Welcome to My Life

This first post is basically a primer: a little pre-history to give you an idea of where and who I was when I began this journey, and a couple of ‘disclaimers’ of sorts…A Life in Words

Firstly, I’d like to stress that, while everything I have written actually happened and involves real people (whose names have been reduced to initials in an attempt to somewhat disguise their identity), my descriptions are entirely subjective. This is the nature of a diary. My personal take is just that, an opinion. To any reasonable mature adult, it should be completely clear that my subjectivity does not define other people and events – these are simply experiences you will view through my eyes… my 12 year old eyes, in the beginning. I will be the main bearer of any embarrassment, believe me!

1983 meWhich leads me to my second ‘disclaimer’. The opinions, feelings and such that I express in these journal entries are historic. Three decades have passed, and I have matured and grown considerably (well I’d hope so) so those opinions – in most cases – will not reflect the person I now am and the beliefs I now hold. This is one of the main reasons I am putting everything out there: to wear some responsibility for my Life, and to be as open, and true to Me as I can be.

Born in ‘BrisVegas’ in 1970, we moved to Cairns (the Far North) when I was five because my father was appointed to manage the dying Chrysler car dealership there. We lived in a beautiful north-western suburb, Freshwater, close to our primary school and some of the girlfriends I still have to this day.

Unbeknownst to me, Dad lost his job, but began a ‘family’ business in commercial cleaning (which ultimately led to the cleaning supplies business he still owns to this day). Whilst our new house in Freshwater was being built in 1980, my parents’ relationship began to encounter difficulty and when the inevitable split finally occurred, my sister and I chose to live with Mum, who set about living her life for us: working, building (yet another) A Life in Wordsnew home as well as lovingly doting on the two of us.

I did well at primary school academically, though physically I was neither athletic, nor beautiful. I was chubby and had buck teeth (from nocturnal thumb-sucking) with the added charm of a huge gap between the front upper incisors, so open-mouthed smiling was almost torturous for me. I always lucked out at parties when Catch’n’Kiss or Spin-the-Bottle games were played. My primary school crush was long term, and he never knew I existed.

The diarising began with a crazy ‘calendar planner’ I’d bought from our school book club at the end of Grade Seven (1982).

It had stickers and lots of silly trivia, but I realized soon enough that it didn’t really give you much space to write a lot in each day. So I sought out a proper diary.  At twelve years of age and about to start high school, I didn’t yet have enough self-discipline – or drive – to stick at this new ‘hobby’, so there are a great many days missing from my life in 1983.

From 1 January 1984 there are very few days missing, right up to this very point in time (and most of those were the result of excessive partying in my late teens) so very little of my time on this planet remains unrecorded. Please, enjoy the ride…

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

Monday 20/4/87

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

Tuesday 21/4/87

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

Wednesday 22/4/87

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

Thursday 23/4/87

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

Friday 24/4/87

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

Saturday 25/4/87

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

Sunday 26/4/87

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

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

Monday 13/4/87

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

Tuesday 14/4/87

A Life in Words

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

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

A Life in Words

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

Wednesday 15/4/87

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

Thursday 16/4/87

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

Friday 17/4/87

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

A Life in Words

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

Saturday 18/4/87

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

Sunday 19/4/87

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

A Life in Words

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

 

A Life in Words

All of the deceased had been sitting on the left-hand side of the bus & mostly toward this rear corner.

A Life in Words

the front of the bus

A Life in Words

The rear righthand side just behind where I had been sitting. This is the luggage compartment: the extra weight in the rear most likely decreased our chance of staying on the road…

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

Monday 6/4/87

A Life in Words

duotone doodle of Monique from a photo

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

Tuesday 7/4/87

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

Wednesday 8/4/87

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

Thursday 9/4/87

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

Friday 10/4/87

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

Saturday 11/4/87

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

Sunday 12/4/87

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