A musing dialog

“You’ve been staring at me a little too long. May I help you?” 

“Are you busy?”

“Matter of fact, yes, and you?” 

“Just waiting out the spin cycle so I can get started with the dryer.”

“Oh, these are exciting times at the laundromat.” 

“Hey, do you believe in angels?”

“Excuse me?”

“Angels.”

“What about angels?”

“I saw one right here, last week.”

“Really.”

“Yes, really. I’m back here today, but I doubt I’ll see her again.”

“Oh, it was a her. Pretty good-looking, was she?”

“That’s not the half of it.”

“Well, what was the other half?”

“Funny guy. Well, this is where I was sitting. Right here in this seat, minding my own business like I always do. Heck, I’m here every Thursday. I know everyone here. There’s Mary, and Francis, and…” 

“I get it, you’re a regular. But I do have work to do, so if we could get around to the important parts I’d appreciate it.”

“Okay, okay. Well, I’m sitting here like I said. I looked up to see if my washer was still spinning and there she was. I’ve been trying to explain it to myself ever since.”

“What do you mean, explain it?”

“Well, she was there, but I never saw her come in. There’s nothing odd about that of course, but there she was, just folding clothes. Something about her seemed out of place, like she wasn’t real – or wasn’t from here, anyway. I saw it in her features and felt it in her vibe, if I can call it that. I know how weird that sounds. I’ve been struggling to find the right words ever since. Maybe if I think through it, I’ll make some sense out of it.”

“Well, it seems fairly simple. Just describe who you saw.”

“I’ll try, but look, I don’t think I can even describe her age.”

“Come on now, how can that be?” 

“It’s true, at first she looked like maybe eighteen or nineteen, but that seemed so wrong.”

“Maybe it seemed so wrong because you don’t want to be some creepy old guy leering at a teenager.”

“Hell, I already know that I’m a creepy old guy to some people. At my age, there’s nothing I can do about that. But I’m not a dirty old man. There’s a difference. Anyway, I wasn’t thinking about her that way. Yes, she was beautiful, but I was only trying to peg her age, and I swear I could not do it. She could’ve been anywhere from eighteen to fifty. But I wasn’t able to consider her age for long, because other things happened.”

“Wait a second. Before those other things, can you at least try to describe what she looked like?” 

“Sure, that’s all I’ve been doing lately is trying. Like I was saying, she had no clear age about her. She was on the taller side, maybe even five foot ten. She was thin, but she wasn’t skinny. She was in good shape.”

“She was lithe? That’s like a yoga instructor.”

“Exactly, like a yoga instructor.”

“Being lithe like a yoga instructor doesn’t make her an angel.”

“Of course not! But it’s one of the things that I am trying to describe.”

“Sorry. I’m just trying to imagine her. Go on.”

“Her hair, it was pulled up above her head, but not in one of those buns. I can’t really describe it except that it went up a bit in back and then just flowed down around her shoulders. And it was golden.”

“Golden? Don’t you mean blonde?”

“No, I mean golden. Same for her skin. If I were to describe her hair and skin, I would say they were golden. There was a glow, or warmth, around her. It sure didn’t seem like she was from around here.”

“Except for that golden glow you described, it doesn’t seem too odd. Have you actually seen people lately? There are diverse blends of races and ethnicities like never seen before in human history!”

“Of course, I know that. I know human beings live almost any place on this planet, and they have skin-tones ranging from opaque-black to translucent-white. But I don’t judge anyone by that. No one gets to pick their package.”

“Agreed. Alright, so getting back to her…”

“Well, it wasn’t like a shiny metal or some painted James Bond villain. I know how ridiculous that sounds. But if I had to point to a color, it wouldn’t be tan or light-brown. It would be a golden color. She radiated it.”

“Fine, then. If that’s what you believe. What was she wearing?”

“Well, her outfit. Let’s see, it was a dress, like a white summer dress. It was cut short. But look, I don’t know the first thing about women’s fashion. It looked to be very light material, like those lacy doilies that grandmas put out. It sure didn’t fit in with what I’d call normal clothes for around here.”

“Okay, I should get back to writing.”

“Yeah, I know how it sounds. Like maybe I’m trying to make something out of nothing. But this dress, it seemed so light and airy. In this town, folks usually wear rugged outdoor clothes – you know- for all the hiking and camping around here. Plus, it was a bit nippy outside that day, and on her feet, she was wearing some very simple sandals. How do you explain that?”  

“Explain what, her clothing?”

“Yeah, her clothing, and the rest of her. Look, how does such a beautiful being seem so innocent, so peaceful, so warm and happy, yet so disconnected from normal, everyday problems? She was so out of place here.”

“Well that’s a bit of a reach, isn’t it?”

