A Photo Alive, A Bar On Fire & Revelation Devastation (4-10 January)

Monday 4/1/88

I slept quite badly last night, actually. I felt every move I made because of my sunburn. But strangely, today, (maybe because I was busy) (but not busy enough as you’ll see) I didn’t notice it too much. No mail for me this morning. I waited awhile before I went to the P.O. with mum [to investigate sending a telegram to my boyfriend]. The man said it’d be cheaper to ring!! (every word costs 60¢ and that includes your addresses etc, so mine would’ve been $11.25 even though I was only going to write DESPERATE FOR YOUR RETURN. LOVE ALWAYS) so I’ll ring tomorrow (gotta work out when I might catch him at the Hotel) so back home I spent the day (eating)(cheese on toast) and ‘cleaning out’ (yes, STILL!) and I still haven’t finished! So I must go into town tomorrow to get their presents, finish cleaning up room (decide whether or not to shift the furniture)A Life in Words and definitely do my QTAC preference thingy. [This ‘thingy” was pretty important if I’d wanted tertiary study to be one of my options for the coming year. I had to submit my chosen course preferences to QTAC (the Queensland Tertiary Admissions Centre) by a certain deadline or I’d have to apply to each institution personally and that would be a right pain in the arse…] It’s 10:00 now. Hope I can sleep better and I hope to god that my burns have gone down (in tone [redness] and pain) before Mark gets back. I HAVE SO MUCH TO DO!! No one rang me today. I wonder why – Joannah hasn’t been in touch. Maybe she’s shitty? (what for?) [Well, you won’t know unless you talk to her?] God, I’m hot.

Tuesday 5/1/88

I am so excited! It’s almost 10:00 (if not past that) which means there’s only 10½hrs or so till I see him! Today was, to put it bluntly, eventful. I woke, and when the mailman came there was nothing for me. A Life in WordsMy burns were still tender, but not so much sore & I thanked the Skin Repair for that [a moisturizer that my mum always bought. I’m fairly sure – unlike the pic (left) – that the container was yellow in the 80’s] (so I got away with wearing a bra & cotton dress easily enough!) So much mum & I went into town & traipsed all over the place looking for chains for Mark. I had one chain on hold at nearly every shop I went into! At the Liquor Barn I couldn’t decide what type of liquor to get the W’s so I thought I’d leave it till I rang mark. So at home I rang QANTAS and found out the time distance. [Er, I’d’ve been referring to time zones here. I find it amusing that I chose to call Qantas to find out; we obviously had no idea and no handy resources to work it out, ourselves. These days everyone has Google at their fingertips…] It was 12:00pm at that time, so it would’ve been 9am there. But my phone call was stuffed. I didn’t “book” it to start with, which meant I was ringing the Hotel, not directly Mark [hmm, that I don’t understand] and I was paying for a waste of time trying to page him (which the stupid singapore bitch didn’t – I couldn’t understand a word she said) but I was so upset when I got off that I cried (a bit) Then I decided to try and sort my room out… Joannah rang! She’s having her birthday dinner at Pizza Corner on Thursday night (and guess who’s going? [privacy omission] of course. God I hope Mark’ll come) Well I’m glad she rang. I’ve gotta ring her and see her some time tomorrow [privacy omission] Mum came home soon after that and we went to Earlville (saw Sue!) and I found the perfect (??!! Hope he thinks so) chain. So at home I tried again to sort my room out… I got really upset then, about the shape & layout of my room & how I hated the furniture etc, so I was fairly baulling over that (worst I’ve been in ages) Then after we got through to Mark A Life in Words(Yep! Mum tried and did it better – saved time & money & he was there!) [God my mum was good to me. Really.] I got happier after talking to him [..and that’s the only reason she would’ve tried again. To make me happy.] (so excited) that I forgot my room & just left it the same [that is, forgot about shifting the furniture around] and packed away (most of) the junk off the floor. Gosh the room’s bare now! (My burns aren’t sore – I’ll sleep really well tonight! HOORAY!) I feel really good now! (Although I didn’t get my QTAC done, and my eyes are sore from crying) [!!] well it’s 10:13, I’ve got to get some sleep – up at 7.30 to go & greet Mark. GORGEOUS MARK!!♥♥

