Enter Eighty-Eight: Heaviness, Holes ‘n’ All… (1-3 January)

This year will be a particularly difficult transcription for me, for a number of reasons:

Because I’d decided in ’87 that I needed more room to record, I didn’t buy a day-to-a-page diary. Instead, I started out with a little ring-binder folder (see Tuesday 29 Dec, in the previous post] but as it filled up within the first few months, my 1988 diary ended up scattered throughout various notebooks and writing pads. Thankfully I did collate and transcribe them by hand some years later into a thick A4 spiral-bound notebook (pic below).A Life in Words

Because I wasn’t confined to an allotted space, I wrote more. A LOT more (…and gawd, did I dribble on…) This is painful in itself: it’ll demand more time & effort to publish my weekly posts.

Because of the scattered entries, but also mainly because of my particularly frenetic social life, some entries (days) were lost as a result. I’m fairly certain this is the only year that has ‘holes’ in it. This would be one of the main reasons I reverted back to ‘day-to-a-page’ diaries ever after. The limited space also encouraged me to continue my routine: an open book (unlimited space) is quite intimidating and feels like a lot more work… )

And finally, to be totally honest, I just didn’t like 1988. I can’t really explain why: maybe it was simply the Real World, the literal end of childhood. I was now facing Real Life and Responsibility. It wasn’t an easy year for me; the whole world as I knew it fell away beneath my feet. I somehow found it traumatic, but in an entirely different way to the bus accident: it was more personal. There was no extraordinary tragedy/ies to which I could ascribe my feelings, my actions and reactions: this was me drowning (as it felt) in the face of ordinary, everyday life experiences.

Friday 1/1/88

Well at midnight it was hug like crazy. I hugged so many people and got some kisses too. I’m sure I could’ve kissed Philip (N) had I not pulled away in the first place. [There’s that inherent shyness that most people can’t see in me…] I was so hurt when I saw [privacy omission] and Jim … they went all the way. I really wished Mark was there then, but was O.K. Soon after, though, Megan Sharon & I left: got a taxi to the Hill. Wasn’t too bad in there, but all the sleazes were left. […as they always are….] I was in a real mood.. not really happy (very tired) and thinking one hell of  a lot about Mark. God I wish he was here. So much. Well in Smithy’s we sat (after Sharon & Megan “exploding”) [that is, after they each downed the particular cocktail we all favoured for intoxication purposes- aptly named ‘Explosion’. For those who missed the description previously, it was a glassful of straight spirits, set alight and consumed through a straw…] & I was real bored- that Darren S guy came up beforehand and was saying how he’d wanted to see me again after that night (I was so nonchalant) (almost bitchy) […yes, well, clearly not interested…] It was really boring (CB & I were dead tired Sharon annoying me so much ..getting shitty ‘cos I “wasn’t getting into it”. Anyway we left around 3:30, with [privacy omission]. Dropped Sharon home, then to a 24hr [service station …”servo” as we called them] Megan & [privacy omission] got food – CB & I nearly bombed [fell asleep] in the back of the car (talking a lot about [privacy omission] tonight she had Shane McM; bitch) so then [privacy omission] took us to Megan’s where we sat and talked for a while in the car. Finally they left (CB & privacy omission]) and Megan & I prepared for bed. A Life in WordsAfter reading Mark’s letter, it was about 5:30 and daylight was breaking. I woke a few times, but got out of bed at, get this: 1:00pm! Megan & I had food, a swim, food then mum got me (about 4:00) We talked a lot in between. I’m still worried about what to do this year. What will I do?? SHIT!! So I watched TV all afternoon. Mrs H came past (walking the dog, Gemma) and stopped to talk… all about careers & life after school. Megan forgot to ring me tonight ([privacy omission] did this arvy- she knew I was shitty with her about Jim) Just watched the 4hr AUSTRALIA LIVE show (bicentennial thingy) was quite good! Some things were really funny! Now I’m going to watch DR. ZHIVAGO while everyone else bombs A Life in Words(I probly will too) Have so much to do: get Mark a present, send him a telegram, [Ha, seriously? For anyone under the age of thirty, imagine going to an office in town to pay someone to send a text message for you. That’s pretty much what a telegram was…or IS if they even still exist?] decide about my QTAC, get Mark’s family a prezzy, clean my room, etc, etc, etc! …Ugh! Well Goodnight. First goodnight of 1988!!

Saturday 2/1/88

Well, I got to bed around 2:15 last night after Dr. Zhivago (which I really loved) deciding that Rage wasn’t worthwhile watching. I woke, god knows, to answer the phone (Joannah: [privacy omission]) around perhaps 10:30(??) I spent the day, well, most of it, cutting up magazine pictures (watching cricket) and was still doing that when Mike & Cynthia and Dougie, Thomas and couz Kylie & her best friend Nonie, arrived. I felt unsociable because of it, but I tried. Could tell they were bored. Sharon rang in the meantime & invited me to Green Is. tomorrow I said I’d ring her back. So I finished cutting pictures and cleaning out more drawers (and “regions”) of my bedroom. Taylors & Co and Sharon rang – I said yes. A Life in WordsTonight I have a rather large mess on my bedroom floor. It’s 9:30 or so and I don’t care if that’s the way it stays. […which is impressive considering how neat and organised I am – verging on OCD…] I need an early night. Gotta be up early tomorrow. God I’m missing Mark! Only 3 days left! Catching up my ’87 HW diary this arvy too – that took up time & space. [And was it really so important? No!] I have so much to do!!

Sunday 3/1/88

Mum woke me I don’t know when because I was tired and hadn’t finished my dream, but I got up at 7:38 anyway. Had breakfast, waxed armpits (!!) then rushed around trying to figure out what to take (& wear). Had nothing in the fridge I could take to eat, neither did we have any suntan lotion (only 15+ sunblock – so I took that) Got there just a little late (Sharon said she was beginning to worry→ panic) Bought tickets & boarded. Packed boat→ had to share our seat. Once there (long boring trip) found ourselves an area, swam then baked. A trip to the kiosk (and back for a swim & a bake again) revealed… NO spunks (unattached ones, that is) How depressing! So after another trip (to get lunch) then another bake (I felt I was getting burnt) we went, got a loaf of bread and Sharon fed the fish. She borrowed snorkels and goggles from this man and occupied herself . I sat, staring into the water, watching that man’s [the snorkel-and-goggles man’s] lady (wife!) having heaps of trouble in a canoe when I realised this most gorgeous guy (worked at the island) was sitting close by… laughing now & then. He made some comments and I laughed. A Life in WordsGod he was cute! Grant Kenny lookalike! [Grant Kenny (see right) was an Australian Ironman champion in the early 80’s] I said after awhile (Sharon had come up) “where’s the lady in the canoe?” and we laughed again (Uh, yummy!) So Sharon & I hung around, then went for our last quick dip (having gone back, gotten our gear, and placed it on our boat) Got on, then went off again to get food at the kiosk & on again & there he was! We went up to ask one guy some silly question just so we could perve. [Ha, teenaged girls…] Trip home seemed faster. God my legs are so burnt: so’s my stomach & lower back ..mph! Pain! Walked up to the Hostel, I rang mum & Sharon caught a Hayles bus home. [Hayles Pty Ltd was the company that ran the vessels to the islands at that time, and they naturally (a tourism essential) provided courtesy buses so she snagged a free ride home since one of their routes passed close by. Unfortunately, they didn’t ‘service’ my part of town.] Did nothing at home except worry about the amount of things I have to do tomorrow. Presents + telegram for Mark… clean room, go through QTAC forms. Oh dear! Watching cricket now – it’s depressing cause we are losing (again?!) [maybe that’s one of the reasons I’ve ended up with an aversion to watching it now?] and it’s about 10:00. So I might go to bed, now. Beautiful weather today. We were going to go to beach night but decided we were too exhausted. I’M BURN’T!! [I have no idea why I threw an apostrophe in that word. I did know better… sunstroke, maybe?]

Pedi-Cabs, Parties & Regurgitated Vodka Orange (14-20 December)

Monday 14/12/87

Woke rather early- wished I could’ve gotten more sleep (but what’s new?) Hanging out for the postman .. but he’s getting later & later now cause of xmas mail ‘rush’. Plus our. phone wasn’t working (all day, it turned out.→ lines were cut) so I couldn’t ring Fiona, so I bludged all day till she came to visit .. to talk about dinner. She left & I kept reading magazines ..then she came back again & jules & I went with her to get videos (etc) then home again. Watched TV till Chris & Cameron visited. I went for a drive; so did they! And Sharon was there when we returned. She told me all about herself (as usual) [um Liss, I don’t think you can point fingers…] Then I had to hurry to get ready. Jay & Anna & Jenny picked me up. At the LIN NAM restaurant, we waited ages … but when everyone who was coming, was there (Fi, Brent Jay, me, Sue, Anna, Jenny & mima) we ate yummy chinese foodA Life in Words – then ice cream balls (fried) for dessert. [Gawd I love those things! Mum actually made them a few times at home. Mmmm, nom-nom-nom!] At Fi’s again . . watched FROG DREAMING and then THIEF OF HEARTS. I was dead after that.

