A Drug Bust Hoax & An Extremely Intimate Embarrassment (11-17 January)

Monday 11/1/88A Life in Words

Had wierd dream about muppets before I woke this morning: not ordinary ones: the ones (monsters) like out of LABYRINTH [see pic on the right] & THE DARK CRYSTAL. It was really wierd, but good! Well I got up after 8:00 some time, closer to 9.00. I rang Fiona & she said she had to work, but (’cause she rides now) I said I’d ride with her to town at 10:00 and do “nothing” till she had to work. She mentioned on the phone that Steven had said to her “I can’t believe she did that. Mark has finally committed himself to her.” [If you haven’t been following this blog, I highly recommend you read the previous post to understand this statement and grasp the continuing story, in this post.] Great Lissa; he commits himself & finds out this… he won’t ever trust me will he? I really struck out there (well… he didn’t ring me today either) [That sounds like you’ve resigned yourself to an end to the relationship?] So after that I rang Jo, then got ready. It was so windy! I couldn’t believe it… so hard to pedal… I felt totally immobile!! Boring in town: quick glances thru’ shops before riding back to Fi’s Newsagency. I decided (even though the wind was behind me) to catch the (12.30) bus because my bottom was very sore(!!) (Saw Crabbie & Kel too – didn’t recognise them in the car at first!) Listened to BAD on headphones while watching TV at home. A Life in WordsThen nearly fell asleep, so went in to bedroom and slept for about an hour… came out for dinner but could not finish it- felt sick again (see, last night I was feeling extremely nauseous.. very sick, but nothing would happen & I’d still feel horrible: I ended up going to bed with a bucket – moaning. Mum & Julia thought it was because of Mark) [….stress-induced nausea as opposed to an actual stomach bug or other physical health issue…] Thorn Birds is on again, so another late night … have to be at Mike’s work by 8.00 tomorrow: SHIT! I won’t even get to see if there’s any (hate) mail from Mark. I want to send him a bunch of roses & ask him to give me a second chance. See, I’ll have to make the first move, as usual. […so if it’s always the same and you’re not happy with it, change it…] Well, I’ll probably get to bed around 10:30, so goodnight.

Tuesday 12/1/88

I had great difficulty getting to sleep last night. After Thorn Birds, I listened to George Michael & also Terence Trent D’Arby [their entire albums, I would’ve meant] ..before crashing. [Stress-induced insomnia now too…] But I woke early … around 7:00 actually, to a phone call from Mike. I got ready, piled all my art stuff into a bag & got to GERNI around 8:15. About 8 phonecalls all day, one visitor, and mum popping in and out [to check I was coping alright]. I wrote a letter to Mark in the morning (wrote roughly twice before the good copy) and mum got the roses (ordered them) just after lunch, [again, my mother was so good to me… I wouldn’t’ve paid for those roses; it would have come out of her pocket and her only reason would’ve been to try to make me feel better …because I’m quite certain (although I am putting words in her mouth, herewith) that my relationship was a source of concern for her, since she’d (helplessly) witnessed the emotional rollercoaster that it was …for almost a year…] so he would’ve gotten them late this afternoon. The letter detailled my side of the story – how I didn’t intend or want it … and how he should give me a second chance. However, no phonecall [from him] tonight. (Except from CB- good long talk to her) I rang Jo today; she was just going for a job interview at Crocodilliacs. After her, ‘Don Power’ from the Aust. Federal Police called saying there was going to be a drug bust. A Life in WordsI was shocked – Mike & drugs(?) when mum came, she rang Cynthia, who rang this guy she knew, not from A.F.P., but Ray White Real Estate. (It was a joke!) [yep, gullibility is one of my weak points!] so I did my scrapbook for the rest of the day – left around 3.45. Watched TV at home. Am so bored- Fi’s working & Jo may soon be too. What should I do? [Um, maybe YOU should get a job too?] I have no idea. [To be fair to myself, I was thinking ‘bigger picture’: that is, whether I should study or get a job. Study would most likely have been undertaken in another town or city so I was probably thinking there was no point in getting a job there for one month…] Oh I wish Mark would contact me. What shall I do tomorrow, huh? Well, to be sure, I want an earlier night tonight. No later than 10:00 (12:00 or 12:30 or so last night -ugh!) So Mike paid me only $20: that’s disappointing, [hmm, twenty bucks for seven hours: that’s just under three dollars an hour. Mind you, it was hardly taxing work…and it was the 80’s…] but I’ve got to try and make it last (awhile)