Wednesday 6/1/88

A Life in Words

my best friend, behind glass…

Had a really hard time trying to get to sleep last night. I kept hearing a really faint noise, like slight tapping on glass & I freaked myself out thinking it might’ve been Moni tapping the glass separating her from our world (ie: the picture frame) [I remember this. I had a black & white photo (still do!) of Monique in a small brass picture frame on my bedside table and I’d imagined that she was ‘alive’ behind the glass, tapping on it from the inside, from her black-and-white ‘nether’ world.] I got to sleep  eventually but woke up a few times this morning (thinking “only an hour away – he’s in Australia!”) I got up at 7.10 and somehow, we left home at 8:05 (I’m sure I was ready earlier!) And we saw the plane descending as we rounded Suicide Bend at Stratford, so when we got there, I hopped out & went to wait while mum parked the car. Lo & Behold, I see Nicole with the B’s (what a shock!) Anyway, they finally came out of customs around 9:30 (mum had left for work then) Mark didn’t look too much different. Paler, but not too much fatter and I walked over and hugged him & I heard him murmur “Oh baby!” It was rather exciting! We all went back to the W’s, then the B’s & Nicole left. Mark & I mucked around then, [privacy omission] I mentioned the ‘guys’ [I’d pashed while he was away] he didn’t really care: I said “are you disappointed?” and he said “No, I’ve not really got any right to be” (meaning after what he did to me) & I mentioned that [privacy omission] thing [I’d discovered – after he’d left on his holiday – that he’d been at an ex-girlfriend’s house the night before they departed. See Friday 4 December in this post if you’d like the full story] – he said he’d just been there to collect the remaining bet money (with Keith) I said “well, I decided its either me, only me, all me, totally completely me, me, me or nothing, nothing of me, nothing to do with me.” [Nice ‘Drama Queen’ ultimatum, Liss] He didn’t say anything but I said “Well?” and he replied “I don’t think I need to answer that – I think you know the answer.” So, he dropped me home around 12.30, I rang Jo and said I’d go around there. I gave her her present (Mark B. was there for awhile & Jeffrey dropped in too) Mark & Jo were swimming & I sat & admired the watch (my) Mark had given me: black & red (mostly black – gold trimming & roman numerals) A Life in WordsGUCCI!! I couldn’t believe it! It’s gorgeous! […having never travelled out of Australia at this age, I had no idea that imitiations even existed…] Anyway, we watched TV & listened to records all arvy.. I got home around 5.00 and listened to (his) Pet Shop Boys tape on my walkman & watched TV, waiting for his call. Sharon rang around 6.00 or so wanting me to go out but I had perfect reason: Mark just didn’t feel like it (!!) [OMG *facepalm* this is truly exasperating …a perfect example of living your life through someone else. Take note, kids: don’t do this! Don’t make decisions based on the wants of others. Be your own person!] So, he hadn’t rung by 6:30, so I rang him. He said I could go to his place. I started to get ready but he rang back & said we’d go to Croc. Rock because Terry’d told him it was the last $ nite, […see? He’s not living his life for you! (but – considerately – wasn’t excluding you at the same time) oh and that “$ nite” thing? Back in the day, before Liquor Licensing began clamping down on binge-drinking, bars and clubs could attract patrons with all kinds of price-sensitive campaigns and for many years the House on the Hill ‘owned’ Wednesday nights – commonly referred to as “Dollar Night”. The crack-down may have been in its inception, if this was indeed “the last $ nite”…] so around 7:20 I got to his place. He was asleep. We both talked a little but then both dozed off (well, I dozed – he slept) Then Sandra woke us & we got ready. (we were just in time: Keith, Mr B & Nicole pulled up) Fine inside… weren’t many people. Mark appeared pretty bored; I tried to mingle (without leaving Mark out) Um, I had quite a bit to drink, including a cocktail with Mark, and I was feeling pretty good.. I found out my GUCCI isn’t genuine Gucci [der] he couldn’t afford one of those. [Der!] But don’t mind – it’ll fool anyone else! […ummm, likelihood of that is low…] We had a dance & I saw Delanie! I think we left quite soon after that. I remember not feeling too well, and everyone said I looked like I was about to drop dead with fatigue. So Mark said “Do you want to go home, or would you like to stay at my place?” You know what I chose! We prepared for sleep around 12.30…

Thursday 7/1/88

…Of course, we didn’t feel tired then we talked a fair bit, actually about people, us, etc, A really good talk. I remember stroking his stomach near his belly button & we’d stopped talking; [privacy omission] I was about to say “do you want to make love?” (working up the guts) when he said “come here.” So I fell asleep in his arms after it. So I moved up to his bed again later [we’d been on a mattress on the floor] -it was too cramped. We woke fairly early – about 8:00 & we mucked around: teasing. sometimes talking. [privacy omission] We made it again. And after that, faced the family (of course they were surprised to see me) A Life in WordsI noticed I’d given him a hickie too: embarrassing!! We watched TV from about 10.00 or 10.30 through till about 2:00 or so, affectionately stroking or touching each other throughout. We walked to the shop to buy soft drink and he tidied up his room a bit, then we looked at the Holiday photos before he dropped me home. I’m sure this trip has done him the world of good – he is so affectionate now (compared to what he used to be) and he seems to have a better attitude towards people (talking about [privacy omission]: he said he doesn’t really hate them – thinks [privacy omission] A very different attitude! I rang Fi but she was talking to Jason (said she’d ring back, but didn’t) Rang Jo, too. Otherwise I just watched the cricket (CB rang me too but that was much later) At 4.50 I realised I hadn’t done my QTAC. [Here we go…] We rushed to the P.O. but the man said it’d get there Monday, even by airmail – so I’m going to have to send it by courier tomorrow. Great. Well, I left [for my friend’s birthday dinner] around 7:25. Mark didn’t seem too excited (can I blame him?) [I don’t know, can you?] We were early so went for a walk. He said he was really tired (I was too) Keith & Greg were nearby & we talked to them until we had to go in. Jo & Nicole & Dean & Jeffrey were very late. Had the rest of us (Fiona, Sue, Megan, Jim & Philip) not gone in, we would’ve lost the tables: they only hold them for 10 mins. The waitress was a real bitch. Mark & I kinda talked to ourselves, mostly. I drank a little wine. It wasn’t really great overall. We walked to the mall. I rang mum & we waited. Saw CB & [privacy omission] just before mum came. Dropped Mark off at home. I’m preparing to BOMB! I’m so exhausted – tired. I have to get that QTAC away tomorrow. We’re having car & rat troubles (again). My room’s still not neat yet. Oh, I really need to hit the sack. Goodnight!

