Gina, I thought of your advice this morning.  This time I was about six inches away from the Colney Hatch escapee.  Here’s the setting:

She’s a teenager, happy and carefree, on her way to school, in her cool school uniform.  I am [not a teenager], old and grouchy, on my way to school, on my cold cycle.  She’s in the midst of a boisterous conversation with her friends, as light and fluffy material as only a bunch of teenage girls can manage, while threading her way through a bunch of cars in a traffic jam.  I was in the midst of a particularly mournful conversation with myself about how winter hit Dublin last night and how terribly cold it was this morning.  She wasn’t watching where she was going.  I was watching where I was going.

To cut to the good part of the story, she was so engrossed in her conversation that she stepped out from behind a car, right in front of my cycle.  Oh, it was beautiful–because the morning was so frosty, the brakes screeched like nobody’s business.  She jumped.  I danced.  (I was busy staying upright–try stopping really fast on a cycle.)

Judging by her immediate response of profound invocation and the way she claimed God as her own, she may have been an up-and-coming evangelist in one of the seedier areas of north Dublin City.  She may have been ready to die.  Nonetheless, I seriously told her that the next time she wants to kill herself, she shouldn’t involve me.  She laughed.

We both needed that laugh.  It turned out to be a nice morning.