Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A Close Brush With . . . Well, Nothing, But Still . . .

Yesterday I had lunch with Tony and Lira in Manhattan. Not the Heaven version, the actual one, because Lira loves the real anger so much. Afterwards, I showed them around the neighborhood, as we were close to a place I used to live. In full-on visible mode, we were crossing the street when a car coming from the cross street sped up to beat the changing light as it was making a left-hand turn in our direction. Headed straight for us, he swerved to avoid Lira and nearly ran right into me, finally stopping short just inches from me. I instinctively moved away and the f---in' guy, without a shred of f---ing decency, just drove away.

Lira was unfazed, since, after thousands of years, this sort of apathy is what she's come to expect from the human race. Plus, since she was never human, she doesn't know what it's like to be fearful for your life. Technically speaking, she was never alive. No harm, no foul.

But I freaked the f--- out. I stood there, frozen, until Lira took my arm and walked me to the sidewalk, upon which she gave a few reassuring pats on the back. Tony didn't understand what the big deal was. "S'ok, you fine. Ain't like you gonna die again."

This annoyed Lira WAY more than the car did, since she knew exactly what was up. But she forgave the mental oversight and just calmly explained to him, "He was killed by a speeding car."
There were two reasons I was really upset. The first is that, while being an angel in Heaven with the freedom to go wherever and do whatever you want, sometimes it feels like you're just some kind of magical entity. You can forget what you truly are, which is dead. Call me reminded.

The second and even bigger thing is that, when I was killed, I was struck without warning and died instantly. I didn't even know I was dead until Archangel Michael showed me my body. This, I saw coming. It was like experiencing the terror of having your life about to come to an end that I never felt when it actually ended. It was scary, and I didn't like it. I hated that feeling of vulnerability. It's been over a year since I died and the first time I felt that way since then. It made me think about the physical and emotional fragility of humans. If the trauma's big enough, even the toughest person can fall apart just like that.

"You ok?" asked Lira.

I nodded. "I'll be fine."

"You wanna go back to Heaven?"

"No," I said, "I want to go back to work."

Monday, September 20, 2010

The Humidity's A Hair Over 40%, But What The Hell?

I went out to lunch with Tony and Suzanne the other day. We went to one of my favorite places down on Earth. I though I'd go with Earth instead of the Heaven counter part that day because the weather was particularly nice. We could have the same conditions up in Heaven of course, even better if we chose to. But sometimes, there's something about nice, genuine Earth weather that seems a little sweeter. It's the same as with anything on Earth: the things you earn are better than the things you're given. Maybe the weather is not your own accomplishment, but it seems all the more special.

It was the first time the three of us had hung out together in a while and it couldn't have come at a better time. In the past week, I'd dealt with a widower, a drug addict doing some serious jonesing and a rape victim (female angels usually handle those, but they were all booked up). It was an emotional draining week, I really needed some extra joy. I can't tell you how rewarding this job is, but there are times when sharing so much despair can get you down. Even dead, it's still good to have friends.

When I found out I'd made a mistake by shutting my friends out after my fiancee left, I was understandably despondent (especially the way I found out). Who knows, maybe I wouldn't be dead right now. But I am, I've learned from my mistakes, and the afterlife is going well (having what you want doesn't guarantee joy after all).

I feel ashamed of a lot of the things I said about Suzanne in the beginning. Thank god angels are forgiving.