Tuesday 15/12/87

Had a rather (short) restless sleep. Mima had to leave earlier .. Fi dropped me home before going grocery shopping.. then picked me up after. (no letter from him again) we went to mima’s & watched TV mostly all day… taping music for their trip. Went to Smithfield at one stage & had a ½hr wait (browsing in shops) for them to fix the heels on Mrs B’s shoes. TV (& a pig-out) again, then talk (about old times) and finally to indoor soccer. Freak rainstorm during it – came & went instantly! Got home before 7:00 – watched TV all night – Now’s about 9:45. Need good sleep tonite_hopefully going out tomorrow night (haven’t been out for yonks!) – (over a week!) [My my, a whole week? That’s shocking. You’re hard pressed to get me to leave the house these days. In fact, I hate getting to bed later than 10pm] thinking about Mark today & my feelings were different – I didn’t feel so sick or angry I had a strange feeling of nonchalance – like no matter he was there: he loves me. Wierd!! [Yes, weird: badly worded. I think basic gist is that I was finally ‘leting go’ of an issue that had been plaguing me…] I can’t wait to have that talk with him – it’s imperative!! NITE!!

Wednesday 16/12/87

A Life in Words
Pedi-cabs were everywhere in Cairns in the late 80’s but oddly enough, despite the tropical heat, you’d rarely see them with the hoods up, like this.

Woke rather early again .. remember waiting for Fiona (& the bloody mailman!) did art – the crash scrapbook (only a little) she came, and went, Adam rode down here, she came again with Nyrie & we all went [to see our friend and her family off on their European holiday]. There were so many people .. and it was so emotional! (You’d think they were leaving for life) then we went into town. Saw Tania & she gave us a pedi-cab ride to Dad’s [Ah, ye olde pedi-cabs. They were THE thing at that time.] (where I got a loan of $10 & a big nag lecture about my career.) [Yep. Dad was certainly the disciplinarian. No one could ever accuse him of failing to instill in us work ethic and the value of a dollar…] Fiona got lots of her shopping done (me, included) and we got home around 4:30-5:00. Fi rang & said she wasn’t going out; ditto Jo. So I couldn’t get onto Jude so – Sharon ..she came late & in town we had trouble: NPBS [Northern Permanent Building Society – I’m fairly sure I had a bank account with them too…] ate her cashcard and at ANZ she had only $2. Went around esplanade. ..finally loaned $20. [To think you only needed $20 for a night out on the town… that is surely unheard of now?] Got in up there [the House on the Hill] no sweat. But there was barely anyone there. Juliet Jude, Anna, Danae Juliet & Sharon made up. [Made up? Erm, obviously there’d been some issue/s between these girls previously… that I can’t recall…] Nigel was back – he won Bruce SpringsteenA Life in Words

Thursday 17/12/87

→album & gave it to me [damn, I’d always believed I’d won it myself …in one of those poncy dancing comps the club DJs sometimes randomly held] – so there’s something for Julia (Xmas prezzy) [ah yes, ever the pragmatist: with very limited funds for christmas shopping, I had to be resourceful. Mind you, if I’d really wanted the album I wouldn’t’ve re-gifted it, I’m sure…] I was smoking too got rather drunk – people buying drinks for me. Later I drank so much I had one whole cigarette & was spinning badly then I vomitted (inside – yes! EMBARRASSING But I think no one saw me x-ept who I was with – Anna & a guy she knew) [Oh yes, I remember this quite clearly – considering how intoxicated I obviously was. I’d been drinking vodka & orange, and was standing a a ‘dry bar’ (a table you stand at) with Anna & her friend when the urge came over me and I basically ‘re-filled’ the glass from which I’d been drinking. Needless to say, we all promptly vacated the table (the other two obviously faster than I) and full glass, and later contemplated the likelihood of some grubby cheapskate happening upon said receptacle, only to receive a nasty surprise…] FUCK! Then I took it easy [too little too late?] – sobered up. . danced with new St M. [St Monica’s] Friends & ‘David‘ & Richard (O’S) left around 4:30- Anna paid taxi- Jay didn’t come back to pick us up. Anna was so mad. Anyway bombed it & woke around 9:45 Got up_feeling DEAD & rang Jo. But I rang her back to say I felt too sick to go. I honestly felt real bad. A Life in Words[Finally a hangover worth mentioning…] Slept all day, nearly .. till 1:45 & watched TV for the rest. Boring!! I really badly want to go op-shopping (Xmas shopping – get it out o’ the way). I feel so mixed up about Mark too. I want him to love me real lots – with a strong passion [it is what it is, Elissa] .. but I can’t help feeling he likes (I can’t say it Loves) Nicole. It makes me sick to think he could & probably does. [Ego’s reaction] Oh what’m I to do?? [Well, nothing right now, obviously; the guy is thousands of kilometres away from you. What you need to do is quieten the incessant, mostly ridiculous, stories your Mind is pushing at you so that you can allow your gut instinct to surface…]

Friday 18/12/87

I spent the day at home (mostly). see I’d wanted to go op-shopping or Xmas shopping in town, but also go to the beach, however Fiona said she was working when I rang her. So I spent the day (well, for starters, I’d ‘slept’ a lot of it ‘in’) doing scrapbook, but mostly watching TV. Sharon rang & about 3:30 mum dropped me in town (talked to Giles) she bought stuff & we walked round saw Gordon for a while, then we met mum & julia. Missed the pedi-cab ‘grand prix [I have no idea what this was for, or in conjunction with, nor why my Dad was involved…] (saw the end tho’. Yeah dad won ..big thing about it .. no time to talk to us & By the way, he wouldn’t let me have the weekend for 2 at the Hilton. [Why should he give his prize to you Liss?] A Life in WordsI bought, only his prezzy – $6.25 3 glass storage jars. home by 9:30 ..Sharon & I got a taxi around 10:30-11:00. There were more people than Wed, (more young ‘uns) but not enough to open upstairs, Mark R. was there & I tried to keep looking at him. [Why?] We did basically nothing but talking mucking round with Dean, till Jeffry M & ‘Heiffer’ asked us to dance

Saturday 19/12/87

→(I don’t remember his real name) Jeffry was dancing with Sharon. “OK…” I thought, but when we sat down, they Sharon & Heiffer seemed to disappear & we talked & eventually got together. He left 2:30, kept saying about the party ..if I wasn’t going to ring him; If I was I could ring him anyway [privacy omission – I had inserted his phone number here and was stoked I actually memorised it→] I remembered WOW! Of all people – I got Jeffry M!!! (& [privacy omission] didn’t even!) So we danced & Megan C said she’d take us home ..she left at 5:00. Great.. I’m too old to stay out that early late anymore! [Oh that, that is hilarious…] So I got sleep (mum was awake!!) till Jo rang 9:20 & I had to answer it. Wasted morning: Fi came over & we went to Smithfield, then beaches, but too windy, so after a slip’n’slide in Sharon’s backyard, we sunbaked there. A Life in WordsGot home around 4:00 -slept till 6:00 or so. Sharon & I got there around 8:30. Jeoffry [I clearly struggle with deciding how to spell some peoples’ names…] was there .. so were millions of other people: it was a massive party! Jimmy was there God he’s gorgeous. Apparently he broke up with his girlfriend .. sharon told me he wanted to talk to me! (Well, the party: was good. Not a RAGE! just good. Mark R was there Jeffry talked to me … and later, in the house tried to .. well, he did want a relationship ..[privacy omission] said so→

Sunday 20/12/87

→so then I decided to say it : and I felt so bad .. I still do, but it’s the truth. I don’t want to screw anyone up. [That’s me: too nice, too honest …too gullible?] SO he won’t talk to me ever again, probly hate me (& his friends will too) But I don’t care: Jim!!) [WTF?!] so. There were lots of fights, the party ended round 2:00 I think .. I found out staying over wasn’t a simple matter of anywhere you want, so I walked with [privacy omission] & CB to Hoare St, we caught a cab to [privacy omission]‘s ..ate what we could find, and fell asleep in front of RAGE (TV) woke early .. CB & I talked .. went & got clothes from Lisa’s place up the road .. then Tasha S came down & [privacy omission], Tash & I went to the shop for brekky stuffs. Mum picked me up round 11:00 & I slept till about 2:00 at home. Mulleys place I bitched about Nicole, to Moo- we watched RUTHLESS PEOPLE on video, then went to LeB’s (gorgeous) new house. At home -rang Fi .. I would’ve walked with her [to (yet another) party] but she was going to be too late so I went by 8:10. A Life in WordsDrank Fosters all nite. [Ew, really?! The Aussie beer with the highest international profile that isn’t actually consumed (and is actually detested) by a vast majority of Australians… Well, it was popular back in the 80s’…] I got so drunk. I mean it was BAD – the whole night I regret completely. See, I got very drunk .. finding it hard to walk, even (usually I have no trouble with mobility when I’m drunk – look sober) [well, so you think…] so I was→ [uh-oh…. in true soap opera style, you’re going to have to wait til next week to find out how this exciting tale unfolds…]

