Tuesday, August 23, 2011
"'You know how I know you're gay? You like the movie Maid In Manhattan.'"
I chuckled. "Yeah, that was a good line. What do you want to know about it?"
Sashial shook her head. "What the fuck is Maid In Manhattan?"
"It's a movie with Jennifer Lopez," I said, "I thought you Archangels knew everything."
"Only stuff we care about. You think I give a fuck about a Jennifer Lopez movie?" she answered.
That had me scratching my head. "I thought you have love for all of mankind."
"I do," said Sashial, "I still love her as I love all humans. But that doesn't mean her movies aren't all crap. What was that fuckin' thing you were bitching about the other day when we were watching the Yankee game? Some song they were playing over the sound system?"
I cringed at the memory. "Oh yeah. Your Love by The Outfield. I hate that fuckin' song."
"Right. So, do you think the guys who made that song belong in Hell?"
That earned me a smack in the head. "Will you fucking get serious for a minute?" said Sashial. "I'm talking about the true nature of good verses evil, I'm serious about this shit!"
Something about the subject of morality always set her off, so I figured it was best to just strip away any wisecracks and speak in unadulterated truth. "No, they're not evil. I'm sure they're good people."
"Good boy," she said. "You have to separate the creation from the creator. Humans engage in many things you might find objectionable. Maybe even offensive. But a human's behavior and ethic principles aren't always the same. One might have an influence on the other, but you need to look closely at how they work. A person could have goodness in his heart and never bear deliberate malice toward another person, yet still be a complete asshole."
I thought of Pete Roberts and immediately got the point. "Or a serial killer might still be good to his mother," I added.
She smiled. "Now you're starting to learn. Good fucking thing. I wouldn't want you denying someone their divine intervention because you don't like the shit in their iPod, or whatever the fuck goes on down there."
I shook my head. "Oh, I'd never do that."
"I know you wouldn't, sweetie. Now, you want to explain why that line is supposed to be funny?"
I'd nearly forgotten how we got on the subject. "Oh. 'Cause, like, that movie's a chick flick."
"And how does that relate to a man placing his penis in another man's rectum?" she asked, with her usual mix of humorous foolery and serious indigance.
"Look, it's just a line from a movie. You're the one who asked about it. You want to learn about comedy or not?"
"Not anymore. We've got lives to save."
Time to go to work.
Monday, August 8, 2011
"I did feel bad about killing my mother, but . . ."
I cut her off right there. "Marley, we've been through this, you know it wasn't your fault."
"I know, I know," she assured me, "I'm just saying, when I thought I was responsible for what my dad did, it was something that shaped who I was. People talk about how they carry a burden and it affects who they are, but it's more than that. How can you react positively to anything when you're enveloped in negativity? It's not always something that's ingrained.
"I think this is worse. I think if a traumatic experience shapes who you are, and it's something you might not remember, but you're sad by nature, it's different than knowing you might be able to respond in a good way to something, but you don't, because something you remember makes you feel unworthy."
"Which is worse?" I asked. Before she answered, I clarified the question. "Which is easier for an Angel to treat, do you think?"
"I don't know. If it's a memory, they need to accept the past. If it's ingrained, they need to accept themselves. It's a challenge either way."
Which brought us back to our prime example. "The first time you talked to your mother after she died, how did you approach it? Did you say you were sorry?"
"No," Marley said. "I knew it wasn't my fault at that point, you showed me that. It was just like a big reunion. Really big, like, a few decades and across dimensions is a lot to reunite from. But that's the thing, that's the challenge. It's not like everyone has a problem that can be fixed by dying and seeing a dead relative. We're supposed to help people when they're still alive."
"Why are you asking? Are you in the middle of a tough case right now?"
She shook her head. "No, but they've all been easy so far. I always worry about the really hard case that might come along and what I'd do if I couldn't help somebody?"
"Marley, did it ever occur to you that the reason all your cases seem easy is because you're really really good at this?"
She though for a second. "I guess I never thought of that. Maybe I shouldn't worry so much."
I nodded. "True that."
She smiled. "Did you just say, 'True that?'"
"I did. I must have picked it up from Tony. You pick anything up from Suzanne?"
She thought for a second and said, "Well, she says 'sammich' a lot, I think that's a Chicago thing. I don't like that though."
"What does that even mean?"
"It's how they say 'sandwich.'"
Thank god for Marley's better judgment.