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    • Izzy_Indigo
      By Izzy_Indigo in In The Midnight Lands
      I HADN'T seen her since midday

      but we took up where we‘d left off, except we were both back on-wing ten thousand feet up and flying now, so when she sat with the warmth of her skin like fever, and she turned, illumined and effervescing, and our eyes in sempiternity met, the space, the time between us collapsed, we collapsed, to collide.
      It was the highest high note of The Gathering. True and triumphant. I’d never been happier or more alive, while a megalomaniacal voice in the back of my head crowed: now you're the king of the party!
      Later - days? weeks? - when we broke and she said we should go for a walk I was loath to leave the couch but more loath to leave her. She’d disconnected all my breakers, set my ol' redline river to surge. While the couch in that living dark was where it belonged, I was sure. I was sure.
      So to the ooze, to the open-air and the soundscapes and mostly the Gatherers of real cheer I abandoned it; abandoned it in the knowledge that I - they were part of something, something shining, and that I - they were seizing our full measure to carry forward, forward and forever, and that for some - now that measure might include the wonder of a bright blue inflatable couch found in the mud and the glory of the Trance Zone in those final scattered hours of that last climatic day.
      Good. I felt good about that.
      * * * *
      This blog is a story. Each post picks up from the last.   If you are new, start at the bottom with post 1 and then work your way up. 
      * * * *
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    • Izzy_Indigo
      By Izzy_Indigo in In The Midnight Lands
      AWAY AGAIN, away, away, I romped, stopmed, galloped through a night of splintered light,
      through a blizzard of rain aureoled by the rainbow shafts cutting across the Canaan Downs. I was entranced and lost and upward bound and soon passing the Happy Hardcore Tent without any real idea of how.
      Its outside caught my attention. Some sort of industrialised spaceship, crashed, obviously, with dire, red-shot smoke curling around its entrance. On a whim, I decided to check it out.
      With a loyal following of fans with deficit attention spans, Happy Hardcore was a strange and speedy subculture of Electronica. With its ferocious bass the music had always sounded like a train wreck to me, like somebody had taken a headache and made it audible, but I was willing to give anything a go in my current state of bonhomie.
      Perhaps there was something I was missing.
      There wasn't anything I was missing.
      Walking in was akin to entering a dark alley decked out in diamonds to find large, cheerless and diamond-less men waiting. Or maybe thirty seconds after that, a minute, dependant on how much begging and blubbing you did.
      The point being: an assault. Humid and smoky, the tent was epileptic with continuous strobes, the bass bumping a million miles a minute. The dance floor seethed. It was violent. Dark. Disturbing. There was even a guy hanging from a pole in the middle, baboon-like, swinging his shirt above his head and parffing on his neon whistle for all he was worth.
      A year into the dance scene I'd come to realise such guys weren't the kings of the party but, in fact, twats. To find one tolerated on the dance floor I took for a very bad sign indeed. I stayed for as long as it took to navigate to the exit on the other side, moving swiftly with a panicky stride: half step, half run.
      Goddamn I thought as I hurried away, worried some malevolent force might yet pluck me up and put me back in the tent, there to be confined for the rest of the night . . . next to whistle guy.
      * * * *
      This blog is a story. Each post picks up from the last. If you are new, start at the bottom with post 1 and then work your way up. 

      * * * *
      Enjoying what you're reading? Please take the time to follow the blog, like and comment.
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    • Izzy_Indigo
      By Izzy_Indigo in In The Midnight Lands
      MY CREW and I all together now, no longer scattered but together, invincible,

