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    • Izzy_Indigo
      By Izzy_Indigo in In The Midnight Lands
         0
      AT THE time of first plan I'd hoped my travels would rally my far-flung friends - 

      if I book the festivals, they will come - that it would be our last charge together. That I could trail along in their wake, as I had done so many times before, and together we'd forge an end worthy of all the dance scene had meant to us.
      But they were too far gone. Only three responded and only two of those were definite: one for the first festival, one for the last. In-between, I was on my own. Now spending a summer travelling the world's largest dance festivals was one thing, but travelling to them on your own when you were as unsocial as I was?
      Jeeeez.
      Which brought me to my third point. I was not naturally built for travel. I had no sense of direction - in fact, I was directionally damaged. I got lost in car-parks. I got lost going to places I had been to a dozen times before. I did better if I went in the opposite direction to my gut instinct. And to me landmarks were mythical things, the whole world a blur of slightly different (but mostly the same) asphalt, buildings and trees.
      This fault resided in the same part of my brain that dealt with languages and facial recognition, for I was also atrocious at both. Over the years I'd terrorised many a stranger with random twitchy-cheeked conversation only to discover they were not who I thought they were. A problem which would be okay overseas, I supposed, given I wouldn't be able to make myself understood in most of the countries anyway.
      You see then why I had my doubts.
      I would like to say in the face of them my fortitude kept me strong as my planning advanced, but that would be a lie. I could cut and run with the best of them. Better than most. However my foresight (oversight?) of chucking my job and booking a score of long-haul, non-refundable flights before I knew if any of my mates were going motivated far more.
      Like it or not, I had locked myself into a summer of travelling the world's largest festivals as a comfort-and-convenience-loving, ambivalently-social, directionally-and-facially-challenged man, who was known as being a bit useless, verged on being too old, was poor at languages, had limited travel experience, and now no mates.
      And the only thing I could be sure of was that everyone else I encountered along the way would be there with their crew, because, well, who the hell went to a multi-day, open-air electronica festival on their own?
      Hmmm, maybe Mum was right and I was in the middle of one gigantic, manic episode.
      * * * *
      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
         0
      SO MY delerium went, on that black sand beach, for the first week or two.

      Then I grew bored. So very, very BORED. And not long after I did my first festival straight: Splore, an hour outside Auckland. It is not recorded in these pages because, and I have to be honest here, it sucked the fat one - hard.
      While all my friends charged around, while John learnt how to dance to Drum and Bass and Sarah got sunburnt and the whole of Splore shuddered and jumped, I was in my tent early, wiped out. Water, good times and the contact high weren't nearly as energising as I'd hoped.
      To tell the truth It felt as if I slogged through a damped-down monochrome whilst all my friends soared in glorious HD and this worked on me after. But I was a Rottweiler with his favourite toy, I growled and I held on. I feared for the meaning of my travels otherwise. For the terminus they harbored. In all I straight edged for fourteen weeks.
      Looking back now I see it was inevitable I would crack and just as inevitable it would be at John's house. John was a good friend, unempathetic, sure, but a man of moderation I much admired. Wildly successful in business, a salesman extraordinaire and yet electronica enthusiast and rager also, John had seen me go through many self-improvement schemes over the years. Let me correct that. John had seen me start many self-improvement schemes over the years.
      Because they always ended in a swift crash, the wheels of the wagon breaking, the bodies and aspirations flying. More often than not John sabotaged the wagon himself, waiting until my back was turned to snap a few spokes - not out of malice or spite, but because he knew my soul wasn't serious.
      That night, at his house, two weeks before boarding my first plane, sitting outside, his pack of cigarettes lying provocative between us, John rolling one of his perfect double-skinner spliffs - for me, that is, unless you want to partake? - it all reached a final point of saturation, the weakness and the desire. My constant companions I could no longer dissolve.
      They'd been on the swell for months, feeding off every close-fought fight, augmented, like being struck in the same knot of muscle, continually, the ache deeper with every blow. And I felt compressed, ever more oppressed by the pressure, self-applied. It lay across all my vistas like a pyroclastic cloud. And the remembrance of Splore lingered. And it occurred to me I’d become so fixated on the outcome I’d forgotten about the experience.
      And I really, really, really wanted a durry.
      So.
      When the harpies come to tear off the roof, why sometimes it was better to open the front door. I crumpled, a paper pillar. I strapped on a gold watch and marched straight edge Izz off into retirement. I had a few beers, had a few cigs, and later we enjoyed the spliff as John had always known we would.
      * * * *
      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
         2
      AFTER GINNY'S house sold I rented a batch at Piha beach to prepare.

