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The day I (didn’t) meet TalX – Part One

It’s time I told you what happened the other week – when I didn’t meet tALx – it’ll take a long time to unpack and tell – to tell properly… and resolve everything.  That’s why I’ve left it so long – like so much I don’t know what it means… let me break it down and then start to rebuild it for you…

That way we can start to make a little sense out of everything…

So here we go…

The Laughter at the Lighthouse

There’s a picture on Pool – “Walk away from me” of us approaching the lighthouse, there’s a series of wooden walkways that wend around its base and there we are setting off.  Me in my camo coat and Travis in just a grey T-shirt and jeans.  The day is bright bright bright and crisp – the sky only lightly streaked with cloud and the lighthouse looms to the left of the frame – stripped black and white.

I didn’t hear the picture being taken, which is odd because we were focused, in that moment our senses were razor, everything hyper real and in sharp focus – but someone got there picture and there we are… side by side going to meet TalX.

The woman on the counter takes our pounds and we wend our way round the circumference of the building.  Looping up floor after floor, alternating views of the shacks, the power station and the flat sea – until we reach the viewing platform.

lola on lighthouseThere’s a couple up their with a kid in a blue mac with little apple logos on it – she’s toddling round in circles – unhindered by vertigo or any sense of peril while her parents fret after her, shooing and trying to coax her back onto the stairs.  She resiliently ignores them.

I don’t think they are stalkers… not of the sinister kind.  None of them are TaLx.

We lean on the balustrade and begin to wait – looking inland, searching car roofs and the pates of heads.  The couple shepherd their kid inside and we’re alone.  We arrived early, but taLx… TAlX is late.

Then the woman, the mother, comes back onto the walkway – I hear her heels ringing on the metal and I turn, she is pulling a camera out of her bag.  The hairs rise on the back of my neck, my breath catches and holds in my chest leaving me gasping.  I reach out and take Travis’ arm.

As he turns, the woman leans over the balustrade and starts firing off a volley of shots downwards – I follow the line of her sight and there, at the bottom of the tower, sit two men – one of them with a camera set on a tripod pointing back at us. They are both looking upwards and laughing… at us.

Now at this juncture I should have confronted HER – ask her who she was what she was doing… but I was distracted.  A couple of days later a picture appeared on Pool – “Looking Down Looking Up” – a picture of two middle aged men sitting on grass and looking upwards – laughing.  It must be – has to be her picture…  I didn’t stop her, I let her just walk off, because I was distracted… because the two characters at the bottom of the tower… one clean looking and with brown hair in a kind of micro quiff – the other older – his shoulder length hair, greasy and grey marshaled under a baseball cap – were familiar to me.

I knew them from a party I held over a year back, from my birthday in fact – from before the events of last Halloween – they came to a party, my party in fact, and tried to threaten me – they sort of naively threatened me… they weren’t that good at it.  But they managed to spoil my night.  This a LINK to my old blog with the details…

Anyway this is now a year plus later and there they are, mocking me from a distance of 150 feet.

The younger one was on his back, lying on the tough sea grass, howling, real belly laughs.  The other one is rocking back and forward, leaning into the paunched belly that stretches out his stained blue t-shirt.  He grins up at me – broadly – gapped teeth on display.
lighthouse down view
I can’t hear them but I know their laughter hurts.  It is stabbing, knowing and cruel.

CORNELIUS:  Travis, hey Travis those guys.  I know them…

Travis wasn’t there.

CORNELUS:  Travis?

I walk round to the other side of the tower.

CORNELIUS:  Travis what are you doing?

TRAVIS:  Spooling… Cornelius I’m spooling.

Which is what he is indeed doing… he’s winding up tape.  Magnetic cassette tape that winds around the handrail and then spins off over the edge, spiraling to the ground.  Travis is carefully spooling it back in.

CORNELIUS: They attacked me at my birthday, last year.tape ball

TRAVIS:  He’s not coming Cornelius, TAlX has blown us out.  I think he wanted us to find this though…

CORNELIUS: I Travis I know them.

TRAVIS:  Who?

He looks up – a ball of brown ferrous tape having grown in his hands.

CORNELIUS:  Them.

And of course they are gone.

TRAVIS:  Oh aye.

A wry eyebrow raised and he carries on winding… slowly and methodically… carefully.

It all comes crashing down…

.. my bravado – my “Oh your not intimidating me Mr Talx…” – my detachement has just got re-attached.

Flavius – has just posted a simple picture of a house to the Pool site… and now my nerve has gone and I’ve been drinking and I’m scared – this is the night before I meet the man who has been stalking me – and I’m tired and lonely and all I can hear is the wind hitting the outside of this crappy little caravan and Travis snoring and I’m really scared.

Its is a picture of Lucinda’s house.

Her dad’s house.

I went there once – not 15 years ago as Flavius says – but maybe 8 – turn of the century time.  It’s in North East London, suburbs… we’d been clubbing in town and she insisted we went back there afterwards… we were up in town and had run out of options.  She didn’t want to go at first but then resolved, took a breath and it became the only option.