Friday 8/1/88

Well, I had a big sleep last night: mum woke me briefly this morning around 8.00 to tell me she was going to get the car brakes fixed: I barely recall that! I fell asleep again & was woken again by mum telling me to hurry: we had to get my QTAC on the 10:00 Ansett airfreight cargo. [Good ol’ Ansett. It was the major competitor to Qantas in Australia up until its demise in 2001, since Richard Branson’s Virgin Airlines had only begun operation in Australia a year earlier.] A Life in WordsMum had a few things to do beforehand & I was scared we wouldn’t make it. At the desk, we explained that we needed it delivered That day and the guy said “Oh well, that’ll be $85.86.” SHIT! He said possibly the best (cheapest & only) was was to go to the P.O. & get a facsimile. It cost us $9 and I’m pretty sure (hoping desperately) That QTAC will accept a fax. [Ah, the old fax! We hardly knew what it was even then, because they were so ‘new’ but thanks to the Internet, they are now hardly utilised so I imagine many young people wouldn’t know what they are either. It’s kind of like sending a scanned copy of a document down a telephone line… so, quite similar to what we now more commonly do through the internet …at home, and for ‘free’.] At home after, I listened to headphones & watched TV for a little while, before finally finishing clearing my room, then dusting it, then vacuuming the house. I rang Mark & he said he wanted to stay home. I was a little disappointed. I said I wanted to see him before the party… whether it was tonight or sometime tomorrow .. he said if he organised anything tonight, he’d ring. I had a feeling he wouldn’t.  That’s why, when Sharon rang I accepted her invitation to go out! (oh! Fi visited this avry, just after Sharon rang… I let her read Mark’s letter & caught her up on all the “goss”. Heather W & Sandra F came by, too – god knows why) she came over around 7.00 and I got v. angry trying to decide what to wear. [Choosing an outfit can be agonising for most females but it can be catastrophic for a hormonal teenaged girl. Or… maybe just for this perfectionist teenaged girl?] Heather W lent me a black shirt eventually. Mum dropped us up there – 9:15 or so (really early – quite empty) Tania was working again. We danced – saw the Saints guys, Megan V, too! Yeah she & Chris (& her friend Renee) are back in town! Aaron K had 3 sleazy cousins. Sharon got a guy she was after, so I spent a lot of time with Aaron. He is quite affectionate towards his close female friends apparently (eg: Sue) and he was being rather nice to me, too! In fact, I got a bit nervous when he started sucking my fingers. Alison M bought me a N.Y’s drink – triple vodka & orange – wo! strong! So eventually (god I danced a lot – not drunk: I had an unreal time though. Oh god, you should’ve seen in Smithy’s earlier on: I spilt a (lit) Explosion & the bar caught alight! A Life in WordsBartender reckons “you stupid, brainless bitch.” I was SO embarrassed.) [THIS is a standout memory for me, and I’m positive that it’s the very reason I’ve never forgotten about those ‘Explosion’ cocktails. As I’ve mentioned previously, they were a concoction of straight spirit nips – no mixers or other additives, just pure alcohol – set alight and consumed through a straw. I’d downed many of them in the past but for some strange reason (I guess it’s always a little nerve-wracking lower your face toward a naked flame?) this time I knocked the glass over and as the alcohol soaked the bar-mat, the flame instantly blazed. The female bartender flew into a frenzy but I’ll never forget the tall blonde man calmly standing behind her, with his contemptuous expression, slowly shaking his head as he verbally abused me. I turned on my heel, dropped my head and exited the lounge as fast as I could. Gold, pure gold!] got home ’round 2:30 (well I did) And I bombed.

Saturday 9/1/88

… sleeping rather soundly till about 9.15… Mark rang. I hate talking to him on the phone: he sounds so bored. Told me what he was going to do & I said I’d ring him back later in the afternoon. Julia watched the cricket all day – Sri Lanka vs. N.Z. so I did too A Life in Words(still listening to Pet Shop Boys – Mark’s – tape) So many phonecalls to jo, especially late in the afternoon, early evening. Fi visited again this afternoon (did I say she was out last night too?. With Sue, of course) [a little possessive, green-eyed monster there?] Mark rang from Steven’s …were going to come to the party together.. I told him they were both welcome, if the need arose, to stay at my place. So I got ready & got to Jo’s (with our stereo) about 7.30. I was boiling hot. By 8.15 there were about 10 or so people there… more came slowly, informing us that most people were outside. Around 9.30, everyone was inside & there were MASSES of people.. it was so hot & cramped! Nicole & I were trying to find alcohol. (Mark & Steven still hadn’t turned up) We were going out with [privacy omission] to have some pot, when they arrived. I scared the daylights out of him (accidentally) when we came back (I didn’t get any, anyway) I talked briefly before going off to find drink again (he seemed bored with me) I came back, then left again. When I returned, Nicole was right in front of him. I pushed my way in… felt unwelcome, though (Nicole had moved away a little) so left again. When I returned, she was back again – I started to get very angry (upset) I cried to Fiona & Sue ..they went to get in her way (they were both quite drunk) I wanted to avoid him. I noticed the bitch was standing practically in between his legs. I was spewing with rage. Eventually he came up & said “can we talk?” In the kitchen he said “What’s happening? What’s with us?” We had a D+M. [Deep & Meaningful talk for those who’ve never heard the term before] it was BAD. He wanted to try & find out what our situation was (our relationship) He said there wasn’t much time before he left and he wanted to spend it all with me ..he didn’t want to lose me ..he didn’t want me to leave. He said a lot of guys are interested in me now & then he said how people had been saying who I’d been with (most of them were lies- Phil N. Phil C. Jeff M) I don’t know: we were talking about the past ..trust, lies, cheating & he wanted to know about the 3 guys (argumentative). [I’m not sure what I meant by ‘argumentative’ but the “3 guys” referred to the boys I’d ‘gotten with’ during his absence… the knowledge of which I had openly offered up days before, mind you…] He wanted, then, to know how far I’d gone – he said he’d never gone all the way… he asked me. I couldn’t lie [I’ve never been good at it]: it hurt so much to say the truth- then, he asked me who. Pause. “WHO?” “[privacy omission]” He couldn’t believe it. I tried to explain it wasn’t me- [that] I was drunk […literally legless…] (but he put it down to a ‘lame excuse’) […which it definitely wasn’t. For the full story – or, my experience at least – see this post] A Life in WordsEventually he slammed (punched) a cupboard door, said “God that makes me mad” & walked off. I burst out in tears. I tried to find Fi. Jo couldn’t understand. God it hurt so much. I wish like HELL it never happened . I hate [privacy omission] for it… I hate that night. Mark wouldn’t talk to me … I wouldn’t go near him anyway. Of course Nicole was stuck there like glue. I talked to [privacy omission]; she sympathized- hates Nicole too. I became v. moody & unsociable – the party had moved outside by then anyway. Mark, Steven & of course Nicole stayed (together) for ages …I wish they’d just left earlier. I eventually got Fi to talk to him.. she said he was very cut ..said it’d take time (& that hurts ’cause there’s not much at all) He couldn’t, just couldn’t believe it. I was positive it’d be over ..he’d hate me, never forgive me for it and it hurt so much. I was hurting so much: because of Nicole, because of that horrid argument & mostly because he loved me so much & I hurt him so much. [….by being honest? Yep, because the truth hurts…] I can understand him hating me for it […only because he didn’t believe I was as ‘innocent’ as I claimed …but since I was, his contempt would be unjust…] – I’ve hated him for his indiscretions and I’ve held it against him… [for my perception of his level of ‘participation’ in them…] he can hold it against me, [well, you can’t change anyone else’s mind, so I guess…] but I want him back I love him SO MUCH. God I love you … [Hm, I don’t think you do. I think you’re dependant and in love with the idea of Love; “dem rose-coloured glasses”…] I didn’t know it was, oh shit. You won’t accept anything I say in my defense. It’s my word against [privacy omission]‘s & you’ll stick with [him] cause he’s your [privacy omission] friend. [Finally my gut kicked in: I knew “how it was” and that I was fighting an uphill battle…] OH PLEASE have me back. I want you.