      all twenty of us at the height of our youthful powers, at the peak of our sharpness and coolness - me in my Jesters hat with real bells that jingled, my face covered in glitter - waiting to begin the biggest night of our lives.
      All of us would roll. Some of us had not rolled before.
      Earlier in the day Joseph, Darius and I had discussed how we would chaperone the newbies of Dan, Sam and Tim. Our role to stay on their shoulder and amp them up, make sure they had a good time and avoided the usual rookie mistakes: teeth grinding, excessive water drinking, inappropriate stranger touching.
      This part of dance scene law, guiding the first-timers, like passing on the secrets of accoutrements: gum and poppers, nos, chupa chups, tiger balm, glow sticks and glitter spray.
      10:30 and we all dropped - as subtly as twenty people putting little pills in their mouths and sharing bottles of water could. We then milled - milling being a big part of a group spangle - nobody ready to head out yet into the dark and dirty night blistering only a few feet away.
      There is an anxiety like two hours to a moon landing after you've dropped and before you get smiley, that eerie anticipation of feeling pretty fucking good . . . soon, but not quite yet. For some this can extend half a day before, their stomachs doing flip-flops, appetite dying away.
      During the come up you are want to act nonchalant, to give the impression of being in control of your shit to your friends, but sooner or later the question always comes - 
      "How you feeling?" I asked sidling up next to Joseph.
       (This to be followed by a close examination of how much you were or weren’t feeling.)
      "A bit of a bounce," he replied. "Quite mellow though. You?"
      (This to be followed by speculation on the quality of the gear.)
      “You tried these before?”
      “Nah, but Darius told he’s had the purples. He reckons they’re real smooth on the way up and that you keep going” - Joseph’s hand marked out ascending levels - “up and up."
      (Then generally a pause as the backgrounds grow bright and you rock back and forth and you consider the mysterious inner transmutations about to burst forth - they better burst forth! Before a rinse and repeat with somebody new.)
      * * * *
      This blog is a story. Each post picks up from the last. If you are new, start at the bottom with post 1 and then work your way up. 

      * * * *
      Enjoying what you're reading? Please take the time to follow the blog, like and comment.
      Your support means a lot.
      Also, sharing is caring. 

      * * * *
    • Izzy_Indigo
      By Izzy_Indigo in In The Midnight Lands
      OUR TALK talked turned to movies, those being made and those currently on show, for Ginny and I went to them every few weeks, it was one of our 'things'.
      We talked of the upcoming summer and of Claire and Amber flying home from England, Hannah from Australia; of the Indigo family Christmas Ginny would host, for she was the keeper of our family traditions.
      Small talk, the sort of talk we always had. Maybe half an hour or so.
      And when we reached a lull, as I began to silently frame the platitudes that would help ease my exit - Is there anything you need? I'll visit again tomorrow. I'm sure you'll feel better soon - something new, different - desperate in Ginny's eyes.
      And our conversation went to places we never did.
      "I'm tired," Ginny said and looked it, enervated as if swimming in a sea full of sand.
      Then she began to talk about her weight.
      For nearly as long as I could remember Ginny had been overweight. A problem that started in her first year of high school when she'd been bullied because she didn't wear the right type shoes. Coming home to cry everyday, she'd sought comfort in food.
      It had got a hold of her then, the appetite, worked itself deep into her limbic system; an appetite that grew as she got older, one she could never get to grips with. A appetite with a name: obesity - a name we never used for fear of hurting her. For Ginny was so much more than that to us.
      Giving and sensitive, intelligent and creative and witty.
      Sometimes Ginny and I would talk of the current diet her and mum were on, how she was progressing, how much weight she'd lost. But tonight was the first time Ginny ever opened up to me about how she felt.
      As the twilight descended and I stayed hours longer than I intended she spoke of her periodic depression. "I can go for weeks pretending everything is all right. But then I see myself in a mirror and I can't pretend anymore.”
      The mirrors were everywhere: shop windows and seats that were too small, the judging eyes of strangers. Having stared down the black hounds of hair loss I understood, as perhaps only I in the family could. Ginny told me of her wish to get married, “He doesn’t need to be handsome, he just needs to be nice” - to have children, “Even one would be okay, just one perfect little boy or girl” - of how far away it seemed, how she thought it might never happen, “Sometimes at night when I’m laying there and I can’t sleep and I think about the future I get this sinking feeling, like something is crumbling, like I can actually feel something is slipping away . . .”
      She was thirty-five years old and I'd never known her to have a boyfriend.
      "I'm tired, Izzy," she said at the end, "awfully tired. Just sick and tired of being trapped inside my body. Of being alone and not feeling well while the world passes me by. And with every day that ends I think: that is another day closer to when it will all be too late soon."
      There was a hissing. Something in the room hissed. Or in my head. I didn’t know, pushed past, pushed positivity, said, "Gin, it's never too late, I promise” - and I believed that then, wanted the world to work that way - “but first you've got to get better, right?"
      She struggled higher in her bed. "Yeah, I know. What I am trying to say is, when I do - ” she faltered, shy to share more.
      I was quiet, encouraged.
      “Well . . . I've made a decision. I’m going to take a year off. Sell my house and go live with Mum and Dad. Concentrate on getting healthy and losing the weight and nothing else, no work or anything like that. Really commit, you know?" She paused. A bashful smile. "A year just to be selfish. You don't think that's stupid, do you?"
      I didn't. We talked it through. We were both excited by the idea. The way she spoke I knew she meant it, her dream burned brightly between us that night.
      For all of my adult life I think I’d waited to hear her say those words, or use that tone, or maybe both together. I told her I would help in any way I could and I meant it, and later when I left, it was with a feeling of great encouragement, of a renewed and revealed closeness with my sister.
      For the first time in a long time I felt a shadow had lifted. For the first time in a long time I felt Ginny would be okay.
      * * * *
      This blog is a story. Each post picks up from the last.
      If you are new, start at the bottom with post 1 and then work your way up. 

