Angels and Demons

I was out shopping… leaving the store. I kept thinking that my morning had been off to a strange undefined start. An accident that morning (not mine), my wanting to scrub things, the decision to hold off creativity, but not being able to (wrote music this morning) seemed to me markers of sorts.. but when I left the store it was confirmed.

When I heard the words, “Excuse me sir…”  I expected that they would be coming from a much older person, but as I turned, the man asking me the question was probably about 32. He wore a hat similar to mine, and glasses, which I found curious. I eyed him curiously, as he looked… Way too smart to not know what he was asking of me..

“Do you know how to change a tire?”

“I.. um, yes. But probably would not do it any better than you the first time…”

He nodded acknowledgement, without a trace of disappointment, and I took the supplies to my car. My gut was raging that I needed to help him now. I knew I had to. So I went back and he seemed relieved, almost uncannily so, as though this meeting was more than about a tire. He needed something more. From me. I could sense it.

He rummaged through the  trunk of his car, and apologized for it, telling me that for many years he lived more or less from this car. He did not look it, mind you. He had a quiet dignity about him, and when he found the spare, he was unable to undue it. I thought it seemed rather obvious, but he could not make it work. So I said, ‘allow me…’ and got the spare out. He seemed ‘fascinated’ by the idea of how I got the tire out. I found this rather curious to be honest. I felt as though I was dealing with a soul that had somehow never been here, and had no point of reference. And yet, there was something that said, “You’re wrong, he’s far far older and has never visited..”

I then noticed the second man, sitting in the front passenger seat. He sipped a soda as if the shredded tire did not bother him the least. Almost as if he were on Holiday. He had facial hair, very scruffy.  And there was this.. air about him. I would never expect these two to be in a car together.

I attempted to find a jack for the car, and they had none. I went to Jehsus (my car), and realized I too did not have one. I attempted to ask a few people for help. Nothing. I turned to the young man, and I said.. “I have a jack, but it is ten minutes from here. I will go get it (from Jane) and come back. If I come back and you are gone, it will mean someone was able to help you. But, I will come back.”

I drove home, got the jack, Sam and I got into an argument about cleaning (furthering my suspicions about the universe shifting things around today), and I left to go back to where the man stood. When he saw me, he did not register disbelief. I expected to see it on his face, but it wasn’t there. He just smiled and said thank you. I got to work on the tire. As I approached the front, I asked his ‘friend’ to step out, since I would have to lift the car. He did so, but I cannot explain the feeling.. Contempt? Displeasure at having to move? He did not acknowledge me but got out.

I jacked up the car, but I had forgotten the incline, and the car fell. No one was hurt, and two guys from the store came outside and gave me a hand to lift the car back up and I went back to work on the tire. Meanwhile, the young man spoke..

‘Can I buy you something? A drink, coffee to repay you?’

‘No, it’s fine.. Let’s get this tire fixed..’

‘Thank you for this. I should learn how to do these things. I am not without intelligence.”

‘I figured you never had to. But why are you living out of your car? There has to be a story there..”

“Many stories. Too many perhaps. What do you do?”

Pause.

“I’m an artist.”

“You paint?”
“Yes, and music. since I was little.. But what about you?”
pause.
“I love art. I have a small collection of it from different artists. I like how I dream up images and scenarios and can somehow influence them to make these images come forth from these geniuses..”
My thoughts were: Influence? He dreams them up for them? Who is he??
“Like I said, there are many stories.”
“Ok.. Where were you headed?” (me changing subject and curious)
“My friend Tom’s house. I do work there, and have done so for about eleven years. That is a story unto itself…”
“I’d like to hear that story..”
The second man, up until this point had said nothing. But now he spoke:
“He wants to fuck your fag mouth is what this scum want wants (talking to the young man, but referring to me). California no good for nothing smart person, thinks he is above life itself. Worthless piece of human shit I will give you a story. I know you and him want to fuck each other and that is a story!”  And he calmly sips the soda.
The strange thing is.. even as he said it I wasn’t really shaken by it, although yes it was shocking that he kept a straight face the entire time. I simply worked on the tire.
The young man gently says, “He is helping me Tom, he is changing the tire. Saying mean things to people is something you promised me not to do. I will take you home now. But please be civil to people that are obviously helping us.”
Young man looks at me and says, “thanks for understanding. He has had quite a time. Now you see where some of my stories come from. I thank you for your patience and for helping us.”
“I get it. It’s ok. Let’s get this tire fixed..”
I let him (the young man) get the car down by showing him how it is done. He seemed reluctant, but I insisted he needed to do it. I went into the store and brought a pen with me and gave him my email address.
“Look, if you need to talk to me, use that. I think you want to.”
He took the card, and said “I will, for sure. I think you would like them. .. My stories.”
The other man:
“Look at that. Why the fuck are you smiling you piece of California shit?? What nice fags wanting to fuck each other. What reason can you have to smile for a fucking tire? What the fuck do you know about anything huh?? Do you know the roads between here?? Do you?? Why are you still fucking smiling at me??”  Sips the soda.
“Because life is good.” (me)
“How the fuck would you know that life is good, you motherfucker? How is life fucking good? Life good?? Life is shit.” Sips the soda. Calmed.
“Tom I am going to take you home now.” (the young man)
Tom: “OK. I think I need to go home now before I say more things I should not.”
I shook the younger man’s hand. Said, “I’m Claude. Use that when you want.”
“My name is Amir.. and thank you. I will.. I think my stories will inspire more art from you..”
And I left the scene. I swear to you if felt as though I had just been in the presence of an angel and a demon. I cannot shake it.
Just their names!
Amir: Powerful; proclaimed.
Thomas: According to Eusebius, the disciples name was actually Judah(s). Thomas was a nickname to differentiate him from others who had the same name. He was later apostle and became the`unbelieving Thomas because he initially didn’t want to believe in the resurrection of Christ.
What a strange day.