned as I was by my right leg, with the earth significantly dropping away into the base of the gully, I had to use my left arm to hold my bodyweight off the seat.] It seemed my mouth & my mind were two separate beings because, although I was yelling and screaming, I was thinking “don’t panic – they’re getting help – they’re doing all they can…” [the Mind versus the Witness?]

A Life in WordsMichelle W. was nearby, but I couldn’t see her…she touched my right leg and also tried to reassure me. [I have since discovered that one of the ambulance officers was periodically ‘manhandling’ my pinned leg for signs of response from me; because it was clamped so tightly but my femoral artery was still pumping blood into it, it had swollen to “twice the size” of my left leg, and I was in serious danger of losing the entire appendage if I lost sensation…] 

I was arguing with Mark…I tried to tell him I couldn’t move Erica because she was…unconscious.  But somehow I knew she was dead. There was fresh blood all through her beautiful blonde hair, and a pool of it in her ear (none on her face). [That still amazes me, to this day.] I heard Jody’s breathing, if that’s what you can call it: he was having tremendous difficulty: wheezing & choking [his lungs were punctured]…but I don’t actually remember hearing him stop.

I didn’t think of Monique, nor Jemima or Fiona. I was thrown into oblivion by the shock, I think. I thought only of my immediate surroundings and not even of what had actually occurred. [Talk about being ‘in the Now’…] I remember at one stage, reaching back to feel my right leg…drawing my hand back into view, I saw lots of blood and dirt and fragments of skin hanging off my fingers.  Mark’s left calf had a tear in it: a ‘hole’ and bright red flesh was hanging from that. Possibly the only reason I was not sick (physically) from the sight of all this gore, was the fact that I was in shock. [Absolutely.]

A Life in Words
An aerial view of the hairpin bend we failed to negotiate. You can just see the bus at the top of the picture

I remember, what seemed HOURS later, when they first attempted to lift the bus off my leg…there was a new sensation…painful only in the sense that it was uncomfortable: the rush of blood to supply the rest of my leg, or be released through my open wounds…but it was shortlived…the great tonne [or more?] of metal was again allowed to rest on my leg, as, I found out later, when the bus was first lifted with only one set of ‘Jaws of Life’, the weight was transferred to the other end of the bus and consequently put more pressure on a victim (Cameron) who was trapped by his chest.

So a second set was [finally] applied and the bus levered up evenly. Again, the horrible new sensation.

A man told me he was going to take some metal out of my leg, “Hold still and I’ll do it gently” But I couldn’t bear the thought of him slowly edging foreign material out of my leg, and so yelled “No! Just RIP it out!” [Actually, from memory it was more like “no, just fucking rip it out”] He must have, because I don’t remember the pain from that.

Possibly the most pain I experienced was when they dragged me out from under the bus…up onto a stretcher…I kept my eyes closed for most of that time. I remember chatting away, as they hoisted me off the ground and carried me (upside down – I remember – possibly to stem the flow of blood?) [or to keep the leg elevated, to drain some of the swelling & keep the blood in my torso, around my vital organs?] to the ‘top’.

A Life in Words
Anyone & everyone (who was able) helped SES workers in the rescue.

I was placed under a yellow tarpaulin…still talking to anyone who was there. [Clearly my automatic shock response defaults to Chatterbox.] They tried to put up another tarp adjoining the one I was just underneath and I remember it falling and me putting my hand up to stop it landing on my leg. [It was overcast but I believe there was minimal rainfall, so the rescue operation wasn’t hampered. Lucky us.]

I have no idea how long I waited up on the road, before I left by helicopter. [Days later, two of my friends said their watches had stopped at exactly 12:57pm, so we all assumed that that was the moment of ‘impact’ …and apparently it was pretty much spot on. As for how long I was trapped, then lying on the roadside before my transit to hospital I still have no idea, other than my sister guessing I arrived at Cairns Base around 4pm] Although, I remember seeing Kay standing up…looking at me and saying “You’ll be alright Elissa.” [God knows what her perception of my leg was. I cannot imagine what it must have looked like.]

