FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Kidnapping Jesus at Christmas

by MICHAEL DICKINSON

I’m back in England after a fruitless searchfor teaching English work in Spain and Morroco.  I arrived practically penniless.

To my great relief there was a Western Union agent at Luton airport and I was able to Access the 161 pounds my brother sent, so the money problem is over for a while.

When I explained my situation about being homeless and wanting to claim social security to the information desk I was sent to see the chaplain of the nearby church and she adviced me to go to this place ‘Noah‘ –  in Luton where I was give chicken soup and some sandwiches on the premises with a small group of mixed nationalities, and I am to be give a bed in a shelter dorm nearby after I’ve give my details to a rather bossy woman supervisor.

There is no wifi in the place, so I was allowed out for half an hour to access internet in a noisy nearby Irish pub. The group and me will be taken to the dorm at 10 pm and we have to be at Noah for breakfast at 8.15 am. I don’t usually get up until 8.30! Don’t like this regimentation. Beggars can’t be choosers; I suppose, but tomorrow, after visiting a Citizen’s Advice Bureau; I think I’ll head into London and try to find a cheap hostel where I can be more independent while pondering what to do next.

* * *

We had to be up at 6am! (not 8am) this morning and were escorted back to the other charity building for a cup of tea and then ejected at 7.30 into the cold dark rainy predawn, not allowed back into the Shelter until 10 pm at night. The woman in charge was bossy and condescending to all. I think the streets might be preferable to such conditions.

Writing this in a Luton Coffee shop. Don’t want to go back to that shelter tonight. I may head into London and try to find a cheap hostel where I can be more independent while pondering what to do next. 150 pounds left. What a curse money is!

* * *

I’m sleeping in a cardboard box on an iron grating outside the back of a Sainsbury’s store in Camden Town under a staircase in a quite a concealed position. It’s quite well lit by a street lamp and behind a lowish iron barred fence which I can easily climb. Buses and cars stop at a traffic lights on the nearby street and I hear blasts of different music from car radios, and snatches of conversation from passersby. They have no idea that the box lying on the grate in the little enclosure they pass contains a live body. Tonight will be my second night.

Last night was freezing, and one of my legs kept going int cramps. I had to get up before dawn to go for a jog around the area to keep warm, but today I bought some thermal socks and found a large nylon quilt in some rubbish and a cushion with a painted scene from the kama sutra of a courtly Indian man and woman copulating, so tonight I’ll be warmer and more comfortable.

“Seek and ye shall find.”

The box is big and wide, as long as me. I think it must have contained a mattress or something. I found it on someone’s doorstep next to the bins and lugged it to my sleeping area. It closes over me like a coffin, and keeps out the wind and rain.

I came to Camden because someone mailed me yesterday saying that there was a squat there that might take me, so I took the train from Luton. Unfortunately the squat was full and I could find no room at the inns in Camden, but luckily everything came together with the discovery of the box and the hiding place. I also bought a little packet of Black Mamba and have had a few smokes, some of which have had a result similar to the Michael Jackson haunting experience, with me hurled around in a sure and intricate dance routine down a back alleyway where I went to shelter from heavy rain on Saturday, but more positive and uplifting than the experience in Istanbul.

I set up my rune circle on a doorstep in Camden Lock today, Sunday, but although hundreds of people walked past I only had one customer, who gave me a pound. Another guy gave me a pound just to take my picture, but being a religious Jew, said he didn’t want to consult the runes. We had a longish chat about religion, Israel, and capitalism. I ate a good lunch from the thrown away remains in the bins I found around the food stalls in Camden Lock – rice, noodles, chips, salad, and sweet and sour chicken.

“Ask and it shall be given ye.”

A couple of days ago I decided I really wanted a black balaclava to protect my ears, head and face from cold weather. I wondered where I might buy one cheap. No need. This afternoon I saw a pıle of rubbish in the front garden of an empty house. Rummaging around, I came across my black balaclava in perfect condition, although soaking. It’s now drying on the grill outside my box. I also found an almost new pair of suede shoes my size, a pair of black gloves with a raised white skeleton pattern of the hands and fingers, a witch’s hat, and a sign with skulls and crossbones bearing the legend: ‘CAUTION! HAUNTED!’ which I have left outside my box while I’m away as a warning to any intruder.

I also found a nearly full bottle of red wine, of which I will have a few sips before retiring tonight.

I’ll stay here for a while I think before going to investigate the squat in the East End. Apart from the cold, I’m feeling much freer and happier than of late.

Scrimping all the way!

Sales send profits zinging,
Making bankers rich,
Money rules the World,
Oh isn’t life a bitch?

CHORUS
Jingle cash, jingle cash….

I wrote it this morning. Sang it outside Sainsbury’s on the way to this coffee shop and got applause and someone gave me a quid! I’m now going out to sing it at a few more places

This Christmas Day morning while walking in the street after leaving my cardboard box home, I was passing St Michael’s Church in Camden Town, when I suddenly felt the urge to go in. The Christmas sevice had begun and was in progress. The congregation wasn’t very big. There were a few vergers/assistants waiting near the entrance. My eye was suddenly caught by the Nativity Scene set up with the statues of Mary and Joseph, the Three Kings, the shepherds and the barn animals, grouped round the statue of the infant Jesus lying in the manger. I reached down and picked Jesus up (big as a teddy bear) and made my way to the exit.

