magic

We were old friends catching up on one another’s lives. I’d been recounting how exceptionally fortunate I’ve been over the years.


"I have a guardian angel," I said.


"I can see why you’d think so. But how do you square being an Atheist with having a guardian angel? And how is it you have one, and I, a good Christian lad, do not?"


"Near as I can tell, mine is a secular angel. No wings. No religious affiliations."


"Then how do you explain her?" he asked "Where does she come from? And how can you be sure she isn’t anything more than good luck?"


"I can’t. Nor can I explain, if it’s more than that, why she’d choose to look out for me, of all people."


"She clearly likes a challenge."


"I’ve certainly given her that, haven’t I."


"You have."


"I dreamt once that I was to pick 6 numbers for the lottery by letting them pick themselves. I was to imagine the numbers 1 through 40 suspended, cloud-like, in the air and, one at a time, was to let each of the 6 numbers reveal itself by floating away from the others. I was to be nothing more than an observer.  I was not to influence the process in any way, which wasn’t easy—it took me a couple of dozen tries before I had 6 numbers I felt had separated from the others with no push from me."


"And did it work?"


"The first time I played the numbers, no. But then I played them again and, guess what—I had 5 of the 6 numbers. I couldn’t believe it. My dream, it seemed, had been more than just a dream."


"I assume, given your present circumstances, it never worked again."


"I never tried it again."


"Why?"


"I was afraid it wouldn’t work. I wanted to go on believing."


"Believing what?"


"In magic, I guess, same as you—a different magic, that’s all. And when it turns out we’re both wrong, it won’t matter much, will it—we’ll both be dead."


"Well, you will be, anyway."

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