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b. 1979
art student
resides in London
born and raised in London

I'm not saying I saw angels

 The first time I did E (Ecstasy), it was so emotional that when I

came down off it, I cried. I couldn't believe it was over. Ever since

then, it was like "I want to do it again and again." I was sixteen

and did it with friends who'd been doing it for about a year. It's

ironic, because I was the one who was like "No, I will never do it. I

just don't agree with it."

For most people, the first time is the most amazing, but for me it

got better each time, as I understood more of what it's about. The

first time, I babbled away to people the whole time. We had these

typical Ecstasy conversations, where everything is so amazing. I

always have a wrap (gram) of speed when I'm doing pills (Ecstasy),

taking dabs to stay awake. There's nothing mental or emotional about

speed, and it's a hideous drug, but it keeps your body rushing. 

People always congregate in the toilets at clubs, especially at the

Fridge (in Brixton, south London), where the toilets are coed.

Everyone's sweaty and hot and looking at themselves and filling their

water bottles. You look at each other and you just smile.

Everyone is so beautiful. Even the ugliest person is somehow

beautiful to you. You start talking to them and it seems as if they

understand everything about you and you understand everything about

them. You just lose yourself for an hour. You can be talking to a

complete stranger about anything, chattering away, and suddenly

you'll get an urge to go and dance or you'll start feeling that it's

all a bit too much and you'll leave.People are always blowing kisses

to each other on the dance floor, like a girl will wave at you and

blow you a kiss, not in a lesbian sense, but just friendly. I'll

often look at someone and we'll smile at each other and then we'll

stop dancing and start talking the middle of the dance floor with

everyone dancing around us. A chance meeting. That's what it's all

about. With people you already know, you can have these heavy talks,

but with strangers it's intense in another way, because of the

excitement about making the connection. But then there are a lot of

times when it's six o'clock in the morning and you're on your come-

down and you see that same person and you're just like "Oh, my God, I

don't ever want to see that person again in my life!" I've spoken to

people and felt they were so cool and that we have had this amazing

connection and then hid at the end of the night, wearing sunglasses

as I slipped by them to leave the club.It's funny. You just know the

other ravers at eight in the morning, when you're coming home from a

club and sitting in the tube station or on the tube, and people are

either in their suits with briefcases going to work or strung-out

clubbers. You're looking at each other like "Oh my God. We feel like

such shit right now." It's very sad when the night's over, because

you've had this amazing night.For a long time, I thought, "Well, this

is fun, but it's really all very shallow. It's really just the

chemicals making these connections." But then I had this incredible

experience at Tribal Gathering.Tribal Gathering is a huge outdoor

rave with maybe thirty thousand people. I hadn't done any E in a

while and my best friend Jennifer hadn't done any in about two years.

Finally, I was like "Alright, I really want to do E again. This could

be a great time, a great opportunity for us." Jennifer and I are soul

mates. We'd been leading  these parallel lives before we even knew

each other. The first time I met her, her mother said to her, "You

will know Marisa for the rest of your life."So we decided to go to

this huge event which was being held on 25 May 1997 in Luton Hill,

twenty minutes by train outside London in the country. We got about

six pills. They're called Doves or Lovey Doves, because they have a

reputation for being very lovey. We arrived around ten at night, both

of us coming up on our Es, which were really really good, clean and

quite strong. We were coming up very nicely and everyone was just so

happy.There were all these tents, the Drum 'n Bass tent, the Detroit

Techno tent, etc., and we went to the Trance tent, where there was

this incredible energy. So many people from the Fridge were there.

They were coming up and hugging me, saying, "All the Fridgies are

here!"There are several different theme nights at the Fridge, but the

one that we all used to go to was called Escape from Samsara, on

Friday nights. We're called the Samsara people. There were pictures

of Buddhas up on the wall, and other flouro art work.  Samsara was

all about karma – the circle of life and rebirth(I'm into Buddhism,

practicing meditation and yoga.) A lot of people wear Hindu bindies

on their foreheads and most of them shine under the UV lights – it’s

like you’re surrounded by all these shining third eyes.