Wednesday 13/1/88

No mail from him: no call in the morning. But I had a strong feeling he’d be out tonight. Anyway, this morning Sharon rang around 10:00 or so (a little earlier) and we decided, at 1:00 she’d ride here & we’d ride to crystals. Well, mum took me to the D’s newsagency [I’d left my bike there after riding in on Monday] & I rode home (really good ride!) and at home, did my scrapbook (lauren & tiggy & ‘the tribe’ [some younger girls in our ‘hood] came up & watched me for awhile- a bit annoying). [Not fussed on an audience, Liss?] When Sharon came, we didn’t know whether to go to crystals or not: she was pooped & I thought it was too hot (I was too lazy!) But we decided to ride to the Rocks & see if we’d have enough energy to go on to crystals. Huh! The ride took us more than ¾hr, but we made it (& the ink of pens on my school bag ran with body sweat so my shorts, shirt, towel, all stained.) We enjoyed our swim immensely. A Life in WordsThe ride back was much faster: 20-25mins (& we were dying of thirst so [privacy omission] a can of coke from the Redlynch shop!!) At home I rang Fi and CB. Had to throw all my stuff in a bag quickly & go to Mike’s (to give him his b’day present) Dougie was being very rude & moody & I had one glass of Westcoast [a popular brand of ‘wine cooler’ in the 1980’s]. At [privacy omission]‘s around 6:30, we talked, & I had a shower. Sharon came & so did [privacy omission] (←she’s really nice -hates [privacy omission] too!) Tasha couldn’t stay. We got ready really slowly. I wore my black dress, even though I felt like a real slut [I was ‘conservative’ enough to feel like a ‘slut’ wearing a slim fitting black satin dress… thank god I didn’t grow up in this century, wearing the stuff that girls do today…] (no one else thought so) […because, of course, it wasn’t slutty at all. I think I was feeling more ‘over-dressed’ than vampish. It was actually quite a sophisticated dress.] Sharon, Megan (we picked her up) & I went in the 1st load. Megan got asked for I.D. Keith & Nicole were there. I only had 3 or 4 drinks that night. I saw Mark & Chris & Steven & Cameron (who came up and talked to me – so glad!) [Privacy omission…but to understand this particular character’s relationship to me and the impact of our interaction herewith, read this post …especially if this is your first visit to this site.] came up to me when I was near the bar at one stage – tapped me on the arm & said “Thanks. Thanks a lot.” I said “OK” Freaked out a little after that, but was O.K. When we were dancing, he came on the floor & tried to lead me off. I said “what?” “I want to talk” “NO” “Just talk to you” “NO” I said again. A Life in Words“Well get fucked… fuck this!” (giving me the finger) I felt a bit drained [shocked: I’m non-confrontational and don’t cope with conflict very well] after this & went to talk to Megan. Found Sharon & I saw him dancing with Helen. I asked Sharon to see if he was dancing with anyone & she came back quite a while after saying “Mark’s coming over.” [Hmm, in hindsight I have to wonder if she actually told him to come and talk to me? It’s the kind of thing she might very well have done (and actually had in the past) because it’s the type of friend she was: she cared about me.] Great. I asked him how much he’d had to drink [not wishing to try to reason with an intoxicated person?] & I don’t know… we just started yelling. My voice was already giving way so we went into Smithy’s. It was long, very painful talk. He told me he hated those roses: they were an “insult” (he didn’t want roses, a letter or a phonecall… just me, to talk to him) he hated me & [privacy omission], but had forgiven us. .wanted to know what I wanted (second chance) He didn’t think it was worth it. He said how much he loved me ..how it hurt so much; he put everything to do with me away in a box. He couldn’t stop thinking about me though [privacy omission]. We talked about me & my affairs & he was very vicious. He didn’t want me to take blame, feel guilty, apologise – yet he said so many things which made me feel guilty. Finally ([privacy omission] had left & I was going to catch a taxi home with CB & Trevor (who insisted on waiting for me)) he said for me to go with my friends & forget, tonight, to apologize to Trevor (for snapping at him when he came to arrange going-home arrangements) and want tomorrow or Friday for him to ring & talk somewhere & tell his decision on our relationship. [God Elissa, this happens every time. Why was he always the one to decide the future of the relationship? Why was the ball always in his court? You let it be; you needed it there because you were addicted to and dependant upon him. So …oblivious.] So I went without saying goodbye (I must’ve cried so much – and he’d been wiping my tears away so tenderly, saying that it hurt him to see me cry)…

