story #11

angels
 
ANGELS
 
There are four angels that work at New York Presbyterian Hospital, not guardian angels, but union workers who step in to offer technical support every now and then. Mostly, they end up helping the guardian angels find their way around. There are over a thousand beds and you wouldn’t believe how lost they get. Just last the week they found one of them wandering around in the sub-basement. She was crying and everything, damn near hyperventilating, in fact. Finding ones like that takes up a lot of angel time. Other than that, the hospital angels spend the majority of their time playing cards in the cafeteria on the second floor. Once in a while they flutter around the atrium doing loop-the-loops. Their wings aren’t anything to write home about, but they still get the job done.  Angels wings are like our hearts or lungs. They are always beating even when the angels aren’t paying attention. Most angels can fly a little, but a lot of them can’t fly very well because they don’t practice all that often and it’s like anything else. Sometimes, when the Angel Louis gets tired of the others, he flies up through the ceiling and out over the Hudson River. He’s better than average with flight. If he were visible, he’d look almost like a bird from a distance. The trees and water shimmer.
 
The others worry about him, even though they don’t say so. They also think he is a little crazy and don’t know what he’s on about half the time. Why, just the other day he started up about how he wants to go to medical school, never mind his invisibility. He says he’ll just sit in back and soak it all in. And he’s been spending time in the OR! He hovers over the operating table, sometimes even brushing a wing against a doctor’s hand. The others know because they follow him. One day, between games of bridge, they confront him about it. What gives? The Angel Louis is reluctant to answer. Finally, he says that he wants to learn about medicine because he wants to see if maybe he could be reassigned. They are doing all kinds of amazing things now with hormones, and he’s always felt like a Hindu man trapped in the body of a Judeo-Christian angel. The others aren’t sure what to make of this. Two of them are pretty sure he’s full of shit. The third thinks he’s confused, but is touched by his desire to go to medical school even though she’s pretty sure he won’t actually go through with it.
 
But who knows? she thinks. Maybe he really could get reassigned. Maybe when their rotation ends. But God only knows when that will be.
 
– Benjamin Resnick
 
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