I have this thing. A lot of people in the Fridge used to call me the

Love Heart girl. Love Hearts are these little sweets with writing on

them like "I love you," "Be my friend," sentiments for children,

really. There's a very childish aspect to the whole Trance/rave

culture. People go around with toys and play these little games with

you. There's a lot of mischief. I used to go around shooting people

with a water gun. They'd look around and then I'd shoot them again

and hide the gun away. Of course, there's always a little sexual

flirtation in all this.Sex is a whole other thing, though. When I

went to Amsterdam, there were all these dealers out on the street

going "Ecstasy. Good for sex." But I don't see E as a sexual drug at

all. It's definitely a friendly drug, but you're not interested at

all in having sex. When I'm on E with my boyfriend, touching is great

and kissing is the most amazing thing, but you wouldn't ever want to

do anything else. At least I wouldn't. Massaging someone's hands is

the most sensuous, incredible feeling. It's just so soft and you feel

so tender towards them. If you're with your boyfriend, all you want

to do is give each other kisses and hold hands. It's not like "Let's

get into bed."There are some sixteen and seventeen-year-olds like me

at the raves, but not a lot. In London, you don't have to prove

you're eighteen, so if you look old enough, they don't give you any

problems. I've been going to clubs since I was like fourteen. I've

always looked older and hung out with older people, so they never

bothered me. But when I'm on my come-down, I'm like a child. I just

sit around, really whiny, and all I want to do is watch cartoons and

eat cereal.It's a little crazy. When I'm not on E, I'm like "Why do I

give these Love Hearts to people?" It's because little gestures like

that make people happy. I give one to somebody and they'll be like

"Oh, Love Hearts!" and they'll read it with some excitement. They're

like Chinese fortune cookies in a way. They'll say things like "Call

me." And you're like "Should I?" If you want to talk to someone, you

can just go up and give them a Love Heart.When it all started

happening at this Tribal Gathering, I was dancing in the middle of

the crowd and started giving Love Hearts to people and it seemed that

each one I gave fit the person I gave it to. Each person got exactly

the right Love Heart. I gave one to a guy and it said, "Blues eyes."

He had blue eyes. I gave it to Jennifer and it said, "best friend." I

gave it to another girl and it said something like, "Will you be my

friend?" so we started talking. "Oh, my name is Doran. I'm here with

my boyfriend Tom" and he was the one I'd given the "blue eyes" to! So

we started talking and babbling away. I'd been going to trance

parties for a while by that time and I had met lots of people, but I

felt that there was something special about this couple and just knew

we were going to connect.  At that moment I saw this guy across the

floor and I was mesmerised by him.  I just seemed to be drawn over to

him by some unearthly force. The first thing I did, without saying

anything, was gave him a love heart.  And you know what it said?

“Marry me”. After that I just went and sat down and he came after me

and sat down next to me. We just sort of sat there for a few minutes

in silence, together, listening to the music. What happened next, was

something that I had never experienced before.  He turned around and

looked at me and said “can I kiss you” and I said “yes “ without even

thinking about it- I didn’t even know his name or anything, but I

kissed him anyway.  It felt completely right. To this day, that was

the best kiss I ever had – I felt as if my soul had been reunited

with an old love. I am still with Clive and we are very happy in the

knowledge that our souls were reunited on that night. I feel so very


Later on in the night, I lost Clive in huge sea of people and I

didn’t find him for several hours.  I kept on thinking about him and

wondering why I was so obsessed by someone who I had only just met.

When we finally found each other, it was like something out of a

film.  I was cold, tired, coming down - Lauren and I were on a

mission to get tea and we were walking across this field.  Exactly

opposite me was this figure walking towards me – it was Clive.  I

just remember him wrapping his arms around me and hugging me.  He

felt so warm and comforting. I knew that he had been searching for me


 I carry this wonderful essence around with me, a hundred percent

pure peppermint oil, which I learned about from an aroma therapist.