Romeo Rejections, Dogs In Space & a Police Raid (23-29 November)

Monday 23/11/87

Woken at 8:00, I got to Mark’s and kept on writing the letter, even thru’ our trip (with Cameron) into town & KMart. [I explained what this letter was all about in the previous post but to recap I was trying to pen something (‘massive’ …like a novel) for him to read on his overseas family holiday.] Back at his place, I finished it – 11 pages (not bad considering the time I had)). At the airport, we waited, had a drink. Was kinda sad .. only 3 or 4 kisses (1 long-ish) before he left. Would’ve loved to go with them. [Was it even an option? I mean, apart from being unable to afford it, I don’t even remember being invited…] EUROPE! Imagine it?!!? Wow, I’m so tired. It’s after 12:30. I need sleep badly. Not really missing Mark – had fun without him tonite. [So you’re not as dependent as you thought you were?] A Life in WordsJo rang (well I rang her) at home & we went into town & walked around. I saw Stewart – I know he would’ve seen us- I avoided him …(god, I wish I hadn’t lost that friendship. I do like him more also, I know) Jo came to my place. Reddy [a deliberate misspelling] & went to hair show practise. At awards, Jeffry M actually talked to me, but was trying to con on to CB obviously. Found out thru mima – [privacy omission]‘s got a reputation at Saints and also a rumour that Mark got back with me before he went away so I’d remain faithful to him. Well, if I got a chance at the BIG TIME Stewart or PHILLIP) too bad, Marky!! [Beyond the obvious fickleness and superficiality, this comment bespeaks of indignation (if the rumour was true, how dare he?) and further, a desire for ‘justice’ – or retribution (if the rumour was true and if the opportunity arose, “….you’re history”…] After, went to Backpackers – but mainly SCANDALS. Chris H dropped me home.

Tuesday 24/11/87

Busy day! Rang Fi around 10:15 – (got up at 9:20, or so – long sleep I needed) She picked me up around 10:45, 11:00. We (Mima & Fi & I) went into town.. did nothing spectacular: put film in to be processed . . .  looked around Hilton shops. Went to Earlville for a little while, then (dropping off to get my togs) went to Crystal’s. Sunbaked (so hot!!) only a little while – the shade from trees came quickly. Leaving, NSW guys “dragged” us on Intake Road (oh! Fi let me drive to Crystals [good god, that was dangerous Fi!] -part the way -was good, but gear changes at beginning were – um – funny) […in other words, not great…] Saw David at Redlynch shop, Went to Esplanade Rang mum told her what I was doing (on answering machine). Went to indoor soccer. Cameron V.B’s nice (but Aaron K’s body – YUM!) Saw Cameron, then home by 7:30. Mum & Julia not -house unlocked, no note; I worried [about them] but they came saying Mr B died this morning (cancer) & they went to briefly see Mrs F .. stayed for tea (coffee). I Watched TV tonite. It’s 10:00- I need sleep for tomorrow night BIG nite out! (Hope Phillip’s there. Or Stuart or Cameron’ll (V.B.) do!) Gam On!! [Wow, I thought I’d long outgrown that word! “Gammon” was a term we inherited from Aboriginal & Islander kids at primary school and had a myriad of different meanings A Life in Words(as the Macquarie Dictionary – and Urban dictionary, see pic – confirms) but pretty much all connoting untruth or unreality… In this particular instance I’d’ve meant “As if!”] Mm! Sleep! Gonna get brown & skinny & blonde, I am!! everyone practically says “so are you missing Mark?” I hate to say yes, but feel like a bitch saying NO. [The agony of independance and pride versus compassion and potential judgement by others…]

A Life in Words
The advent of digital cameras (still a decade away at this point in time) erased the pain of ‘memories lost’ due to the sometimes problematic photography equipment on hand the 80’s.

Wednesday 25/11/87

SO HOT! Woke around 8:00…rang Jemima around 9:30 – said Fiona was spending the day with Jason & she wanted to stay home, so I prepared to spend a day at home alone, myself. I sunbaked briefly (& it went a bit red tonite, too!) Mum came home – I got dressed, we dropped Julia at school & I picked up photos- my 36 exp. [exposure] film was … totally BLANK. I was so mad with myself – all those great shots of Monday night, down the drain. [You youngsters will never know this pain; one of the best technological developments ever was the digital camera. It is however arguable whether that function added to mobile phones has been all positive…] SHIT. But the “last day of school” photos are excellent! […I must have put two separate cannisters of film in for processing?] I went to Sahara – tried on my bikinis and had 2nd thoughts- I look disgusting in 2 piece [We are our own worst critics, and I was. Yes okay, I still can be…] (I am so hot) Glyn, Chris & Cameron visited me at home: I was putting the photos in albums. Lazed afternoon away: phone calls to & from people Got ready; mima took me to Jude’s & her dad took us to town. We caught a taxi to the Hill & [privacy omission] only got asked for I.D. Inside there were quite a few but not too many people we knew. We weren’t really raging .. I had an explosion with Jude – didn’t do anything .. then I saw him (with Jemila talking) – (Jeff M & Phil N were there too) PHILLIP C! I went up & talked a little .. then we went & sat near his friends. I talked to Deanne & he went away→

Thursday 26/11/87

→ said ‘Bye’ and kind of held up his hand in a wave. Great! “He doesn’t like me” ..so I went and found Jude & Joannah & I complained. [It’s just wrong that you can’t have everything you want in Life, isn’t it?] But somehow, I found him again. (dancing!) and I stuck with him for the rest of the night! Talking (sitting) The best I got was a brief hold of his hand before a dance.. I tried but he wasn’t responding [oh this is painful!] (doesn’t he like me or doesn’t he know how to act?) [I’ve since learnt it’s pretty much always the former: it becomes pretty easy to discern whether or not someone is really “into you”…] Well outside (he was walking home to a friend’s place) he gave me one little kiss on the lips and said “just get in the car!” [And there it is…] So I did. A Life in WordsThis morning I woke at 10:30.. did nothing till I rang Jo. She came round & picked me up. At her place (I met Sara) we watched “DOGS IN SPACE” (a really poor recording) then went to her dad’s office – to make lots of phonecalls about Kelvin Grove interviews (& her folio) we waited till about 5:30 before Sara came then to Earlville : [privacy omission]! Then out to pick up Mrs C. [privacy omission] had the biggest row in the car .. at Smithfield, Saw Stewart. I didn’t speak .. we were late back to the car ..another fight! At Jo’s place- another fight! [Privacy omission] made dinner, but dropped the dish as she was carrying it out to the table – really upset her. Played cards after a (make-shift) dinner: then fell asleep on the

Friday 27/11/87

→horrible, hard loungeroom floor. Woke so much during the night. Jemima rang & invited Jo (she didn’t know I was there) to her place for a swim (with Cameron, Chris, Glyn, Brent & Fi) then lots of phone calls – one from Stewart. I only talked for 2 mins. I think.. “if I see you out, I see you out”. “Definitely” he said. So I wasted much of the morning playing patience [aka the card game Solitaire. My mum had always called it Patience…] while Jo was in the phone. then Fi came & picked me up after 11:00-11:30 sometime. Watched end of GOLDEN CHILD then Chris, Cam, Glyn, Fi, Mim & I went to Crystals. was really nice – I got burnt – but not so bad it’ll peel… Chris had to leave early for a driving lesson: Cam, mima & I waited for Fi & Glyn’s return (the bitches went to KFC) [!! LOL] at Mima’s Glyn had to leave – but we sat in the pool “playing games”. Then they dropped me home first. I rang Sharon, then Jo. Fi rang said she’d find us in town. Sharon got to my place (I was freaking out about what to wear.) [That used to happen regularly] In town – boring – we went to watch the HILTON OPENING FIREWORKS. Lotsa tonnesa people there!A Life in Words Met Cam & Chris .. we all went to KFC for tea. Then picked up Glyn (dropping off Cameron) At HOTH, [security] were really strict [about identification] (let us sign the book) […this basically being a registry of club patrons’ (who failed to produce satisfactory identification) personal details – Statutory Declarations – which the venue could use to absolve itself of responsibility in the event of a subsequent legal matter.] got a stamp. Rumours that→

