Today was an interesting one. I woke up after a solid 5 hours, 8 a.m. and not feeling violent towards the chirpy wildlife outside. I made breakfast, took meds (the routine’s coming more naturally now: coffee, yoghurt, water, drugs.) I would have gone to the gym but they are bank-holidaying. At 11.30 I went to Mass by myself. For reasons to be discussed, I am less and less certain about what I have gotten myself into there. But anyway I like the Kyrie Eleison, the whole guilt-absolution. For reasons to be discussed, I needed that.
After Mass there was a barbeque. I wasn’t going to go because (a) I was by myself, (b) I don’t eat meat and (c) I felt a bit awkward. So I saidd, I am not going to go. Then I realised suddenly that I wasn’t doing anything else. Not going was a bit ridiculous. I went.
It was a really nice social but reason to be discussed:
It started with ice-cream. Yep, ice-cream. I wasn’t going to have any (calorie fear) but decided to have a half-scoop. Casually, I remarked that “This is really good ice-cream! I should definitely go against my instincts- all of them have been wrong today!” To which was casually suggested that negative instincts and impulses come from the devil. Not being particularly literal-minded, I asked half-joking if the people I was sitting with believed in the devil. And beyond their agreement were some startling ideas:
(1) Christians are less prone to diseases
(2) They have an easier time overcoming addictions within, for example, one day
(3) They are basically the only people who will go to heaven no matter what.
I was both alarmed and disbelieving. But as I continued to push, it became apparent that these were not jokes but firmly held beliefs. The literalism I could deal with: believe, if you want, in giants and demons and people who lived to be 800-odd. But believing that non-Christians are, of necessity, sinners, made me feel very uncomfortable indeed, particularly coming, as it did, from kind and pleasant people. I felt unnerved suddenly, uncertain in myself. What was I doing there?
What am I doing there?
A casual Catholic, barely literate in the Bible, never literal about its stories. And indeed, a lesbian in the midst. It was a funny and fun and nice but also slightly unnerving afternoon.
Shortly thereafter I went for coffee with my friend D. We did a coffee-place-crawl which was short-lived as only two places on campus were open, one of which informed us with relish that “we’re not doing coffee today.” But it was really fun- we talked about usual, everyday things. And I realised suddenly that I was laughing- really laughing- in a way that I haven’t in quite a lot of time.
Which leads me to reason to be discussed (b). I have been feeling quite guilty lately about my healthy sleeping patterns, my healing head. I feel guilty when I think about people not sleeping, or feeling rubbish, or numb, or depressed. I feel guilty when I get up and feel neither sad nor (usually) furious. I feel unnecesarily guilty. I also feel guilty about eating but that’s a whole other story which is reason not to be discussed (1).
This evening I:
(1) spoke to another friend who turns out to be a literalist, if a lovely one
(2) helped a friend talk through her essay plans
(3)talked to my housemates.
Anyway, all in all it’s been an interesting day.