I always thought of angels. I wondered what it felt like to be one, to illuminate from within with divine light as you walked on panels of cloud and sunshine. I imagined their staffs blazing brighter than Star Wars’ sabers. I wondered about being lifted from my human existence into a celestial, angelic experience, which was free from capitalism, nationality and race, which allowed me to move as I pleased. I asked for this. I prayed my rosary. I sat still under the shade of our lemon trees, believing the transformation would happen at any moment.
The Cherubim were my favorite, those who guarded the Tree of Life with flaming swords that turned every way. I was frightened of Jophiel, with his golden wings that were as sharp as knives, how he held his arms high to cast Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden. In the images, his face was always white and deadpan, as he looked down upon the two human beings curled in shame, unmoved by Eve as she pulled a garment over her breasts. I would think of Gabriel, visiting Zechariah and Mary. He seemed a solid and precise-this Gabriel. Eager to pass his message and leave. Always dressed in linen with a halo on his head.
I would also think of the fallen ones-Ramiel, Batriel, Kokabiel-who were cast out of heaven after desiring the daughters of man. I thought of their children, the Nephilim, who grew up to be men of great renown. I thought about these women, who were desired and loved by angels.
In 2012, I was alone in the house at night while it was raining. Then I heard giggles outside. I asked if they were angels and they went quiet. I asked if they were kind and they said yes. So I opened the door. The sky was like I had never seen it to be before, a maelstrom of shadow and rain that turned the air cold. I walked back to my table to finish my tea and felt the presence of two beings walk in. I tried to talk to them-“Where are you from? What do you want? Where are you going?” But they were mum. So we all sat still in the dark, as I drank my tea. Later, I told them that I was tired and going to sleep. Since they were kind, I told them they could sleep over or be on their way.
I woke up to find them gone.