(For “On being rescued: part 1”, follow this link )
6/7/89, a date, and a series of consecutive digits, of enormous significance to me. Was it a message from God? I bought books on numerology, astrology, divination, demonology and many others to help me discern. I became an instant “expert” on these arcana, and started to show it off. Some of the sillier nurses at work began to see me as “very wise”. I loved any attention.
Meanwhile, the child was dead, the Coroner pronounced her death was by misadventure. I could still continue as a doctor, but I had been confronted by reality in a violent fashion, and not by the will of man. My understanding of life was about to change drastically.
At that time, I was far from the Church. I had lapsed shortly after leaving home for university. Too much girlfriend/parties/drunken nights/possessions etc. Rolling around, like a pig in the brownstuff. I was co-habiting with my “fiancée”, but had been getting steadily more unhappy with our relationship. We saw the world too differently. We parted company after, one morning, I picked up a newspaper, headlined: “Man kills family, then himself, with knife”. I had a sudden thought that if we carried on together, that would be our fate too. Madness was coming over me.
A new job, (promotion), in London was in the offing. I packed all my belongings and moved out. We parted amicably. She had had her doubts too. I moved in to a hospital flat at my new workplace. I bought a new car, and cleansed myself of old possessions. I bundled my old clothes up, and took them into central London to give to the tramps in Lincoln’s Inn Fields. I was going to make a new start! I plunged in to studying my new books, looking for further wisdom.
On my first day in the new job, I met a remarkable young woman, who was a junior doctor, working in my department. She was great fun to talk to, very intelligent, well read (far more than I), very attractive to my eyes. She had no “airs and graces”, she was very natural. I met her many friends, who were all of similar qualities. She was also unattached, she told me. We dated, and for the first time in my life, I truly fell in love. Sorry to bore you, but you know, 24/7 obsession, composing poetry, my only desire to be in her company etc. I had met my first goddess.
We started discussing deep matters. Like the fraud I was, I drew on my Catholic school knowledge for answers to her strongly held opinions on life and the living of it. Very quickly, I was out of my depth. I was proven a complete fool in many of these discussions. I had never before met such powerful arguments, so well put. I was also in love, and so, at her mercy. I became very confused. My infatuation with her continued, only to grow.
She had a mercurial quality which scared me. Most of the time, she was charming and gentle, but without warning or provocation, she could become blithe, vicious or mocking towards me. I was too naive to understand her inner processes. I carried on regardless, like the lovesick fool that I was. Two or three months, this lasted.
Then, one evening, when I knocked at her door, she introduced me to her new boyfriend. She had met him at a party, the night before. She wasn’t interested in me anymore.
Suddenly, I had nothing left, at all. (to be continued)
I must pause there. We’ve all been foolish in our youth. Some foolishness can have tragic and permanent consequences, while some can provide opportunities for Grace. Any comments?