Art and the philosophy of life

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A short story about angels…

no angel neon signage

“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.”

“No vacancy.”

“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.”

Sign…a poem

no angel neon signageif angels exist
I think they’re grumpy
guys with swords
who go around killing
other angels
in gang wars

they probably have a
hierarchy
secret handshakes
and drink a lot
of Fairy Wine
at clandestine
meetings
where they laugh
and pound on tables
with their fists
complaining
about lack of vacation time
poor internet reception
and those
bloody awful
humans

I wonder
if they have
cats
dogs
levi’s
and
cool snacks
or do they fly around
in white robes
with a rope
around their waists
looking for pizza

do they speak
other than yelling
when attacking each other
or do they communicate
telepathically

do they flit through the
Universe
looking at all life forms
or do they only exist
where they are made up

do they have genders
take showers
or do they just splash around
in the rain
do they brush their teeth

has anyone noticed
that we have made angels
in our OWN image
our imaginations
only go so far
after all

the thing is
we can believe
anything we like
about angels
because
we make them up
just like everything else
well MEN made them up
that’s why angels are male
and because males make things up
the power always
exists in the males they invent

think about the horrible things
they make up about
women
and how all women
suffer because of it

 

Photo:  Light Backgrounds
unsplash

Angels…a short story

white feather in close up photography

“Did you hear about all the angels falling out of the sky?” she asked, making sucking noises with her straw, twirling it across the bottom of her glass.

“I thought that was hype,” he said, adding more sugar to his coffee.

“No.  It’s really happening.  They just fall and splat on the sidewalk.  Supposedly, there are feathers everywhere.”

“Do they all die?”

She shrugged.  “Not sure.  Some do, I guess.”

“Where are they falling from?”

“Not a clue.  I don’t believe in heaven, so maybe from another planet.”

“There is no other planet close enough for them to fall from.”

“I know that,” she said.  “I don’t know where they’re falling from, but apparently it’s dangerous, since one of them fell on a dog and almost crushed the poor thing.”

“I never though about that,” he said, nodding.  “I can see where that would be a problem.  What are they doing with the bodies?”  He looked up from his phone for a second.

“Morgue, for the dead ones and I think the live ones, just get up and walk away.  Not sure.”

“Hmmm,” he mumbled, his thumbs moving across the tiny keyboard.

“Don’t you think we should be more…I don’t know…surprised, or amazed, that angels are falling from the sky?”

“Probably, but this is what a jaded society is like.”

“I guess,” she said.  “Still, they’re probably just aliens, since angels don’t exist.”

“Probably,” he said, never looking up.  “Are you going to eat the rest of the sweet roll?”

“No.  You can have it,” she said, sliding the dish toward him.  “I just think we should be excited about this, or want to go and see what’s happening.”

“Look on your phone, I’m sure there are a million pictures on line.”

“That’s just it.  We live secondhand lives.  Everything is seen through a screen or over a device of some kind.  Pictures from others.  First hand experiences are disappearing and lives are being lived through screens.”

“So?” he said.

“I want more out of life than that.”

“Why?  Who cares how you see something, as long as you see it?”

“I do.”

“I don’t understand,” he said, staring at her.

“I know,” she said, touching his hand.  “Goodbye Dean.  It’s been fun.”

“You’re leaving me?”

“You won’t even notice.  You have a lot of pictures of me in your phone.  Just look at those,” she said walking away.

 

Image

From Candy…

Image

Spot and Elizabeth are responsible for decorating a tree for one of the guest houses…

Image

The angel in my workshop…

You just never know about angels…short story

“It’s true then,” she whispered, looking down at herself.  “The blood on a shirt does actually look like a Rorschach blot.”

She crumpled gracefully to the ground and lay still.  The sky looked pretty and she could hear birds singing. Those things were nice, weren’t they?  She couldn’t remember, not exactly.  The splotch on her shirt was growing larger.  Wetter.  She was bleeding out.  She tried to smile, but couldn’t.  Too much effort.  She felt heavy and slow.  A song was bouncing around inside her mind.  She wanted to hum, or sing some of the words, but just the idea of moving her lips, made her close her eyes.  So, this is what dying feels like, she thought.  It’s kind of like going to sleep, after a really hard night.  She coughed.