Thursday 14/1/88

At [privacy omission]‘s, Dean was flaked out on the lounge room floor & Sharon & Cara were sitting talking. [Privacy omission] went to bed & I did soon as I could, too. CB & I had a bed each, and talked (I was so tired) till about 3.30 or so, then bombed. Sharon woke me at 6.50 wanting to know if I was coming… [where to?] I said “I don’t know” and went back to sleep. She came in again at 7:25 & I said “NO!” but ended up getting up almost straight after, anyway. [Privacy omission] & Sharon left & I waited round after packing up (my white turtleneck strangely disappeared) white turtleneck top[Dang, I loved that top. But I’m fairly sure it turned up again: someone would’ve just borrowed without asking…] till mum came. At home, I nearly fell asleep on the lounge when a phonecall at 10:55 woke me. It was Mark. I said there was no way I could get there so he said he’d ring back, but mum came home about 30 mins after, so I rang & said I was coming around. On McManus St, the beginning of Faith was heard on the radio: an omen? Well, our talk was much less continuous: he couldn’t see the point of getting back together (like Fi said: it took him to get hurt to make him realize) basically he was afraid I’d do it again (Now he knows how I feel (felt)) in other words. he won’t be able to trust me too well. Anyway, we decided another go, but this, definitely the last. We are going to remain faithful to each other, even while apart (ie: we’re still “going out” while he’s at college) [oooh, long distance relationships are really hard work. This’ll be interesting, considering the two of you can barely sustain it whilst living in the same area…] so, I could tell he was nervous to touch me & I was, naturally, to him. But, lying on his bed, we eventually kissed: he was extremely passionate. But then it stopped (I was sure it had something to do with thoughts of the past ie. [privacy omission]) [privacy omission] soon made love.. .Sandra getting a shirt just before it and …SHIT… his mum WALKED IN (just after it) [privacy omission] she saw everything. HOW MUCH SHAME! A Life in WordsWhen she went out (she’d hidden her- inevitable -surprise & shock really well – expression did not change as she asked if I was staying for tea) [Kudos to her – I was so impressed by her composure, I’ll never be able to forget it…] Mark said [privacy omission] and laughed. I could not believe it, I was so stunned & WORRIED “Never coming here again” She didn’t know “well, she does now”, Mark said. He laughed – it was a big joke to him. Oh god, we stayed there for about 10 mins – him laughing at my worrying. Outside, Mr W made me stay for tea: oh the shame of it. [What’s that saying? “…I wish the ground would open up and swallow me…”] Although I tried to forget it & we did talk ..about Gatton I felt really bad [entirely uncomfortable] when Mark was out of the room. He drove me home (Paul came, too & I asked him to ring me tomorrow) I told mum & I knew she was shocked, [and possibly a little embarrassed …even for herself: the potential discomfort that may be present then next time she and his mother met…] but she laughed with me. So then I rang Fi, then Jo, then CB & [privacy omission], telling them all the great news (us being back together, that is) My voice was really bad then …Mrs W, Sandra & esp. Paul had laughed nearly all day at it! Watching cricket when Fi came down (830) and stayed, talking, till about 10.00 or so – I had a shower etc & got into bed at 11:00. So tired.

