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2004-05-02 - 3:14 p.m.

Well, plenty of stuff has happened since I last wrote, but I absolutely have to tell you about last night. Chip, Scooper and I went to Liesl's healing service, and I have to admit, I got pretty depressed. I was partly depressed anyway, because I've been behaving like a manic yo-yo all week and, at my lowest point, was looking up symptoms on the internet and deciding I had borderline personality disorder (possibly an overreaction!). And I was partly depressed at the service, because, well, it all suddenly seemed very drab and unhappening, and it was depressing to see that it is obviously time to move on from something that I originally found exciting, new and moving. I think I've just been too often. It's just that there were people there I recognised, people going up to be prayed for for the same condition, and having the same spiritual manifestations, and going back to their seats and I know they'll be there next month, and I suspect that nobody offers to talk to them or help them more regularly and practically. It's not that I don't believe people can't be healed. I just believe that God would be more likely to heal them through a bit more human contact and concern than that. Anyway, I got together my courage to ask to be prayed for for depression, but Liesl didn't have enough information and she prayed for exams and for my relationship with Tiff and a lot of stuff that felt fairly inconsequential. So that was frustrating.

When I went to sit back down, there were a couple of little boys playing in front of my pew, so I started playing with the youngest one, making faces and so on. He had a bit of string that he kept throwing me the end of, and then yanking it back from my fingertips. My attempts to catch it made him giggle. So I ignored the rest of the service and played with the boy and the string until it was time to go.

On the way back I began to feel pretty spaced out, and also hungry, and I craved fast food. "Macdonald's, ey?", said Scooper, "what a time to be alive!" so to Macdonald's we went. I ordered a happy meal and got a PC Plod toy. And that's when it happened.

A group of girls, aged about 16, wandered in. They were wearing minimal amounts of clothing and maximum amounts of make-up and were obviously going to attempt to get into a club somewhere. On their way past our table they caught sight of Chip - I assume it was Chip that caught their eyes, given that he looks quite like Spike from Buffy - and made a few flirtatious comments. They then bought a meal and, on their way back,presumably irritated that the flirting hadn't made any impression, began to be a bit full-on. One of them leaned right across the table to Scooper and asked if she had something on her mouth, to which he replied that she did, which was amusing enough; but then a second one, wearing slightly more than a bikini, came up and demanded my PC Plod with the words "I want your toy".

"Well, you can't have it!"

"Why not?"

"Why should you have it?"

"I deserve it." (To Scooper) "Don't you think I deserve it?"

"I think", said Scooper, "that we need an independent arbiter".

The first look of confusion crossed her face. "An inde-fuckin'-what?!"

Chip and I were both in stitches by this stage. Scooper pointed at Chip. "Him".

"Well, you have a belly button ring", said Chip seriously. "I think that probably means you have all you want, so you don't need the toy".

The girl was looking a bit wrong-footed by now, presumably at the failure of the two men to drool over her. She uttered some other inanity, and then Scooper looked straight at her and said conversationally, "So, what do you plan to do with your life?"

Then followed one of the sweetest moments of my recent life. The girl took the cup of sprite she was holding and, uttering the words "Don't take the fuckin' piss!", slung the lot into Scooper's face.

It was beautiful. I was thoroughly satisfied both by the girl's inability to cope with not being fancied, and by the sticky lemonade dripping down Scooper's lapels. I have not laughed so much in a very long time. So maybe, in some small and temporary way, my prayer has been answered.


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