“Hey.  You okay?” he asked, squatting down next to her.  “Looks like you’ve been shot,” he said, dialing 911.   “Help will be here in a few.  Just hold on.  I gotta go.  Don’t remember who helped you,” he added.

Did he say, hold on?  Hold on to what? she asked herself.

The sirens blotted out the bird song.  Something was on her face, people were shouting, and then, there was nothing at all.

***

“It’s too soon for you to be back,” said THE voice.

“Well, I didn’t shoot myself,” she snapped.

“Watch your tone.”

“Why?  What’s it going to do?  And, for your information, you can’t SEE a tone, so it’s not possible to WATCH it,” she said, gesturing with both hands.   “If you think it’s so easy, why don’t you put on a human suit and go down there yourself.  Or do you just like telling everyone else what to do?”

“You seem to have forgotten your place.”

You seem to forgotten that there is no place, except in your own mind.  Things have changed, the old days are gone.”

“I could have your wings for that.  Insubordination will not be tolerated,” he said, his voice low, loud and hard.

“Try it,” she said, opening her wings, balling her hands into fists.  “Go ahead, Michael,   give it your best shot.”

A flaming sword appeared in his hand.

“Really?  That’s the best ya got?” she laughed.  “I’ve been on EARTH.  What you think of as fighting is child’s play, so put up or shut up, Michael.  You think your flaming sword can scare me?” she asked.  “Death, LIVES on earth, so get over yourself.  I’m going back.  I have things to do.  Things none of you pristine, untouched, angels, know anything about.  Now, GET OUT OF MY WAY, OR I SWEAR, I’LL TAKE YOU OUT, right here, right now!”

“What has happened to you?” he asked, softly.

“EARTH happened to me.  Here’s the thing.  People are no longer afraid of you.  Humans are used to war and death.  They don’t feel awe, or respect, or amazement, at the thought of gods, or angels.  If you went to earth and showed them who you were, they would capture you, dissect you, put you in a cage, or museum, or just kill you outright.  They DON’T CARE.  Those days of ignorance, of worship, are OVER, Michael.  You might be news for fifteen minutes.  The military would take charge of your sword, so they could make a million of them, to kill more people, faster, and more easily.  But that’s all you’d be good for.  You need to get with the program.  You are no longer relevant. Humans have turned a corner. They have lost their sense of fear, terror and blind faith.  It took them long enough, but they finally did it.  The more they learned, the less you began to make sense and the more unreal you because.  As I said, times have changed.  You know what happens when beings are forgotten, Michael?  The disappear forever.”

She jerked awake in the ER, pulled the leads off of her chest, and legs, and the needles out of her arms.   She got up, thanked everyone, and left.  She pointed at a Harley sitting in the parking lot.  The engine started and she tied her gang colors around her neck.  She knew the guy who tried to help her was supposed to be her enemy, from a rival gang.  He should have been glad to see her die but he tried to save her.  She revved the engine, music to her ears, and wondered what humans would think, if they knew what the angels among them actually looked like.  She nodded at an angel, an unwashed, homeless man, leaning against the EMERGENCY sign.  He smiled, and held out his bottle, toward her.  She pulled into traffic and went back to her life.  A researcher with wings, who was going to hunt down and kill the one who shot her.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Trouble with Angels…a short story Part 2

Pixabay

“Didn’t you used to wear a crown and flowers around your neck?”

“I took them off,” said the lamb.”

“Why?” asked the little girl.

“Crowns are silly and heavy.  Besides, I don’t want to represent a god that would kill someone for petting me.  I’m a free lamb.  I ran away.”

“Someone was killed for petting you?”

“Yes a man and a girl,” said the lamb, staring at her.  “The angels killed them because they believe that I represent their god.”

“That doesn’t make sense.”

“I was also lonely.”

“You can live with me,” said the girl.  “I have two chickens and a cat.  I’ll pet you everyday and you won’t be lonely anymore.”

“Thank you.  You’re very kind but I can’t stay.  You would be in danger.”

“No I wouldn’t.”

“The angels will come looking for me.  They can’t afford to let me disappear.”

“I’ll tell them you’re my lamb and that I’ve had you from birth.”

“That won’t work, but I appreciate the fact that you would lie for me.”

“You can’t really lie to bad angels.  All you can do is try and protect yourself from them.”

“”You’re smart, for one so young.”