It was turning dawn when we got there.  It smelt musty.  She clamed up.  We went straight to her old room and slept – or tried to – she wrapped her arms around herself – no – she put on pajamas, of all thing,s and wrapped her arms around herself and we slept on a single bed.  I ground my teeth and listened to the birds…

And then I woke and she wasn’t there.  Her room was part teenage kids room and part box room, everything felt, musty – dust covered – I didn’t want to leave the room… the voices carried on, Lucinda’s and a man’s – at once deep and whining, almost pleading.  She came through and asked if I wanted some pizza.  There was a shit little b&w TV which she turned on and tuned to 1000000 years BC with Raquel Welch and the lizards.  She left the room, more voices, I’m chewing cold pizza and watching the fur and cleavage through the snow of static.

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She returns.

Who’s that?  My dad… you want something to drink.

No registration that anything is amiss.  She watches TV with me.  I put an arm over her, moved closer, she took it off.  Went away.  Voices.

It goes on like this.

Finally I’m getting uncomfortable and irritable, this is a side of her I never knew about , never wanted to see.  She is sexy, confident, wild – directed – all those good things – I don’t want to sit is this fusty museum to her childhood filled with broken dolls and packing cases.

She suggests we leave moments before I do and we start to stalk out.

I glance through the rest of the house.

It a vault.  A timelocked vault of 1970s decor and furniture and fixtures.  Frozen.  Covered in dust and frozen. Pictures of nothing on the walls – it doesn’t make sense.

1970s interior

I look into the lounge, the wallpaper hits my tired eyes, they are drawn to a photo on the mantlepiece.  The frame is new and free of dust.  It’s a blank and white photo of a woman with dark hair gazing at the camera.  Her head is cocked and she smiles gently… knowingly.

Lucinda’s mother.

We leave and head for town.  The tension is gone – Lucinda’s behaving as if she’s passed a trial, overcome an ordeal.  She’s charming and laughing by the time we get on the train, we pick up some wine and soon she’s a little drunk and sits on my lap kissing me.

We never talk of her father’s house again.  She visits sometimes (that’s her car in the photo) but without me – it is an unspoken understanding between us.

I haven’t thought about that house for a long time.

No until tonight.

Meeting Talx tomorrow…

or Talks or whatever he wants to be known as wants to meet me at 3pm Friday – he’s given me a location using the Pool site over at ABC.

This site (Pool) was supposed to be used to track down Lucinda but at this juncture it seems to be filled with a mixture of personal abuse, holiday snaps and perhaps a few shards of what could be useful information… there’s just too much noise already to judge… they used to confuse radar by filling the air with streams of shiny paper and this feels the same way – lots of shine but I can’t see what really matters because of the glimmer.

In the middle of it all though are two posts from Talx or Talks as he now calls himself.

This ONE – is of a blown-out nucelar cooling tower – which links to the blue prints I found in Barney’s cylinder – which have already been posted onto the ABC site by someone going by the name of ozwaz (what is it with these shit monickers)…

And this ONE – a lighthouse in dungeness and a Google map LINK just in case I didn’t get the point.

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Talx –  vandalises my caravan (a bit), posts the odd photo, leaves a doll outside the house, even record a film on my doorstep…  I think this is supposed to be intimidating me – but other than when I lost it last month and stayed up all night clutching a shard of rusty metal and growling at the door – it hasn’t worked… it feels disjointed, like someone is trying to get my attention – like… well just the work of one nutter.  What happened last October was so vicious – so filled with co-ordinated and knowing malice that a little bit of stalking and the odd spooky photo just aren’t really doing it.

With this meeting though… well now Travis and I have kicked into action – I’m kitting out for the next day – I’ve got a camera (EOS 450D plus 25-200mm Lens), recording kit (Edirol R-09 plus omni-pair clipped to my jacket), handheld digital videocamera (Kodak thing), a Leatherman, gaffer tape, a torch, water, gum, spare batteries and a notebook.

Travis has had a shave and bought himself a new suit – pinstripe – second hand and not bad knick (other than I spotted a distasteful yellow stain at the front… on the inside… I haven’t pointed it out because at the moment I guess he is feeling pretty gangster and ready for a rumble).

Eddie has been left with detailed instructions about who we are and where we have gone – in triplicate… he’s not around but a new shed has appeared on the horizon.

So this is it… we go out tomorrow… to find what?

Answers?

I wouldn’t count on anything so obvious…

Split between two times…

… I’m caught now – between telling you what happened before – in the weeks over the late summer and what is happening now…

Forgive me.

… things feel as if they are moving quickly… so for the while I’ll stay in the present.

The ABC site has launched.

… the Pool… the attempt to track down Lucinda… to find out whether she really is in Australia.  This feels important it’s my first attempt to break out of my inherent inertia – the sense that it is better to do nothing than anything.  I’m less angry now – more focused.

So the site launches and about 20 brave souls have loaded pictures to it… and the information is scattered… the sense that she is in trouble is strong, she’s been seen crying… kissing… being hustled into cars… pushed under water… listening to outsider art… that doesn’t worry me so much…

And then this tonight… as it says its the diagram of nuclear sylos that we found in Barney’s cylinder.  Travis pinned it above the bed – the only bed – so that we could contemplate it in our sleep…

Barney’s cylinder.

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Back to that.  Back to the question of who Barney is.  Back to the question of why Lucinda thinks he’s dangerous. Back to the question of who Travis is. Back to the question… and so on…

No answers.

Sorry.

I wish I knew who was breaking into the caravan… if you’re reading this… whoever you are.

Bring some milk tomorrow will ya.

Night.