Saturday 28/11/87

←there was gonna be a raid . . . boring to start with (I saw that Darren S guy) [a drunken pash candidate from a few weeks back] Finally “upstairs” opened: still no people. Around 12:00, Sharon & I sat with these older guys she knew, and there came the Police. [Two or three uniformed, if I recall correctly] I was a little nervous, but it was fine. Sharon nicked off after that & I got pissed off [with her]. Stewart was there. I stood with him and Smithfield mob – Shane L, Matthew, Axel & his friend Phil, when the Pigs came back in – Sharon virtually “ran” away. I stayed put & they didn’t give me a second glance. Eventually I talked to Stewart (after dancing with Shane) and he couldn’t give a reply. . told him all I felt (in brief – I wasn’t even the slightest bit drunk) [oh dear, really?] and he said he could still fall in love with me, […Liss, if it hasn’t happened by now…] but basically (I made him tell me before he left) [hey, everyone needs closure right?] he chose not to. Just be good friends, really good friends. [Oh E, it’s been obvious for SO long…] So Sharon (got with Steve from the Intern. Hostel.(!!)) & I got a lift home. I woke around 10:00 to a phone call from her. my throat so sore. Jo rang & I had a penecillan. A Life in Words[Yeah, no worries …just randomly pop an antibiotic pill whenever you feel like it. I don’t remember Mum having such a diverse collection of pharma at home.] Bludged the rest of the day: Mike came over in the afternoon – left & came back for dinner. Mima & everyone picked me up just after 8:00. Went (picked up Peter & Colleen) to Esplanade (saw Sharon very briefly & were bible-bashed!!) Party was MASSIVE .. so many people! We went & got VODKA Colleen & I  & I had orange .. Having an excellent time (I’d rung Phillip twice before – he was at the party) & I found out Phillip likes Kate H [I’d gotten the surname wrong…]

Sunday 29/11/87

→the guy (whose place he stayed at Wed. nite) sister. (Gr 10, or so). We talked, anyway (shortly) The party ended at 10:50. cause someone vomitted upstairs. So angry! It was such an excellent party.. so we went in search of irene St one ..Jason P told me Mark R likes me. Ha! [Ironic because I’d had a crush on him a few years back…] I was pretty drunk. Funny- I said “he doesn’t remember me” ..he said “well he dragged me round trying to point you out….” la-de-da! So that party was rather dead, too.. then I fell asleep in Fi’s car on the way home (stopped at 24Hr Serv. Stn). Woke late, round 10:00 this morning & bludged the day, till just after 2:00 (after phone calls to Jo…) I waxed my armpits, then mum drove me to Palm Cove.. Jo shut the shop for 5 mins – we got an ice-cream & went to see the surf-carnival, [knowing there’d be some hot bods there… and some of particular interest…] but discovered on the way it was over (heard the loudspeaker presentations) at shop again – waited outside ..saw Fi, mima, Sue, brent & talked ages to Crabbie. Phillip apparently went past in the McM’s car. At home, rushed ate tea & mima & fi & I went to Drive In. A Life in WordsPolice Academy IV made me sick.. the idea’s wearing very thin. The LOST BOYS was excellent (unbeknown to us, beforehand, it was a horror movie about vampires) […well I wouldn’t really class it as a horror film now…] Scared us shitless! But was excellent (my door slammed shut for no reason & we packed it!) [“Packing it” refers to fright. It seems to be a lesser known slang phrase we used since I can’t find the exact context for it, even in the Urban Dictionary. I guess it may correlate to pooping (packing) your pants with fear..?] I stayed mima’s (Fi, her & me talked about old times for ages, then Fi took Brent home.)

Desperation, Delusion, Despair & ….Drunk (21-27 September)

A Life in Words

A Life in Words
…not quite there yet…

This is an unusual way for me to begin a post, but I feel the need to warn you now that it comprises a tragic mix of desperation, delusion, dependence and despair (because it was a particularly heavy week; processing my first ever experience of being dumped). It makes for a juicy read but it’s THE most embarrassing for me to date, by far and away. (The quotes I found all help to describe and/or ‘justify’ some of my feelings about it so fittingly that I decided to include them all). It’s very difficult for me to accept that I actually thought and acted the way I did: the antagonism, grovelling and bitchiness all borne of desperation, (ego-driven) pain …and a clear lack of self esteem. But this (Life) IS a learning process…

 

A Life in Words
…even if it involves THEM?

Monday 21/9/87

I’ve got it! I’ve got it! I know how we should be! [‘Should’ is one of those useless, stress-inducing words; implying obligation, duty, correctness: all of which mean different things to different people, to boot.] . . just like the Christmas holidays → then also those 3 days before the camp. That is, on the holidays, I don’t ring every day; only  be a ‘friend’ and let him decide what, if we do anything, [ugh, in other words be a door mat?] unless I’ve got a set proposition. And at school, I just don’t go up to him at all …except maybe a little bit. I don’t know if I’ll even sit near him in biology. That way he’ll have his ‘freedom’ and, will start to miss me a bit & ∴ chase me more than I do, him [Oh dear. *shakes head* Liss ….where to start?! ….perhaps by not thinking so much?]  Anyway today, ate very little .. my stomach’s shrunk. (GREAT!) Mima & fi didn’t want to do anything today. . I got my hair cut Did scrapbook most of the day. Fiona rang Mark this morning, but wasn’t home. I hope she gets around to it soon. [Seriously? Surely some part of me was aware of the futility of this caper? Getting my friends to try to retrieve information for me (‘answers’ I believed I needed – even though they were all there in plain sight…) was not just useless (why would he ‘open up and spill all’ suddenly to one of your friends? At worst, wouldn’t that in itself indicate that he wasn’t comfortable being truly open with you?) and actually counter-productive: exacerbating his negativity toward you.] I NEED HIM. [Um, like oxygen? I don’t think so.] I’m not sure he needs me now, after all this. [Ya think?] A Life in WordsIt makes me wonder how he could give up that easily. IT STILL HURTS ME. SO MUCH. [It’s still pretty fresh. That’s to be expected.] God, I wish I could turn back the clock. A whole year. [….aaaaand then what?]

Tuesday 22/9/87

In town with Fi & Mima, met Brent. Didn’t do very much really. (I was on the lookout for Trisha F bitch) [Haha, what, to “have a go”? Pffft, talking tough! I don’t have an aggressive bone in my body. I obviously wasn’t completely aware of that back then.] I didn’t have any money until late in the morning; when I found Julia & got my $50 from dad. (Then mum found me and gave me my bankbook & when I tried to swap it over for a cashcard, [yeah, that’s right people, the era of ‘plastic money’ (including Australia’s currency change to polymer notes) burgeoned in the 1980’s (even though credit cards had been around for awhile). ATM machines were slowly popping up – but only at bank branches] they said I had to be 18. That sux. I’m gonna change banks. [Can’t recall with whom I banked back then.] Fi had a doctor’s appointment. Mima, Brent & I got ice cream (gelati – I couldn’t eat it) [Now that’s a serious state of affairs – if I “can’t” eat one of my favourite treats…] Were going to get a video and watch it at fi’s but Stewart didn’t let us!! So we went home. I rang Nigel about the english [assignment??]: we’ll have to work out something. Also Steven, but he was “at the movies”. A Life in Words[Yes it gets worse: I’m now harassing his friends…] So when Jason, Fi & I got there (with Wade, David etc) I saw him and tried to talk. Keith walked past & I knew Mark was hiding. It’s almost as if he hates me. [No, he just wanted space. But in my defense, I literally was there with friends to see the movie, not to hunt him down…] He (when he did show) stayed well away not looking or talking to me at all. It hurts so much. I sat next to David during the movie & Fi & Jason said they didn’t see him, or even Keith look over once. I’m sure he’s trying to hate me. [How easy it is to create anxiety! Attempting to assume the thoughts of others is such a waste of energy: nine out of ten times you’ll be wrong and/or you’ll never find out anyway.] Walked off towards city place straight after→

