Image: Guido Montanes Castillo via images.fineartsamerica..com
Cyril Rum, an angel on sabbatical from Heaven, didn’t like Thursdays. He thought of Thursday as a lost day, and he felt that way as soon as his angelic feet hit the floor.
There was a sense of depression about Thursday. Which in fact was unusual as angels were blessed and therefore depression wasn’t something they had to deal with.
For Cyril, it was a difficult feeling to comes to terms with. He’d been around an awfully long time, and he’d watched the poor souls on earth struggle with mental illness, but he saw it as cross humankind had to bear.
Now he was among them he was experiencing it all for himself. On this particular Thursday, he felt doubly depressed and twice as lost as normal.
He decided it was time to do something about it, after all, he was an angel, had served on the highest selection committee and so he’d seen a lot of troubled souls come and go.
Firstly, a good walk was in order. Get the body going and see what happened from there. As an angel physical exercise was never a concern. As a heavenly body, with a heavenly body, it was perfect and didn’t need to jog or lift weights, swim or go on diets.
So Cyril donned his red joggers, and off he went. He made sure to nod and say “Good Morning” to every person he passed.
He hadn’t walked all that far down the street when he heard pounding feet behind him and his neighbour Mildred Thrup came up beside him.
“Mr Rum,” she said puffing slightly, “Mind if I walk with you?”
“Not at all Miss Thrup, be nice to have someone to walk with,” replied Cyril who was pleased to have someone to chat to. Feeling lost as he was on this Thursday, his mood might be alleviated by having Mildred Thrup distract him from feeling lost.
So they walked together, they discussed all manner of things from politics to religion and favourite recipes. Cyril was only too happy to listen to Mildred as she prattled on as they strode down the town and through the park.
Each time he felt he had something to add to the conversation she’d cut him off as she’d discover another tangent in her conversation to explore.
Cyril decided that Mildred had seen a lot of the world and was far more human than he ever gave her credit for. She was telling him that the following Tuesday was going to be Valentine’s Day and then proceeded to describe to Cyril her one and only Valentine’s Day encounter.
Being of an angelic persuasion, Cyril was not very familiar with human feelings, physical urges or how in fact most of them satisfied those urges. He had come to the conclusion that whatever it was they did, the result was the creation of a lot more humans.
Mildred, however, was by now on a roll and Cyril was the ear into which she poured out the whole sordid detail of her Valentine’s Day celebration with Frank O’Leary way back when Mildred was but a young lady.
The more detail Mildred went into, the queasier Cyril felt. In his mind were images he didn’t ever want to contemplate again. No wonder when they arrived in heaven the head of the selection committee would take them aside and show them the book of sin, await their acceptance of the recording of said sin before referring to the whole committee a thumbs up or down. Basically, Cyril had spent an eternity sticking his thumb up or down in tune with the leader’s recommendation. No wonder he thought as he listened to Mildred so many good looking people got the thumbs down.
With his mind full of wet and enlarged images of the human race Cyril was at last grateful to find himself back in front of his house. Mildred offered him a cup of tea, but Cyril said he had to be getting on as he had an appointment downtown.
Excusing himself, he also suffered the personal ignominy of realising he had just told a lie. Angels don’t tell lies. They have no reason to. But just now he said to himself he had committed a lie.
He retired into his house and began thinking about his recent experiences. Telling lies was a biggy for Cyril. Maybe his time on earth had reached its use-by date as he was fast becoming like them.
It was time he thought to sit out in the back on one of his white wooden seats. He needed counsel.
It also occurred to him that even though it was Thursday and he still felt a little lost the day was not completely gone as he now had found a purpose. He wondered if they’d let him back in.
He sat on his seat, faced the empty chair and waited.