It happened suddenly. In my darkness he appeared. He came right to me in the candlelit, cave-like pub a few blocks away from the solace of my home. I was in the depths of grief and only came out at night, or when a caring friend would drag me, deeming it necessary I get out from under my cover. I knew him from another past, and though he was familiar and bore striking resemblance to a painful memory, he was new and fresh, and he told me stories on my right side as my friend whispered “be careful” on my left. His enchanting, animated stories in the abbreviated moment of that dark music hall enticed me as much as the storyteller himself. The candlelight gave his eyes an amber sparkle that matched his perfect teeth smile. He had a glorious energy and for some moments in those hours there in that pub I forgot that my heart was broken. In the early morning hours after the band announced last call, I said I had to go. He laughed and said the night had just started.
He followed me out into life. He called and proposed that we meet. He had the same face as the love I’d lost, and rather than hold that against him, I embraced it. He had a story, a sad one, just like mine, and though I’d heard this story before, I was blinded by the light of his incredible energy. I didn’t see that he was a wicked angel.
He lived on the edge and tested the gods on any given day. He claimed he was on the high road. He’d left the rat race for a life in pictures and music. He was the great editor by day and worked well into night. He finished things. He lived in a room of darkness with the only light being the glare of a monitor. He cut things. He took short stories and made them pretty. Or shorter.
He appeared out of nowhere, sometimes in the middle of the night, ringing my bell and begging me to come out and have a dance. That’s what he called our nights out, a dance night, because you see, I am a dancer. He had a wonderful stamina of celebrating till dawn. He talked a spiritual talk, how making music was his religion. He worshiped his bass guitar and referred to his instrument as a woman.
He talked of his world travels and where next he wanted to go. He had loved a Mexican princess once who’d left him for royalty and now lived across the bridge in Brooklyn. He admitted in a weak moment he’d begged her back, making a fool of himself on a New York City bus. All his stories had strange twists and perceptions of the world, with a warped slant. That was part of his maddening charm.
He walked with a groovy rhythm that he claimed came from years of creating a bass line for the music he played. It was a strut, not effeminate, and sometimes rather cute, but soon I learned that his walk was a sign. I don’t know why I didn’t see that he was a wicked angel.
He drank kava as a ritual. There was a whole ceremony that came with it. Sometimes he wore a sarong when he was in that kava mood. It was something that was shared with him in some South American country where he had traveled, and he thought it was his calling to share it with the world, or with me late on a Friday night to calm my nerves after a tense week in my dreadful advertising world. His perception, not mine.
He sang me sweet songs that were meant only for me. He wrote a song about me called “She Flies” and I admit, I was touched by the gesture. Even that song gave me messages that I didn’t hear. His words were crystal that I couldn’t see through. I didn’t want to see that he was a wicked angel.
He told me white lies and then I began to see. He’d disappear for days, return and be bothered when I asked where he’d been. He wasn’t full of goodness and pure energy in those days. He was down and needed to pull the shades. His apartment smelled of stale cigarettes and musty towels when he retreated to this place. I tried to help but there was no helping him. He lived by the code of the spoon till he’d have too much and have to do his cleanse. His nostrils got raw and bloody, and he’d have nose bleeds at the most inconvenient times. He’d miss work and risk his employment status. His personality became dark and he’d want to be alone. He kept this secret from me for two years. I suppose I didn’t want to see because he was an angel, if wicked at that.