I woke this morning at 7.30 to the sound of panic and fear. Radio Gaga drones on about Coronavirus. Italy in lockdown. My lady and I had booked a holiday in Amalfi (yes, Italy) in April. I’ve just cancelled it.
Having got up, I skipped breakfast. The muesli might be infected. Just joking, I forgot to prepare it. The swimming pool (I go for a weekly swim) was unseasonably quiet. Handy, I could swim 10 more lengths…
Malvern is quiet. The cafe I go to on a Wednesday morning was quiet. I read the customer’s “Daily Mail.” Doom and gloom, Armageddon, catastrophe, Coronavirus, we’re all going to die. Malvern, and no doubt the planet, is gripped by self-isolators. On your way to the “departure lounge” read about ‘Z’ list talentless nobodies. Some are okay, you will be pleased to hear, some are not. I read about “trans-activists” setting flares off at the Grenfell Tower inquiry. Apparently TERFs (Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminists) are being targeted by the activists because they are a hate group. And some other reasons. I don’t think anyone “trans” died in the fire. Or it has something to do with the Labour Party, I was once a member!
Am I living in a parallel universe?
I eat my usual vegetarian breakfast, delicious as always. My head is reeling, full of slaughterhouse strength bulls***. On my way to the café-I’ll spare you the details-a Malvern driver is in the process of creating gridlock in the High Street owing to his inability to be aware of what is going on behind him. A passenger from the car behind gets out and brings the consequences of his blinkered inertia to his attention. Two minutes later he responds and the gridlock slowly clears.
I decide to have my hair cut. There are eight chairs for waiting customers in the salon. There is a coat rack plainly visible. Four chairs are occupied and one chair has a jacket strewn across it. The jacket owner is sat in one of the barber’s chairs. His partner comes in and chats to him, the stylist and his daughter. He is oblivious to the fact that others (including me) are waiting for him to vacate the chair. He carries on as if the chair was in his lounge at home.
After an hour (another, rather sad, joke) he gets up, pays, finally leaves with his entourage (he is clearly a misogynist) and the female stylist goes downstairs for what I have decided is a cigarette break. I’m ready for the men in white coats. I’m ready to volunteer for a Coronavirus vaccine trial. I’m wondering if I can get gender reassignment on the NHS. And, I have decided the barber’s shop is racist. There are no black people in the salon. It is propping up the patriarchy as all the customers are men. Can we have a shop with the provocative sign “HAIRDRESSING FOR MEN” in this day and age? I can’t decide whether to declare myself a TERF or genderqueer. I’m sure there is a difference.
The feeling of being on the slippery slope, in a vortex to oblivion and on a handcart to hell (choose your metaphor) is exceptionally uncomfortable. So, for the second time in a week I decide to let go of this toxic and life-destroying nonsense and switch to Angel. The stylist comes back upstairs sooner than I thought. As she moves towards me it’s obvious she has not been for a cigarette break. I sit down and she asks me what I’m doing for the rest of the day. I tell her I will be writing my book. She is obviously interested and asks what it is about. “Spirituality and personal development” I tell her. She becomes visibly engaged. The conversation then moves to the third eye. She clearly knows what she is talking about and proceeds to share information about ghosts and the paranormal. She has a friendly ghost in her house, attends a spiritual circle I am familiar with and has heard about my medium lodger, Jonathan Brown.
The conversation flows and she proceeds to finish off one of the best haircuts I have had in years. I remind her to get in touch with Jonathan and I give her a tip. The barber’s shop is no more a patriarchal, racist, trans-phobic hate cell. And I have declined the offer from the men in white coats. All good thoughts now flood my mind. The only turf I can think of is that outside a local hotel opposite. A smile returns to my face. I think of my beautiful lady and her smile, which can light up a room.
The sun is shining and it is unseasonably mild. It has not rained today. I doubt if it will.
Half an hour ago I had thought about finding an alternative hairdresser to the racist, trans-phobic hate cell, but now if you are male and live within a few miles radius of Malvern, get your haircut at Kent’s.
One of the best ways I find to switch to Angel thinking is to reflect not only on the current ridiculousness of humanity but my own response to it. And did I tell you the wonderful hairdresser and I were in lockstep about the currently engineered nonsense gripping the toilet roll obsessives? Her view of ghostly friends and her personal encounters with the spirit world was summed up by her remark:
“It’s not the dead we should be scared of, it’s the living.”
Yes, without our ability to switch to Angel I reckon if there were a friendly nearby planet inhabited by sane, rational, compassionate and intelligent life there would be an exodus which would make the current global refugee flood seem like a trickle.
But, dear reader, there isn’t. It is our job to join in with millions of others to see the world through the lens of love. It is our job to create, through our imagination, through feeling our wishes fulfilled, the paradise we all seek and clamour for.
Sending out love as usual, especially to the hate groups and their adversaries. Blessings to you all, Jack Stewart Wednesday, 11 March 2020.
Switch to Angel.