Wednesday 23/9/87

→talking to Terry outside. We went to Yanks… I didn’t feel like anything to eat or drink. After, we went to Jason’s (just Fi, Mark B, & me) (David came in Jason’s car) and watched Bruce Lee (They still call me Bruce!) A Life in WordsBut we all fell asleep during it at sometime. Raining lots. At home, around 2:30, I bombed- freezing! This morning I was depressed when I thought about the movies, and how mark was. Why is he doing this? [I was so blind…] Keith even came up to me & rubbed it in.. “we were coming over & Mark said “shit!”..” That makes me feel really great. I feel like crying. Today, I watched TV, and did crash scrapbook again. I rang Fi after Steven (Steve said he’d talk when he called Mark around lunchtime) [Oh god, I wish I could shake myself!] So I told Fi Mark should be home around then. I need help. I’m hurting so much. I’ve got a horrible feeling he’s not just “having a break” so we can start again, but “having a break” so that I get used to being without him. [That’s a gut feeling. And for future reference… it’s usually right.] NO!! He can’t. Raining all day today (cool) Cameron & Glyn popped in & we went to Fi’s & then mima’s. Steven didn’t ring me back. [Certainly can’t blame him…] Sharon & I went into town first, then were rejected from Croc Rock. Waited outside freezing, for people to bring out [next page…]

Thursday 24/9/87

→some I.D. for us. Sharon in first. Then I waited ..Linda bought out the same I.D. I talked to Mark. [Privacy omission] “snuck” in. The night, as a whole, was bad. I regretted going now, tho it’s lucky I did. He spent most of his time, when I first saw him, alone, or with no girl. Keith with Angela M. I danced, hung round Sharon. Talked to him a little. Every person I spoke to seemed to be negative (no, they were negative) Fucking [privacy omission] said “he’s a bastard etc.” People all telling me he cheats on me. Even [privacy omission] admitted it. (Sharon left earlier than me) A Life in WordsI got really upset in the end & Mark got shitty (fucking Angela all over him (as good as she’d dare while I was around. The sick bitch even smiled at me all the time- until I fucked her up- dirtiest look – & she avoided me.)[There it is… vitriolic jealousy.] Eventually, to cut the story short, I talked to him ..he was really pissed off. I can’t even give him 3 days without suffocating him & even his friends, too (ringing them up) he’s pissed off I talk behind his back etc. [You totally had this coming.] Anyway, I got home around 4:15. Couldn’t sleep- got up at 8:00. Fi came round after I rang her. Long talk I told her everything, and cried. I watched TV the rest of the day & slept lots up till 6:30 …went late nite with Fi, Liam & Jason, met Pol, Brent, Peter & Mima. (Boring there) then to Jason’s to watch Pirate Movie on video. Made me sad cos I’ve got no one. [Up until this year, you had no one. You survived the first 16 years of your life without ‘someone’…] I’d desperately like to meet Phillip C soon. I need him – he’s right for me. [Oh lordy. Now you need a guy you don’t know at all, but emphatically assume is right for you? Purleeeease.] I know, when Mark’s “had his time” I’ll go back, but mate I’m gonna rev the shit out of him first – laying down the “conditions – regulations & expectations” and it won’t really bother me if he doesn’t want to comply: I’ll have P.C. [Righteo. Utterly warped fantasy. No other way to describe it.] As for Angela M & Tricia – they’ll never get what I have – his love. [Needing to feel ‘superior’ to appease my crushed Ego…]

A Life in Words
So… anyone? Anyone got the feels for me yet?! This succinct Finnish word has no English equivalent. Pronunciation? Ha, good luck! Apparently something like this: ‘moo-er-ta-ha-pay-ah’

Friday 25/9/87

Let me warn you – I’m still intoxicated at the moment. [Oh Gaaad, yes. You should’ve seen my handwriting in the diary…] I’m not supposed to let Mark know that I spent the night with Glyn & Cameron in town. [Ah… whoops, my bad? D’ya think that secret is a matter of importance 28 years on?] They were meant to go out. But mate, I got drunk & I had an ace time. I started out with Fi, Jas, Brent, Pol & Mim, late nite shopping (hoping I’d either see Philip C out or spend the rest of the night with David (Jas’s stepbrother- gorgeous hunk) [It’s intriguing watching myself ‘grasping’ for something (someone) to fill the ‘void’…] I know Mark’s with someone tonite. He’s a playboy. And he’ll never change. [If “the drunken tongue speaks the sober mind” …why was I hanging in there?] I went grass skiing with Pol, Peter, Fi & Jas. David watched- Dave hangs around alot – Hope he likes me. I think he’s gorgeous. So’s Philip. At home around 3:00- rang Cam. & Glyn …couldn’t find out if Philip was going out.A Life in Words I’ll die if he did. [Really?] apparently lotsa people I know, know I like Philip. […REALLY? Yup. Turns out I’m pretty easy to read…] It’s 12:30. Jo’s comin’ home 2morrow YAY!

Saturday 26/9/87

It’s 9:00. My first night home since Monday!! WOW! (I need the sleep!) Going to the beach with Sharon &, get this; LUCY!! Yeah, she rang this morning, wanting to go out, but this Saturday no parties & no one’s going out So we’re going to Beach party sunday night at Playpen (FUN, FUN, FUN!) Hope Philip’s there! Did nothing today (made lotsa phone calls though!) Went to the Boat Show – boring – saw Mark riding up Reservoir Road, on the way. Sharon said he was with Steven last night & no girls! I couldn’t believe it!! I’m feeling really strange at the moment _ I love him still, but I’m not missing him – I think it’s because I know we’ll get together again. Hope he’s not trying to fall out of love with me. […I don’t think people have to try to do that, Liss…] I’ll shoot him!! Jo came home – yay! Ringing late tomorrow to see if she can come out to Playpen tomorrow. Philip wasn’t out last nite. Was Raining just before – hope it’s not tomorrow. Hope I see Phillip (yummy) C. (or David!!)

Sunday 27/9/87

I had so much trouble getting to sleep last night. 9:00 I got to bed & around  12:30 to sleep. I heard a request to Joannah & it sounded like Elissa or Elisa. [The song requested was Icehouse’s “Electric Blue” …I’ve included a link to it on YouTube (below) if you’d like a listen.] A Life in WordsWondered if that was for us? (No one said who it was from.) [Chances of there being two other friends with our names in a city of about 50,000 was pretty slim, I reckon …especially my name. Oh and I/we never found out who it was either.] Anyway I got to Sharon’s on time (lucky – I got up late) To Lucy’s, then on the bus. It was very windy & grey at Palm Cove. We walked around, taking photos. Jo’s shop wasn’t open. We sat around the shop trying to ring Mr W. It started to clear up around 1:30.. we swam (Sharon & I ..in the “surf” – cold, but great fun) Saw Fi just before Mr W picked us up (just after 3:00) and she followed them to Lucy’s. We got ready after going to Sharon’s & getting her gear (Fi went home) Lucy, Sharon & I walked to Smithfield Tavern – the bottle shop was shut -everything was shut! So we went to Beach Night, sober. Got in back door – no ID asked at all. The night was excellent! Got crowded quite quickly, but there was barely anyone I knew- Sandra F, Carla G. That’s it!! So we raged something unbelievable. I had 10 Tequila slammers [shots]! […the annoying thing about my going out on a Sunday night is that YOU don’t get the full story until the next post… just like a real TV serial, you’re left hanging…]

OJ Spews, ‘Approximate Exactitude’ & Relief for Nana (10-16 August)

Monday 10/8/87

Felt a bit down again this morning. I can’t get over the time he spent with her. All night they talked – all night I believe nothing happened. I really do, but it still hurts to think he spent 5 odd hours talking to her.. alone, without getting bored. He would never do that with me. Can you understand? [Oh I understand something completely different…] It makes me feel really down- [like] I bore him or something. Anyway I perked up around lunchtime (incidentally I don’t like Angela’s hair black, at all) See, it is jealousy – I’m jealous that she can keep him interested, that he would talk with her alone all night without getting bored. […and my opinion about her new hair colour would most likely have been a little tainted by this jealousy…] God it hurts so much. It’s pointless me trying to let him know. I’ve tried in the past to talk & explain – its useless – he doesn’t hear me. [Soooo… maybe don’t try ..and save some of your precious energy?] What am I doing here, then? [Exactly.] Did some HW tonight. I resent any talk about that night. [Privacy omission] said “as a joke” something to Nicole about Mark wanting to fuck her. THAT IS REALLY SICK. A Life in Words[What I’m unable to illustrate – due to the limitations of computer text options – is how heavily I had underlined the word ‘really’ (see pic). Not once, but four times. I evidently felt strongly about this…] another late night.