Friday 15/1/88

Well, I was woken at 9.00 (feeling extremely tired) by mum saying to take $50 out for her to borrow. I got up after she left & waited till 9.15 or so before ringing Mark. Thank God Sandra answered (!) […as opposed to his mother…] Mark was woken up  & it was obvious we wouldn’t do anything today.. I said I’d ring later this arvy. Then I proceeded to ring everyone else. Fi said we’d catch the 10.00 bus. Well it was 9.30 so I rang Jo: busy today said to ring back this arvy. And CB & Cara said we could meet them at 11.00 at the mall, but as I thought, they missed the bus (Mum took Fi & I in anyway or we would’ve missed it, too) so we walked around looking mainly for an Xmas present for mima. Saw mum at 11.45 – she took my card to the hospital [I had an appointment there later in the day with the orthopaedic surgeon who attended to me during my hospitalisation after the bus accident] so I stayed in town for lunch with Tasha, CB & Cara. CB & Cara didn’t show up so Fi, Tasha & I got sandwiches & sat in the mall. I went to the hospital at, just after, 1.00 and finally got out around 3.15. Dr Clarke was saying how they might be able to, in the future (far future) stitch up the scars on the inside, to pull the sagging skin together & give it shape. [And this was pretty much what the revisive surgeon did in Brisbane in 1990 (not really the ‘far future’)…] At home I watched TV and got quite a few phonecalls (well Sharon & Jo, anyway) before I rang Mark. Mr W answered (!?!??!) and he wasn’t home. So I watched TV and waited. A Life in WordsAnd waited. And waited. I swore I’d kill him (or punch him) the next time I saw him. Then at 9.30 I got a call. We talked until 10.45. It was a really good call (hated the bit about Nicole[?]: god I hate her)([privacy omission] was telling me today how much she hates her too) So I didn’t get to see him & he tells me now they might be staying over [at Fitzroy Island] Monday night, no, sorry, Sunday night, as well. Why is he not spending all the remaining time with me? Oh well; I guess I’ll have to get used to it. It’s almost 11.00 now. Am very tired. Goodnight.

Saturday 16/1/88

Restless sleep this morning, so I eventually got up around 8.00, to watch RAGE TOP 50 (was up to about no.25, that I saw) rang Jo’s place from 8.45 till 9.30 – no one answering. By then I had to leave. At TAFE, we only just walked in the administration block (seeing a large queue) when a lady asked if she could help us. I asked about reception courses & she said “They’re Monday, 5.30” so we went straight back to the car, and on to KMart to do grocery shopping, all the time I was picturing me & Jo shopping for our flat or house. Wouldn’t it be FUN?! I can’t wait to get working & get responsibilities!! [ha ha ha ha ha ha. Oh this is hilarious. And seriously, seriously naive…] I was thinking (mum suggested) reception for WOODWARD & THOMPSON (for Mrs R!) but I was after Hotel reception, even though it is shiftwork. At home, just got home & Jo arrived. We went back to my place to get her “BAD” tape (I drove – can you call it that? – up our street … ha ha, ha!) Then to shop for pies. I didn’t want to swim so lay dozing in the TV room. They took me home around 1.30, before Jo went to work. At home did nothing …scrapbook, watch cricket. Couldn’t get in touch with Fiona. Tasha & Cara were the only ones at [privacy omission]‘s – told me [privacy omission], Sharon & CB caught the 4:00 boat to Fitzroy. That hurt cause I’d seen CB on the way home this morning and had said I’d ring her at 3.30 to arrange the trip & she’d already gone. And when I rang Tasha back, it sounded much like she wouldn’t be able to go tomorrow (& was definitely not allowed out tonight) So I depended totally upon Fiona, who, I found out, after ringing Stuart, Mr D, Mrs D. & finally Mrs B, was at a wedding. I left an “urgent” message with each of them. A Life in WordsIt’s 9.00 now & she hasn’t called yet. If Tasha can’t go & Fiona can’t go tomorrow then I can’t for sure (not with [privacy omission] on the same boat) ITS NOT FAIR. How can they do this to me? Everyone left me totally out (except Tasha – but she couldn’t help being not allowed out) I can just see me not going tomorrow, then Mark staying Sunday night as well. Well, it’s 9.35, and I’ve given up hope. I’m going to bed (we’ve been minding Dougie & Thomas – Julia’s at Amanda’s – so I’m really glad they’ve gone) I feel so depressed & “BETRAYED”

