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1 March 2001
Dan has a monetary exchange value of 0.000001 pence.

Redemption is a funny old thing. Or, more precisely, "redemption" is a funny old thing. It's one of those words that only ever occur in highly specialised context. Christians, of course, talk about redemption, by which they mean the sacrifice whereby Christ took upon himself the burden of original sin and thus gave mankind the possibility of heaven.

Elsewhere, for example at Oswego's popular Harborfest and for a limited period beyond at certain participating outlets, redemption is something that happens to coupons in exchange for food, goods or services, or a discount to the aforementioned. For a limited period only, though, and certain conditions do apply.

And, for Blake's 7 enthusiasts, Redemption is a convention which took place this weekend, where you can meet Gareth Thomas, fearless leader of a rag-tag bunch of interstellar rebels.

Two possibilities more than London transport gives me sat on New Cross Gate platform, eyes closed against the freezing wind. I can feel clumps of snow - not just flakes, but fucking clumps, beautiful white rabbit punches catching on my lashes, melting on the thin skin covering my eyes. I open up for a moment and see great waves, sheets, bomb blasts of snow covering the tracks. Driving itself almost horizontally into landing patterns, landlocking.

That's part of a covenant, too. That when a certain set of conditions pertain, London becomes briefly silent, and still, and clean. Breathe out mist, breathe in crystal. Breathe out mist, breathe in crystal.

But redemption. Interesting thing about the word "redemption". It means, literally, to buy back. re - back. emo, emere, emi, emptus I buy, to buy, I bought, having been bought. The principle is that somebody gives you something - a token, a coupon - and then buys it back from you by offering something else. Seems a little strange to me, but there you go. I didn't invent capital exchange.

I'm the only person here, pressing myself into the perforated red steel of the bench until it bends under the force of my legs, pushing against the concrete pillar and trying to straighten out. I'm feeling oddly weightless, despite the growing mass of white six-pointed stars in my lungs - and weren't they supposed to be melting, incidentally? Strange stuff. And it's nearly March.

Anyway, redemption. Jesus on the cross. What's he offering, and who's buying it back? Forget for a moment the linguistic sleight of hand that inflicts secondary meaning. Who's selling, and who's buying? Horse-trading the body your father gave you to the Devil? Not likely. Besides, people aren't going to Sheol because the devil drags them under by the sharp lapel of their checkered coat. It's just that God isn't opening the doors, and where else can you get a drink at this time of night?

So that's not it. It feels like I'm being kissed, every exposed centimetre of flesh singing with cold, the blood gasping inside me at every touch. There's the ghost of pressure on my left hand, as if somebody was squeezing it. But everybody else is huddled underneath the roofed section with the pervasive stench of piss, keeping out of the blizzard.

Fine by me. Not long till the train comes anyway, which is lucky because the snow has half-covered my taut calves in surprisingly double-quick time.

Anyway, all of this becomes irrelevant because it becomes clear with a degree of suddenness what the trade-off was. His God-given body. His God-given freedom from the consciousness of having let God down from day one, which every other human being had been labouring under. Most of all, his God-given luck. Born without taint, always first with the answers, the powers and the wisdom of Dr. Strange, without even the history of alcoholism or the nerve damage.

No matter how proud a father may be, no matter how hard he worked to give his son the breaks, imagine the temptation just to tear it all down.

If you could.

If you were omnipotent.

If that were the deal.

How hard would it be to resist when your perfect child looks up at you with those big Jesus-had-blue-eyes blue eyes and says, "Daddy, you do this one thing, you could fuck me. You could fuck me up so badly"?

Unfortunately, since I'm not the son of God, it takes me so far. And no further.

If redemption is to come, it means waiting. Sticking it out. Playing the long game. Give and take. Speech and silence. When to do and when forbear. Kind of thing.

Speaking of forbearance, though, there's been quite enough of it for one evening. Time to make a move. I feel, rather than hear, the train vibrating through the tracks, become as I am something of a human snow sculpture, inside and out.

