It is the woods you know, the woods and the ferns and the river that feel most like home, not the house. The way the trees cling to the hillside, their roots grabbing at the toppling rocks, the lichen coating their arms with a silver skin. They shout so deeply it can’t be heard but it turns my insides. They talk and talk, muttering secrets. The first fit I can remember having was in a woods in Wales like this, maybe that is why its ghosts are so powerful.
I crouch in the mud and hang on to the trees trying to stop myself from falling completely, the dogs hover round me nervously. A rush of adrenalin, I breath in as deeply as I can as if to breath in the wood. Vast moments containing too much of everything enclose me, un-managable stuff, colour, sound, light, texture, smell, too much to cope with. My face hangs just above the mud, reflections in the water dazzle my eyes, memories surround me, mismatched, not making sense, I taste the air, I would not miss this experience for all the money in the world!
Of course I gave up believing in witches, fairies and trolls in the woods years ago, as one is supposed to, but i know here there is something big, something powerful, something that breaths and contains all breath.
When I can stand again we follow the river through the woods to the beach. And then there is the sea. I cry when we reach the sea, as i always do, something in me is not strong enough.
I want to make things that are like the woods, things/situations that are magic. A threshold, betwixt and between, somewhere where the self is lost into the moment.
So here I am now, back in London, trying to straighten out crimped thoughts, drowning in cheap wine, watching strange insects crawl across my keyboard. I am homesick for the trees and keeping myself busy.
Busy doing what exactly?
Explaining that I am a Twilighter, as is Steve. ‘Twilighter’ is the official tittle given to us, first by the arts council, then by everyone as we started to become invisible.
I live in a basement flat on Talgarth Road. It was once a council property back when there were council properties. Officially now I am a squatter, but no one will go to the effort of trying to get me out. There are a lot of us here on Talgarth road. The properties are in bad condition, the road is slowly collapsing into the cellars beneath it, there is no money in buying them up and developing, best just to pretend they are not here. So the buildings became invisible and gathered invisible people, Twilighters, those with problems, illnesses, things that can’t be cured easily, those society would rather not have around.
Now Elsie is definitely not a Twilighter, a very respectable lady indeed these days. She lives in a very respectible flat off the main road, just round the corner from Barons Court. We used to be good friends, but it seems that has changed.
It was when she realised she couldn’t find Abel that I first noticed the change in her. She searched down the tunnels for him, she was determined, I got worried about her wondering along the tracks of the Piccadilly line in the dark. Then one day I saw her and she looked an absolute state, ill and dirty, coughing and wretching. I asked her what had happened but she wouldn’t tell me. After that she seemed to get very career minded, stopped mentioning Abel so much, stopped talking to me much at all, I started becoming as invisible to her as I am to most respectable citizens.
Or perhaps it was my talking to shouting trees that has freaked her out. Still being invisible has its advantages.