Friday, August 21, 2009

Pearl the Mime

On the subway, a young boy and girl were staring at an Angel, mouths agape. Their mothers stood nearby. I figured them for tourists.

At the Angel's feet was an offering bowl. They didn't know the drill. I pulled an offering out of my wallet and gestured toward the offering bowl with it, then handed it to the boy. Without looking up at me he took it and walked forward to drop the offering into the bowl. He then spun on his heel, quickly nestling in again under his mother's arm, and waited for something to happen.

Sure enough--the Angel's right hand came subtly alive. Her four fingers waved like marine plants in soft sea currents, gesturing for the boy's return. His mother nudged him forward. He didn't walk to her so much as stumble, turning bright red. The Angel leaned down and seemed to whisper something in his ear. I wished it was me.

I hadn't noticed the tiny coin purse the Angel held in one hand. She opened it now, reaching inside. She handed something him something too small to see from where I was. I thought maybe it was only a gesture, and up to him to decide what it contained.

But the boy looked down into his hand, and then up at me. Then the boy ran back to show his treasure to the others. They all looked at it, then back to the Angel. She was gesturing to the girl now, with the same slow isolated movement.

I turned for the stairs. I did, after all, have a train to catch.

The little boy spoke from behind me. "Mister!" he said, "Mister!" I turned around.

"This is for you," he said, and lifted his palm to my eyes. In it was the tiniest little red paper heart, cut out by hand. I held it lightly between my thumb and forefinger, and the boy disappeared. A wave of joy crested over me, and a bright question rose out of it, pernicious as a gull: Why do I always imagine Angels live someplace far, far away?

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At 8:56 PM, Blogger NY Pearl the Mime said...

...PEACE in your heart, Kyle. I enjoyed your writing, very much...keep scribing from the heart.

Margot - Pearl the Mime


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