If you put a dot of it on your forehead while you're on E and your

skin is so sensitized, it makes your face feel like there's a film of

cold air around it. I have a stall at the Fridge where I give

massages, and at the end of each one, I give them a dot of this

peppermint oil. and people are just in heaven from it. I never did a

massage for someone who didn't give me a big hug afterwards.People

call me the gadget woman, because I have everything from lollipops to

Vic's inhalers to peppermint oil to Love Hearts and sweets. I'm

constantly sucking on lollipops at parties. When you feel hot and

muggy from dancing for awhile, you put a lighter under the Vic's

inhaler to heat up the stuff inside, and then inhale it, and it

completely wakes you up. People have been doing Vic's for ages, but

this peppermint thing is new. When I gave it to people at clubs, they

were like "Oh, wow! Where did you get this? It's so incredible."So I

gave a dot of this stuff to this guy with the bad knee and he was

totally thrilled and before I knew it, I was giving it to like

everyone in the tent. People were literally lining up in a cue like,

"Can you please give some to my friend. It's so amazing." Meanwhile

Jennifer was giving out sweets to people. Somebody came up and said,

"You two are the mothers of this tent. You're taking care of us."You

have to pee like a hundred times because you're drinking so much

water. So we decided to go out to the toilet and then over to a

different tent. They had this machine that was sucking up all the

shit from the port-a-loos, making this horrible noise. When you're on

E, everything is so beautiful and soft and surreal, something so

mechanical making this ERRRR noise, it's so unbelievably offensive,

you can't describe it.We felt so connected to Doran and Tom that we

couldn't be apart from them. They had to be with us. The four of us

linked arms and walked through this huge field to see Daft Punk,

these two deejays, in the Planet Earth tent, which was much bigger

than the Trance tent. All the big names were performing there.

Orbital was playing when we walked in. I'd done two pills by then and

we were all very fucked up.There were thousands of people in the

tent. You couldn't move because there were so many. Somehow Doran

just led us through all these people and before you knew it, we were

all up front. A lot of times when I'm fucked up on E, I'll be in one

place and then suddenly I'll be in another place and I'll wonder how

I'll got there. It just sort of happens.Orbital was playing this

angelic trancelike music with no bass beats. It was really beautiful,

really slow, incredible music. The four of us were so taken in by it

all. We looked at each other and we were like "This is so beautiful."

Then Daft Punk came on and the four of us were holding hands dancing

in a circle and massaging each other's hands.We closed our eyes and

continued dancing in a circle. The people around us dancing by

themselves made space for us. We started to cry out of happiness. At

first we were choked up. I thought, "Oh, my God, I'm I can't believe

I'm going to start crying, This is embarrassing," but then I looked

at the others, and they were all exactly the same. We were just

smiling at each other and there was this incredible connection of

energy flowing between all four of us, and a feeling of love. The

tears just flowed.We decided to go outside. There were paper-lantern

balloons filled with helium on each side of the field. We thought

that one of them was the full moon that was supposed to be out that

night. It looked perfectly spherical, like a huge, white full moon.

We all just stopped and were like "I've never seen such a beautiful

moon in my life."But then Doran was like "It's swaying. The moon is

moving" and we all started getting a bit freaked out. Then I looked

to the other side and there was another one! I started flipping out.

Then I saw the real moon up in the sky and it was much smaller in

comparison, which shattered our dream. It upset us so much that we

couldn't deal with it. We were like "Alright, let's move on."We went

back to the Trance tent and for some reason I kept on losing things,

first my jacket and then my purple velvet pouch with all my money and

drugs and things. We had to dump all our water bottles and stuff on

the ground, because we couldn't check them anywhere. We were looking

for these things for a long time and then Jennifer would look down on

the floor and it was there. I was like "Oh my God, how did you find

it?" Later in the night she lost something and no one could find it,

and it turned up right by me. By the end of the night, Jennifer and I

were communicating telepathically. Tom and Doran said to us within an

hour of meeting us, "We've never met two people so in sync with each

another." We'd be sitting down and I'd say "You want some tea, don't

you." She'd be like "Yeah. Let's go get some tea."Around five in the

morning, most people were starting to come down from their drugs, but

we were still really fucked up on these really great pills. Groups of

people were building bonfires out of debris, even styrofoam cups, and

huddling around them, mesmerized like in this tribal attraction to

fire. The bastards on staff for Tribal Gathering didn't want burn

patches on the grass, so they went around with these vile

extinguishers putting the fires out. There were fires everywhere,

twenty or thirty of them. There were huge ones with maybe fifty

people around them and smaller ones with only eight people around.

Jennifer and I were running around in hysterics telling people, "Hide

your fire!" There was such a huge sense of loss when they put out the

fires.Then it started to get light out and people started to go

around in those silver mylar blankets, looking so miserable. Some of

them were wandering around like "I lost my friends. Where are my

friends?" It was really kind sad. This was the point where Jennifer

and I walked over to get some tea and I found Clive again. I said,

"Jennifer.""Yeah.""Do you know what I'm going to say?""Yeah."We both

looked at each other and I was like "We really are soul mates, you

know. This night did it for me: the way we knew what each other

wanted without words, the way you found everything when I lost it

when nobody else could." And although I didn’t realize it then, I

know that Jennifer was meant to be with me that night too because it

was the night I found Clive. It’s funny,because I used to be a little

skeptical about the trance/rave scene, but the whole experience at

Tribal Gathering made me believe in the spirituality of it. I'm not

saying that I saw angels, but I think that what I experienced was

just as valid.

