Guardian Angel Syndrome
By Jamie Thomas Durbin
For all my friends in Pembrokeshire, whether from now or then. Especially for the one I've had Guardian Angel syndrome for... For you, Rhiannon. I hope it's a good chuckle for you...
The blind man sat. Like much of his life these days, this sitting was routine, part of the daily regimen he jokingly called his "Schedule Of Sanity"... well, half-jokingly. Because it certainly was dull, especially to a man used to senses he had lost. He was not an old blind man, nor was he an ugly blind man. In fact, he was rather handsome, in his own scholarly way. He stood tall, and the only thing that would have marked him as anything other than perfectly ordinary was the fact that he was wearing his fashionable sunglasses on a rather rainy day. Much as it was the case for the past several days. But to comment on his appearance is not yet important to the tale. Instead, it would be better to comment on his surroundings, as he remembered them.
The park bench on which he now sat was one of the old filigreed iron affairs, well maintained by the park authorities. Indeed, the authorities tended rather well to the entire park, a rare occurence in this day and age. This was, many truly believed, why the park was so popular to visitors. Of course, if this tale were to be known to the world at large, many would marvel at how very true this was...
But back to the story at hand. We have already mentioned that the blind man had sat, and that this was his daily routine. However, we neglected to mention, until now, that the seat was already occupied. This was a fact that the blind man, whose name was Jim (A shortening of the name Jeremiah, a name he was often reminded, much to his dismay, that he possessed), quickly became aware of. Feeling someone beneath him, he leapt up, and spun around quickly, profusely apologising.
"Oh, I'm so very sorry, I wasn't quite aware that-" He was suddenly cut off by a beautiful, but saddened voice.
"No worries, friend. Care to join me? the place to my left is unoccupied. I would-" the other hesitated "-like some company, if it would not be asking too much."
Jim smiled, and sat gratefully next to the unnamed stranger. The fact that said stranger was unknown to him did not trouble him, for he often spoke with those seated next to him. It is, you see, a lonely life, when accident not only robs you of your sight, but your friends (for this is what had happened to poor Jim, his friends having had no time for his blindness). Not wishing to make the stranger unwelcome, he began to talk.
"You sound very unhappy, friend. Maybe we may share our sorrows." At this, he heard a gusty sigh.
"My sorrows, are grand, young man, and I would share them gladly with you, were you able to help."
Jim wondered why he was a 'young man', when the person next to him was so obviously in that most vibrant stage of life. It did not, however, bother him too much, so he continued. It must be noted, at this point in this fable, that Jim was a kind hearted soul, not willing to see others come to suffering. In the time he had had friends, and not just passing acquaintances made on his wanderings, he had jokingly called it 'Guardian Angel Syndrome'. It was this gentle nature of his that persuaded him to continue, despite his sudden uneasiness around this stranger. He turned to the other, and smiled warmly. "I have found that part of the solution to a problem, friend, is to allow others to hear your tale. Perhaps this would be the case."
The other sighed again, heavily. "You would not believe my story. You would call it far-fetched" It was a simple statement, intended, to Jim's mind, to divert attention away from the story. Determined, however, to help this young person, whose sex he was unable to determine from voice alone, and would not be swayed by so simple a trick. "I would believe you, whoever you are, because, to tell the truth, I have, from this bench, heard much that many would call unbelievable, yet I appear to have helped many. Perhaps I could help you?"
"I expect you will not believe me, but to tell you this is essential to the telling of my tale. I am an angel. To be specific, a guardian angel."
Jim, in reply, merely gaped...
* * *
The angel sitting next to him (how could he have missed the feather light touch of wings on his right shoulder? or the scent of heavenly flowers he had not ever smelt before ,or would
again?), carried on, seemingly more agitated than ever.
"You see, being a guardian angel is a heavy job. You have to protect people from harm, whilst trying to guide them along the path of righteousness, all without interacting directly with them, except in the most extenuating of circumstances. But the gravest of problems has, how do you put it these days? 'cropped up'... yes, that's the word." The angel paused, allowing Jim some time to let it all sink in.
"I have fallen in love with my ward." For a moment, Jim could not speak. And then, with a smile, he patted the angel on (his?) shoulder. "That is not a problem, surely? I wish you the best of happiness with... her?" Jim wondered, moments afterward, if he had said the wrong thing, for the angel next to him had begun to cry. Her, he silently noted to himself. The angel, meanwhile, continued to bawl, before loudly declaring to the world "But I cannot have happiness! That is my problem! I am not allowed, by the covenant I sealed with my Lord and Master, God himself, to interact directly with my loved one. Not even to love!", at which he began to weep even more loudly, louder than Jim had ever known possible. Jim, in a desperate effort to calm his newfound charge, asked "Isn't there some way you can-", but he didn't manage to finish before the angel, guardian, defender of his charge, began to weep again. "No! There isn't anythiiiiiing!",and, seemingly, there was a vacuum where the angel had been, and Jim, heavily surprised, fell over, a look of astonishment on his face. The angel, seemingly, had gone...