Sunday 17/1/88

Woke at 6.50 and decided I’d better get up. I had no calls till 7.25, so started ringing others: [panic station!] D’s, then B’s, then (Fi couldn’t come) Amanda’s (but Julia, Manda & Cherie didn’t want to come, either) Jude’s (was working) & eventually Tasha’s. She was allowed and had been trying to ring me! [See? It all works out in the end…] So I got to the terminal at 8.05 and bought my ticket. At 8.20 (after seeing Chris & Glyn; ooh) decided I’d better get on the boat. It was 8.25 when Tasha & Cara turned up (I was so relieved!) We lay on the floor for the (long, boring) trip. [I’m quite sure the big old wooden ferries were still operating back then, even though newer catamarans had been added to the fleet. The old ferry rides took longer and were less luxurious so were cheaper, especially with a student ID – which I still had even though I was technically no longer a student. (It didn’t expire until 28 February ’88) Lucky me.] Once there, CB & [privacy omission] met us & we took our stuff to the camping grounds. I saw Mark but he didn’t seem to want to talk, so we ([privacy omission] CB, Tasha, Cara & I) went on the pontoon- water was full of lice! A Life in WordsWe all just got out, when a huge jellyfish was dragged out of the water. It was monstrous! [Although I didn’t specify whether or not it actually was a box jellyfish, it could very well have been because Fitzroy Island was much closer to the mainland than Green Island, and box jellyfish only dwell around the mainland because they prefer shallower waters, and breed in river mouths, estuaries and creeks.] Then, by the pool, sat & swam (Mark at the table on the other side) Nicole (with Keith, Greg & [privacy omission] Rachel (or Wendy C??)) at the table near the end too. We left & went back to get food money & shoes… had lunch (2nd time Mark talked to me – of his own accord, too – told me I could have some of their lunch & told me he was going surfing) [….which I find laughable. The Barrier Reef ensure no swell makes it to our shores (which also makes the box jellies happy) unless driven by cyclonic conditions. Having said that, if someone had a boat and took them to the outer reef, there they might find surf…] then we sat again by the pool .. Cara & Tasha  went for a long walk & [privacy omission] & CB were associating with Nicole in the pool, so I  sat out with Trevor, Jason & Nigel. Then I got in when CB, [privacy omission] & them left on the 2.30 boat (Cara & Tasha were back) Mark got in & we were barely talking – he was really cranky & it annoyed me – he could at least have tried to be nice – just put me down & whinged about about how hot/cold/tired/sore he was. Then, he said he wanted to get out. I said “goodbye” He said “are you going now?” I said “yes” & I got out & packed up & noticed he was in the pool again with his mates. Great. So I left, got very annoyed & hurt at him for not saying a nicer goodbye, especially as he was staying over again. The trip home was, seemed, shorter…. we were on the front dozing & later singing songs. Just before docking, Glyn threw a towel at Tasha; she ducked, and it went straight over into the water!! He laughed so much! We got off & I rang mum. Tasha, Cara, Steven S left & I waited 10 or so minutes for mum. Lazy at home – am so tired … stuffed myself full of ham/pineapple/cheese on toast, for dinner. A Life in WordsRang [privacy omission] & them at 8.30 or so … may go to the movies tomorrow night. SOMEWHERE IN TIME is on now – that beautiful story.. I love it. Well, I’ll sleep in tomorrow & hopefully be able to ‘punish’ Mark for his rudeness. Nah, I’ll forget it in a flash! [I don’t know about ‘punishment’ but I’m also not down with forgetting about how someone important to you has treated you…]

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

Thigh Numbness, Inquest Prep & A ‘Pissy’ Weekend (7-13 September)

Monday 7/9/87

I got out of doing my bio test tomorrow. I’ll have to do it Friday big lunch into 6th period, tute (CAD for me). But I’m not “off the hook”… my Maths will not be “good” . . I’ll stuff it, I’m sure. If I can learn the theory tonite & try to revise more prac. stuff (problems) tomorrow, maybe I’ll scrape through. Fi, & mima went home at little lunch- Joannah wasn’t even at school. Mark stayed.. I hung around him, Chris, Cameron, Steven at big lunch (laughed so much → my stomach muscles are so sore after the weekend) [!!!] Also, strangely (and fucking very annoyingly & disturbingly & upsettingly) my left knee, above it – inside thigh is numb. Been like that for the whole day (since last night) WHY? Hope its not permanent. [It wasn’t. But my concern was borne of the struggle to accept the permanence of the scar on my right leg. During a consult with a ‘revisive’ (plastic) surgeon only a few weeks earlier (see Saturday’s entry in this post) the penny dropped: it was affirmed, I realised and had to begin to accept, that my body could not ‘right’ (heal) this injury to the extent that it could render other superficial flesh wounds (virtually) invisible over time. The damage was too great, the result was permanent and I, as a teenaged girl obsessed (just like any other) with body image, had to come to terms with this. Any wonder I was nervous?] A Life in WordsActually started Fash. Des. work in art today . [Considering fashion design had been one of my strongest career dreams this would have been exciting for me.] Got separated for talking in english . [Ha! That’s a rare occurrence.] Handed in about 4 pracs in chem this morning. I’ll be so glad when this week’s over!! It’s 10:36 – hope I’m not too tired during the exam 2morrow

