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.
There’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.
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.
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.
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.
He looks up – a ball of brown ferrous tape having grown in his hands.
And of course they are gone.
TRAVIS: Oh aye.
A wry eyebrow raised and he carries on winding… slowly and methodically… carefully.