“Maybe. But I’ve come to find that a lot of people around here, if they aren’t passing through on vacation, can come off as a little stressed out. I really can’t blame’em. Driving old cars, working low-paying jobs, doing the best they can raising their kids. But this angel, she seemed untouched by drama or negativity. She radiated happiness and serenity.”

“Okay, so to recap, there was a woman in here, without a definitive age, she did not appear to be from around here, she was beautiful and lithe, with a sweet smile, who radiated serenity, had golden hair and skin, and surprisingly or not, was wearing out-of-season clothing. I’m sorry, but I’m still not seeing an angel.”

“Well, maybe that’s because you weren’t paying enough attention!”

“Well, was I there?”

“Being there isn’t the issue. In fact, there were plenty of people in here at the time, or maybe I should say, not here.” 

“What in the world does that mean?”

“When I got here, there must’ve been, oh, maybe a dozen people in here. Take a look around, a dozen is a fairly noticeable number. The thing is, I looked down for just a few seconds, but when I looked up, it was just her and me. All of a sudden, everyone was gone.”

“Okay, time out. How is that possible?”

“I have no idea. It’s not like they just disappeared. I’m not that foolish. Maybe a couple of them went outside for a smoke, maybe some were loading their clothes in their cars or just went outside to enjoy the weather. I don’t know. But they had dispersed – as if it were intentional – as if they were compelled.”

“Okay, that’s strange.”

“Sure was. But I’ve always believed that strange things can happen. Reality, this world, this plane of existence, whatever you want to call it, every once-in-a-while it overlaps with some other reality, or realm, or dimension. Or maybe some kind of door opens, and our perceived reality just fades, or clears, and you find yourself somewhere else entirely. Some people might believe it’s an alien presence, or it’s spiritual, like a miracle. Then, of course, some are too preoccupied to even notice. In this case, I’m at a loss for the words to describe it. But that’s what I thought might be happening.”

“Then I’m guessing this story is about to get weirder.”

“You already know it is. Another one of the mysteries was the smile on her face. She was smiling the whole time I saw her. The whole damn time. She didn’t have any headphones on or those pods in her ears either. She was humming. She was happy. She radiated happiness, like she was detached from the world. It was like some kind of light or energy. I felt it.”

“To be honest, I don’t think that is mysterious. Some people just have a certain charisma.”

“Well, this was a lot more than charisma.” 

“Did she talk to anyone?”

“No, like I said, she seemed detached to everything and everyone. But those moments when everyone was gone except for her and I, she caught me looking at her. Our eyes met for a few seconds – I couldn’t look away to be honest. It seemed more like a couple of minutes.”

“Did she react?”

“She gave me a smile and a knowing nod.” 

“A knowing nod?”

“I’m not crazy. Like I said, I don’t consider myself some dirty old man. But this angel, well, she smiled at me with some kind of all-knowing nod. Like she knew something, everything, damn it, I don’t know. At least that’s what it felt like. And when she did, I felt something go off deep inside me. It took my breath away. Made me tremble.”

“Umm, okay, wow? Did she say anything?”

“Look, this is very difficult to describe. She did not say anything out loud. It was not like hearing, it was more like feeling. I felt a rush, like a thousand butterflies in my stomach. Like a wave wash over me. The wave became words. I heard them the same as if she were whispering in my ear.”

“What words?”

“I am always with you.”

“It’s hard for me to relive it. I get too emotional. Her telling me that. I believe she wanted me to feel those words. Like she knew how much I needed to hear them. To feel them. Like a lot of folks these days, I’m having some issues, health issues, getting old issues. Living alone out here on the road. That’s why I think she was my guardian angel.”

“Hmmmm, well, okay, I can’t argue that she wasn’t.”

“Thanks. I’ve dreamt about my guardian angel a couple of times over the years. I feel like I recognize her through her energy, her light, her presence. I believe we’ve met before.”

“Look, I get it, okay? I’ve had my own dreams and experiences too, and maybe once or twice I’ve considered them to be like that, deep and meaningful.” 

“I knew you’d finally believe it!”

“I’m not exactly saying that I believe it. But what I am saying is that I suppose I understand. I’ve had dreams about who I might call an angel. Maybe my guardian angel, I don’t know. I never thought about making it public though. And I’ve never claimed to have met her in the real-world.”

“Shoot, what’s the real-world anyway?”

“You have a point there. But I’m starting to get lost in all of this.”

“Try and stay with it. Well, after our eye-to-eye encounter, she went outside to the parking lot and got in her Jeep.”

“She drove a Jeep? You drive a Jeep.” 

“Yeah, but hers was brand-spanking new. It was green, and had decorative detail on the sides that I could not make out. I went out to the parking lot because I didn’t want to lose sight of her. I got in my Jeep and from there I could see that on her dashboard there was a pair of bright white sneakers, and in the back seat, there was a very large and very alert-looking German Shepherd.”