But it all shakes off or flakes off when I pitch myself dreamingly to the sound of Star Trek door openings, and nobody seems terribly surprised when, eyes still closed, I vomit slush puppies and snow cones before taking my seat.

Nearly March. It isn't natural.

You could fuck me up so badly.


Previously on upsideclown


Current clown:

18 December 2003. George writes: This List

Most recent ten:

15 December 2003. Jamie writes: Seven Songs
11 December 2003. Dan writes: Spinning Jenny
8 December 2003. Victor writes: Rock Opera
4 December 2003. Matt writes: The Mirrored Spheres of Patagonia
1 December 2003. George writes: Charm
27 November 2003. James writes: On Boxing
24 November 2003. Jamie writes: El Matador del Amor; Or, the Man who Killed Love
20 November 2003. Dan writes: Rights Management
17 November 2003. Victor writes: Walking on Yellow
13 November 2003. Matt writes: Disintermediation
(And alas we lost Neil, who last wrote Cockfosters)

Also by this clown:

11 December 2003. Dan writes: Spinning Jenny
20 November 2003. Dan writes: Rights Management
30 October 2003. Dan writes: My only goal
9 October 2003. Dan writes: The Knot
18 September 2003. Dan writes: The Engelbart Elephant
28 August 2003. Dan writes: The Amity Index
7 August 2003. Dan writes: This Sporting Life
17 July 2003. Dan writes: Touch
26 June 2003. Dan writes: Metadata
5 June 2003. Dan writes: Street Mate
15 May 2003. Dan writes: Usher's Well
24 April 2003. Dan writes: Medicamenta
3 April 2003. Dan writes: Weapons of Mass Construction
13 March 2003. Dan writes: David Sneddon, Bukake Secret Agent
20 February 2003. Dan writes: Mary Sue
30 January 2003. Dan writes: Bait and Switch
9 January 2003. Dan writes: What Never Happened
19 December 2002. Dan writes: Sermon on the Mount the Face
28 November 2002. Dan writes: Ballroom Blitz
7 November 2002. Dan writes: The Photographer
17 October 2002. Dan writes: Diaphragmatic
26 September 2002. Dan writes: A life in the day
5 September 2002. Dan writes: Different Class
15 August 2002. Dan writes: Story and sequel
25 July 2002. Dan writes: Fellatious
4 July 2002. Dan writes: Skin Mag
10 June 2002. Dan writes: The Ibizan book of the Dead
16 May 2002. Dan writes: The Sissons Situation
22 April 2002. Dan writes: UpsideClown and Out in Hollywood
28 March 2002. Dan writes: Nereus' Daughters
4 March 2002. Dan writes: Diomedes
7 February 2002. Dan writes: Text Only
14 January 2002. Dan writes: Civil Engineering
20 December 2001. Dan writes: Nativity
26 November 2001. Dan writes: The Wedding Band
1 November 2001. Dan writes: what dreans mecum?
8 October 2001. Dan writes: Stop me if you've heard this one before
13 September 2001. Dan writes: Mother of the Muses
20 August 2001. Dan writes: I say I say I say
26 July 2001. Dan writes: Bigger, Better, Brother
2 July 2001. Dan writes: Hecatomb
7 June 2001. Dan writes: Dispassionate Leave
14 May 2001. Dan writes: Small Town Boy
19 April 2001. Dan writes: Maintaining the Driving Line
26 March 2001. Dan writes: Cut and Paste
1 March 2001. Dan writes: Redemption
5 February 2001. Dan writes: Blyton the Face of the Earth
8 January 2001. Dan writes: Smoke Signals
18 December 2000. Dan writes: The Loa Depths
23 November 2000. Dan writes: The Limits of Melissa Joan Hart
30 October 2000. Dan writes: Shiftwork
5 October 2000. Dan writes: Dawson
11 September 2000. Dan writes: Testing Times
17 August 2000. Dan writes: Onanova
3 July 2000. Dan writes: Roboto il Diavolo

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