What would you feel like if you woke up one morning, looked in the mirror, and saw an angel? Then you ran to another mirror and saw the same thing. Then you heard a deep voice from all around saying, "You ain't just any angel, buddy, you are THE angel, a seraphim, the one everybody kisses up to! How about them apples?"
Well, it happened to me. So I looked in the mirror again and, sure enough, I was an angel, white gown, feathered wings and all; a very powerful one, it appeared.
Then I turned on NPR and the Quodlibetical Quahog, right on cue, said, "Rumor going around that an angel has dropped in amongst us, though the rumor has not yet been verified." And then I sat down, making sure my wings didn't get crumpled and thought, "Hey, you know, this ain't half bad. All the great things I can do, all the folks I can make happy, all the goodness I can spread around, like peanut butter onto Sunbeam bread.
And then, of course, I thought about the huddled masses yearning to breath free, yearning for a meal, for a kind word, for a winning ticket on the fifth race because powerful angels are supposed to think about those things. "All they need to do," I said out loud, "the hair stylists, the guys who hold the 'Stop/Slow' sign on road paving projects, the showgirl looking for a doctor, the doctor looking for a showgirl, the Wall Street money types snickering as they steal jellybeans from Uncle Scrooge's money vault, the politicians playing their spin games, all they need to do is believe."
"Really easy", I thought, gloating a bit because I had just figured it out.
First, I considered calling NPR, maybe "All Things Considered" since the Chatty Clam is always looking for a positive story. But then I went out to walk the streets instead, feeling a radiant glow as people scurrying along like mindless ants stopped suddenly to stare. Floating above them like a hummingbird hovering over an open, inviting flower, I shouted, "All you got to do is believe!" And, sure enough, they nodded in agreement.
But then some smart aleck snarled, "What a load of rubbish. You ain't no angel. Trying to lord it over us, trying to make us believe you can just wave your hand and everything will be okay, that my kidney stones will go away, that you're better than us. You phony; you're a simulacrum, not an angel! What an arrogant sleezeball, with all your white robes and feathers and wings!" The others gathered around now began frowning and nodding in agreement with the smart aleck, until he said, "Let's get the sucker! Let's teach him a lesson; show him what the real world is like!" Then he attacked me, followed by a now wild-eyed crowd. They shredded my wings, ripped off my gown. Then they scurried away again, scooping up feathers as souvenirs, glancing angrily at their watches because my antics had made them late.
And there I lay, a seraphim, naked in the gutter, my body battered and bloody. I pulled myself upright to sit on the curb. Letting go a long sigh, I shrugged and decided to just stay there, to watch the traffic roll by for a while. I fingered my cuts and bruises wondering what would happen next. Then I saw an acorn lying in the gutter next to my foot. I picked it up, stared at it, amazed once more that such a little thing could grow into a mighty oak tree. And then the voice spoke again, "You're further along than I thought," it said.