Tuesday 11/8/87

Strangely, we’ve been getting on pretty well over the past few days. Wonder why? [Now the positives induce suspicion.. this isn’t ‘healthy’.] It’s wierd. [and I continue to spell ‘weird’ incorrectly…] A Life in WordsAnyway I woke this morning with a sore throat, from all my coughing & I felt a little sick in a wierd way. I was also v. tired. I went to school anyway, thinking it was over-fatigue, but at school it got worse (on & off) By the end of lunchtime I had the biggest headache so Jason drove me home. I bombed out and slept till about 3:19 [LOL. “about” 3:19? What, was it 3:18 and 54 seconds… or a few milliseconds after 3:19? Approximate exactitude is oxymoronic!] (heard the answering machine), then till about 3:45 when mum & Jules arrived home. I slept the rest of the afternoon (after some chips) my throat is dry & a bit sore from all the coughing & my headache is horrible. I had some fish for tea: not much + pineapple (sickly) Dozed in front of T.V. till mum “dragged” me to bed about 8:00-8:30. [One of the sweeter, long-lost memories of my mum’s expression of love for me: I can hear her in my groggy stupor murmuring my name, gently shaking, then trying to lift me up from whatever position I’d languished in. And when I acquiesced, she’d’ve escorted my aimless body all the way to my bed.] Hope I get better for Friday – baseball & Sat nite-Nigel’s party. Was going to ring Mark, but headache was too bad & I was too weak to bother

Wednesday 12/8/87

Really restless sleep last night – about 11:30 I woke…and vomited (chips, fish & orange juice) [oh, the burn! OJ is possibly the worst thing to regurgitate I think…] A Life in Wordsstayed home today (for sure!) Mark didn’t ring & I couldn’t be bothered to ring him. Fiona, Jason & Anna dropped round after school sometime, for a short while. My headache disappeared this morning – today I had fever (temp.) cough and sinus blockage and was very tired and weak. Is about 9:00 or so now. Auntie Ruth [my mum’s aunt – one of my grandmother’s (many) sisters] arrived around 7:45 tonight. Read my novel all day. Ate 3 mandarins & an orange .. lots of vitamin C. Am taking tomorrow off as well, to make sure I’m better for the weekend. [Because my social life was always first priority…] Did no work & I have an english assignment due on Friday + a biol test on Tuesday. Heavens above! (←ha!) [I’m probably laughing at myself using such ‘dated’ – and semi-religious – terminology here.]

Thursday 13/8/87

A Life in Words
The earliest photo (in my possession) of Nana & me, at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary in Brisbane. There’s no date on it but judging by the size of me, it would have to be 1971-72

Slept very restlessly last night; woke nearly every hour, I think. I heard the phone ring around 6:00 this morning. Nana died. [Clearly my great-aunt Ruth arrived just in time for her sister’s passing, but I’m not sure whether she actually got to visit her.] I didn’t cry when mum told me & I don’t think I really will cry over the fact that she’s dead → I’m so glad she’s out of her misery – she was in a lot of it. [And that was it. I think, having personally met with Death in such an intense and unique way just six months earlier myself, I was somewhat prepared emotionally – and spiritually – for this moment, which is evident in my reasoning. I still believe – in fact more now than ever – that ‘wherever’ we ‘go’ when we pass is ‘better’. At this point in time, I was comforted by the ‘knowledge’ that leaving her gnarled body, Nana was now free of the insufferable rheumatoid arthritic pain. And to be brutally honest, since I wasn’t terribly close to her (we ‘clashed’ a lot in my early teens) I wasn’t going to miss her presence on a daily basis as I did Monique’s…] I spent the day reading again.. no fever – am just very tired & have the cough & nasal congestion still, but I feel (and Auntie Ruth agrees) that after tonight’s sleep I’ll be fine. I hope so. I rang Mark tonight .. cos it didn’t look like he was going to ring me. He was at Earlville with Terry ..so rang back. The phone did not stop ringing tonite – Keith & Jemima also rang me. My eyes are stinging – I need sleep to get better. I had 4 (or 5??) mandarins today! (+ dinner – veges) so I should have the vitamins required to boost my energy level tomorrow. [See? Even back then I was acquiring and demonstrating basic nutrition knowledge, hinting at my innate passion for the subject!] Haven’t done english assignment. Too bad. I’ll come late to school: miss double english. Is 9:45 …To sleep!!!

Friday 14/8/87

I’m feeling quite a bit better now. See, this morning I woke – feeling absolutely normal .. until I got up. The cough was persistent and even got worse early tonight, and my tiredness, fatigue & weak feelings plagued me (Making my joints feel heavy, and ache) I went to school anyway – it was a total waste. At little lunch (I went to school during 3rd period) I had to go up to Mark. He said one or two things & that was it. Didn’t even turn to face me, or offer to make room for me to sit down. So I went & sat on my own, practically, he walked past & did nothing. He walked to art ahead of me. Love the concern he shows for me. (He doesn’t – that’s just it, elissa – you should know by now it’s the way he is.) [ …if that’s so, and you aren’t happy, why persist?] so I was really depressed & mum picked me up at big lunch. I dozed at home. Mike & Cynthia bought over dinner – Golden Rooster. Couldn’t eat too much my stomach has shrunk. Is 9:30. I had a lemon & honey drink (YUK) as a last resort. A Life in Words[And I bloody-well love those things now… with ginger and turmeric added as well. Here’s a link to the recipe on my food blog, Food Fervour] Good sleep tonite & hopefully I’ll be fine for the party. Mark really gets to me. [You “let” him. No one is put on this Earth to either elate nor annoy You.] Hey! I’m not coughing!!! (Yet – touch wood!)

Saturday 15/8/87

I woke this morning – coughing. [I obviously didn’t touch any wood?] Alas & alack! But it was easier for me to stand etc. I still get times when my joints (limbs) ache & feel weak, but not as much, and not as bad, as before. We went to the doctor & got amoxyl (penecillan) & cough tablets. [So it obviously wasn’t a flu or viral infection after all?] I’ve been resting a fair bit today, in preparation for the party. (I’m going- there’ll be plenty of opportunities for me to sit down if I need it, mima said) Mark hasn’t rung. I’ve been thinking alot while lying down today… nothing’s the same anymore. We need the biggest, longest talk. There’s a lot of sorting out to do. A lot. [Talking… sorting out… it’s pointless when only one party is ‘interested’…] I’m not exactly “elated” in this relationship. [You don’t say?] A Life in WordsHe doesn’t make me feel like the ‘princess’ I used to be. [*NB: back in the 80’s being a ‘princess’ didn’t have the negative connotations that it can these days.] But that’s not all. [….well, what?] It’s almost 6:00. Am going around 8:30. [There was no mark in my diary to indicate I’d finished the earlier segment of my entry, but from here on in I’m clearly writing at a later point in time (most likely when I got home) describing my night:] It [the party] wasn’t that good. In fact, a waste of time. Only having tea when Jemima, Brent & Fi arrived ..at Nigel’s  it was boring. No one there. saw Mark & Keith once, they came back & went again. I went and lay down in Nigel’s room (feeling ill) Jemima, Brent, Jason & Fi talking to me. Mark told Sue he didn’t think I liked him. He thought I didn’t like him. (How?) went downstairs & Keith was there – took us to the other party everyone was raving about, At Toogood Road. TONNES, & I mean TONNES of people there→

Sunday 16/8/87

I was bored: Feeling ill, I needed to sit down all the time + problem of Mark – I asked him about it, but he seemed reluctant to talk so left him alone all night. I asked him to take me home, but I went with Brett instead (Cameron too). Just dropped cameron off – in Collins Ave. Brett stopped & I was sick (O.J.) At home I bombed out & I didn’t wake till around 10:00-10:30 this morning. Party was the pits. I asked nearly everyone if they knew what was up with Mark, [oh Elissa!] No one did tho’. Watched TV, rested today. Mark & Keith came over around 3:00 in the afternoon. Left soon after. I asked Mark to come around again tonight. A Life in WordsWe went to the park.. bit hard to get started talking, straight away, and the talk was not quite what I expected it to be. It’s really strange. This week, Mark was, apparently, really insecure – thought I was going to end the relationship. I can tell he still feels different, in a way. But it mattered a lot to him. And after that party I realised it. He not only loves me, he’s devoted, too. [You can’t be serious?] He left around 9:00. I watched mini-series show. Is now 10:40. Clean my teeth & off to bed.