      I lived there with my German girlfriend, Brigitte, from February to May. There was no TV signal. While Brigitte went to work at a local cafe, I spent my days on a steady diet of self help and meditation. I wrote glowing mission statements and felt extremely pleased with myself.
      At sunset I took long walks along the black sand beach heading for Lion Rock with the damp sand squeezing between my toes and the surf pounding and the pastel clouds painting the horizon.
      At times like these, I could breathe, dream. Not anxious or being anxious about being anxious, just silly sundowny dreamy of my coming-this-summer bestseller and the spark that would catch and grow and grow into the inevitable chain of straight edge dance clubs named Uplift. Configurable, each week they would be a different lay-out, break-down and move around, and the dance floor level, the bubble balanced, and springy, maybe grass, perfect for knees,
      and the clubs wired and world-wide, sister cities, sound, screens, and you could lose your shit next to Uplifters in Rio and Rome, Cairo and Cape Town, and a DJ could shred across three continents, three time zones, and the clubs would open in the day, have retractable roofs, sunlight pouring in, sometimes rain, just for a change, and people would come and dance like doing a fitness class, no alcohol or drugs, but the system massive, the tunes phat, this was about cardio, heart rate, not about getting high,
      and the bouncers - not bouncers . . . enablers, defenders? Champions! Large but friendly, no Homus Erectus, and the dress code relaxed, shoes not a problem, nor the ratio of hot women, nor your age, and you could reserve time, the floor uncrowded, and all the retired clubbers coming out, creeking, because they'd never stopped loving dance, and the mainstream masses also, would spy the lighthouse on the hill, finally get a clue,
      and oh these clubs would be glorious, and there would be Uplift festivals, too, and all of it backed by a maverick billionaire, Branson perhaps, and I would be the progenitor and I would be a revered elder and I would stay in the scene and I would be surrounded by a cortege of sexy and accomplished woman, a lifer, forever and ever.
      * * * *
      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
         0
      BUT I was also other things.

      I was the after-image I glimpsed in my friends’ affection. I was intelligent, articulate, charming, positive, stately, spiritual. A unique and beautiful snowflake. And beneath the seethe these qualities lurked, waiting for me to stop paying attention.
      And I was ambitious. And I was amorous. And I knew I was destined for great things. I’d been promised. We all had. And this was my shot. And it was going to define me, you understand?
      It was a fucking definition.
      And for this reason, these qualities - maybe also to better grip - I began to think grander as the weeks passed. I decided my travels had to be about more than just festivals. I decided they had to be about self renewal as well.
      That from them I should emerge repaired, enhanced, a six million dollar man - gentlemen we can rebuild him, we have the technology - faster, stronger, bionic, moving with a satisfying dbo-o-oo-i-i-n-ng sound. An Izzy Mark 2.
      I was a phoenix, and I would rise.
      With an X cut across my chest and my fists raised in protest, I would join my straight edge brethren and eschew the evil opiates of the modern world.
      Not for me any longer nicotine and caffeine and sugar and pot and TV and recreational drugs - all must go. (But not meat. Meat was tasty. Meat was good.) I had four months to detox before hitting the northern summer and its festivals high on life, able to dance all night on water, good vibes and the contact high.
      I would be a shining example to all.
      * * * *
      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
         2
      BUT YET there I was.

      There I was, with no practice, no acclimation, no training at all, about to embark on the veritable master's degree in living beyond, and which, at the very least, at the very low-end of self-sufficiency and resourcefulness, could involve opening tinned fruit at some stage for sustenance.
      Before I set out I'd only been to festivals in New Zealand, the largest The Gathering with its fourteen thousand people over three days. But now, looming on the horizon, was one that promised a hundred thousand, another forty, a third twenty.
      Two of them lasted seven days, one of them involved 'survival camping', and all of them were strung back to back across different countries - most where I didn't speak the language - sometimes different continents, and in wildly varying terrain of deserts, lakes and wilderness rivers, not to mention a fortress and an abandoned russian airfield.
      This was so far beyond my comfort zone, it skipped the uncomfortable zone and landed squarely in what-fucking-idiot-left-you-in-charge zone.
      Which brought me to my second point. I was not a very social person. That may surprise given the smolderingly-handsome, wind-flick-through-my-(metaphorical)-hair, devil-may-care, light-up-a-room-but-keep-a-sensitive-journal persona my exploits conjure.
      But in truth I was an ordinary, introverted, somewhat anxious, kind of aspergery, and horribly self-conscious guy the dance scene just happened to bring the best out of. The type of guy who groaned out loud at the memory of something embarrassing that had happened to him  years before, who struggled to make eye contact and whose cheeks did this weird twitchy thing whenever he tried to hold a smile for too long.
      Left to my own devices, I tended far more towards being a recluse - happy to read, meditate, ruminate, dream - than being out in the world making things happen and meeting people.
      Frankly, people oppress me.
      * * * *
      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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