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Saturday, 23 July 2011

I took my pain to Brighton once - Short Story by Margaret Wilde

I took my pain to Brighton once. We hadn't been there before. On the way I rang an investigative TV programme. I rang from a callbox and got them to reverse charges because I didn't have enough change to speak for long on the phone. They were a little incredulous at the request but they complied.

I told them about my pain and how I could find no way to get the causes dealt with. I told them I had finally decided to put 'faith-healing' to the test and had arranged to visit a faith-healer in Brighton: a guy called Tom.

I found an inexpensive hotel in which to spend a night. I left my things there and went to the home of the spiritualist healer. He charged no fee. They make a big thing of it, these 'healers'. That they charge no fee. But they go on about the time and spiritual energy they spend praying, and, in those days, about postage and stationery costs. They clearly expect you to pay, to make a 'donation'. I forget how much I put into the collection plate that was prominently on the table beside me. Was it £2 or was it a fiver? I think it was a fiver. I forget. Whatever it was, it was money wasted...

Late that evening as I walked around not far from the hotel, I came across a sort-of drop-in centre cum coffee bar. I forget exactly what it was. At any rate, there were evangelical Christians there wanting to convert people, or help them, or discuss issues of faith or something. I had a coffee and told a young woman about the pain and what had caused it. I asked her if she would help me. She said she would pray for me. Did she pray for me? I don't know. If she did, it didn't help.

I took my pain to Brighton once. And I brought it home with me again.

Margaret Wilde © 2011

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