So all in all since I have been away from this blog, all 16 days! … it has been pretty much business as usual … yip – disappointment, existential angst, fear, trepidation … the usual heady brew!
OHHH! … perhaps I should blog a little about xmas … Oh Christmas, youre such a bloody awful day for some arent you!
So there I was, picture the scene, a lone figure walking the freezing cold, but strangely lacking in snow, streets of Geneva on Christmas Eve.
What was I doing?
Well I was quite simply staying away from the wretched fucking loneliness of my apartment.
The thought of returning to it … that drive ….that walk … those stairs … that key in that door and that awful wave of isolation, the one that pulls one under as one sits down by the window knowing that not another living soul out there is thinking of oneself. Terrible. Terrifying. Terror.
Sorry … its just lost soul that I am!
It got to about 10.30 pm and somewhere in my mind a tiny thought began to form … perhaps a nice warm bar eh? Just a little tipple? You never know what might come of it! …. and before I knew it was decided … Thats it! Fuck It! Im gonna get hammered, Im gonna get smashed, Im gonna drink like one used to drink … Jump off the Wagon with a Smile and welcome that Sweet Oblivion … I just needed to find a bar.
My internal sat nav switched on and changed direction towards the old town … pretty sure there was an Irish Themed Bar there … so off I marched.
In the distance, at the end of the street I saw candles lit on the ground … so I kinda gravitated that way and found them to be at the doors of huge church.
Then it struck me – Midnight Mass … Shall I?
Yeah why not, so in I went and the place was full. I found a place quietly and watched and listened intently. If only these idiots knew that I was a heathen athiest they would lynch me I thought. But then my thought changed very quickly as the man beside me gave me a warm smile and shook my hand during a moments break in the service. No! – They wouldnt lynch me I realised, they would just be kind and gracious towards me.
Having never been in a church for this kind of thing I didnt understand what was going on – plus it was in French obviously! But I respectfully enjoyed the singing which was glorious and the spectacle of it all – needless to say I didnt take the blood and body of christ as it were. No I just stood where I was as nearly all the other attendees filed down the passageway to the front. I wasnt made to feel uncomfortable in the slightest.
It finished about 12.45am and I began to make my way out … but as I got outside I noticed the candles on the ground had been moved and they formed a chicane that led into a huge house to the left … so I just followed the throng in there.
It was a massive room, people were serving hot chocolate and a cold buffet was laid out. When I saw the hot chocolate I was strangely relieved – from a distance I thought it had been hot wine … somehow all of a sudden I didnt want to break my sobriety. As I stood there completely alone I realised I wasnt feeling so bad.
I was amazed at all the people … particularly the young people. A man in his early twenties approached me, he had been conversing with some females in front of me. He introduced himself and I quickly told him that my French wasnt that great and immediately he switched to perfect English. I talked to him for 30 mins.
I told him A HELL OF A LOT, everything really. But with a particular emphasis on the solitude, the alcohol and um … the complete lack of faith in religion that I have.
I told him that I was kind of embarrased to be there and that I was frightened that if one of the priests shook my hand either he or I would burst into flames … he found that highly amusing … he told me that he was part of a youth prayer group … they were there to stay up all through the night and offer further prayers in the church.
I was a little freaked out about how good I felt to be speaking to him … but then I got very uncomfortable.
It wasnt him, it wasnt the others – it was just my head.
I couldnt help thinking why cant they subtract all the god stuff from this but keep the sentiment, the feeling, the warmth.
I had felt calm in there.
And then I left.
And I walked miles to my car.
And I drove back.
And I walked up those stairs to my apartment.
And I opened that door.
And I sat at that table and I looked out that window into that darkness.
And I fell asleep with my head cradled in my hands and dreamt of nothing.
Merry Christmas Mr PartAnimalPartMachine