      * * * *
      Enjoying what you're reading? Please take the time to follow the blog, like and comment.
      Your support means a lot.
      Also, sharing is caring. 

      * * * *
    • Izzy_Indigo
      By Izzy_Indigo in In The Midnight Lands
      I FIXED a smile. It felt lean. "Well, I guess, at least you're getting the right treatment now."
      My words sounded glib to me, too easily said, too little felt. Don’t get me wrong, I loved my sister. She was a far better person than I.
      When I was eight, she spent weeks painting my bedroom wall for no other reason than to delight her little brother. Slowly a glorious Smaug emerged, gloating over his gold-pile, to guard my sleep for many years.
      Ginny could spend months shopping for presents for upcoming birthdays; she agonised over every little choice. For Christmas lunch she made her own crackers, selected the toys and wrote the riddles and the jokes and cut out the crepe paper crowns, just for the joy it brought.
      If the situations were reversed, Ginny would know what to say.
      But my thoughts were too thick, too thickly coiled to properly empathise. Even then, as I felt for the next piece of small talk, my mind strayed to the things I wanted to do later.
      After a while I asked, "How are your room-mates?"
      A spark came to Ginny's eyes and she indicated I should come closer. "They all seem pretty nice," she said lowering her voice, "but you should have seen this one lady. I’m telling you, Ruuuuffff. She'd fallen out of a car, drunk, and then - get this - been run over.”
      My mouth dropped.
      “I know, and that’s not even the funny thing. After they set her up in the room - "
      “Cleaned off the tire marks, that sort of thing - ”
      “Yeah, well she spent all afternoon making these loud calls to her rellys. Everybody on the ward could hear, and it wasn't like she was saying, 'I've been in a car accident, I'm in hospital but I'm okay'. The first thing out of her mouth was, 'bring me my booze and my fags, and a fucken feed.' In that order."
      "You'd think, what with being run-over and all, you would have had enough to drink for one day."
      "I know, right?"
      We had a good chuckle over 'some' people.
      * * * *
      This blog is a story. Each post picks up from the last.
      If you are new, start at the bottom with post 1 and then work your way up. 

      * * * *
      Enjoying what you're reading? Please take the time to follow the blog, like and comment.
      Your support means a lot.
      Also, sharing is caring. 

      * * * *
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