* * *
Sitting at home in his small apartment, Jim pondered the dilemma of the guardian angel. Having now heard of, and, in a very loose sense of the word, 'seen' the existence of such creatures, he wondered if he had his own guardian angel. He wondered, perhaps, what would happen if his newfound acquaintance (friend?) did not solve his own personal dilemma. Being a being of spirit, Jim mused, it would indeed be a greatly disfiguring torment. Indeed, his train of thought continued, it would, in the end, kill the guardian angel, for not only would the torment of love disfigure them, the pain which it causes would introduce a pain unknown to servants of God, who loves all his children. The pain that love inevitably causes when it is impossible. The resultant mix of love and hate, tearing the person, and indeed angel, in whole new ways. It would, he reasoned, not be a quick process, either, for his (he had, a short while ago, decided the angel to be male) love of life would attempt to sustain him as long as possible.
Jim quickly resolved to solve the angel's dilemma, in a way he had already planned. Jim, you see, not only was fairly handsome, with his short blonde hair and baby blue eyes, he was also a kind and gentle man, something he had been told by a friend that "All the ladies go for". Of course, that friend had left him with the rest, but Jim felt no remorse. It was, after all, not anyone's fault. Continuing along his train of thought, however, he was stopped cold by a horrid thought. What if this was indeed a widespread phenomenon? what if, all throughout the world, guardian angels were dying slowly from this bittersweet torment? Jim shuddered at the idea that maybe, just maybe, this was a chain of events that led to the accident causing his blindness. He had, he remembered, had a seemingly blessed life before that. And then it all fell through.
Jim shuddered, his resolve firm...
* * *
In carrying out his plan, a lot of luck was required. He assumed that, since the angel had been in the park at all, the lady in question would have been nearby. He assumed, optimistically, that she would be a regular visitor of the park. Thus, Jim assumed, if the angel truly wanted help, he would come see Jim again. Perhaps his love would be near once more?
As such, he once more sat down, this time to the right of his original place. Once again, he sat down on somebody elses lap. "Oh, I beg your pardon, friend!"
"You recognise me?" The voice was subtly different, more pained.
"Well, I should do! we talked here, yesterday!"
"Oh." The reply boosted Jim's confidence. He could hear the angel could remember him!
"I can help you, you know." If he could see, he thought to himself, he would probably see... he thought again, and decided he might not want to. No knowing how far it had gone. No knowing if he would be able to see him. The reply, however, left no doubt in his mind that he should continue.
"How can you?!? A sacred covenant not to-"
"Interact directly! Don't you see? 'Directly' is the key word! If, somehow, I were to win her heart-" He paused... this was something he had not thought of!
"Oh, she'd like you all right. But what has this to do with me?" Jim grinned. Now for the masterstroke!
"Simple! You can sense through other people, can't you?"
The angel was confused by the question. "Why yes, but what..." he heard the angel trail off in wonder. "Well, you know... it wouldn't-" Jim could hear the sly smile in the other's voice "-be a direct breach of the covenant, if it's a breach at all! However, I do have to tell you something..." Jim instantly became curious.
Paul did so, and instantly collided with a seemingly slim figure, who flew back in surprise. "Oh, my stars!" she exclaimed "Why did you have to go and do that?" Jim profusely apologised, briefly forgetting the angel's dilemma "Oh, I am sorry, ma'am. You see, I'm blind and not very aware of what is around me. Would you like me to help you up?" The lady seemed a little flustered, but quickly recovered. "Um... sure! If you'd just move a little left... a little down... yes, little more left... okay, help me up!" He felt the soft touch of her hand, and seemed, at that moment, to know almost everything about her. She was an executive, an owner of an international dating company, and whilst not overly attractive, was well loved by the angel who guarded... Jim arrested his thoughts, and turned his mind inward as he helped the flighty young lady up. He thought is that you?.The reply returned instantly, warm and full of love. yes.
You realise, I think this falling in love might be a regular problem?
Yes. But what can we do?
Well, your new 'girlfriend' is the executive of a dating company, right?
Right. Ohhhhhh! I never thought of it that way... you see... I'm sorry I didn't tell you this before... Didn't think it had much bearing on the matter. But... Don't know how to put this. How do you mind sharing your mind with a female angel?
Jim, deliriously happy at the chance to help so many agents of God, suddenly reeled in surprise. He immediately felt the young lady's concern for him... Not young lady, he corrected. Lisanne. "Are you alright?" I don't hear you, Jim? I'll understand if you don't want me in your head... Then, simultaneously... "Please talk to me!"
Life, he thought to himself with a smile, was about to get a lot more interesting...