“I kind of have to be.  Once you know the angels are here, life becomes more difficult.”

“You’re right.”

“Would you like something to eat?”

“No thank you.  There’s plenty of grass around here but I would like some water, if it’s not too much trouble.”

“Sure,” she said, running inside to get a bowl.

“You are very kind,” said the lamb, lapping at the water, thirstily.

“Where’s your mom?” asked the girl.

“I don’t know.  They took me away from her before I could know her.”

“I’m sorry.”

“Me too,” said the lamb.

“I can dye your wool black.  Maybe the angels won’t recognize you, if you’re a different color.”

“Believe me, if I thought that would work, I would stay with you forever.”

“Why do they want you back?”

“Doesn’t look good if the representative of their god, doesn’t believe in that god.”

“Yeah, that makes sense.  But why is their god so mean?”

“There is no god.”

“Ah, right. So the angels are just being themselves.”

“Yes.  That’s it exactly,” said the lamb.  “You can pet me if you like.”

“Thank you.  I would like that very much.”

Th girl scratched the lamb’s  ears and ran her small hand down her back.  The lamb closed her eyes and enjoyed the gentle touch.”

“You can hide under my bed.”

“They’ll find me.  Then they’ll find you.”

“They really killed a girl for just touching you?”

The sheep nodded.  “That’s when I knew I had to run away.”

“I would run away too.  But before I left I would have done something to them, for what they did.”

The lamb smiled.  “I did do something.”

The girl’s eyes lit up.  “Tell me.  What did you do.”

“I brought the girl back to life.”

“You did?” she gasped.

“I did.”

“How did you do that?”

“Well, sheep are very special animals.  We carry the Secrets of the Universe, among us.  We can also bring the dead back to life.  Each of us gets to do that one time.  Mostly we bring other sheep back, but once in a very great while, we bring others back as well.  No one pays any attention to us you know.  Humans kill and eat us.  They shave our bodies and steal our wool.  If they paid attention, they might see what we truly are, but they never will.”

“I’m so happy you saved the little girl,” she said, throwing her slender arms around the lamb’s neck.  “Where is she now?”

“She’s back home, where she belongs.”

The girl kissed the lamb.  The lamb sighed and leaned against her.  “I must be going.”

The girl released the lamb and smiled.  “I’ll never forget you,” she said.  “I’m so happy to have met you and I’m so glad you saved the girl.”

“I’m glad I saved you too,” whispered the lamb, to herself, as she turned and walked away.

 

The Trouble with Angels…A shortish story

“It’s so dark.”

“Try opening your eyes.”

“They’re swollen shut.”

“I told you not to touch the lamb.”

“I didn’t think angels were so mean.”

“I don’t know why not.”

“I thought they guarded us.”

There was a long pause.  “I’m amazed that you’ve lived this long.”

“Me too, I guess.  But the lamb looked so sweet in her little gold crown.  The flowers around her neck matched her eyes perfectly.”

“I told you…the lamb represents their god.  They worship that kind of thing.”

“Why?”

“Who knows,” he said, shrugging. “They made it up, like everything else.  I told you before, there is no actual reality.  The only things that exist, are the things we make up.”

“What do you think they’ll do to us?”

“Kill us, I guess.”

“For touching a LAMB?”

“It’s what the lamb stands for, not the lamb itself.”

“She licked my hand and baaa-ed at me.”

“They won’t care.”

“How will they kill us?”

“They’ll smite us, I suppose.”

“What does that mean?”

“No clue but apparently they do a lot of it.”

“What’s their deal?”

“They’re too full of themselves. They live by too many rules and they have too much power.  Too much of everything, I guess.”

“Will we get a trial?”

“Really?  A trial?  What is WRONG with you?  Of course, we won’t get a trial.  We are already guilty and condemned.  Angels are a law unto themselves.”

“Oh, I just….”

“Hopefully, they’ll make it fast.”

“You mean they might not?”  she asked, her voice quivering.

He shrugged again.  “You never know with angels.  They can be cruel and heartless when they want to be.  Not all of them, but, you did touch the lamb.”

“Maybe we’ll get lucky.”

“Sure kid.  Maybe we will.”

“Im sorry I touched the lamb,” she sighed.  “This is my fault.”

“You’re too trusting.”

“I like animals.”

“That too,” he said.  “How are your eyes?”