The Silent Treatment & Visiting Monique’s Mum (11-17 May)

Monday 11/5/87

Mark was away today & I am glad. I don’t know what it would’ve been like trying to talk to him. He didn’t ring me tonight, so I gather he’s still “disappointed” with me. Boring-ish day at school. A Life in WordsTest in biology – no one told me (I was away [the day it was mentioned]) Failed it, consequently. Understood chem. work today..did it with mima. (No Cameron hassling me) Did bio prac. during lunch hour. wanted to go up and do my maths HW- assignment or get cards ([privacy omission] Fi & I want to make false I.D. so we can go out for Fi’s birthday) […we were such Bad Asses!] Talked to Keith a little during art. Found out he’d rung mark last night as well. I said he was wrong & that Mark was “angry” with me. Keith ([I] caught him out!) said “well, he won’t burn your house down”…”it’s happened before”. He’s disappointed & I can understand that. I’m just worried how long it’s going to be before we’re together again. I have a feeling he’ll avoid me tomorrow. Double bio – oh no! What’ll happen then? Tania asked if I’d like to go to Port Douglas tomorrow – mum said no – I’d have loved to – to get away from Mark (she didn’t go [to Port] today). [What do they say about running away from your problems?] Should I have rung him tonight? Oh well, too late now anyway. Please Mark, don’t ignore me or be angry or disappointed with me tomorrow

Tuesday 12/5/87

Well I saw him riding to school, but didn’t wave (in case). […in case he didn’t respond. Because that would be embarrassing…] I went straight into the maths room (Fi & Brent were there) & stayed through form, till double maths. I didn’t think he was talking to me & strangely, I wasn’t upset. After art, I was walking back to area .. in the room by the door he was alone. He smiled ..so I thought “Great!” But during bio it was different again. And ditto for the rest of the day. [Talk about a rollercoaster relationship…] (After school mima bet me he would say goodbye.. he didn’t ..she got Cameron to tell him to.. so Mark snapped “Goodbye”.) A Life in WordsAnd I didn’t ring  him tonight . . I’m not really worried. Why should I crawl back to him all the time? He takes me for granted, I’ll bet: thinking I’ll always be there.. to apologise etc. Well I want him to ring or talk to me now & then to apologise or ask what the problem is ..Show he cares. He said I’ll never get away from him. Let’s see if he’s really bothered to stop us from breaking up. BORING DAY REALLY. SO HOT. G’NITE!

Wednesday 13/5/87

He avoided me totally today … not one word, one look. And I’m not anywhere near as worried as I would normally be ..I’m surprised! (you see I could say I’m not worried at all – but that wouldn’t be the truth – I am just a little, deep down, but as I said .. nowhere near as worried as I used to get.) Today I wrote out all the quotes from Mark’s letters & also things he’s said to me. [Apart from trying to reassure myself about his feelings for me, I’m thinking this would have been a compilation of ‘evidence’ to potentially be used in a future talk, or ‘confrontation’. Not that I’d take the little list along with me; writing helps to better commit things to memory.] Keith, before school, said Mark said he just doesn’t feel like talking to me. Oh that’s great. Just don’t talk to me when you feel like it.. no matter how much you hurt me. So I went through the day ignoring him. Mr Grossetti dropped us home after aerobics again. There was a letter from Kerry A. [the social worker/counsellor I’d come to rely upon] A Life in WordsShe’s gone to Brisbane. Great. I wrote a 5 page thing “to” Mark but don’t know if I’ll give it to him It’ll probably make him angry with my luck. So hot. It’s s’posed to be closer to winter now. FAT CHANCE I’m so tired.

Thursday 14/5/87

Avoided yet again. And that 5 page letter I did (well Fi did) give it to him, in 4th period – no difference ..still not talking. Boring day … art bludge – my painting is hopeless. Big lunch – did chem prac. (for contract), are doing it tomorrow as well. After school, went to see Kerri – gave her a present. Farewell! Saw Tania (& also tonight at Earlville) she’s leaving tomorrow Boo hoo! Everyone’s going! Mima & polly came down & soon mum took us to Earlville. Was good. Got Fi’s & Mark’s presents. [I’m sorry, you what? You’re being ignored and you’re still going to buy a gift? Well, I clearly didn’t think this ‘rough patch’ would result in the end of the relationship. Says something about my level of Hope. Or ignorance?] Yahoo. Keith rang when I got home.. ∼9:30. Talking about different things. I cannot understand Mark. He is taking me for granted. Maybe if I scared him. Ha. That would backfire for sure, I bet. [Yes. Karma. It’s a bitch, apparently.] I wish he was more understanding. I hate school. That causes all the trouble. [Haha, the Blame Game. It’s a Human Condition: nothing’s ever your fault, always someone’s or something else’s…] BITCH. oh well. Is 10:10. NO HW done UMAH.

A Life in WordsFriday 15/5/87

I barely saw him at all today, totally. Mima came around 7:45. Were riding really slow; I was finding it hard to start with. But after stopping to pump up tyres..we were off! Flying! Did really well! Double english was so boring..but in art! I did quite a few [black & white photo] prints [in the dark room]– moni & I preparing at the exhibition; moni & I at the opening that night & Mark & I in hospital. Big lunch spent in lab… did 2 pracs. Have about 5 left. Mucking round – fun lesson of chemistry. Mima & I rode over. Was sad. Mrs Perrem [Monique’s mother] seems much different. I don’t know. Neville & his mum came too.. that kind of spoiled it .. I’d wanted to talk personally [‘privately’ perhaps?].. (y’know). But Mrs P. gave me a mini photo album with monique’s camp photos, artwork, piccys of her & the day at the beach & one of the day when all the guys came over. [I have pretty much posted nearly all of these photos in my blogposts along the way…] I’ll treasure it. We eventually left ..rode to Stereo World around 5:30. Mum picked me up about 7:00. Late night really. A Life in WordsMonique’s room’s beautiful. I loved being in there. Oh it’s not fair. Monique, you were the best thing that happened to me. And I never got to tell you. I love you. So much.

Saturday 16/5/87

I never get any work done on Saturdays- too many music shows on during the day. From 10:00 through (nearly non-stop) till 2:00. And, I usually can’t get up early on this day. Mum woke me this morning- I’d forgotten I had a hair appointment for 8:15. It’s cute! All one length bob- ear level & short fringe – a page Boy cut. Fi rang & we talked abit … I started getting ready around 5:45. The Brewers picked me up ∼7:45. Salad Days was almost as bad as West Side Story. Singing, dancing & acting was better this year but the plot of the story was so damned sick & stupid. Jokes were sick. [Remember, back in the 80’s “sick” didn’t have ANY positive connotations. So I was in fact hating on the jokes, right there…] Anyway, Brewers dropped me home & mum dropped me back at the corner of Cassowary St. Sonia’s party was dying when I came. Sharon had left. I stayed with Fi & Jason P. Cameron, Chris, Glyn, Steven, Mike (I) were there (Fi said Keith had been too) But Mark wasn’t ..didn’t matter.. there were no guys I could flirt with anyway. [You see that? The ‘Jealousy Game’…] A Life in WordsEventually, we went in this guys’s car to Coppelode Lookout.. with all Jason’s friends (Nigel too!) stayed there for a while, music blaring talking mucking around & looking at the beautiful view→ [see pic, left. here I crossed over to Sunday’s page in the diary…]

Sunday 17/5/87

After, went to 24hr service stn & people ate. Then, Jason picked up his car & dropped me home around 3:00. Saw Paul at the party. He stayed Saturday night ..in a combie. I listened to 4CCR for the rest of the time, till 4:00, then “bombed”. Got out of bed around 11:30. The day went surprisingly slow, considering I was up for only ½ of it. I did a little chem. HW but that was it. Did Big Fat NOTHING again. Beka came over late. (around 5:00) talked to her mostly about Mark. Then dad came, dropping Julia home. (I’m not looking forward to next weekend at all ..fi & the rest will be raging for her Birthday.) It’s not fair. Wonder if Mark will be talking to me by his birthday. Oh shit. He’d better be. I wish he would come to Port. I WISH EVERYTHING WOULD BE EXCELLENT BETWEEN US. Why is he not talking to me? Isn’t he hurting? Doesn’t it WORRY him? DOESN’T HE CARE?? Don’t you care, Mark? Boring night – listening to radio … should really have an early night, but want to see if they play “Candy” for once.

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

Monday 6/4/87

A Life in Words
duotone doodle of Monique from a photo

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

Tuesday 7/4/87

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

Wednesday 8/4/87

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

Thursday 9/4/87

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

Friday 10/4/87

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

Saturday 11/4/87

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

Sunday 12/4/87

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

 

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

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

Monday 9/3/87

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

Tuesday 10/3/87

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

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

Wednesday 11/3/87

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

Thursday 12/3/87

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

Friday 13/3/87

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

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

Saturday 14/3/87

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

Sunday 15/3/87

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

The Bath Breakdown & A Thunderstorm Shock (2-8 March)

Monday 2/3/87A Life in Words

I AM HOME. It’s not quite as different as I thought it’d be. . . [a great example of the Mind’s potential to create “a mountain out of a molehill”…] but I don’t think I’ve had enough time to think about things etc. I was ‘lucky’ (in a way) to be allowed to come home- I’m not allowed to go anywhere.. I can walk on the crutches for 1 hour per day – the other 23 I have to spend with my leg “up”, relaxing. Great, huh?! Mark didn’t ring – I thought perhaps he might .. But, no. My leg gets funny feelings through it – some painful, some not. I had a shower this arvy (at hospital) – Went home around 3:15 – got home 3:30. Lots of visitors – Fishers, Mandy, mima & family & fi. Oh, now to sleep. I wish I’d seen or heard from Mark- I hope I get some mail from him or something… a letter I’d really like. Oh well. Next monday 1:30→ take off dressing! Until then – boredom at home (?!???!!) Rather ‘doubted’ leaving this morning but Kerri [the social worker whom I had adopted as my counsellor] “helped” me change my mind. Brewers gave us their video & TV. UNREAL!!

