I don’t always see them… as a matter of fact, I hardly ever do. But tonight as I crossed the Pleasant Avenue Bridge over the 101, I saw two. It was late. I’d left Lupita’s down by Chavez and Eastern after she closed at one. I had half a dozen pork tamales to go and nine assorted raisin, cheese and plum. But I didn’t want to go home. I have no problem eating alone but it was Christmas Eve and I was hungry for family… long gone.
So I walked around, listening to the sounds of familia… echoed on the Santa Ana winds. I could hear children, parents, even gangster teens tossing in their beds, all their dreams giddy with expectation dancing in their heads. But mine had run out. I was tired, angry and spent, all my plans for redemption riddled with doubt. And tomorrow’s Christmas dinner with mom would be boxed from Vons, and all talk would be of Aggie and good times, bygone.
As I wandered up Pleasant toward my LeBaron parked on the bridge, my mind still lost in damage, I felt a glow beyond my left shoulder and turned to it, never expecting the image.
There they were… across the street, their wings folded up just so: two angels welcoming the grace of light and sending it down the road. Guiding me back home.
Hungry again, I ate my tamales, back in my bungalow, my window open to the night and the promises I’d made. And tomorrow, after eating processed potatoes, I’d talk of hope, unafraid.
Because I live in the City of Angels and two had just lit my way.