October 7th,1999

Off to Sligo to see @MickPuck

The timing was tight, arrival at The White House Hostel. No seriously. Boarding in a room with a woman named Elaine, who looked in her 30’s, and got to the bottom of things with her very quickly. Her eyes had that way of drifting into yours. She was a Dubliner. Ray asked, “When did you get here?”

“Last Friday. I still don’t know why I’m here though,” she said significantly. Oh. It’s one of those. Ray grinned largely, one of several. She told her about the letters, all. Why she wanted to talk to Bono about her beliefs. And the first question she got was as to Christ’s gender.

“Well let me put it this way. Christ was a man, but Christ is a woman.” Quite a slip up for Ray, the sort she’d have never risked back home, where she’d have been compelled to a theological explanation  that parsed the soul. Here it was not relevant. Elaine loved it. For Elaine it was, “I’ve never met anyone who articulated the same beliefs”. For Ray it was a breath of fresh air. Elaine was disappointed she was missing Mike Scott; Ray told her to go and try anyway. Elaine’s reply was it doesn’t matter, I met you instead, and that’s more interesting. Elaine provided her with homemade lentil/leek/potato soup.

At the gig the introducing act couldn’t see her properly, but kept staring her down anyway. She was stewing on the fact that she had a letter to deliver to Mike Scott, “Good Lord, it might as well have come from Venus”, but nonetheless, deliver it she did. First Intermission. Now. Once most people come back to their seats, so you cannot be observed. She’d already found the backstage entrance looking for a cloakroom. She walked to the washroom and waited, knowing the timing had to be perfect. But timing is on her side. When she walked out, only five people were left in the lobby. Straight backstage. In avoiding voices, she blundered her way right to the stage entrance. They’ll be coming through here. So she stood in the dark behind some huge sideboards. Again in the forest green hoodie and the long blue, white, black and green skirts. Sure enough, in two minutes Mike and Steve walk through. “Good Luck Mike” says someone. She walks straight up, taps his shoulder ever so lightly. He’s a lot smaller than she is.

“Hi Mike. This is a letter for you. I’m just going to put it here, OK?”

“A Letter. –For me?”

“Yes. For you.”

“Take that for me, will you?”

Then he’s onstage. It was like Cave, only more so. But she’d done it. -Right on time. Afterwards she walked around the church in the wind. Elaine saw Mike Scott after all. A friend was there with an extra ticket. In the morning she caught the bus back in time for work, but not before saying good-bye to the swans and their goslings.