Tuesday, January 13, 2009

the angel story 

Now that I think about it, the angel story is similar. My mom bought me lots of angle figures. So did my grandmother and other family members. They were kept in a wood and glass display case on the wall, or else in packs around my room. Yes, I decided angels run in packs. A pack of angels, a murder of crows, a herd of lions, a dazzle of zebras.

After the fire, only one angel mattered enough that I saved it from destruction and replacement. She is 2 inches tall, draped in a pale green robe, with hand-painted hair and face details that are just barely off, enough that you know she was painted with love by an amateur painter. She belonged to my great-grandmother.

When I explained to the insurance man that I didn't want market value for her so I could get a replacement, I wanted to KEEP the smoke-damaged figure, he tried to clean her in the sink. He dropped her, and she broke. He apologized, but there was so much bustle with men tearing at cabinets and carrying out sofas and watercolors, that his sincerity was tainted with an incredibly long to-do list. So I snatched the pieces from the sink and kept them wrapped in tissue that smelled like smoke.

I carried her with me to our rented house, and there it was calm enough for me to talk to my dad, the master carpenter and fit-it man, about putting her back together. The epoxy set well. I can hardly see the lines.

They aren't any more prominent than the line from the first time she broke - when my grandmother dropped her.

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