When I was lifted and told I was going by helicopter (and wasn’t I lucky?) and to shut my eyes, they carried me past a familiar pair of legs sticking out of a familiar pair of shorts…I tried to reach down to him…”Mark! Mark?” But they moved [lifted] me higher up and away faster. From then I kept my eyes closed…it seemed a fairly long trek to the helicopter. [It would have to have been… I almost can’t picture where the chopper would have been able to land on the narrow mountain highway] Then I felt the overhead propellors and I was loaded inside the ‘copter.

I could see the [back of the] pilot’s head, a man sitting to my right (to whom I kept babbling on) and the perspex roof, through which light grey clouds and raindrops could be seen. [Hardly a memorable helicopter ride, when all you get to see is the sky above you.]

I remember borrowing the man’s handkerchief for some (unknown to me) reason and making sure that I returned it to him when we landed. [Courtesy instilled in me by my great parents.] I remember lots of people in white putting me on a trolley stretcher and wheeling me somewhere, [most likely from the Cairns Esplanade (the nearest open space suitable for a helicopter to land) which is fortunately just across the road from the Cairns Base Hospital] but I don’t remember actually entering the hospital.

I remember being wheeled past partitions in a room, wheeled into an end one: directly opposite a set of swinging doors, Just before I was put in there, I recall turning my head to the left and seeing someone, in the partition before mine, with a totally red face….blood-covered & bloodstained…at first I thought it was Brent but realised later it must have been Brett.

I was in that partitioned area for quite a short period of time…some doctor looking at my leg and asking my name, address, parents’ names and home phone number…then I was wheeled through the swinging doors into an unpartitioned room and placed quite nearby Sean D…who was sitting up, looking OK. Again the nurses asked personal details and, whether they gave me a ‘shot’ or not, I remember nothing else…but passing out.

A Life in Words
The shorts I was wearing were cut off me: I don’t know if the discoloured areas are old blood or faeces stains. I would have had no idea (nor care) obviously whether I’d soiled myself or not…

When I came to again, it was only extremely briefly and I felt extremely groggy…I was in a white room with lots of silver machinery [theatre] and they were putting a gown on me, and taking off my ring and earrings. Then I passed out again.

I came to in a corridor; I was being wheeled somewhere [probably to the ward]. As I was still under the effect of the anaesthetic, I was trying my hardest to keep my eyes open. I saw Julia, Mum (very concerned-looking) and Dad and Jenny, then I said “How’s Monique? What about Mark? How is everybody?” [but don’t recall any responses] I vaguely remember Mum nearly fainting and the nurses putting her on a trolley too. [My poor beautiful mother… I can’t imagine the stress she was under. She had had the utter misfortune earlier of sitting with two of the dead children’s mothers at the very moment they were called to be dealt their worst nightmares.]

The next and last thing I remember from that day was finding myself in my room in Ward C West (floor 3). There were lots of people, mostly visitors, milling around. I can only remember talking to Sharon and Harry B. I was unaware of any pain in my leg(s) or the catheter they had ‘implanted’. I didn’t even realise I had no underwear on. I was wearing a hospital nightie. I remember being quite ‘chirpy’ (obviously still in shock) and asking people questions. I had missed the news but heard that it was a ‘national disaster’. [Oddly, I must admit I felt a little ‘thrilled’ about the whole country knowing and talking about us. It goes to show just how powerful Ego can be. Shock can deny you the gravity of a situation but may have no effect on Ego.]

Although visiting hours officially ended at 8pm, I think the hospital staff had quite some difficulty in removing all the visitors (especially relatives) by 8:45pm.A Life in Words

I remember still wanting to talk when everyone had left: Jacque seemed the most willing, aside from Miss Bowles. Miss DeJourdan seemed very quiet and Kay appeared to do much more listening than talking. Fiona was quite absent from this world…it would take at least 3 calls of her name before she would turn to look at whomever was calling, then when asked a question, would either nod, or just look at you, not understanding or comprehending, even ignoring. She slept the most and longest out of the six of us. I wasn’t sure of my wounds, thinking I had a deep cut in the back of my right thigh, and a severe cut on my left knee. I don’t remember whether I was fed painkillers, but I fell asleep quite quickly and quite soundly.