Sunday 10/1/88

… So when they left I totally ignored Nicole (even more) & she knew I hated her… talked to Megan & Jo about it …Jo & I lay down to watch Rage – I promised to wake her if she fell asleep, so we could sleep in proper beds (comfort) but we both fell asleep (unaware of time) & left the TV on all night. I remember Nigel putting a cushion under my head, I remember G-FORCE being on when I first stirred in the morning (& Jo got up) I remember coughing a lot & a german speaking show was on when I got up. We cleaned up – hosing, collecting trash etc (I still ignored Nicole as much as possible) then after a trip to the shop, had breakfast, talked, played CLEUDO, some TV (atari-type) games. A Life in Words[…the 80’s version of video gaming, for those too young to know – that’s a photo of an ’87 console to the right] Megan left. Nicole & I were left alone in the room & she asked me straight out if I was pissed off with her. I said YES. “Basically, I hate you talking to Mark.” We didn’t get to finish it, though. Mum wasn’t home, so I had to go to the shop with Jo .. it was so boring, we nearly (Jo did, out the back) fell asleep. I minded the shop ..looking across the road at a couple hugging and kissing… I got upset all over again (Tried ringing mum, all arvy, but still no answer) Eventually, got back to Jo’s & I rang the Fishers. . Fiona went across & got mum: she’d left ½ of the answering machine on, so that’s why I never go through. Came quickly & I told her the whole story (the truth about [privacy omission] included) [oh, I’d’ve thought I’d told her about that much sooner; I had no problem opening up to my mum] crying at most of it… then at home, crying more telling Julia (& alone in the shower) I’d like to send him some roses, but what to say on the card? I am so hurt, thinking about how he’d be feeling & thinking about how long it will be till (if he ever does) talk to me again. He CAN’T end it. I gave him a second chance, SURELY he can give me one. [I was so upset, so desperate, that I truly believed I was in the wrong. How sad. Young and naive…] GOD I LOVE HIM SO MUCH. Don’t lose me, Mark. You love me too much …”What is the truth? Love: the unselfish & forgiving kind.” A Life in Words[This (slightly misquoted) maxim from Linda Goodman’s book “Love Signs” had stuck with me because it was the conclusion to her section on our particular sun sign compatibilities: something I had obviously read a few times…] Well it’s almost 10.00. Thorn Birds is on TV. I want to watch it – hope I can sleep in a long time. I want him to call me. Oh please, call me soon Mark.

Sexism, Competition, Jealousy & the Saints’ Bus (19-25 October)

Monday 19/10/87

What a day. Well it’s almost 11:30 & I must get to sleep. I need it for biol. exam tomorrow, which I should pass, luckily, but not do very well in. [Oh so you only need sleep for exams, not study as well?] I worked out I had 9hrs sleep during the whole weekend. Um-ah! [Yeah, you know it] I talked to Nicole today, as much as I didn’t want to, but it’s good that I did, ’cause I talked all about keith & his stupid phone call. [..and that’s good, how?] Glyn B. told me what I didn’t want to hear – that Mark went to Nicole: it wasn’t the other way round. He was on a geography excursion, but came for biol. & we good on pretty good. I missed Donna’s bus but luckily mum dropped me to her place. Nikki came over & took us to Earlville; the tutoring was good .. I understood a bit, but tonite’s study (myself) was O.K. too. My oral in english went so well! I only stuffed up really badly once & I was praised mostly. It was the first time in my life  I wasn’t nervous doing an oral. Funny! [Yes, that is. Like the majority of the population I fear speaking in front of a large group of people.] God, it’s getting hot so quickly. Jo was away today. [Privacy omission] said that they’re all out (all?) to root (use) [privacy omission], then piss her off. Meanies (but doesn’t bother me) A Life in Words[It’s not at all difficult to ascertain what was said here, despite the omissions: even if there was no truth behind it, the statement reflects the appalling chauvinist attitude of which many (a ‘faceless majority’ of) men seem to be guilty. The really sad part is my response: a very benign ‘disapproval’ (bordering on sarcastic) and worse, nonchalance – because it’s not directed personally at me. It actually demonstrates a general ‘acceptance’ that “it’s just the way it is”. I am so glad that, at this point in time, some of these sexist attitudes are finally being brought to light: A Life in Wordsthere’s currently more public conversation about women’s rights, ranging from the hideous issue of domestic violence, through to pay equality. It must continue so that today’s youth don’t adopt and/or learn to accept these dreadful attitudes.] Mark’d better step up his act. I must do heaps of work -am so behind & running very short of time. Got to write letters to DDIAE & QCWA about accomodation next year! [Applying for (mostly fine art) courses at tertiary institutions in South East Queensland, accommodation was obviously necessary. The Darling Downs Institute of Advanced Education (DDIAE) in Toowoomba had resident accommodation while the A Life in WordsQCWA (Queensland Country Women’s Association) operated (and still does) a boarding house for students attending different institutions in Brisbane.]