Tuesday 8/9/87

Ha, ha. Fail in maths, severely. left out 2Q’s (each worth 4 marks) to begin with (the last 2) & all the rest I practically am “hoping” they’re right. /40 I’ll probly get about 5 -no more than 15 for sure. Did chem HW tonite (nothing really substantial tho’.. must try 2morrow morning, then esp. at night: exam Thursday.) Found out during lunch & 6th on Friday – we’ll be at the courthouse, going thru’ proceedings with police (or whatever) [The bus crash inquiry (“death inquest”) was to begin next week. This was a big deal not just for me, but everyone involved in the crash …and pretty much the entire Cairns community…] Postpone biol. exam yet again! Chem. lecture tomorrow (I think) Wonder if it’s interschool? Hope so. [You wanna perve don’tcha, Liss?] Hot day → cloudy towards the end. I’m addicted to Kit Kats A Life in Words[and I’d say they’re probably still one of my top picks IF I were coaxed into buying a commercial chocolate…] (choc. in general) I must give it up- I’m getting fatter & my face is starting to break out again. Oh no! It’s 9:40 now. Earlier nite than previous 4 or 5 nights. Free dress day Friday, too. I want to party this weekend!! G’night!

Wednesday 9/9/87

Mark was away today. that’s the main thing. Aside from that, the chem lecture was (interschool – only some schools & not many people at all -held at Civic Centre) boring. [I was most likely comparing this event to last year’s, at which (unbeknownst to me, until a few days later) I was ‘noticed’ by an attractive guy from another school. (Check out Friday’s and Sunday’s entries in this post if you’d like the background) So perhaps I had my radar up, hoping for some kind of similar experience?] Cameron distracting. [Just as he was in every all of my chem classes!] Fiona’s going to Saint’s formal too, now. Not fair! Everyone is, it seems! Well I’ll just have to spend the whole weekend with Mark to make up for it. [Well, that’s interesting: it sounds very much like spending time with your boyfriend comes second to attending a social event (at which there’d potentially be many attractive guys) with your friends. Hmm… why are you in this relationship again?] We’ll probably end up going to the party afterwards, anyway. Cloudy day. * More junk today – I can’t help myself. A Life in WordsOn the scales this arvy (I expected them to break) I weighed only 61½kgs- I thought I’d be well over 64! Lucky! [Scales don’t mean anything. Really, how much of that weight is fat and how much lean tissue?] But I feel fat & my skins not too good. [That’s a better indicator of your health. What’s happening at the cellular level?] Wonder why on earth Mark was away? Julia said she saw them driving Sheridan Street just around 3:00 or something heading north cairns direction. Would like to have rung him- had they the phone on at David’s.. . he got 25 for maths exam! (I got 22 so surprised I passed!) Also gorgeous (& funny) photos I saw of Mark (& Steven) that are going in the Euroka [our school magazine/yearbook]. SO TIRED. WILL POSSIBLY FAIL CHEM TOO. Strangely, I don’t feel I will, though. Hopefully…

Thursday 10/9/87

Chemistry? What a frigging laugh! I know I have 3 marks, for sure. I’ll get more than 15 I think, but it’s /50 so that’s not good enough. Mark said he slept yesterday & watched videos & when julia saw them, was when they were going to the “wreckers” to get a something-or-other for the fuel tank (a lid?) So, art was boring cause people were in town doing the fence-painting.. Ms . Marsland interviewing CAD music kids at Trinity Bay. English bludge – Mr G. away: talked to Mr McKenzie. [our principle – he may have been caretaking our class? That didn’t happen often…] Lunchtime was fun : Yr 11 girls/Yr 12 guys feud ..makes me laugh!! So funny! Went late night with Fi tonite (had to do grocery shopping  for her mum – who’s sick) (!!!) Could not find anything I liked, to wear for tomorrow Not a single thing. Fi &I were so pissed off_ we actually had money to spend, but there was nothing we wanted to spend it on. A Life in WordsMark & Keith appeared (pinched my bum hard) disappeared, then reappeared before they left. Mark wanted me to buy him a shirt or something . too bad! Sweetie!!! (yukky word) Cutie! Yeah! [Oh mah Gawd] Well only biol. exam Tues. & english assign. for Friday. ∗ Gonna rage this weekend!!!! [Expectation …can lead to Disappointment…]

