Cecil had never been human before. He had imagined what it might be like. Thousands of times, he’d imagined the flesh. Of course, it was quite different than anything he’d thought up in his imaginings.
He had encountered hundreds of small misunderstandings or things that simply could not have occurred to him, like earwax or the mild but constant feeling of foreboding that filled his guts.
Cecil was fascinated by his body but also in an ongoing state of fear for its combined fragility and neediness and disappointing capacities. Like any human, he had somehow expected more.
When he felt Michael’s approach, Cecil was filled with ‘the mixture’, a type of experience he now classified as ‘the human condition’.
Cecil was lonely for Michael, desperately so, as a matter of fact, but also angry with him and jealous and contemptuous and flattered that he would visit and humbled and overwhelmed by love, compassion, hatred, and indifference. In other words, of course, human, Cecil was deeply human and in a fit of pacing, waiting for his friend. Or foe. Or brother. Or stranger. Or victim. Or predator. However you look at it, you’ll be right, of course.
One of the many things Cecil had not considered about his flesh situation, was the painful circumstance of the presence of Angels. If Cecil had considered being angry with Michael prior to his arrival, Cecil was about to feel positively homocidial toward the being known as Michael.
The frequency of Angels is high, too high for most humans to endure at all. Michael can kill easily just by showing up. Which he has done. Will do. Does regularly.
If there is to be only one take away from reading these tales, let it be known that Angels are not exactly what you have been led to believe. They have wings, this is true; wings that span twenty-five feet and throw off a stench putrid enough to leave your house condemned and powerful enough in muscle to quash your family in a single thwap.
And this has be done, is done, and will be done and done and done some more.
Cecil thought his heart would beat out of his chest as the walls collapsed to accommodate the mighty Michael, a phosphorus blue beast, stinking of blood and sweat, of puss and decay. That’s an Angel for you, though: Filthy and Powerful.
“Cecil, Cecil, Cecil,” Michael circled the room, fifteen feet tall and in the business of the destruction of everything. Cecil lien prone on the floor, grasping his chest and sweating, unable to speak. Cecil wavered between the darkest and most uncompromising of love and a melancholia that threatened to end him right there, right at the sharp edges of Michael’s hooves.
“Cecil. Oh, my friend, what have you done?” Michael shook his head and made for the kitchen, tearing off cabinet doors in search of nothing in particular.
Cecil tried to stand up, “Sh . . . sh . . . sh . . .”, he stammered.
“SHE,” Michael said. “SHE has always been here, though, Cecil. This is her world. Her revolution. Earth and Sky and Dreaming Unlimited. Yes, indeed. SHE is this world my dear Cecil, unlike you . . . oh . . . these are good.” Michael waggled a can of grape leaves in Cecil’s direction.
“Wha . . . What?” Cecil asked, truly bewildered, now. Cecil could not fathom a swing from the topic of HER to grape leaves.
“I know, I know,” Michael conceded. “The flesh are so strange, food tinned in cans? I know . . . but it grows on me. Their ways . . . it grows on me.” Michael smiled and popped two greasy rolls onto his black and bloodied tongue. “You’ve made a mistake, in case you were wondering,” Michael said.
Cecil stared at Michael, watched as masticated grape leaves drizzled down his chin in rivulets of stinking salvia and puss. Cecil wanted revenge, right then and right there, he wanted revenge the way he seems to constantly want as a human, revenge, revenge, revenge. Every second full with the fucking need of it and looking at Michael’s smug face, Cecil wanted it so badly it blinded him and he fell to the floor in what could only be called a blackout.
Michael shook his head. Found another tin can of greasy, grape leaves and sat on the couch, which cracked under his heft. Michael waited like that for Cecil to come awake once again and sort the mess of himself out.
If Cecil had known, Michael thought, how love feels in a place like this, he would have left Skye to it and carried on with his own existence in time.
Of course, Michael always thinks he knows what is best for others.