‘So,’ said the purple winged angel, ‘shall we talk about the elephant in the room?’
There actually is an elephant in the room. I’ve borrowed it from child 3’s school for a concert, about which I will surely be writing in a future entry, and it’s making a curious addition to family meals. But I decide that, as a celestial being and all that, the angel is probably talking metaphorically.
‘God. Me. What you lot are all doing here.’
‘I’ve decided that there are people walking around on Earth that are more angelic that you’ll ever be.’
‘Alan the bass guitarist?’
‘Yes. And the DT teacher at school, who’s lending me an elephant for the concert on Friday.’
‘Talking of lending,’ he said, handing me back the CD. ‘I didn’t think this was particularly good, actually. I’ve listened to it over and over again, and I can’t remember a single one of the tunes. I like the stuff he’s doing now much better.’
Suddenly there seems a point to this interaction. ‘Prince is still writing music? Can you lend me a CD of it?’
‘I could, but you’d only say it sounds like Bach.’
‘I like Bach.’
‘Yes,’ the angel said evenly, ‘humans do.’
‘And angels don’t?’
‘Oh, I’m not an angel at all. I’m just a figment of your imagination. Quite frankly, I don’t know how you expect to see angels when you won’t sit still for two minutes together. I haven’t seen you for two days and I actually live inside your head. What chance does the real thing have? If a great fiery angel with wings the span of the mortal sky appeared in front of you declaring the details of God’s love for you, you wouldn’t notice, and if you did you’d just say, I’ve got to get to the butcher or I won’t get this shepherd’s pie in the oven before it’s time to pick up from ballet and don’t let me forget to take the saxophone and if I don’t get some writing time I’ll go mad.’
His imitation is so squirmingly accurate it makes me angry. ‘What do you want me to do? Let O go to his lesson without his sax? Been late to ballet? Not bothered with dinner?’
The angel shrugs, and instead of simply disappearing, he walks to the door and throws it open. I follow him, protesting loudly. ‘If God wanted me to write, wouldn’t he have given me a life in which I had time to do it?’
And then I see the sunset. I don’t know what meteorological conditions conspired to create it. Maybe it’s always like that and I just haven’t looked up in a long time.
It looks like a great fiery angel with wings the span of the mortal sky.
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