Everything is going futuristic and cyber now. The music used to be

happier, but now it has a very edgy and dark feel to it. When I first

got into the scene a lot of people were dressed like hippies, but now

everyone's in their metallic or plastic clothes with short spiky

hair. It’s a symbol of the times changing towards the future.The

whole obsession with aliens Is insane. Everyone's got these alien

things. I have this little alien that's filled with liquid and blows

bubbles. We'll go into clubs and blow bubbles, and everyone will go

"Oh, the bubbles are so beautiful." I think the alien motif has a lot

to do with the millennium. There are more and more pictures of aliens

at the Fridge, and even the pagans at the Pendragon full-moon parties

are going futuristic, selling all these crazy UV things, futuristic

glasses, alien posters, and all this quirky plastic jewelry. I've had

many strange conversations about how everything is accelerating at a

really fast pace towards the millennium and that after that there are

going to be so many changes. They have clocks in London that tell the

time left before the millennium. It's an obsession.When the

millennium hits, I don't think anyone is going to want to work. A

week before the turn of the century, everything's going to shut down

and everyone will be out in the streets. Jennifer and I have made a

pact that we're going to be together, whatever city we're in. We just

want to walk through the streets and talk to people.



Angels tied up with Green Ribbons



The first time they came I couldn’t see them.  They told me about

you, but did not describe you.  You were not a tangible person then,

not even a thought, only a feeling. I was only six years old.  Even

after the angels after that first time, after they stopped singing,

their essence stayed in bed with me to stroke my hair.  They stayed

with me for weeks after their first visit, whispered in my ear to

tell me they were with you too, told me they had taken a plane and

flown over the sea to where you were.  I laughed and said I didn’t

think that angels needed planes - they said that they fly on the

wings of planes and words. Words from whom? Planes owned by whom? 

They said that they were the words I put in planes to send to you,

words put in boxes and tied up with green ribbons.

The first time I spoke to you was about a year later, when I was

alone in my pink, childhood room.  I had just finished making one of

those houses that I used to make in my cupboard.  I turned out the

lights and pretended to make tea on my toy stove, lit only by the

subtle gleam of my plastic glow worm light - Mr. Boodles I called

him, with his orange waistcoat, brown tie, purple top hat and green

googling eyes.  When the tea was ready and I sat there crouching in

the corner, sipping it out of my wild strawberry teacup, I asked you

if you wanted a cup too.  You said yes, milk and one sugar, please. 

I ran all the way down five flights of stairs and poured three drops

of milk into my inch wide pot.  My mother, knowing I never drank

milk, asked me what I was doing. I said I was getting milk for one of

my guests and she smiled, softly laughing at my fervent imagination. 

      “Is it for your fairies?”

      “No,” I said, “it is for the one they told me about.”

And with that, I ran back upstairs to sit with you in the darkness of

our pretend house.  After that, sometimes I would make you tea, never

forgetting to fill the miniature teapot with a few drops of milk. And

when I had my first kiss, I imagined you watching me from somewhere,

completely forgetting about the fumbling disaster I was engaging in.

I always imagined you watching me; sometimes I even wanted you to go

away so that I could be alone, so I wouldn’t feel narcissistic

looking at myself in the mirror, in front of you.  When my breasts

started to grow, I was terrified that you would notice that my left

one was slightly larger than the right, and when I first discovered

how the running water in the bathtub could really feel against my

skin -- between my legs -- I wanted you to see. I couldn’t even do it

without thinking that you were watching me, admiring my girl body

turn slowly into a woman’s. I wanted you to notice wherever you were,

in whatever dimension you existed.  The angels said you were only

across the sea.

