Monday, November 4, 2013

Lesser Angels

She walked as if windswept, with great, gusting steps. I only looked up from my book, because with her agitated gait came the shrill sounds of plasticized rubber creaking, chaffing in rhythmic muffled shrieks -her raincoat, in spite of the bright and cloudless day. 

To no one, or no one in particular, she smiled the most capricious grin, did this sideways sort of curtsy and then waved with a playful flick of her wrist. The dark riddle of her eyes scanned the room and finally found him, oblivious, at a table by a window. 

She was just off work, a tan and hair salon, with a name meant to conjure sun and sand and perpetual adolescence. Her coed coworkers all studies in bleached out blonde and simulated tan, a sorority in hot pink performance fleeces. And her with her long black braids, a Pocahontas in pigtails.

She floated toward his table, I say floated, because of course angels float (and glow), and she gave me at that moment the strangest sensation of imminent martyrdom. The kind portrayed in paintings with lesser angels attending, ready to carry the slain saint into the bright bosom of their Savior.

Needless to say, I’m no saint, and no one died, though at one point, when she slid her ivory hands slowly across the table, when the country of her affection rested quietly in the firm grip of his fingers, I swear I heard the archers string their bows and felt one swift arrow pierce my heart.

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