Monday, 19 October 2009
The girl got in the car and I could tell straight away that she was nervous so I put Magic FM on. I try to match the station to the passenger, they can be a Kiss FM person, or a Radio 4 type. There’s Talksport, 5 live, Magic, LBC, Radios 1, 2 and 3, classic fm and of course Radio London- which is the default. Danny Baker’s show (weekday afternoons) is the one thing that doesn’t get changed. Broadcasting genius who has so obviously been given a free hand when it comes to music selection. I’m yet to hear him play a bad song.
Anyway, we set off. It’s a good fare, – she’s going to Greenford. She gradually opens up and tells me that she’s nervous. I try to put her at ease, reassuringly tell her that everything’s fine. Where is she going? She tells me it’s her friend’s daughter’s Christening. She’s been depressed and hasn’t been out of the house much, let alone to any sort of social function. It turns out that it took a lot for her to go and buy the present and card, – and that she really had to force herself to get dressed up and put her make up on…I tell her she’s done really well but the closer we get to Greenford, the more nervous she becomes. I keep reassuring her that she’s done really well to get this far and that I’m sure all of her friends will be pleased to see her but she doesn’t think so. They hate her, she thinks. I’m sure that’s not the case, I tell her, but she’s already decided she can’t go into the church.
As we pull up outside I try and persuade her to go in but by now panic is setting in. She’s begging me to take her home so I do. On the house naturally. All the way back I tell her not to worry, that she did really well to get as far as she did. That she had been really brave to go and buy the present and card and that maybe she’ll feel up to going along later, but she’s not listening. She just wants to get home.