“Okay, and what can you deduce from that?”

“Your guess is as good as mine. From the driver’s seat, she turned around and gave him a good scratching behind his ears that he seemed to thoroughly enjoy. The dog looked at her and tilted its head. She tilted her head right back. Like they were communicating. She turned around, still smiling the sweetest smile. Her shepherd watching over her.”

“Wait… Her shepherd watching over her? Are you hearing yourself? 

“Yes, I hear myself. Well, maybe they were on a mission together.”

“And what mission was that? The mission of doing her laundry?”

“Why do you always have to be sarcastic?”

“Because this isn’t easy.”

“I know it’s not. I saw her bow her head. You might think she was looking at her phone, but I never saw a phone. I’ll bet anything she didn’t even have a phone. I’ll just say it, she seemed like she was praying, and the shepherd watching over her the whole time.”

“The shepherd watching over her? Again, I ask, do you hear yourself?” 

“I know what I’m saying. You just have to keep an open mind.”

“Oh, I’m trying.”

“When she started up the Jeep, a white cloud billowed out the back.”

“A white cloud? Oy vey!”

“What? Okay, anyway, she put it in reverse, and proceeded to smack right into that boulder over there.”

“So, there was a white cloud and she smacked into that boulder.”

“Yep. She stepped out of her rig, calm as can be. She didn’t seem upset about it at all. The smile was still on her face. She went around back and looked at the bumper resting against the boulder. And I swear, she looked up, smiling of course, and shook her fist playfully at the sky. Then she got back in and pulled out onto the street.”

“Come on, are you sure about that?”

“Would it matter anymore if I wasn’t?” 

“I suppose not.”

“Okay, go look at it. Look at the boulder. See for yourself.” 

“Fine.”

“Okay, do you see it?”

“Yeah, it’s, um…it looks like a scrape…of gold.”

“Doesn’t it though!? Well, that right there is physical proof of the entire incident!”

“Is it? Is it really proof? You said her Jeep was green. I’m pretty sure she wouldn’t have a gold bumper.”

“That’s part of the mystery if you ask me. I already described what I called her golden-ness. Would it be such a surprise if the mark she’d leave would also be golden?”

“Okay, I can give you that. Is that the end of it then?”

“Of course not.”

“Right. Somehow, I figured we’d have to get through more.”

“Well, she pulled out of the lot and turned that way, towards Main Street. I wanted to see which way she was headed, turn right towards Sedona or left towards Jerome. But the thing is, I lost sight of her for just a couple of seconds because of that row of bushes over there. And she never came out the other side!”

“Excuse me, what?”

“She was gone. Poof. Damnedest thing I ever saw. Or never saw.” 

“Who will grasp that? No one will believe it. You must’ve missed something. How could that have possibly happened?”

“Because it’s happened before. Throughout life, every now and then I experience something that I think cannot be possible. Profound experiences that are mysterious or deeply inspiring. Those two figures I saw running and then disappearing in the middle of a farm field back in the 80s. And not long after that, there was the strange creature who glared at me as it crossed that wilderness road up north. And what about the strange moving lights in the sky over the Badlands of South Dakota I saw on the motorcycle trip with Marty.”

“Okay, okay I get it.”

“I pay attention to life, to what’s going on around me, to every present moment. I don’t take things for granted. If you’re still asking yourself what happened, maybe you’ll never know. But I was very lucky to be paying attention that day. And now I’m inspired. I have to create something. Something to show my gratitude, even if we only had a brief moment together. 

“But why call her your guardian angel? Isn’t that a bit too, I don’t know, man-made?”

“I’ve gone back and forth on that. I call her my guardian angel because the concept of angels is common to us humans. Then again, angels are strongly connected with organized religion and I prefer to stay away from that. But maybe the concept of angels is easier to grasp. On the other hand, maybe I shouldn’t be telling anyone else about this.”

“But isn’t that what you’ve been doing?”

“If that’s what you believe.”

“Why does it matter what I believe?”

“Because at the end of the day, you get to decide.”

“Decide what?”

“Decide how you’re going to explain it. Decide what you’re going to create. You have to decide who and what is most important to you and decide what experiences are most profound. Decide where you go, what you see, and what you feel. Decide what is real and what is deceiving, what is transcendent, even heavenly. And now you have to decide who you shared a connection with… an innocent teenager, a beautiful woman, an inspirational muse, or a guardian angel.”

“What do you mean, who I shared a connection with?”

“Because maybe now you can finish writing about her. After all, isn’t that what you’re doing?”

***

Intellectual property of Michael Mufasa (2021)

Close Menu