Rec Swimming, Impersonation & Great Grandma’s Fall (28 July-3 August)

Monday 28/7/86

A Life in Words
If only I’d had this at my disposal!

My allergies are comin’ again. My nostrils get blocked & run etc. (It’s not a cold cos I always get a sore throat before the blocked nose…etc) It  seems, too, that lotsa other people have it as well ie: there are quite a few others who are having ‘troubles’ besides me..!!!! Also, I have decided that mark shall be only my friend. This is his 3rd week with Tricia. Either he doesn’t like me, or the poor guy doesn’t know when to stop. [hilarious] He’s really stuffing up his chance with me… (yes, I am hurt. Very.) But I can learn to cope with it. After all, I still  want to be his friend & (I hope) he’ll want to be mine. Bio test tomorrow. Ungh! Also got new maths teacher (forgot his name) but he’s better than Mr Burger (I think) Poor Mark. I don’t know why, but I feel sorry for him! Comm. Games. Ha! Aust coming tie 2nd with no. of gold medals – 15. Eng 17, Canada 17. We’re going downhill now 9:35

Tuesday 29/7/86

Great Grandma is dying. Mum got a phone call tonight. She had a fall (ie: fell over) and her health is decreasing rapidly. Mum doesn’t know whether to tell Nana or not; she will have to, though. Sad, huh? (Poor Julia – really sentimental – crying) [I probably should have used the word ‘sensitive’ because we really didn’t have enough contact with our great grandmother to be ‘sentimental’ about her. Actually, this has surprised me altogether: I thought my great grandmother had passed many years before this.] My blocked sinuses are giving me the shits. And Mark? Well, I’m finding it a bit easier to go without seeing him. (I still like to sometimes, though) And thinking more about him, I wondered how it would ever have worked; him one of the most popular guys in Yr 11, and me. It’s unthinkable. Not to mention, his looks compared to mine (ie: he’s much more attractive than me) [Blaring lack of self worth there, ya think?] Y’know what I mean …. Judy thinks (said this arvy) Tricia really wants Mark, really likes him, but he doesn’t like her much. Haven’t done any HW tonight. Will hafta (esp. maths) do in the morning. Too tired to watch Comm. Games tonite. 9:55

Wednesday 30/7/86

My cold’s shitting me off. [Ok, so it IS a cold now?] Today, mima & Umico (or however you spell it) [Japanese exchange student that Jemima’s family were hosting] went with all the other Japanese billets & their hosts on tour on the Tablelands. They had fun!! Meanwhile: we were bored. Short lessons, & after big lunch (fi, sharon & I went to town to try and get Fi’s keycard) had to choose recreational sport. Sharon, Donna & Sandie did photography. Astia, me & Fi did rec. swimming. Little did I know (until we got there)  that so did Jarrod B, Peter P, Nick R, Patrick O’S, Terry C, Tricia & …Mark. SHAME. If I could’ve; I would’ve swapped (but there was nothing else to do, really) SHIT. Oh well. Also when mime came back, she talked to Terry & Nick while waiting for the bus. Nick likes me, wants me to choose between him and P.P. YUK. A Life in WordsJust been to Trinity Bay’s school play, ‘Westside Story’ – PATHETIC!! CHS ‘Grease’ flog that!! [Clearly I was fiercely loyal to my school.] Mark wasn’t there thank god. Lotsa others were tho’! Is 11:10 (Really cold!)

