Life Among the Never-Winged

Once upon a time I was writing a book called, "Just Another Love Letter", about angels behaving badly. Now I just quietly ask myself each day, "What the hell am I doing?"

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Location: The Rocky Mountain Empire, United States

My friends always knew I was going to hell. My only hope is that God likes good jokes and bad redheads.

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  • Friday, June 13, 2008

    Mona's Word – Change

    Sorry, guys. A nasty old cyst knocked me out for a while. Every time I think I've got the thing beat...some things never change.

    And other things do, so very quickly. The boyos just graduated from kindergarten. I remember shopping schools when they were two, and tearing up on the way home because they weren't my 'babies' anymore. And then I came to my senses and remembered that this was a good thing, that I never, ever wanted babies forever. I want eventual friends.

    They made me proud. And they made me cry. A couple days before graduation, we took them in early for an awards ceremony because they had both won. Teacher's discretion, she picked out five kids from her class who showed the true spirit of their school. Jack won an award for being Respectful to His Teachers and Fellow Students, and Declan won for Making Sure Everyone Was Always Safe, Even on the Playground.

    These awards are not what made me proud. They are pieces of paper.

    What makes me proud is actually seeing these traits in my boyos, in the classroom if not always at home. Jack says his pleases and thank yous and sits quietly when asked. Declan is the first one to run to a kid who's been hurt, and the first to share the ball or marker.

    But that's not what made me cry.

    What made me cry was graduation. The kids filed in one by one to “Pomp and Circumstance”, some straggling, some happy for the attention. I waited for my guys to come in. There was a break in the line – a kid and then no one, no one, no one. And then there was James*.

    The story I've heard that is that James is a triplet. Mom had a difficult labor, and James didn't get all the oxygen he needed. So he's in a 'wheeling chair' as the boyos call it, possibly blind, or at best sight-impaired. He undergoes periodic operations to help him walk and move better. James does not speak, but he makes wonderful, happy noises when he hears music.

    So there was James in his wheeling chair, pushed by one of his therapists. And there were my boyos, Jack just in front, respectfully leading the way for him and stopping and looking back to make sure everything was ok, and Declan at James' side, hand on his arm, making sure he was safe.

    Those are my good, good boyos.

    Who are currently trying to kill each other. Excuse me please...

    *Name changed of course.

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    Monday, June 02, 2008

    Joni Said It

    So I asked my instructor four questions tonight during the lecture and he couldn't answer any of them. Mostly what he said was, 'I don't know,” and “Don't worry about it, it won't be on the test.” If an advisor would ever call me back I'd switch to microbiology. This is going to be a long summer. I miss Nurse Bagel.

    But that's all irrelevant. What I really want to talk about are clouds.

    I came out of school remembering the last time I flew, and there they were, the biggest thunderheads I've ever seen, coming over the mountains.

    One of my dream-team classmates* was talking to me and we both stopped.
    “Do you feel that?” she asked.
    “Yeah!” I said.
    “Hee! My t-shirt is clinging to me. I'm actually sweating.** This is freaky!”
    “It's like being at sea level. No, it's like walking on the beach!” she said.

    Then we saw the clouds.

    Driving home, I watched them roll and pulse and move. The sun was going behind the mountains and the clouds were Maxfield Parish pink on the tops, with orange bodies and deep blue and gray backs facing the East. They were so big and heavy that they cast a diagonal shadow across the rest of the Eastern sky all the way to the horizon. Beneath them everything was purple, the land ready to be bruised by these ethereal mountains, this floating ocean.

    In my head Joni Mitchell sang, “These are the clouds of Michaelangelo” over and over, while on the radio Seal sang, 'In a sky full of people/only some want to a hell full of people/only some want to fly/'cause they're not crazy.'

    Cars were swerving, drivers pointing out the window.

    There is a hill near my home that has the best view of the Front Range. There is a stop light on the hill. On the bike path beside it a couple was standing arm in arm staring at the mountains.

    Giddy, I shouted out to them, “No, no, no, don't look at the mountains! Those things will be there forever! Turn around!”

    They did, and they smiled up at the sky.

    In the neighborhood, a group of teenagers had stopped their basketball game to stare. People were out in every other yard, pointing. Standing on the sidewalk I could hear the 20-something guy one house over say to his buddy, “Look at those colors. Straight out of the Sistine Chapel!”

    These are the clouds of Michaelangelo...

    I wanted to shout that back, but I had more fun listening to them talk about the shapes the clouds took. The animals, the faces. I watched an old man laugh, and lovers approach, kiss and merge.

    I decided then that I'm coming back as a cloud that rises from the Pacific and falls into the Atlantic.

    These were the clouds that made men first look into the sky and conceive of the gods of thunder.

    I opened the garage door and was disappointed to see our other car – along with O and the boyos – still gone. I ran in and grabbed the camera, snapped some photos that capture nothing of what I saw. Like saying, Here, let me show you a bucket of water and tell you it's the ocean -- isn't the ocean beautiful?

    Click on this one up close. Thunder god.

    They were beautiful. They were terrible. They'll probably kill someone on the Eastern plains tonight.

    I hope to God not.

    *Sadly, the only one in my current A&P class. We all went separate ways with no Nurse Bagel to guide us.

    **Colorado is so dry that sweat evaporates directly off the skin. Not that that's a bad thing.

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