There was a time when I definitely didn’t want to open the door to Jehovah’s Witnesses, but now it feels like they must have arrived by time machine, so I sort of relish the idea.
On Monday, they came.
It was 41 degrees but they didn’t look ruffled. Perhaps they brought a past climate with them, too.
They describe themselves as local volunteers and it’s only the small leaflet they hand me that lets me know who they really are. Perhaps I should have clocked on sooner, but I’m too tired to be astute. It’s too hot, too early.
I lean against my doorframe in a casual manner and let them tell me what a nice name I have. I want to tell them that it’s from the bible, but that seems dangerous. Do they believe in the bible? It’s something like that. I remember my mum telling me that I shouldn’t say I was Christian, because they think they’re Christian too.
I want to ask them where they come down on climate change, but that feels like a fight I don’t have the energy for.
I have this new peppermint hair conditioner and I think about how much my head smells like a Polo as they talk about their religion’s basis in fact and I pretend to listen.
They stand at a polite distance. Too far to smell my minty hair.
After some time they say Does that sound like it might be of interest?
I don’t know what they’ve just said. I wasn’t expecting a question and I hear myself give them perhaps the most positive answer they’ve had in a while: I dunno, I’m pretty agnostic...
Their mouths murmur. Their faces smile.
My follow up is worse: I mean, I was raised Christian but…
But… There’s more in that ellipsis than I can go into on the doorstep. I frown to myself.
They’re probably thinking We can turn this one.
And I’m thinking Damn, shouldn’t have said ‘Christian’.
I’m thinking How do I close the door, but politely?
A version of this post was sent by email on the 5th January 2020 as part of Internet Care Package – a weekly memoir project in the form of a newsletter. It also includes links to the best things I’ve found on the internet each week and occasional updates on my theatremaking. This blog is a select archive of those emails. Subscribe to get them right in your inbox.