Tuesday 20/10/87

I feel a terrible jealousy whenever I see Nicole within 10 metres of Mark. I’m sure she’s after him again, now that I’ve told her we’re not going out still-she’s always around, trying to talk to him. But he’s noticing me above her, I know. [You know? For sure?] He looks at me a fair bit. I think he’s falling in love with me all over again- a different, more loving & strong love. [Oh my god. How many surreal happy-ending Hollywood romances does it take to develop such an unrealistic attitude toward love and romance?] I don’t know! [Too right you don’t know!] Caught the bus & at school Cameron told us about Steven’s accident- last night on his way home From work a lady hit him – he’s got contusion of the lung, bruised kidneys, cracked ribs & leg broken in 3 places. A Life in WordsPoor guy – two crashes in one year. [He had been one of the ‘luckier’ passengers in our ill-fated bus crash earlier in the year, but this motorcycle accident tested his luck and most certainly left him in worse physical condition…] But there’ve been so many accidents this year. [I wonder what others I’m referring to?] Mima also told me the Perrems had left [town]. I got a bit upset for a few minutes. I wish they’d said goodbye. [I had it stuck in my head (for many years) that Monique’s parents – particularly her mother – didn’t want to see me because it was too painful for them: they only associated me with her. Her father as much as said so when he visited us some weeks after the accident. It’s in the opening lines of this post from March.] Biol exam was hard. I could pass, but I wouldn’t do well. Mark had lotsa trouble, too. Got so much work to do and I never seem to get around to it. [Even if you hadn’t suddenly become a party animal, you’re a born procrastinator Liss…] Jo was away again. I made a big calendar type thing, with all my due dates etc. [Hilarious. Spend your time drafting a schedule of due dates, instead of doing the actual work. But this does demonstrate my affinity for Structure & Organisation – if not Action…] Time is going very quickly. Ugh! Got my catalogue entries for [art] exhibition done. 3 paintings, my 3 drawings + 2 I want to do also + my bag. Fash. Parade – 2 outfits I have yet to make. Ugh!

Wednesday 21/10/85

Well, I was very mad today- I could’ve killed her, honestly. But I’m fine now (I guess it’s because I’m at home and I can’t see her near him.) He got a bit moody today it’s just the same – I should break away. It doesn’t bother me, that’s all. (that’s why, I mean) [Um, what? I’m reading this as “I don’t break away because his moodiness doesn’t bother me” …which is total bullshit. Because I’ve said as much – not to mention been quite upset by it – numerous times in the past. Perhaps I was trying to convince myself ‘otherwise’ …attempting positivity?] Boring day- didn’t see Steven. having his op. today. I’m sure Mark’s testing me deliberately. [Hmmm…] Well, I don’t care: I rang Sharon tonight & we’re going out Friday (’cause she’s going to that Mission Beach Party Weekend on Saturday night) and hopefully will get Stuart to come (and Nigel – get stoned instead of drunk) I’ll try to talk to Mark anyway & encourage him to come out ..I think I’ll need another talk to him this .weekend too. Getting to be a habit! (But it’s good – it should be a habit) [Mmmmm, really? Talking is a waste of time and energy if it leads nowhere…] A Life in WordsDid little chem. HW tonite – in town this arvy, Philip N YUM said hello to me – my name! WOW! But when I rang Jo, she said (I killed myself) that for the first time in 5 weeks, PHILLIP C caught the bus. AAAARGH! I could’ve killed myself for missing out on seeing him! [LOL. It’s so funny watching my attention swing from one guy to another. For someone with such emotional depth, it seems quite contradictory…]

Thursday 22/10/85

A Bad day, but great, too! It was really bad today- he was not talking to me at all. Things came to a head when I went to talk to him at big lunch- soon he walked away to Keith and Nicole and talked to them. In front of me. I walked out and couldn’t stop the flow [of tears]. Didn’t stop till before I went into art room. Then in art, I was in a really bad mood. My first public display of temper, EVER. [I’m not normally one to make a scene…] I swore, and had the sour-est face and wouldn’t talk to anyone practically. In english I thought & talked to Donna, then after school I talked [to him]. He was angry .. instead of being his doormat, I’d gone to the extreme, being a really nasty sarcastic bitch, [??] which really annoyed him. But he gave me a 2nd chance. [A second chance? At what? I can’t recall the exact circumstances but this seems …’irrelevant’ to me.] And I cried & laughed at the same time. [Quite a pertinent reaction to a …ridiculous scenario.] He said “you’re a funny girl” I hugged him. then again. (Nicole didn’t look too happy with me) He left And I caught the St’s bus with Jo – sat next to . . YES! PHILLIP C!! WOW! Yummy Yummy Yummy! [Clearly one may be attracted to numerous people simultaneously…] A Life in WordsI talked so much – In fact, he probably thinks I’m  a chatterbox. [One of my intrinsic nervous reactions …to avoid uncomfortable silences…] Oh dear! But God, he’s gorgeous! Tom Cruise- with blonde hair, blue-green eyes, square teeth & slim face. Well, I can see it. [If you are reading this Phil, and are offended by this comparison, I apologise profusely. For what it’s worth, many females (including me, obviously) thought Tom Cruise was a hottie …back in the day, at least.] YUM Late nite with Sharon. Mark & Cam were there, but didn’t see them.

