The Flight of the Angels

God rarely grants me quarter, for I am a wretched sinner. My saving grace is an extra chunk of spirituality that I somehow managed to smuggle out of heaven. Though God knows I have it, I’m sure He is displeased with both my possession of such a heavenly treasure, as well as my constant abuse of its power.

***

And so it came to pass that I was in great pain. The cause of the pain was of little consequence. I am, after all, a wretched sinner. And we wretched sinners have many ways of self-inflicting great pain. My cure? I took my extra chunk of spirituality out in search of an even larger dose of the same sin that caused the pain in the first place.

***

I squinted to see through the smoke. As the lights of the dance floor pulsed in the distance, I took a long drink of my beer, and decided that I needed something stronger.

A soft hand touched my shoulder. I instinctively slid sideways to give them access to the bar. When I turned, I was suddenly face-to-face with a vision from heaven. Her long hair and pretty face were merely frames for her sweet smile. I felt an energy…it is a weird gift. But I felt the connection.

“Hi. I’m Angela’s sister, Cindy.”

“Hi, Cindy. Are you a vision from heaven?”

“Oh, yeah. I’m a vision from heaven, I am. What are you drinking?”

“Whatever, it sucks. I’m still conscious. Can I get you something?”

“Whatever you’re having.”

Damn bartenders…never around in emergencies.

Finally.

“HEY SWEETIE, WE NEED TEQUILA…SLAMMERS…A COUPLE…”

“Good choice. You look depressed.”

“Sorry, it’s been a bitch of a week. Cheers.”

We slammed the glasses on the bar and began to chug the fizz and tequila.

“Of course, the boob you have on my arm helps make it all so much better.”

She stared at me for a second, and then laughed so hard that she spit tequila at my shirt. She tried to get her drink down, choking all the while. She couldn’t stop laughing, and couldn’t stop spitting tequila. Even out of her nose. She sprayed me from my face to my pants. She almost regained control at one point. Then she glanced down and saw her boob firmly rubbing my arm and uncontrollably laughed again. She tried to get a napkin and dry me off, but the wet napkin made even more of a mess.

She slowly calmed herself back down. She wiped off her chin but never stopped laughing completely.

“I am SO sorry. God, what a terrible start. Let’s try that again. ‘Hi, I’m Angela’s sister, Cindy”.

“HEY BARTENDER, HOLD THE FUCKING TEQUILA!”

“My boob’s still on your arm.”

Duh.

***

I wasn’t sure why a wretched sinner like me would be so blessed in such a time. I looked beyond her brave face and asked, “Wait a minute, why are you sad and depressed?”

She wrinkled her face. “What makes you think that I’m sad and depressed?” She paused, grimaced, and looked stunned. “Why would you ask?”

Bingo. Thank you God.

I shook my head and rolled my eyes. “Stop it, it’s obvious. Even in here.”

She stared. As she sat closely by, I felt her body relax. All the while holding my arm tightly against her boob.

She took a deep breath, paused, and confessed. “Damn you. Yes, it hurts. I am in pain. I can’t believe that anyone even noticed. I came here to forget this shit.”

Then she wryly smiled. “Are you an angel sent from heaven?”

“No, Cindy, I’m a wretched sinner. You are the angel. I am simply blessed by your smile.”

“Right, I’m a real angel I am.” She smiled at the thought. “You are so sweet, the way you are relating to me, it touches me. And by the way, there are better things I could do with my boobs….”

***

In a perfect world, we would walk the streets of Paris. And lunch in small cafes. We would vacation in Rome, basking in the glory of ancient civilization. We would lay naked together on a beach in Grenada, our spiritual beings scorched by the sun and rum coolers. We would watch the sunrise over the beach, a little high, and all the while growing our spiritual presences.

But instead, in this imperfect world, we had little choice but to treasure the brief escape. And return to our lives of pain and regret.

Yes, I am a wretched sinner. But I am likewise richly blessed. For though God rarely grants me quarter, at times he lets me fly with the angels.

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Herb Cochley

Herb Cochley

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Old engineer who keeps working because I have this weird belief that I still do good in the world. Floridian.