"What was it the judge said to me in summing up? 'Stephanie Fey, you appear to have no ability to control your actions. It's as if you have no centre of gravity'"
I shouldn’t be communicating with anyone at all - that was the promise I made to myself when I moved into this house. And it was a promise I made for my own good, as well as the good of another.
No technology meant no temptations. No TV and DVD player meant I couldn’t watch old Kidman movies or hear news of her life. I couldn’t feed my obsession with information. I would remove the oxygen from it, cast it into the void. No telephone meant I couldn’t make unwanted calls to her agent. And being out in the Scottish wilderness was to keep me away from the mainstream media and the general gossiping conversations which are the staple diet of cities. All would play their part in ensuring that I didn’t infringe my court order. If I infringed then the stakes for me would be high. Next court appearance would see me end up in jail.
Jail! Jail? I remember the word 'incarceration' being said to me in court and I was amazed at the sound of it. For such a word to be directed at me! The shock. The shame. How had it all come to this? What had I been thinking? What had I been doing? How could I have sunk so low? How could it all have gone so wrong, to the extent that I was on the verge of being locked away for the good of another? Who had I become?
Putting in this internet connection in Mordan House was a gamble though. A security blanket of sorts, yes – like I said at the start of this blog, just in case I needed to find out what was going on in the outside world. But I was always worried about having it, lest I should exploit it by using it to try and contact her.
I haven’t though! Really I haven’t! This blog has been everything, believe me!
Wasn’t it Lotte Lakeside who asked me in one of her comments on this blog why I hadn’t let my best friend Dizzy Lizzie email me? Why Lizzie had to go through the rigmarole of sending physical letters when I could send her an email address? You see, I couldn’t let Lizzie know I was connected to the internet. She would have worried. I’m not sure she would have trusted me to refrain from contacting Kidman.
Kidman? Well, Nicole. She had always been Nicole to me before Mordan House. Only the Imaginary Kidman was called Kidman. But, really, Nicole had never existed. There was a space inside of me, a vacuum, and her shape seemed to fit it. What a deception for us both! No, she never fitted that empty space. I cajoled and kneaded the properties and the idea of Kidman into a shape that seemed to fit. I jammed it into the space as best I could. And it was Nicole Kidman – the real Nicole Kidman! – who suffered as a consequence. She felt the physical and emotional pain of my attempts to make her fit the shape of my needs. What was it the judge said to me in summing up? "Stephanie Fey, you appear to have no ability to control your actions. It's as if you have no centre of gravity."
The real Nicole Kidman? Even as I type the words I wonder what I’m on about! I don’t know who the real Nicole Kidman is. She probably doesn’t know either! It’s not for any of us to know or even care. It’s all just illusions of identity, all just characters, all flat and at best colourful and dazzling, but still just images and all entirely meaningless. It’s like falling in love with a totem pole or an ancient statue of a mythological entity. It no more exists in our so-called real world as does the Cyclops, or Circe or the Sirens. In this myth of my own making that I’m perhaps living, I’m not Penelope waiting for her husband to return from the wars, I’m Odysseus, bound for home and charting a path through a world of illusions. Most of my own making! How many of us are exactly that in our own lives?
"There was a space inside of me, a vacuum, and her shape seemed to fit it. What a deception for us both! No, she never fitted that empty space. I cajoled and kneaded the properties and the idea of Kidman into a shape that seemed to fit. I jammed it into the space as best I could. And it was Nicole Kidman – the real Nicole Kidman! – who suffered as a consequence"
But I know I've been getting better. I know I have. My Imaginary Kidman was not quite my ideal. In therapy, I had to confront the hurt and damage and fear I'd caused. The voice of the Kidman that has possessed this house had contempt for me, mixed in with everything else. When I was pursuing her – following her, communicating with her – my idea of Nicole Kidman contained no contempt at all. So, although my fantasy was a fantasy, it was a contaminated fantasy, somehow contaminated with truth!
How dark the ideas in me! What words are these? Whose voice? I don't recognise any of this. I don't recognise me! I used to. Before Philip. But that’s what’s happened by degrees. Everything inside has steadily been chilled and darkness has grown in me like tight, clambering, unstoppable ivy, its leaves black and icy.
It’s not all over for me though. Now there’s no more Kidman to keep me company, and I’m left with the bitter feeling of what I’ve done and who I’ve been. Yet also with the bitter emptiness of self-realisation, and the hole inside seems greater than it has ever been before.
There are times when the wind encircles this house, its dark teeth eat away at the stone façade, gnawing the wooden window frames and the slate roof, making holes for itself to push through. Looking for a cold companion to huddle together with. Looking for me.
Cold winds love personal history. Personal history is cold like itself. History is empty, as shallow as palimpsest, as fragile as a child’s cough. And this house is full of empty history more than most. What love has it ever known? What arms have welcomed it? What plans have been made with hope and joy within it? What kiss has ever warmed it? What new life has gladdened its walls, revitalised its shape and reminded it what it was like to be alive? None, none, none.
"It’s like falling in love with a totem pole or an ancient statue of a mythological entity. It no more exists in our so-called real world as does the Cyclops, or Circe or the Sirens. In this myth of my own making that I’m perhaps living, I’m not Penelope waiting for her husband to return from the wars, I’m Odysseus, bound for home and charting a path through a world of illusions"
So here I am, waiting in the cold of this house. James drove off without taking me back to my car in the neighbouring town, leaving me stranded. I could walk for about four hours to get to the neighbouring town but I haven’t the energy. Or the inclination. I deserve to be here. Stuck. Land-locked. Waiting for life to visit me. Life never calls here though. That’s why the void of space dropped down and settled in and around this house where I am. There’s a funnel. Of emptiness. From space, all the way down to the ground where I am.
The dead presences can smell me from up in the empty heavens. I know they will descend soon. I've started to pull at my hair again, to feel the delicious sting and to look at the clumps of hair round my fingers. I've never been so frightened. Yes, I know they will descend soon. And soon it will be my turn to be plucked.
Next instalment: 55. My Turn Now