Friday 23/10/87

An O.K. day at school. Didn’t really talk to Mark untill after school .. I came late this morning – during double english, went to art room (2nd period) and spent all time in there (getting very angry sometimes) [with my work, I assume] up till big lunch- talked with Glyn, Cameron, Brett, Vikki, Lisa, Jason- in Yr11 area – was good. Big thing about [privacy omission] being a slut .. rumours she screwed Mark (Found out that she screwed Steven, outside the Playpen the week before; first time) and she’s really angry with [privacy omission] – I don’t know! Talked after school & sat & waited till the Saints bus went past. Philip was on it again sitting by the window & we waved at each other! He is so gorgeous! I’m flipped out! [You don’t say?] Late home: (julia at Ms Forbes) Got ready & Sharon & I went to Playpen about 9:30 (got in sequills for free) [Sequills was the Playpen’s lounge bar and for awhile proved to be our cheapest and easiest way in, since it could be accessed not only from inside the nightclub but also via its own separate street entrance. With no cover charge (and more laid-back security) under-aged patrons like us were ‘blessed’. Of course, management eventually cottoned on…] Had a drink then left. At HOTH (the Hill) [you know how you start using acronyms when things become ‘regularities’…] found Nigel outside. A Life in WordsWe got stoned (my eyes were so red- I was really embarrassed) […first hint of paranoia…] Stuart came in later & I went outside again with Nigel. Found Stuart again & we got together.. [yeah again, this is just kissing, people…] I thought OK at the time, but some things that happened led me to believe I was the butt of a joke – that it was a dare. […hmmm, paranoia again, perhaps?] I really hurt him

Saturday 24/10/87

→when I finally said something. He went off & I found Sharon. She “revved” him about using me -then he wanted to talk to me. He was basically saying “I think I’m falling in love with you” It was no joke. I was so confused. [An easy state to experience while you’re stoned…] They gave us (me) a lift home. (Mikey & Praybon had been telling me he talks about me all the time at school- has depressions about me. I thought they were going a bit far) [Yeah, that does sound pretty dodgy…] I woke 7:45- Sharon came in 4:20, apparently. (20 minutes after me) she missed her bus, so we took her in, when we went in to get dress (artwork) material. Stuart rang when I got home. He said nothing about his words last night – a short phone call before he left for Mission Bch. A few phone calls: around 12:00, Mark rang & said he’d be around to take us (Fi&I) to Crystal’s. It was so nice. I tried my hardest not to be stupid, yet nasty. (Actually it wasn’t hard) [WTF? This doesn’t even make sense.] A Life in WordsA few affectionate seconds between us. After hamburgers, home! Slept (Mr B visited mum) Phone calls galore late in the day. Fi came & we left here at 6:40. David wasn’t ready …by the time we left there it was 7:10. Stopped in at W’s- got Sandra’s I.D. for Fiona ..Mark asking who was in the car (sus?) said he wasn’t going out. Got to odeon at 8:15 or 7:45?? […in other words, I have no idea when we got there…] Went to Esplanade instead. Then saw Jo at the Deb. Ball. Found Jude, CB & Nicole outside movies. Nicole & CB went to Playpen to wait for Cameron (& of course, I guessed, Mark) A Life in WordsJude, David, Jason, Fi & I went to Jason’s with a bottle of TiaMaria. Got very happy before going→

Sunday 25/10/87

to Croc. Rock. Mark was there. Cameron, CB & Nicole. Nicole was trying very hard – talking etc. Mark seemed nonchalant about me, and I was bubbling with rage inside. [Privacy omission] told me that when I told him (before) who was in the car: Fiona, Jason & David – he ‘froze up’ (got pissed off) and I think that’s why  he got with Nicole ..to piss me off. But I didn’t show it, one bit (To him, anyway)+Everyone I saw I told them I wanted to strangle her or rip her head off her shoulders. [Oh that’s nice. Not to mention classy.] I want him for me! [I want, I want… In the immortal words of Mick Jagger “you can’t always get what you want”] Geoff M & Dean L came – we all danced (Jude too) then Fi said they were going (by this time I’d had an explosion (cocktail) and was v. “gone”) [these flammable cocktails had by now become a ritual for me…] I scabbed money for taxi & stayed with Geoff & Dean. Geoff & I went outside and sat & then we talked a lot. I told him I liked Phillip N as well as C. (mistake!) [Yep, as mentioned in previous posts, me and alcohol = blabbermouth. My dad used to say “the drunken tongue speaks the sober mind” so why was it necessarily a mistake? Ain’t nothing wrong with being open and honest…or I’ve made a serious error in creating this blog…] We got a taxi home – him to Esplanade – (Phillip N’s house) & me, on to Freshy! Woke, really hot around 9:00. Wasted whole day-no HW done. Nigel & Sharon came around 3:00, got Jo & went to Crystals ..talked. what hurts is to think how he might’ve spent today with her, because CB & Cameron are together again (I think or I suppose) I thought maybe someone’d ring today. No one, apart from Jo. I need sleep. I need to do my english assignment. I’ve lost weight – 59kgs!! Am so tired. So bored. so confused, a little anxious & hurt. I need PHILLIP C. (Jo said at Croc Rock sat. nite she said hi to him for me & he said “A BIG hello” back! […hang on, YOU were at Crocodile Rock on Saturday night too… how did you miss him? It must’ve been a timing thing…]

Heartbreak Week: the Bus Crash Inquest & the Inevitable Break-Up (14-20 September)

Before launching into this week’s entries, I thought I’d include a copy of a letter that our principal sent out to us in the previous week. It didn’t really apply to me because I was summonsed to appear – I had to go – but outside of that commitment, I think I managed to witness most of the proceedings. My mum had no problem with me attending either, because she spent as much time there as she could outside of her work commitments as well.

A Life in Words

I have also included, where possible, scans of news clippings related to the inquest that I’ve attempted (with my meagre means) to make as legible as possible in case you were interested in reading them. I apologise in advance if the quality is too poor.

