vangoghI have had this urge to be alone today, so after three girls got into a screaming match over the rumour of a mere possibility of a One Direction gig in this area within the coming year, I slipped away from the crowd with my trusty laptop and sought the silence and the peace.

Which is bloody hard to do because it is freezing outside, and the gazebo near the school where one can retreat and enjoy the majesty of the rolling landscape of this bit of Southern England was hounded by cold wind, rain and wet benches.

The library is closed today because the librarian is off on a course of some kind. He’s getting retrained he’s told me, and once the library is moved to the other school, he will become a digital curator responsible for the digital catalogues that will need to be in order for the system the school is planning.

Which means that my normal refuge when I want to get away from it all was barred for me, and that’s why I thought about the gazebo. But it too was barred from me, this time by the elements and the English weather. So, I ended up going down to the town – which is a bit ironic since I wanted to be alone.

Now I’m sitting at a café with a huge mug of tea, and enjoy the free Wi-Fi that comes with buying things here. The sweet life of finding silence and solitude in the middle of a crowd of people sitting at tables that are so close to each other that the neighbour hardly need to move to be able to read this over my shoulder.

***

ruinedhouseMum rang earlier and told me that she had arrived in Coventry safe and well, and she and Auntie had been out to the town she plans to move to. After praising the house, she launched into criticism of it. It sounds like it has plenty of character to fuel a long list of small annoyances for her.

I have never thought much about our house, but now that I do, there are quirks about it. Doors that are just askew enough so that you have to ram them shut if you want to close them. Little mysterious flaws; like the line of cracks in the room downstairs where Mark and his dad brew their beer. Or the mysteriously copious amount of times that the plug box down Ghost Girl’s flat downstairs trip and have to be reset.

These are little things that Mark’s dad always plans to investigate, but never do. These are little things that Mark mentions to his dad, and then nothing is ever done. It’s like everyone is used to having these flaws in a house and think that it’s part of having one. Like you’d be annoyed by having a train track next to your house for the first few weeks, and then you sleep through it when the freight trains move past at three in the morning.

The way mum went on about the house up in Warwickshire, it seems like it has as much ‘character’ as ours does. Even more so since it’s over one hundred years old while ours is from the 1960s. At least she was self-critical enough to recognise that she spent all her girl-hood trying to get out of the small village where they grew up, and now she’s moving back to another one. I fully expect her to take a seat on the Parish council.

She’ll be the female version of the Parish council chairman in ‘The Vicar of Dibley’. That would be so funny. When I told her this, she was annoyed with me, but I don’t care. Mum is atheist to the core, and would make a good Hitchens – if she could keep her temper in check when she met annoying prelates and born again believers.

***

atheistSpeaking of religion; I make myself impossible sometimes, and maybe I should be more political and diplomatic about the whole thing. There is no need for me to always protest about it, particularly when I’m not asked to participate.

There’s going to be a spring concert, like I did last year. I haven’t yet been asked to participate in it, but there was some lose talk about it, and one of the teachers said that the class should go to a service at the local church.

This I had to protest, since I don’t know why we should go there. The teacher was all about fuzzy stuff like being spiritual and what-not, and I’m afraid that political beast that I rarely vent here took over, and I protested the whole idea that there was something ‘warm and fuzzy and nice’ about going to Church.

I certainly wouldn’t participate in a service like that, and I’ll have no part of a school outing to go to one. They’ll have to drag me there, force me, and I’ll still whine and complain about it. Just because the rest of the world doesn’t think about what the substance of worship means doesn’t mean that I don’t. I’ll have no part of the wickedness going on there.

But I was never asked to go, never forced to participate. It’s voluntary, so my objections were all for nothing. So what if some of them go? What is it to me? It’s just that the assumption that nobody would mind is sometimes cloyingly annoying. As if there are no real reasons to object, and that those who object are being a bit unreasonable, or dogmatic.

***

That was another reason for the need to be alone because as usual nobody understands my objections. “It’s just a couple of hours, surely you can suffer that?” No. I can’t. I will have nothing to do with reinforcing a cultural norm that going to church is a part of daily life.

Not until the day that church stop telling me that I’m fundamentally sinful just for being what I am. I will not, never, acquiesce to that out of some sense of communitarian submission. Not until the day that the church stops saying that what I have with Mark is a danger, a threat to society at large.

Not until they unconditionally accept my love for that man. Then I might extend them an olive branch. Until then, they can go their way, and I’ll go mine. And whenever we cross paths they’ll not have one inch of submission and conciliation from me about things that I think are morally wrong, logically flawed, and intrinsically invalid.

Not one inch.

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