Thursday 31/7/86

Lucy’s birthday and I didn’t do anything for it. Umah! Pretty boring day. (Biology exam was fairly hard; I didn’t do too well) Art was good; have gotten started with my banner & I think it’ll work well!!! And at big lunch we sat in our area; Justine, Marge & Heather & Linda sang soft songs. I almost fell asleep. It was beautiful!!! And, well, I seemed to see a bit more of Mark. I think. But if he was in a position where he could see me, I would deliberately move; hope he gets the message. [Um, yeah. Because guys are that ‘aware’ in general. Pffft!] I don’t want to do recreational swimming. It’ll be stupid & boring. [….and painful having to watch the couple be together…] Why aren’t there more people Fi & I know who are doing it?? (who can do it) Oh, woe is me. Getting sick of watching Comm. Games all the time – only watch the highlights now & then. Is about 9:07. having an early-ish night. Will probably have another boring weekend. Woe is me. [I tend to like this little phrase, don’t I?]

Friday 1/8/86

A Life in Words
My English teacher believed I had the potential to become a great impersonator, like Max Gillies.

It’s 12:15. Don’t ask me why I’m still awake… I don’t know. I’m watching the Commonwealth Games and time has flown! I rang Justine this arvy (mum couldn’t get me a hair appointment this arvy – Monday will have to do) and around 6:30 (6:45) we picked her up & we went late nite. Town was empty. Looked around – didn’t find much to my liking.. some was but I still had doubts. Nevertheless, I came home with a pair of white stockings & a black kohl pencil. Today was rather boring. Spent all lunch hour in art. My banner is stuffed. Don’t give a shit. About Mark, either. Mr G thinks I could be another Max Gillies if I applied myself. [Max Gillies is an Australian comic actor, celebrated for his ability to impersonate primarily Australian politicians. He was best known for his ABC television programme, ‘The Gillies Report’. One of my most vivid memories was of Mr G.’s expression when I first recited the part of Juno in ‘Juno & the Paycock’ in our class reading of the play. I was secretly chuffed that he tended to give me lead character roles in almost everything we read from thereon in.] He really can’t believe ‘how good I am at accents’ etc. Thinks I could be a great impersonator. Ha. Ha. Boy I am tired. But I’m going to Earlville tomorrow. Hopefully I’ll be successful there ie: find a great shirt for the dance

Saturday 2/8/86

While All I bought last night was the stockings and eyeliner, [today] I spent about $47 . . . two blouses – a white long sleeved shirt (the one from Jack is too see-thru) Love it!! And also a black & white striped long sleeve shirt – a bit small around sleeve length – and sleeve (wrist) buttons tight but great as well!! And also some black mascara (thick; really great!) Back at home, I messed around; Did nothing in particular; a bit of (very little bit of) HW; dancing; listning to music; little TV; watching My Fair Lady on TV now. Am tired. Julia & mum are in bed; just Geoff & me watching TV. With my new shirts, I actually still don’t know what to wear to the dance; the problem this time being that I have so many combinations with my new clothes that I don’t know what to wear!!! [Oh my, too many options!] 10:30 already; at least 1½ hrs of the movie left yet. Oh I’m tired. Sleep in tomorrow. Haircut monday – can’t wait.

Sunday 3/8/86

Another wasted day. I read my book for speech, tho. Only have 3 chapters left. Also tried my english assignment. Got almost on half of a foolscap done, [back in the day, before computers, we wrote our assignments by hand, on paper. A ‘foolscap’ was a standard paper size. I’m fairly sure you can still find foolscap paper & pads at stationery stores] but I wasn’t happy with it so scrapped it. I’m just not in the mood; I have the ideas; too many ideas cos I want to put them all on paper, then it sounds stupid so I have to start again. [Ah, this. THIS is what I still struggle with today. It’s my major block to writing: too many thoughts leading me off-track. It’s a HUGE contributor to Procrastination. Lack of concentrated thought/ideas + perfectionism = a recipe for ‘disaster’ in the ‘achievement’ stakes]  So I’ll have to wake early tomorrow & do it. Otherwise I ate. I am bloody ashamed at the amount, too. Hope I’m not going to grow again. Tall enough. Oh well… this’ll be the 4th week Mark’s been with Trish. I’ll have to shut off now, for sure. It’s gonna be bloody hard. Sometimes he smiles like in Bio, someone talking to/ teasing me. He still likes me, at least a bit, that’s for sure. But.. I can’t hold on. I’m so hurt already. what would it be like later?? 8:45