I have become bewitched by Catholicism! Not in a converty type of way. But by the history, the mystery and quite frankly the robes. The incense swinging is also pretty sexy.
I’m well aware that it is also patriarchal, archaic and fairly irrelevant to contemporary society but it has this crumbling elegance that I have developed a ‘teenage’ crush on. Did you know that the Vatican has the largest collection of pornography in the world? Go on my sons and daughters! I’m not sure you’d find Penthouse and Hustler there but probably masses of other good stuff.
I have also been researching the notion of ‘evil’. Important questions such as are sadistic maths teachers at well-known public schools born evil or created in a factory just outside Bolton? And is Peter Mandeleson actually a vampire or just demonically possessed? It might also come in handy for the psychological thriller I’ve been considering for a while.
So in great excitement after reading pages of catholic tracts on demons and evil things I make an appointment with the vicar at the local church. I envisaged this marvellous hour of excellent red wine, smoky fires and many mystical and extraordinary things being unveiled to me after a prolonged and fascinating initiation.
What a let down. The ‘vicar’ arranged to meet me in Rocksalt on Constitution Street in Edinburgh. Ok! Well, maybe it’s the cosy corners or the delicious espressos are imbued with a self-cursing crema but I was doubtful from the start. Things become even more bizarre when he arrived in alarmingly brief, satin shorts and a navy singlet that he’s been running in. I had raided my aunt’s rock star wardrobe and draped myself with as much velvet as possible but it was a bloody disaster.
‘Gavin’ dismissed ‘evil’ as a ‘load of old bollocks’, the catholic church as ‘bunch of nutters’ and as much as said that I had a severe case of the drama queens if I was interested in ‘a load of old tosh like that’.
I was become increasingly obsessed with the droplets of sweat that were pooling by his soya latte when I was asked rather audaciously if I was attending Matins on Sunday.
‘I would’, I muttered darkly, ‘but I have a Black Mass to conduct’.
*sound of velvet swishing dramatically out of exit.