Jesus, Wednesday 10 May

The sun’s up and I’m just starting to thaw out.  I suppose I’d better start wandering soon and try to find some sustenance.  I can’t even wash my face.  Last night was horrible.  It was so cold and uncomfortable and noisy I hardly slept at all, and when I did manage to nod off I had nightmares about being attacked by wild dogs possessed by devils.  I didn’t know whether to fight them off or attempt to exorcise them.  In one dream I met Satan himself.  I thought I’d be really terrified but he was actually quite charming and reasonable.  He took me to a high peak so I could see all the nations of the earth, which made me realise it was a dream because it shouldn’t actually be possible to do that.

He offered me the whole world, but he seemed offended when I said I was so hungry I’d rather have a decent meal.  He said he was there to check me out as a candidate for world domination, not to feed my short-term cravings, though he appreciated that the way to snare the former is often through the latter.  He said a few hours with an attractive young woman was usually all it took to buy the soul of a world leader.  Having confused me with that, he then spread out before me a roast leg of lamb, some fresh warm bread, some figs and a pitcher of wine.  The smells were unbelievably, mouth-wateringly tempting, but whenever I reached out for any of the food or drink it would always move just out of my reach.  What a swine.  Then he made the food disappear, took me to the top of a steeple and told me to jump off it.  He said if I really was the Son of Man, God would come and save me.  By then I was completely convinced this was a dream, but if I was wrong and I really had been taken to the top of a steeple by the Devil, then in this version of reality there was a fair chance that I was actually the Son of Man and would survive.  So, after telling Satan that it was wrong to put the Lord to the test like this, I jumped off anyway.   I swirled round and around like a dove, buoyed up by the air and enjoying the bright sunshine.  Then suddenly I started plummeting and landed with a bump and woke up.  I hadn’t exactly fallen out of bed but my head had slipped off its stone.

The desert is almost as scary by day as it is by night.  You see the effects of invisible demons everywhere in the puffs of wind they create and the sand they blow up.  I’d like to see Tom explain those away as animals and birds.  You do see tracks, especially the ones made by snakes, and I wouldn’t want to meet the creatures that left them.  It’s already getting incredibly hot.  I must cover up completely, even though it’s stifling under all that clothing.

Almost night time again.  All I found all day was a small cactus that I eventually managed to chew and get some bitter juice out of, after I’d pricked my hands all over trying to get inside it.  I’m still parched, and I’m so hungry I can’t think of anything else.  I can’t be far from the Jordan but I’m losing all sense of direction and the terrain is so rocky and hilly.  I really hope my dreams aren’t as bad tonight.