Monday 14/9/87

At Steve S’s [my solicitor] at about 7:45, we started on my statement. I told him things (answ. his Q’s) & he spoke into a tape. Downstairs, around 8:30 I waited with Trina while Becca was up there. I hated my statement [the perfectionist in me: but I knew this was an extremely important document so had to relate my experience accurately] so, while Becca & Trina & Steve went to the Courthouse, I rewrote my statement & a lady typed it etc & drove me down. It was 11:00 & everyone was coming out – cameras everywhere ..Mr & Mrs Perrem, Strooper & Fisher [parents of the deceased] all trying to avoid them. Court had adjourned until Guy (the driver) could arrive (they’d waited all morning for him- wrong date issued on his summons) so, killed an hour with Trina & Edith. So, actually started again at 12:00 – stopped at 1:00 for lunch (so boring waiting- the detective on for that hour) Mum dropped me at school- got things from Ms. Forbes. Sat Yr 12 area. Mark went to drive in Fri. night & Tamara’s party saturday “Forgot” to ring me. That hurts. And all he could do is laugh. Mum picked me up at end of lunch hour – I bought lunch, then waited outside again (Glyn, Steven, Trina, Edith, Brian etc..) Finally, around 3:00, Yru first one in. In for 20 mins (shitting ourselves) Recess then Steven L, Sean D & me .. not really scary – I felt like laughing- [laughter is my default stress response…] wanted to be asked more Q’s ..got $31 for it! & photo for Courier Mail! News coverage wasn’t “hot” ..Steven, Glyn were in background!!!!!!!

Tuesday 15/9/87

A Life in Words

Part of Tuesday’s article on the inquest in the Cairns Post. Note Detective Brooks’ opinion (second paragraph)

Today, everything ran according to schedule. We sat in the hearing until about 11:00; the machinery inspector (an engineer) (inspector of bus remains) was in for all that time & basically what came out of it was that there was no handbrake at all, the rear brakes were not operational (the adjustment was very ‘out of place’ incorrect) [To clarify: the bus had, prior to its fateful journey, received a service by Northland’s mechanics specifically on the brakes only a week before, after the driver Guy had complained about them failing at an intersection in the CBD. The service (the ‘adjustment’) was improper; the mechanics were negligent] & the whole frame of the bus was rust infested (hence the roof slicing off) […and this was the fault of the previous owner of the bus (who appears on the stand later on). See the news clipping below Wednesday’s entry…] Did my biol. test .. it was rather easy for the little amount of study I did (some things I’d neglected to look at stuck me, tho I know I’ll pass at least). Didn’t talk to Mark at all at school .. went to Home Ec room with Justine & Fi & had some cake. Fi was really interested in what was going on. She wants a copy of the records, too (a manuscript) [I still have the a copy of the findings in my possession to this day…] I missed out on the guy who saw the bus go over the edge [there was only one witness to the accident, who wasn’t actually involved in it, that is…] & quite a few student testimonies, but after lunch another inspector (a mechanic) took up nearly all afternoon, just re-iterating what the guy this morning had said. Made news again tonight. I wasn’t in the Courier Mail today, maybe tomorrow. [Ah, the Ego!] Rang Mark this arvy . . talked long about (well jokes about) me being evil & horrid & satantistic & him being good & innocent (Bullshit!) Getting warmer (courthouse is airconditioned) [← believe it or not, airconditioning wasn’t standard in all buildings in FNQ back in the 80’s, unlike today. We definitely felt summer in our classrooms at school!] Got my shorts from Kaffa but they’re too short – take em back, but you can’t [I think I meant, I wanted to return them, but couldn’t for ? reason…?]

A Life in WordsWednesday 16/9/87

Well, Mark was the first up today; there were quite a few students today -Cameron, Brent, mima, Fiona, jason, bella, jaque & Mark to name a few. The courthouse was packed in the morning (Mark stayed for it) but spare seats in the afternoon – boring mechanic (brake specialist) testimony -went on for ages (he was being rather “evasive” – Mr McKenzie said when we talked to him at lunch & were filmed – yeah! I was on T.V.! (NQ10) Lunch went quickly. Still haven’t started my english assignment. SHIT. Due Friday. I rang Mark this arvy, cos’ Fi told me she heard Tricia talking about the Drive-In (I got worried) but he was at Terry’s. He rang back around 7:30 and it was probably one of the best talks we’ve had for ages . . I mean he was being really nice and he said “I love you” again, which made me feel even better. He said he wants to spend time just me & him together on the holidays.. which I also enjoyed hearing from him. Forgot to  take back the shorts from Kaffa today. Must do it tomorrow. […buuuut I thought you couldn’t?] Wore my white mini skirt in public today – actually felt more confident & care-free than I have ever!! [Perhaps because I was attending an ‘event’ that directly related to my scarring. If people saw it, they were more likely to “put two and two together”…and be compassionate. Not that anyone has ever been unsympathetic (or nasty) to me about my scar anyway…] WOW!! SO BORING IN COURTROOM – MAKES YOU SLEEPY!A Life in WordsThe tone of this article (a recap of Tuesday’s evidence) indicates the bus company and the mechanics were at fault: both a government engineer & a transport inspector saying as much.

Thursday 17/9/87

A Life in Words

This is where the inquest seems to make a turn against the driver. Monique’s father questioned the ‘independant’ brake specialist and some of my testimony features in this article, although true to the media’s form, they spelled my name incorrectly…

