Maceo looking in the mirror thinking, When you ever learn? Still thinking that there wasn’t much point in talking to himself because no matter what he says he doesn’t much listen if what he says is suggesting he stop dreaming. Now looking down at his hands, the right one with the toothbrush, still thinking, I did love her – then, correcting himself, I do love her, can’t help it. Love….God almighty, what was I thinking.
That’s when he first saw the angel, looking like shower steam but the shower wasn’t on, then taking shape, morphing into, no shit, an elderly man with snow white hair, gray twinkling eyes. Maceo, toothbrush frozen mid-air, wondering, Can you still have acid flashbacks if you haven’t done acid in 35 years?
The angel now saying, “No, I’m not a flashback.” Maceo thinking, That doesn’t make this better, because then who are you. The angel now answering the unspoken question, “I’m not a flashback, Maceo.”
Maceo saying, “Pardon?”, trying to buy some time, wondering if he has the number for the emergency room and if not can he remember the number for 9-1-1.
“I’m not a flashback, my boy. You know that now.”
Maceo weaving, sure he was either dying or on his way to a rubber room with different color building blocks.
“You think maybe you should sit down?” the angel gesturing to the open bathroom door and the living room on the other side.
Maceo, looking at the toothbrush, dropping it, foolishly thinking, I might need both my hands.
The angel moved past him into the living room, as he passed Maceo smelled lilacs. He followed the angel into the living room. The angel, nodding towards the ugly orange chair, saying, “Why don’t you sit in your chair. We’ll talk…”
Maceo sitting, the angel now sitting on the couch opposite, smiling. Maceo wondering, What now? Then, looking at the angel, “What’s your name?”
The angel smiling, “That’s pretty much up to you.”
“How you figure?”
“I’m your angel…you can pick any name you want.”
“My angel.. You mean you’re my guardian…” he couldn’t finish, the angel helping, nodding, Yes. Maceo adding, “I’m sober, you know.”
“I do, yes. We’re very proud of you.”
Maceo deciding he’s not asking who the we is since he was having a tough enough time wrapping his mind around the fact that he either had a guardian angel or he’d finally lost his fucking mind.
“What name do you like?”
” I don’t know, I’ve never named an angel before.”
“Paul, I think, Paul. I used to be a Paul.”
“Paul it is then.”
“Angel Paul, has a nice ring to it, kind of a blue collar angel.”
“Then it’s the perfect name.”
Maceo, wagging his head, asking, “What do you want?”
Angel Paul answering, “No, it’s what do you want?”
“I love her you know.”
“I do know, yes. You miss her too.”
“Then I do have a question…”
To be continued……