Even after I stopped thinking that you could see me, I never doubted

your existence from that first time I had poured you milk from my

inch-wide strawberry pot. Now, it was more that now you were just

there, waiting to be met, no longer a talking ghost in my room or my


The second time the angels came was on the night we met. It was all

so unearthly, so strange, like fate was knocking on the fragile walls

of my soul, waiting to finally be let in. I stood, one girl of many

in the front of that tent, talking to people, offering them sweets,

smiling at my best friend as she danced in the changing light, more

beautiful than a Boticelli goddess, perfect in her happiness and

turquoise-blue silk.  It was early on in the night - I was still

waiting, still sitting on the floor, watching the flow of moving

legs, calmly anticipating that bizarre moment when I start to

understand. Yes, understand -- it is the only word that can be used.

It is an understanding that starts somewhere on the very end of my

fingertips and slowly creeps into my stomach, into my bones, until I

can breathe its bizarre knowledge in and out of my lungs. I begin to

see the strangers and friends I am with open like flowers before me,

slowly, petal by petal.  They are -- the world is -- more delicate

and truly brilliant than any photograph that I could ever hope to

take; more stunning than any sensual film I have ever seen or could

hope to make.

There I was, waiting for all of this, standing at the front of that

tent, talking to this small, delicate girl and her boyfriend from New

Zealand, giving these new-found friends my sweets with messages

embossed on them -- this time the messages making more sense than

ever before.  It’s the loveheart woman, someone said, and I smiled at

who said it, feeling a certain joy in bringing this one man, this one

acquaintance of many, pleasure in my small gesture. 

The small, delicate girl said there is someone I’d like you to meet.

And standing in the middle of these people, I saw you, a truly

radiant flower among the many seemingly radiant ones.  These were

people that I now loved to watch but several hours later would never

want to see again, ones that I thought I had much in common with now,

but several hours later would sit next to on the floor of a train

travelling home, leaving the field of tents and its three moons

behind –- you gently stroking the nape of my neck.

But that first moment, in this tent called Amazon, you are standing

in front of me, you, illuminated from above by the dappled green

light. I hand you one of my tiny embossed hearts, and you peer at it

in the palm of your hand, reading its message, silently pointing to

me that we should go and sit over there, at the front of the stage. 

I feel the music running through my veins, pumping beats into my body

like a new drug, sitting next to you on the floor, watching you hold

my tiny heart in your long hands, hands I had written about for

years. Will I kiss you? And for the first time, for a minute, I lose

myself.  And that is when the angels come, bringing your lips to mine

in one tender motion of wings, riding their plane across your sea to


We sit and laugh under the incredulous eyes of my best friend and

yours, wondering why they think it is all so strange. You just carry

on, telling me how this will be the most extraordinary story to tell

everyone when we get married -- fate written in the letters of a

green and pink loveheart sweet.

            And so, my love, you were the one I spoke to in my dreams, my

writing, and my childhood homes lit by the light of the glowworm. 

And the next morning after meeting you, after losing everything a

hundred times and having it found by my best friend, searching for

tea with her for the non-existent “Rachel” -- your waiting friend in

the ice-white beanbag tent -- fanatically searching for the last

remaining packets of sugar in a last attempt to stave off the looming

end of understanding.  Attempting to resurrect the feeling of

understanding that was leaving my stomach, leaving my bones, leaving

my lungs. I looked at her and said, Lauren, we are truly soul mates

and she said yes, Cas, I know, I know.  And in that cold May morning,

I still didn't know that I had found you, found my other half, the

one the angels told me about, in the dim light of that tent, in the

tender waves of your kiss.

            The angels came again when I came to New York, telling me to

write to you, send you words in a box tied up with green ribbons.

Green ribbons?  Why green? Blue if you like, they said - after all,

what is the colour of love?  It is violet in the morning, I said,

cold purple at dawn, like the rising of your silent skin from the

white of night. And? What else? They asked. Blue after breakfast,

blue after the crimson of making love. And? Deep green thought in the

afternoon, green-grey skies when I am away from you. And? Purple,

gorgeous purple when I see you again.  And? And? At night, when we

sleep, there is no colour, just light.  But what is the colour of

this light? It is light without colour, it is the light of the even

after. The even after?  Yes, the even after. The even after is the

colour of everything that we have ever been and will be.  And after

all the colours are gone and we are no longer colours, then, what is

the colour of love? 

            The colour is you. The colour is even after you, after us.

But “us” never ends; it carries on in its own infinite colour.  As

you said, it carries on in its own infinite direction.  When colours

stop, the angels will find us, flying the plane, surrounded by boxes

of words tied with green ribbons, flying over the sea of our destiny,

choosing which direction to turn, and finally, where in the sea to




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