The Angel

My grandfather would tell me stories of an angel he befriended as a child. She had eyes dark and heavy as gravity. He spoke of her like a dream. Like a nightmare when he was at the age of forgetting. But a dream when he was present minded. “The most beautiful beast I’ve ever seen,” I never liked that he called her a beast but that was until I learned that demons and angles were family. He spoke of her like mist coming from the depths, his eyes would pulsate and he would have a gravely tone of voice. Usually he spoke smoothly like Jazz but whenever he spoke of her it was different, maybe because the medications didn’t fight celestial memories. He was 80 when he first sat me on his lap and whispered in my ear “she was an angel”. That was the first I heard of her, I was five. My family put him in a home shortly after, afraid that Alzheimer’s was worsening his condition. But it wasn’t something medicinal. He was remembering a blessing, a haunting, a possession, whatever you want to call it. I would visit him every Saturday until he died. Every now and then I would hear him speak a language I couldn’t decipher. I learned Spanish from my parents and some Arabic in college but this was something I never heard. But I remember a priest falling as he walked passed the door. It wouldn’t be anything significant if it wasn’t for what he said as I helped him up “she’s an angel”. So here I was, in my grandfather’s room in a senior citizen home and I convinced myself that my grandfather was speaking to an angel. Maybe crazy skipped a generation. But the more I questioned it, the more I understood the connections. My grandfather knew an angel in his youth, and that was his twin sister. She would have lived if it wasn’t for his mistake as a child. He never let himself forget. He aged so rapidly since we had that conversation, as if his guilt was keeping him alive. He knew an angel, because when she died only he could see her.

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