“I’d like a room, please.”
The guy behind the desk looked at the short, balding man in front of him. “Sorry, you can’t stay here.”
“I just need a room for tonight.”
“You just flipped the sign,” said the man, tiredly.
“No shirt, no shoes, no room,” said the guy.
“That’s crazy,” snapped the man. “I’m wearing a shirt and shoes.”
“It means, we reserve the right to say you can’t stay here.”
“It’s because I’m an angel, isn’t it,” sighed the man.
“That’s what the sign says,” said the guy. “no angel.”
“What do you have against angels?” asked the man, holding his wings tightly folded against his back.
“Angels leave feathers everywhere and some of you are pious and evil.”
The angel unfurled his wings and turned a kind of dark blue with red highlights. His voice seemed to come from somewhere else, when he said, “I could destroy this building before you could blink and…”
“That’s another thing,” said the guy. “You’re always putting on a show. Always yelling at someone, turning colors, or threatening non angels. It pisses all of us off. So go find an angelic hotel to put you up for the night.”
“Wait, what?” asked the man. “We do those things?”
“You just DID one of those things.”
“I thought your kind worshiped us,” said the man, refolding his wings.
“Dude, the only thing people worship nowadays is money, power and stuff. You aren’t even on the list.”
“It never used to be that way.”
“Yeah. You could say that about a lot of things.”
“So, I can’t stay here? Even if I promise to be good?”
“Truth is hard to come, so no. You absolutely cannot stay here.”
“Fine, then I’ll sit on your roof and spit on those who come to your door.”
“You’re thinking of gargoyles.”
“Oh,” said the man. “You’re right.”
“Why are you on earth anyway?”
“It’s where we come to let our wings down. Being an angel is so boring and I seriously hate the music and all that gold. You people have lots of violence and horrible things happen to you all the time. That’s why we made you the way we did, so you could entertain us. Your suffering, hatred, terror and deaths are entertaining, kind of like your television programs, except you’re real,” he laughed.
Five minutes later the guy was nailing the angel’s wings to the wing wall.
“Hey,” said Jake, from behind the bar. “Another one?”
“Yes, he was into suffering, so I thought I’d show him what it felt like.”
“It’s the only way they learn,” said Jake, shaking his head. “The only way.”
This is what the tulip looked like before…
Photo: Jakob Rosen
to the earth
with tiny toes
all wrapped up
so snug and warm
I hope you’re glad
that you were born