Tuesday 3/3/87

In the shower tonight –  I really cried. I think that was my “breakdown” or, maybe the start of it. [I’m a tad confused: I vividly remember suffering a breakdown (a crying ‘tantrum’) but my memory places me in the bath – not the shower – looking down at, and bawling over, my ugly, deformed, scarred thigh (and all the death wishes that went with it)… but I just mentioned that my dressing wasn’t being removed (by the hospital doctor/s) for another week yet. Hmmm. Strange.] Boring-ish day. A Life in WordsSpent my morning hours (alone- mum at work) doing thank-you letters. [It was an etiquette our mother – via our grandmother – had instilled in us] When mum came home, we watched Norman Gunston tapes (on video) – Brewers gave their video to us, with a TV!! Julia came home & the Brewers- Mrs B. Polly & mima and fi came over. Watched Zapped on video. TV watching tonight. Toilet’s easy to go to Mrs McI also came over- Donald [her son] is so tall & skinny (& cute!) [Just to clarify, he was a child so this ‘cute’ definitely did not relate to physical attraction…] No letter, phone call (let alone a visit) from Mark. Hope he does get in (some form of) contact must go to the loo again. Rather warm day, rain & thunderstorm tonight. More visitors (& boring hrs) tomorrow? . . . Who knows. Slept alright last night. . hope so again 2nite.

Wednesday 4/3/87

Got a little upset in the shower again tonight but nowhere (I think) near as bad as last night. Delanie rang!! [Privacy omission] Short talk – she said she’d ring back in a couple of weeks (when I’m able to walk, I gather)→ when I’m back at school. Got a (monstrous) letter from Tania & (small one) Mrs M. Wrote to Tania 10 pages! Watched “Lampoon’s VACATION” on video today & “YOUNG ONES” & “D Generation”. A Life in WordsBig sore zit near my right eye. Jacque also rang – big thunder storm – had to hang up – I saw a spark & heard a “pop” on the line. [That gave me a bit of a fright… our parents had warned us about using the phone during thunderstorms: the danger of receiving an electric shock. Turns out it’s definitely not an Old Wives Tale either: the Mythbusters have tested it (see here) so I guess I was “very lucky” this time…] Oh, wish Mark’d call … or come over. (at least write a letter) Missing him already. Damn it. Hope I can save heaps of money (or win the lotto) so I can go to USA with Mark next year (if he wants me to) – HOPE SO! HOT!

Thursday 5/3/87

Mark rang this arvy – we had a long phone call .. about 1½-2hrs (??) at least (??) NO! about 1 hr at the least. And it started off usual ‘bickering’ but then a kind of “arguement” or disagreement – all about my trusting him & mainly, my ‘attitudes’. [Doesn’t it take two to Tango?] But it ended not so bad. Also, Crabbe rang. Good old talk to him Too (Fi came over this arvy – stayed for quite awhile) Delanie’s coming over Saturday, but so’s Mark. Oh! Boring day today. Watched music video. I missed the Last Starfighter cos’ I was talking to Mark. Another big thunderstorm. Mum was worried – see yesterday, on the phone to Jacque during a storm, I heard a “pop” on the line & it scared me to death- you’re not s’posed to be on the phone during a storm – could get electrocuted – [Uh-huh. So why did you repeat the experiment? I clearly wasn’t frightened enough by yesterday’s experience?] But it was alright – storm went away quickly. I do trust him now. I believe everything he tells me- it’s the truth. A Life in Words[Right. That sounds suspiciously like someone trying to convince herself…] I weighed myself. GUESS WHAT? 55KG WOW! I’m 55kg! shower wasn’t so bad 2nite. talked to Mark about the crash also. He doesn’t really like talking about it.

Friday 6/3/87

Fi came down again this arvy. I also saw Sandra H. I’m busting to go to the loo now! Guess what? Ngaire R is having a party tomorrow night &  it seems everybody’s going. NOT FAIR. Couldn’t they put it off one week? [Sure, JUST for YOU… I so hated “missing out” on things…] Not fair. (Still, I guess I’d look funny turning up to a party on crutches.) [People have turned up to parties looking a lot worse, I’m sure…] Did “nothing” again today (Mrs McI came down- got my [Speech & Drama] certificate – grade 5) besides watch 2 videos. In the morning, I read memorial programmes and had a little crying session over Monique. I even had a little talk to her. I feel guilty that I only think about Monique. [Compassionate to a fault? Am I really beating myself up for loving and missing one soul more than the other seven I didn’t have as strong a connection with? Apart from being too hard on myself it also demonstrates – on the upside – how ‘evenly’ I value all life…] She’s the one I ‘miss’ the most – the only one I think of & really cry over. [I think it’s excusable, Liss] I thought Mrs McI was her mum, this morning (similar car) Had a heart attack! Watched TV movie. Silly. No thunderstorm today. Fi said Mark said he’s playing golf with the other guys 2morrow & coming over sunday instead. No phone call from Mark. Fi said he said he doesn’t know if he’ll go to the party- but thinks yes maybe. Wonder if he will – if so, what he’ll do?

Saturday 7/3/87

Boring! Nah! Justine F & Mr Paddy & Lainie & Leah (& Deborah & Mrs C. later) and Michael B & Amanda (staying the night) & mima & Mrs B. & Dad & Jenny. That’s about it (cherie for a few minutes, too!) for today. (I heard Mark got 4th (out of 4 people) in golf today! Cameron 1st, Glyn 2nd, Steven 3rd & him last!) Wonder if he’s at Ngairie’s party – it’s gonna be so BIG. BITCH that I can’t go. Bloody pain in the tit. [..as opposed to arse. I think ‘tit’ was my mum’s preferred word because it wasn’t as ‘crass’.] I think there’s some ‘discharge’ where the skin was taken from – it’s “weeping”. We rang hospital – said no worries – Dad’n’Jenny said not to worry too. Oh dear. A Life in WordsWasn’t noticeably too hot today. Bloody mozzies. Watched Zapped, Last Starfighter – Young Ones tape (½) & ½ of Singing in the Rain. Also, Robinsons gave us their VHS so we went (well, mum jules & Amanda went) & got out SPIES LIKE US. God, it’s good! One & ½ more days to go!! Yay!!

 Sunday 8/3/87

Mark came around 2:30 and (I didn’t think he was coming) left around 5:45. I think he was bored lots of the time – he did go to the party – left at 1:30, went home. The ambulance man came this arvy, while he was here & we were talking about our position on the bus- I know where we ended up now. [Partly helping to clear up the confusion I experienced while pinned under the bus, looking out a hole in the ‘undercarriage’ wondering how the trees I could see were still standing. I was completely disoriented. If you (somehow) missed it, this link will take you back to the full horrific tale on 4 February.] Mrs Strooper came this morning – talked pretty well! [This was the second time Erica’s mother had visited me; the first was while I was in hospital, and it hadn’t been a joyful meeting (possibly why I didn’t record it in my diary). She was naturally very distressed, her grief was so fresh; she needed answers. All I remember was her asking me lots of questions that started with “why?” …but they were unanswerable. Like, “why did Erica get on that bus?” Understandably, the encounter was very uncomfortable: apart from the natural compassion for her incredible suffering, I felt useless and depressed by my inability to answer her: I was too young and inexperienced to know that I wasn’t ‘responsible’ ..to supply the answers, that is.] (She gave me about 5 photos – most of myself – a ‘big’ one of Monique & Erica (really beautiful) & a beautiful (although blurred) photo of the 5 of us. Really nice. Mark was being rather (concealed) nice ‘fore he left… still no kiss. I think we both feel ‘afraid’ again. I dunno. Watched videos all day. Boring for Mark, I’m sure. I felt terrible (even when the ambulance man was here, talking ’bout the crash) Cameron & Glyn came in for a few secs before mark left. No conversation really. A little hot 2day Slept terribly last night – so restless. Hope it’s better tonight. Hospital tomorrow!!!

A Life in Words
This was the large photo of Monique & Erica that Erica’s mother gave to me. Such beautiful girls xx

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

Monday 23/2/87

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

Tuesday 24/2/87

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

Wednesday 25/2/87

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

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

Thursday 26/2/87

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

Friday 27/2/87

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

Saturday 28/2/87

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

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

Sunday 1/3/87

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