A Life in WordsIt’s 11:00; I’ve just finished a few ‘choices’ for my english assignment (descriptive passages) Only 2 that I’m happy with, in fact. But it’ll have to do. Who cares? (Me, of course) Today, Glyn, Cameron, Mark came to see Chris (he wasn’t on til after lunch tho’.) (Cameron, Mark & some others were on T.V, too) Well the previous owner was on the stand today & the prick has pretty well laid the blame on Guy [the bus driver]. I heard Guy could get “manslaughter”. It’s not fair he doesn’t deserve it. [Obviously I personally laid NO blame at the feet of the driver …even prior to the inquiry. In fact, from the word go, I never felt an ounce of animosity toward him (and of all those I knew, neither did anyone else). Why? Well, it’s hard to fathom but I think it basically boils down to pure compassion. Knowing this man would live with the deaths of eight children hanging over him for the rest of his life… that burden would be insufferable alone. He didn’t deserve the added torture of others’ ill-will or negativity. I only ever viewed him as a victim, like us. It was the bus’s fault (and therefore the company’s) …not this man.] It’s because he was in too high a gear (3 hi, instead of 3 low) Big diff, huh? [Well, clearly enough of a difference to be used against the driver…] This shithead owner reckons he could’ve made the trip down safely. [Oh.. would that be the same owner whose incompetent maintenance in the rusted out chassis of the bus resulted in its roof shearing off? Not quite a respected person, in my books…] What a shithead. Poor Guy. [What I failed to mention here is that it only took ONE one hour lesson to get a bus license. This previous owner of the bus – who claims to have expertly traversed the Gillies in that very bus many times himself – also happened to have been Guy’s instructor. (See Friday’s clippings) What I really want to know – and it didn’t come up at least in my recollection – is whether any trainee driver would be instructed how to negotiate a mountain range in one one hour lesson? Somehow, I highly doubt it. Yes, clearly I am still biased towards Guy, all these years later.] Mark was being quite a sweetie today – smiling a lot, a little affection I changed those shorts (refund) & got an excellent pair for $36 at GOOD TIME, get this – with a free tan leather belt (after I forked out $12 for one – shit this free one’s even a closer colour to my shoes than the $12) Saw Vikki & Gemila in Big W this arvy ..they’re funny. Dropped ½ my lunch at the Esplanade today (made me angry) God I need sleep. Ate SNAKES in courtroom. Mark, Cam & Keith told to stop talking or they’d get thrown out.

Friday 18/9/87
[Articles from this morning’s Cairns Post, re-capping Thursday’s proceedings…and looking grim for the bus driver]

A Life in WordsA Life in WordsIt’s SHIT. Results of today were absolute SHIT. First, at inquest, we heard the addresses. It seemed certain Guy would get some charge- almost every barrister was against him. But his representative put up a good arguement. Then Mr McKenzie spoke, accentuating the company’s fault. [After all, had Guy not been made to take that company’s unroadworthy, malfunctioning vehicle up the Gillies Range to begin with, his driving skills would never have been questioned.] Mr Perrem & Mr Strooper also spoke (both nervous – Mr Perrem shaking terribly) After recess, the judge related his findings I cried at the mention of Monique’s form of death + earlier when  her death certificates were handed up as exhibits etc.) A Life in WordsThe stupid shithead found Guy to be driving recklessly, causing death [So the official charge against him was Dangerous Driving Causing Death] Cameras reporters outside. Mum was interviewed on FNQ10 News. [She expressed her dissatisfaction with the outcome.] NO ONE agreed with his decision: the mechanics got off SCOT-FREE IT’S UNBELIEVABLE. What sort of dick, prick, cunt, wanker is Trevor Pollock? [One whom I personally believe may have potentially been instructed by a higher power to find scapegoat. Yes, I have my own conspiracy theory, which I won’t disclose simply because it is – of course – conjecture.] Fi, Jo & I after dropping my eng. assign. at school, stayed in town all arvy.. I got some $15 jeans from KAFFA – need taking in at the waist, tho- but they’re great. Mum, Jules & I went late nite: I got a tape, too. See I rang Mark at home & he wasn’t in a good mood at all – last night [privacy omission] So apparently everyone’s shitty with Mark. not his fault. So I thought “great”, another boring night… depending on his mood tomorrow, we might do something sat. night SHIT

A Life in WordsSaturday 19/9/87

[I chose this particular news clipping from my collection because it was the most succinct article, but also exactly highlights the sentiments of the wider community about the inquest results: shock & disbelief that the mechanics & the bus company were liberated of any responsibility. Monique’s father poses the question that everyone wanted the answer to… see the third last paragraph of the article. (I’ve deliberately broken the  article up into segments (separate photos) so that the text can be more easily read.)A Life in Words

A Life in WordsA Life in Words

Today I did very little. . I re-arranged or, re-organized my drawers in my desk, then wrote the overdue birthday thank-you letters. [Yep, that’s VERY overdue: my birthday was in July.] I rang Mark around 3:00, he was feeling better today – [privacy omission] (Bad, huh?) He said he’d ring me back .. by 6:00 I thought I’d ring him, it was getting late. So we mucked around talking – he didn’t know what he was doing – I got upset -he said he’d ring back. I rang Fi & Jo & decided to go to Judd’s party with them. When Mark rang back he said they were going to Steve’s & then if they went out after, would I like to go? Well I said I’d be at Judd’s. Sure enough, they came & Mark was rather drunk. I kept my eye on him.. I noticed him kissing this girl at the bar & I got upset. He smoked a cigar & I was repulsed. To cut the story short; we argued & he broke us up. A Life in WordsI’ve never cried so much in my life. I begged, pleaded & threatened [crossed over to the next page…]

Sunday 20/9/87

him not to do it, but he .. oh shit, it hurts so much. There’s so many things. He kept saying he killed it: 9 months down the drain with [privacy omission] he doesn’t even know (well I know: Trisha F according to Deanne – St Monica’s slut. And I nearly hit her) […now that I can’t believe…] I tried my hardest to talk it out with Mark. [privacy omission] I had to walk home got to sleep 1:30, woke at 2:30, 3:30, 4 & got up at 6:00 – couldn’t sleep & had no appetite all day (did nothing ..some crash scrapbook) SO WORRIED. SO. DEPRESSED SO UPSET. I planned to go to his place to take his denim jacket back & talk. It was so hard .. he wasn’t going to change his mind. I couldn’t understand what he said. .he, I remember, “forget me, elissa. I’m no good for you. You’re making a mistake.” DON’T MARK. How can you say that? [Maybe because he was being honest?] Finally, I convinced him he said we’ll have a break, till he wants to get in touch again.. but I can’t handle even that. I need him. [Urgh. Those words most certainly do not exist in my vocabulary now.] I was looking forward to the holidays with him, so much. FUCK THAT PARTY. FUCK IT [Sorry honey, but that party – and everything that happened at it – was necessary…]

As an afterthought, I decided to include this article from Sunday’s paper, penned by the father of one of my Year 12 classmates (who obviously had a vested interest in covering the inquest) He highlights what is to me an exquisite and genuine human virtue: Selflessness Sun 20 Sep headline

A Life in Words