Sunday mornings are really rather enjoyable, these days. I’m doing telephone service for the anarchist organisation of which I am a member, which largely involves waiting for phone calls which don’t often come and sitting around in my pants contemplating life, the universe, and everything.
It’s an enforced Sabbath, I suppose. Good for the state of my soul. A few hours when I have to stay at home and do nothing but bimble about a bit, and watch the world turn.
This morning as I write this, I’m listening to “Ten New Songs”, by Leonard Cohen. I like Leonard Cohen. I’m a big fan. I like his Jewishness and his humanity. I like his humour. Some people have this idea that Leonard Cohen is for depressed Goths sitting around in darkened rooms covered in goats’ blood and feathers and reciting the Lord’s Prayer backwards, but I’m not wearing black fishnets or a latex bodystocking; nor am I morose; nor are there any feathers in evidence, unless you count the wispy bits that sometimes grow out of my ears.
On the contrary, I am full of quiet joy. The voice of Leonard Cohen is like the deep breath of God as it blows down from the mountain; like the twinkle in His very eyes. And he has His angels with him, ah yes; lusty and brown, they are. I know you can’t pick your family, but if I could have picked my own grandfather, it would probably have been Leonard Cohen.
The phone hasn’t rung, but that’s ok. I’m here, and that’s what service is about. I used to think I had to go out and save people; to pick them up out of ditches and car parks and evangelise to them. I used to think that maybe I could stop them from killing themselves. But I can’t save anyone from anything; none of us can. Now I prefer to stay anonymously in the background and just be available. There is a gentle spirituality in it.
I think it might be time for my fruit.
I have to say, I’m not a great lover of fruit. I like sausage, egg and chips. But for some reason which I can’t even explain to myself I’ve been eating more healthily over the last couple of weeks. It wasn’t a conscious decision: it just happened. Suddenly I found my fridge full of spinach, broccoli, tomatoes and mung beans, and my cupboards bursting with lentils. I woke up one morning and it was there. I wondered if I was in the right house. I thought I’d maybe slipped into some alternate reality; you know, the one in which I’m a bearded hippy. But I didn’t appear to be clad in a tie-dyed t-shirt or spandex psychedelic trousers, so if it was an alternate reality, it was one which was new to me. I decided to roll with it. After all, things change completely, moment by moment. In one reality I don’t have a fridge. I don’t have a house. I don’t even have any shoes, sometimes. I’m constantly paranoid and deluded. I’m always scratting around on the street trying to get a pound together for another can of super strength lager. I have sopping wet trousers. Any reality is better than that one.