She must be another goddamned angel. I just figured that out. Doing all those angel things they do. She comes in exactly the right form that makes me snap to attention. The words flow out of her — she's an enchantress. She puts me on the path and hold me to it.
"How's this," she says, whip in hand. "Are you paying attention yet?" but this latter part she speaks with her eyes. She doesn't always need the words. She has some other pretty nifty forms of communication.
I don't do angels.
Everybody knows that.
But goddamn. They seem to do me pretty well.
So. So what if we treated everyone —everyone— as if. As if, I say — as if they were these angels in our lives? I mean the real mccoy angels, not those winged things in old masters' paintings. Those angels are just, well, boring. Boring, I say! And trite. Don't forget trite.
No. The real angels, they club you over the head and make you pay attention. They grab you, they shake you, they make love to you until you cry out for mercy — And then: They turn your world upside down.
It's in their contract. They can do opera if you need opera. But they don't have to.
And what do you do when you meet an angel? You. The recipient of such an off world cosmic gift?
You snap to attention. You — You suddenly know what you have to do, and have the courage to do it.
You wake up — even if you don't see the light.
This angel walks into a bar—
Okay, no. It wasn't a bar. (That was a joke, lame, I know, but I just couldn't help it. Pathetic, really).
So. This angel walks in — and the first thing that happens is — you don't notice anything at all.
It's not like they want to draw a lot of attention to themselves. Actually, scratch that, actually they can be pretty damned flashy. Performers. Number 3 on the Enneagram: they can manifest anything and show you. Number 8 on the Enneagram: They can push you around pretty good. Whatever you need — they'll do that.
And so what are they there for? They're there to give you a shove. A pàtch in the tuchus, a wake-up call, a warning bell. Get your ass in gear, they say. And so, you wake up, and you see them. And they let you see them.
And then— they smile.
And you fall.
And you rise.
Do not confuse the messenger with the message. It is the nature of angels to be ephemeral. They have a short attention span and a long list of other people and creatures to do. They are not loyal (not to you, anyway). It's nothing personal. They just can't help themselves. It's the angelic imperative. And they figure that if they just keep dazzling you you won't get pissed about it, or better still you won't notice, till they're gone. And when you do finally pull yourself together, they are indeed gone. Remember: nothing personal.
If you had been listening more carefully you would have heard the fine print in the contract. But you weren't listening. You were standing there with your mouth hanging open, enthralled. Which is what they expect you to do. Like vampires, they have glamour. They enchant. But let's stay on topic here.
So. This angel. This angel walks through my door.
And what do I do?
I take notes.
Goddamned angel can't hurt me, right? No, no. That's the wrong attitude. Let's do the analysis. Classify it under "spirit hypothesis" — one of the more ridiculous categories in the anthropology of consciousness. But that's what anthropologists do with it. Call it an 'emic' category. Whew. That's so much safer!
The angel laughs.
And then she lunges —