“I can open the right one, a little.”

“Good.”

“I didn’t expect the angels to beat me up.”

“Now you know better.”

“Can I ask you something?”

“Sure.”

“We don’t believe in their god.  The lamb was just a lamb to us, so how can they punish us for not believing what they do?”

“Why don’t you ask them that before they cut off your head.”

“My head? she gulped.  “I don’t want them to do that.”

“Should of thought of that BEFORE you touched the freaking lamb.”

“She was so cute.”

“Another thing.”

“Yes?”

“They think the lamb is a boy, so stop calling her a she.”

“Uh…what?”

“Yeah, well angels don’t like females.  They pretend they don’t exist.”

“Seriously?”

“Yeah, seriously.”

“But I’m female.”

“Not to them.”

“How is that possible?

“People will believe anything.  The believe what they WANT to believe.  It doesn’t have to make true.  Even the female angels think they’re male.  Females scare them, so they stopped believing in them.”

“But that’s crazy,” she said, taken back.

“You can tell them that, after you tell them that you don’t believe in their god.”

“So they believe in magic?  Magic that changes women into men?”

“Magic is a sin.  It’s bad  It’s evil.”

“I don’t get it.”

“No one does.”

“Shouldn’t I tell them the truth?”

“Can’t hurt.  You’re gonna die anyway.”

“Don’t you think they’d want to know the truth?”

“Kid, they don’t care about the truth, they care about their fantasy.  They have something they call faith.”

“What’s that?”

“It’s believing in something that doesn’t exist.”

“You mean like magic lambs and no females?”

“Exactly like magic lambs and no females.”

“We’re gonna die.”

“Got it in one.”

Okay, so…Angels

If you believe in angels do you think they feel bad when we die?  Why would they?  Why should they?  How could they possibly care about us at all?  Seriously, I don’t think we are important enough for any alien beings to give us a second thought.  I think the universe is filled with life, how could it not be?  Maybe the life forms don’t look anything like us, but still, why would we think we were anything special…any big deal?  I think the dinosaurs were way more impressive then we can ever be.  Now they were something to see.  We’re more like destructive ants.  They made the earth tremble with their foot falls.  We make the earth tremble by blowing it up.

But I digress.  Angel is a word that can cover any number of ideas/beliefs.  That something that someone knows is out there and saved him from dying in a way that is completely unexplainable by any law of physics that we know about.  That kind of thing.  Angel, spirit, someone one’s grandmother, whatever…could all be the same thing, or not.  I think Emily, my cat, is an angel, so there you have it.

Still, many people who believe in angels think of them in the “standard/church sanctioned” way…robes, curly hair, androgynous, neat, wings, bare feet, maybe holding a harp, or some other strange thing.  They are usually portrayed with serious, or mournful looking faces.

Those angels might be fine for some but if I were to believe in them I’d go for Constantine, or the angel in Supernatural.  Tough angels who wear trench coats, drink too much, smoke too much, and know what life in OUR world is really like. They have street cred.  None of this white haloed stuff, for them…those guys are hardcore.  Female angels are portrayed as empathic, maternal figures, touching children, or holding their arms in strange positions.  I’m sure tough female angels exist, but they are kept from us, in this patriarchal society, so that women don’t have any role models to follow and scare the men.

So, you can have Mike and Gabe and all the rest of the religious angels.  I want Keanu Reeves, cigarette hanging out of his mouth, slouched over, black hair in his face, magic in his hand and pocket, waiting for the next bad thing to hit.  I trust him to get the job done because he’s one of us.  He doesn’t need a glowing sword, a big voice, or a dress.  He’s fighting evil in a wrinkled black suit, a white shirt with a tie, hanging around his neck.

We all have to decide who and what to believe in. It’s easy for me.  I believe evil is here on earth and anyone who comes from outside, yeah, no thanks.  Those guys don’t know how to fight dirty and take down the bad guys, they’re too busy massaging their egos and being well groomed.  They’re singing in choirs and being soldered into stained glass windows.  You won’t find the angels from Constantine or Supernatural in any of those places.  They have stuff to do.  They are BUSY, facing the bad guys and saving the world.

Anyway, when I die I want to be cremated but if I had a crypt…those two guys would be sitting on the roof.  Trench coat, cigarettes, and all.  Definitely.

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