I grew up in a magical world, surrounded by mystery, a sense that things were not as they seemed.
Alleyways might lead to somewhere different next time I tried them
If I just went down here…
Angels might open their eyes,
Ghosts touch me on the neck
Grave diggers vanish in mist
I dreamt of going to sea.
I never wanted the magic to end
The worm wriggled between my fingers, which were green, stained with grass and privet leaves. Before me was a small pot filled with dead insects and neatly cut foliage, a minestrone of hope, a witches brew, a necromancers draught of death. Once I hoped that newspapers, cut in a certain way would serve as a magic carpet and usher me into hidden realms. Page after page of the Liverpool Echo were folded and snipped into ever more abstruse patterns, but I remained earthbound, hidden beneath the kitchen table, until called out for tea.
The witches’ brew was a later manifestation of the same desperate hope, which ended temporarily when my mum refused to let me have one of her pans to heat what might have been the medicinal discovery of the century. Cutting up paper was one thing. Cooking worms another.
Catering never had the same magic. Bouillabaisse, fricassee, goulash, Bogbash or Bigos, none held the promise of the witches’ brew I was forced to pour down the drain. I bided my time.
Thwarted but not cowed. I retained the belief that the apparent was a skin behind which lurked countless realms and dimensions. How to break through was the problem.
With adolescence, the feeling became more intense. There had to be more to life. As reality settled and walls closed in, both world and future appeared more and more bleak. But I was too old now for paper clipping and concocting foul brews. It was time for something more bold. Astral projection!
But that’s another story.