Friday 11/9/87

I’m tired – it’s 10:00 – I’m going to do something tomorrow night, no matter what. Pissed off, I am pissed off. I know I shouldn’t be, and I don’t want to be, but deep down I am. I went late nite shopping (with Julia) with Cameron (and as it turned out, Glyn, Deanne & Her sister) and it was so boring. Again, I saw some stuff, but nothing I thought was actually worth buying. I thought it’d be good & get my mind off Mark going to the [House on the] Hill [nightclub] tonight (Glyn was too, I think) Cameron didn’t want to & I don’t know about Steven Anyway, he was quite affectionate (well, his responses to me were very good) after school (when, incidentally, he said he wouldn’t go late night shopping with me, but denied he was going to the Hill. “Ring you tomorrow” he said) Got 24¼/50 for chem. Much better than I thought (almost passed!) [My how attitudes change! In primary school and at my previous high school (Smithfield High) this would literally have been the End of the World. Anything less than a High Achievement ‘killed’ me. I guess it’s a positive that I learnt (by default: losing interest in schoolwork due to my burgeoning social & love lives since the switch to Cairns High) to accept failure/disappointment with less Stress?] Busy day really : appointment with Ms Forbes took a while (I wore all black today) Mark wore his green shirt. I love it – so spunky! Trip to Courthouse was short really.. Trina, Becca G & I will have to be crossexamined cause we didn’t write statements .. will have to tell our story & will then be questioned. SHIT!

A Life in Words

I received my summons to appear in court for the bus crash inquest on 24 July.

Saturday 12/9/87

After a pissy night last night, I wanted a great night tonight –  seems everybody, everything is against me. […here we go…] I went to town this morning with Julia & mum & finally bought some tan shoes from Sportsgirl (you guessed it – to wear tonight) (After last nite – I slept badly waking lots – hoping Mark’d  come to my window, like I am now) So I waited all arvy. Around 3:30-4:00, I got a little tense; still no call, let alone visit. [….and I couldn’t contact him because he was staying at a place where there was no phone…] (I’d seen him (& he saw us) in his car around 12:00, when we  were on our way home & he waved) I’m SO hurt. I couldn’t stop tears now & then. He said he’d ring me & he didn’t. He must’ve forgotten (& that really hurts – to think he could forget me) After being out last night, without me, doesn’t he want to see me tonight? I am so hurt. So, of course, I stayed home even after making a skirt to wear as well. I want to get angry with him but I know I won’t. [Just as well… it wouldn’t do any good. But you have other options…] GOD IT HURTS. How could he “forget” me & if he didn’t , why didn’t he call? There’s no excuse. What’s he doing now? Who’s he with[For all your claims about trusting him…] God, I worry too much. NO! I’VE GOT THE  RIGHT to be worried & HURTA Life in Words

Sunday 13/9/87

I was still pissed-off (hurt) today, but it was wearing thin(-ner). I rang Fi around 11:00 – she said Jay’s BBQ wasn’t very good because Chris H rolled his car (8 or so people in it) at the bottom of Petersen St. Made Fi feel sick after that. [I can imagine: rolling bus, rolling car… too similar a feeling. I still react to excessive speed on right-hand curves to this day. A fast veer left doesn’t ignite a vague, deep-seated panic in me like the righthand turn.] I did nothing, really, all day (should’ve studied biology or done English assignment) Half-hoping Mark’d call or visit. But, alas (??), no. I thought how I’d be angry with him. So we got ready to go to the LeBerhz’s around 4:00 – leaving just after 5:00. Watched TV & video there – also talked alot about the crash, inquiry & showed my photos. Was quite good. At home, 9:30 I knew it – message for me to ring Mark (where?) […was he back at his parents’ house where there was a phone, now?] but mum said it was too late. [Our general rule was no phone calls after 7:30-8pm. It’s one I still follow today and, to be honest, I usually won’t answer my phone if someone calls after those times too. Night time is quiet time for me. (But I’m also not one for talking on the phone much anyway…)] So now I’m ready for bed: not yet too nervous about tomorrow. When will I call Mark? Where do I call him? I’ll see him tomorrow lunchtime : I will be nonchalant to him – but get angry if I need to (ha, ha as if I could.) Well I’ll try. [Entertaining Mind conversations…]