“Sorry,” my angel says, in her golden halo that is a tad askew. We always meet at this grungy cloud bar just south of Cloud 9. It smells like lost hope and damp feathers.
“I don’t like the way things are,” I say, feeling a lot like that melting ice cube that sits so lonely on the bar.
“But that’s the way they are,” she says.
I want to ask if she misses being a human and if there’s a point to living if we’re just gonna die, but I’m too mesmerized by her glow and forget.
“Hey, would you look at that?” she says. The place is more crowded than usual. I liked it better when this place was our secret place. It was our swag in the hallway, our own private Idaho.
“I’ve never seen anything like it,” I say, trying not to sound as disappointed as I am. I just want to jam all her secrets. I need her to tear my ticket and tell me how to feel.
”It reminds me of something, though,” I continue. Maybe it’s the Jack and Coke talking, but my angel is crazy hot. I love her pink spiky haircut and her guitar riff eyes.
“Do you remember the house at the end of Cedar Street?” she asks. The soft skin on her arms sparkles when the light finds them, and I wonder what bronzer she uses.
“Yeah,” I say. She rarely brings up the old days when we were both alive and human at the same time. Maybe it’s a sign. Maybe she misses the bread buckle too. Maybe she will finally tell Tinker Bell to fuck off.
“Why?” I ask. I can feel my heart ready to implode. Every time I remember the past, I wonder if I liked it as much back then as I do now. Did I even pay attention when the past was my present? I can’t remember. Why can’t I remember? And am I doing it again with this moment?
“You used to ask me about the Jack Pine out front. You wondered why some tree trunks twist around and around and over themselves,” she says.
“Yeah. I remember that tree.”
“Well, I know why they do it.”
“In ancient times, the Goddess of Thunder noticed that the forests weren’t thriving. There was sun and rain, but still, the tiny trees barely grew. So she colluded with the Goddesses of Lightning, and the two of them hatched a plan. One night, the Goddess of Lightning woke up the trees with a sudden flash while the Goddess of Thunder shook the baby trees with such fierce love, the trees spread out their trunks to hold themselves in their tender strength. After that night, the trees felt strong and alive and grew. They continued to wrap their trunks into themselves, to serve as a reminder for all to see.”
“A reminder of what?” I ask. I want to pull her close and devour her face, but the cost is Christmas, and I’m trapped in space with bad intentions, and my frontal lobe hurts so much talking about the house at the end of Cedar Street. Screw it, I’m going to do it! I’m going to throw fireworks into Summer …and…
She leans in close and whispers softly in my ear, “To not look to others to make you feel safe. To wrap and hold yourself in your love first. To continue to grow.”
With that last sentence, my angel vanished, and I knew.
She was my thunder.