Suddenly I was grabbed by an elderly female assistant who demanded “Give it back!” “No,” said I, trying to pull away. Three other assistants, including a vicar, grabbed the child and there was a tug of war, before I finally let go of my prize and left the church. I laughed hysterically at my outrageous act; which had completely taken me by surprise.

On the way to the Crisis Centre for homeless people at Kingsway College near King’s Cross for Christmas lunch I came across another church – St Pancras. I had a look in. The service had finished and there were only a couple of people in the church. There was another Nativity Scene in an alcove with much smaller statues. I picked the cute little baby out of the manger, put him in my pocket, and exited, feeling as though I had symbolically rescued Jesus from the clutches of the Church. Tonight he’ll be with me in my box, and where we go thereafter, God alone knows.

Michael Dickinson can be contacted through his website.

 

Michael Dickinson can be contacted at michaelyabanji@gmail.com.

More articles by:
June 29, 2016
Diana Johnstone
European Unification Divides Europeans: How Forcing People Together Tears Them Apart
Andrew Smolski
To My Less-Evilism Haters: A Rejoinder to Halle and Chomsky
Jeffrey St. Clair
Noam Chomsky, John Halle and a Confederacy of Lampreys: a Note on Lesser Evil Voting
David Rosen
Birth-Control Wars: Two Centuries of Struggle
Sheldon Richman
Brexit: What Kind of Dependence Now?
Yves Engler
“Canadian” Corporate Capitalism
Lawrence Davidson
Return to the Gilded Age: Paul Ryan’s Deregulated Dystopia
Priti Gulati Cox
All That Glitters is Feardom: Whatever Happens, Don’t Blame Jill Stein
Franklin Lamb
About the Accusation that Syrian and Russian Troops are Looting Palmyra
Binoy Kampmark
Texas, Abortion and the US Supreme Court
Anhvinh Doanvo
Justice Thomas’s Abortion Dissent Tolerates Discrimination
Victor Grossman
Brexit Pro and Con: the View From Germany
Manuel E. Yepe
Brazil: the Southern Giant Will Have to Fight
Rivera Sun
The Nonviolent History of American Independence
Adjoa Agyeiwaa
Is Western Aid Destroying Nigeria’s Future?
Jesse Jackson
What Clinton Should Learn From Brexit
Mel Gurtov
Is Brexit the End of the World?
June 28, 2016
Jonathan Cook
The Neoliberal Prison: Brexit Hysteria and the Liberal Mind
Paul Street
Bernie, Bakken, and Electoral Delusion: Letting Rich Guys Ruin Iowa and the World
Anthony DiMaggio
Fatally Flawed: the Bi-Partisan Travesty of American Health Care Reform
Mike King
The “Free State of Jones” in Trump’s America: Freedom Beyond White Imagination
Antonis Vradis
Stop Shedding Tears for the EU Monster: Brexit, the View From the Peloponnese
Omar Kassem
The End of the Atlantic Project: Slamming the Brakes on the Neoliberal Order
Binoy Kampmark
Brexit and the Neoliberal Revolt Against Jeremy Corbyn
Doug Johnson Hatlem
Alabama Democratic Primary Proves New York Times’ Nate Cohn Wrong about Exit Polling
Ruth Hopkins
Save Bear Butte: Mecca of the Lakota
Celestino Gusmao
Time to End Impunity for Suharto’’s Crimes in Indonesia and Timor-Leste
Thomas Knapp
SCOTUS: Amply Serving Law Enforcement’s Interests versus Society’s
Manuel E. Yepe
Capitalism is the Opposite of Democracy
Winslow Myers
Up Against the Wall
Chris Ernesto
Bernie’s “Political Revolution” = Vote for Clinton and the Neocons
Stephanie Van Hook
The Time for Silence is Over
Ajamu Nangwaya
Toronto’s Bathhouse Raids: Racialized, Queer Solidarity and Police Violence
June 27, 2016
Robin Hahnel
Brexit: Establishment Freak Out
James Bradley
Omar’s Motive
Gregory Wilpert – Michael Hudson
How Western Military Interventions Shaped the Brexit Vote
Leonard Peltier
41 Years Since Jumping Bull (But 500 Years of Trauma)
Rev. William Alberts
Orlando: the Latest Victim of Radicalizing American Imperialism
Patrick Cockburn
Brexiteers Have Much in Common With Arab Spring Protesters
Franklin Lamb
How 100 Syrians, 200 Russians and 11 Dogs Out-Witted ISIS and Saved Palmyra
John Grant
Omar Mateen: The Answers are All Around Us
Dean Baker
In the Wake of Brexit Will the EU Finally Turn Away From Austerity?
Ralph Nader
The IRS and the Self-Minimization of Congressman Jason Chaffetz
Johan Galtung
Goodbye UK, Goodbye Great Britain: What Next?
Martha Pskowski
Detained in Dilley: Deportation and Asylum in Texas
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail