Easter Saturday and the streets were full of crazies. We were heading out to an afternoon party and everywhere we went madness seemed to abound. As we walked along Shepherd's Bush Grey we passed a man who was muttering violently to himself, seemingly cursing everyone in the world with words that I couldn't distinguish, though I fancied might be Latin or maybe Arabic. But I didn't need to understand the words to feel the hatred and anger behind them. He was either crazy or maybe everyone was crazy and he was the only sane man in the world. It was the former.
Then at the tube station, the more acceptable form of mental illness, a Christian group handing out fliers inviting everyone to come and see some gospel singing to celebrate Easter. Wouldn't the world be a better place if just for this one day Christians had to follow the example of their leader and have a day off. They had to stay in their houses, cover themselves in a stiff shroud and try and use their bodily unguents to create a kind of photographic negative of themselves. They can make as much fuss on Friday and Sunday as they want, and so they should, because if their beliefs are right something pretty incredible happened. But on the Saturday can't the Church institute a day where they all have to hide alone in the dark and really have a good think about what they believe. Just to ensure it isn't complete fucking shit. And then they can come out on Sunday all the more confident in their unlikely story, or come door to door and apologise to the rest of us for making such a fuss about something patently ridiculous and fantastical. Just one day a year is all I ask. I am not an unreasonable man.
I refused the leaflet from the woman who proffered it to me. "Jesus Loves You" she told me, as if that made my rejection of her offer acceptable. As if going to the Gospel Music service was the only true course of action I could take, and that Jesus forgave me for not finding that an attractive proposition and loved me in spite of my idiocy. There's a chance that Jesus doesn't like gospel music either. If someone had written so many songs about me and insisted on singing them over and over again knowing that I had no choice but to be in the room and listen (due to my omniprescence) then I would find that embarrassing and tedious. You'd have to have a very low self-esteem to need to be constantly reassured about how brilliant you are - though that might add some weight to the argument that Jesus was actually just a kind of stand up comedian.
God and Jesus must find our human attempts at music very grating anyway. Surely even the most accomplished earthly composer and musician is no match for God and Jesus. They must be able to make up the most perfect music by magic in their heads and anything an undivine human being can come up with must at best be like a monkey having a go at an accordian, whilst trying to sing "Hey hey, we're the Monkees" over the top of it, despite having no ability to speak or sing. Even Mozart must be cacophonous rubbish to God and so to try to praise him in song must be the most painful thing possible for him. Unless he views us all like primary school children and he just finds it sweet. But even the most patient person would be hard stretched to spend thousands upon thousands of years attending a primary school concert. And it doesn't strike me that God is the most patient of beings, what with his plagues and his floods and his throwing people who don't believe in him into a big lake of fire, even though he's given them no real evidence to suggest that he's real.
"Jesus loves you," she repeated as I walked by. I wanted to tell her that I didn't love Jesus back and thought he was a bit of a cunt, but I controlled myself. There's no need to be childishly offensive, even to someone who has a childish mindset that fears a life led without a man in the sky, ostensibly controlling things, though not really intervening at any point to stop bad stuff happening, so he might as well not be there.
You'd think by now that Jesus would have got the message that (though I quite like some of the stuff he said and did) I don't love him back. To constantly be sending people out to reiterate his love (he's too scared to tell me face to face, like we used to be at school, where you'd have to make a friend go and tell the object of your affection about your feelings) is a bit stalkerish don't you think? It's fine to be in love with someone. It's fine to try and make them love you back, even if they seem reluctant at first. But if you've made three overtures and you're still being told to leave someone alone, then it's time to back off, otherwise what you're doing turns from love to harassment.
If you really love me Jesus, then be a man about it and come and tell me face to face. If you put a good case then, who knows, I might come to love you, especially if you can do magic tricks and fly and turn water into wine and stuff. But I've told you, I don't love you as it stands and for you to keep getting people to tell me that you love me is actually starting to unsettle and scare me. Legally convenient for you, perhaps, that you can say that it's nothing to do with you if these people are waiting round every corner to bother me, but if it continues I will take out a restraining order against you, which I am guessing will be quite hard to enforce. But if you're all powerful then I guess it's possible for you NOT to be omnipresent. And if you can't create a little hundred metre circle exclusion zone around me that you're not allowed in, then I guess you're not as powerful as people say. But I am putting this in writing. I don't love you Jesus. Some of the stuff you did was cool, but to be honest it's a bit too showy for me and I prefer people who want me to love them just for them, not because they can do really amazing stuff or because they're threatening me with being burned if I don't return their affections. Plus someone who won't just disappear off the face of the earth for 2000 years, after promising that they will be returning within the lifetime of the people who were around then.
Love is about trust and respect, not threats and broken promises. Plus I really prefer something more exclusive or if it's going to be open, then it's open for us both. It seems you want everyone to love you, but if any of us try to fill in the lonely void of waiting, by, I don't know, worshipping a graven image of a golden ox or something, then you get the right hump. You're too needy Jesus, and yet so aloof. Maybe some people get off on being treated like shit by the people they love, but I'm getting too old for that now and I've been out with too many crazy people to know that it just gets annoying after a while.
So please, stop sending people to tell me you love me. Don't write, don't phone, don't put messages through my letterbox. I don't love you. I can understand why you love me - I'm ace, though perhaps a little commitmophobic - but it's getting creepy.
But the craziness wasn't over.
On the tube an old man staggered down the aisle, making the sign of the cross over everyone he passed. I found this distasteful and offensive, especially in a multi-faith community. Feel free to sign crosses all over yourself, but don't impose your mumbo jumbo on other people, especially given there's a good chance that they believe in a different load of mumbo jumbo. At least he had the excuse of being old and probably having lost his marbles, but he still made me cross. I knew it was just Jesus trying to court me again, though if I quizzed him about it, he'd no doubt say that he had no idea the old man was going to behave in that overt and offensive manner. Jesus claims to be omnipotent when it suits him.
At Brixton where the party was, there was a band playing outside the KFC. I don't know if it was particularly a religious celebration as the music was so out of tune and the woman singing so loud and off key that it made me feel slightly queezy, so how God must have felt having to listen to it, He only knows. Another crazy man was dancing alongside the singer, who signally ignored him and tried to concentrate on just not quite hitting any of the notes that she was bellowing through her microphone.
Easter Saturday draws out the nutters, it seems. Maybe it's just all the chocolate that does it. Sugar rush!
Though the kids at the party I was at (where my girlfriend and I were the only people who hadn't reproduced), pumped up on cake and chocolate eggs and juice seemed less crazy than the adults outside. Even when they tried to tie me up and lock me in the toilet. Which I imagine was some attempt at a religious reconstruction, them recognising me as Jesus, rather than an adult who wouldn't object to being bullied.
Like dogs recognise other dogs, whatever their breed, no matter how different they might appear on the outside, kids can immediately spot another kid, even when they are hiding in the body of a grown up.