Conversations with the Holy Guardian Angel (or How I Ended Up in Prison)
|There's a degree to which fear is a choice. To that degree, choose wisely.|
It transpires I've never told the story of how I ended up in prison. Like most stories it's hard to know where it begins, but maybe we can pickup the thread in my darkest hour in Verulamium. There, like the Romans before me, I faced a savage and wild horde of natives before whom I genuinely feared for my life. That is at the Verulam School for Boys in St Albans, the new school I had started at having moved from the northern industrial town of Macclesfield where what childhood idyll I knew remained behind to the commuter town of Harpenden. Full of estate agents and Italian restaurants and a higher class of savage natives than we'd known before.
I had been taught not to fight back, and although I'd been in a few fights I'd always brought them to an end fairly quickly and refused to fight, so I hadn't practised fighting much. When cornered by three savages, who were doubtless brutalised themselves and finding revenge on the world in me, I knew logically I couldn't defeat them and they could kill me. I was so ashamed of the crawling coward I became in those moments of terror.
A mere handful of years later in Cambridge I was falling into madness, my life out of control and my mind merely an observer in the strange chaotic ruins my life was becoming. I was afraid of everything and under magical attack by a Buddhist priest and a couple of punks who were trying to steal my soul. As the curse took hold I knew I needed to defeat it by overcoming my fear of violence stemming back to those days, I needed to punch someone.
For months every contact with every person felt like I was dying spiritually and emotionally, my soul and life eking and ebbing away and all because I wouldn't take the steps I thought were necessary to save my soul. I did try punching a couple of people, but it didn't really work. I spent long day after day for months walking the streets trying to find my way out of that maze.
Eventually something in my mind couldn't cope with that level of constant fear and paranoia and decided I'd been enlightened and that I was going to fulfil revelation. So I walked back to Cambridge from Luton where I was staying in a flat that I hadn't paid any rent on anyway. Needless to say my old friends at Cambridge weren't very excited to see me, so I settled into being the Archangel Michael as part of the homeless community in Cambridge City Centre. I didn't tell anyone I was the Archangel Michael obviously, they would have just assumed I was crazy.
For a little while whilst I walked the streets of Cambridge being Michael, and occasionally begging, a funny short gentleman wearing a green tweed suit and a battered white scooter helmet, on a scooter, would follow me and thrust papers at me wanting me to take them. That seemed odd, so I didn't take the papers. On about the third time this happened he said something and then threw the papers at me. I decided I was better off not knowing and ignored them.
I did make at least one more visit to the college and one occassion a very nice gentleman asked me to pose for a picture.
From that point I got picked up by the police a couple of times, who kept me for a little while and would murmur about papers not being ready and then let me go. In retrospect I think they were giving me a chance to get out of dodge. A chance I didn't take.
It was when wearing roller blades I was picked up for the third time that I learned the story. The college had taken an injunction out against me in civil court. As I'd refused the papers they could proceed without my involvement. After I broke the injunction I didn't know about they went back to the court and had me sentenced to three months in prison, go directly to prison in a G4S van, do not pass go, do not attend a court. I only stayed there for half of it though. Six weeks in Bedford nick.
After that I joined a cult.
"You can't know yourself until you've seen your own shadow. Once you see your shadow, so long as you're willing to be that person, all of your faculties and capabilities are there for the taking. The deepest dreams of the heart can come true."