my guardian angel

Do you have a guardian angel? I do. Or so it seems. I imagine her a staunch Methodist with a soft spot, an ancestor of stern bearing who is loath to providing what I should be perfectly capable of providing for myself but, when I flounder, can’t help herself. Battling her principles to the end, she customarily shows up at the very last minute, on one occasion delaying an offer of employment till, at my lowest point, I’d all but completed an application for welfare benefits—I had little left to do but sign and date the forms when the call came.

She feels badly, I think, putting me through it like that, for, when she finally does show up, she nearly always goes overboard—in the above case, with a full-time job requiring little more than a firm grasp of the alphabet and a good alarm clock and freeing me at noon, each day, to be an artist. It paid well, too. It was perfect.

More recently, while struggling in vain to get comfortable in my Ikea chair (which, to compensate for a sheared bolt, I’d propped on a box, bound with duct tape, and backed against the wall), I imagined being granted a single wish, which, with all I might have wished for, I immediately squandered on a chair comfortable enough to fall asleep in watching TV—that’s how uncomfortable I was. A few days later, from out of the blue, I was given not one but two chairs—a little-used, black-leather recliner with ottoman and a big, plush rocker-recliner which, I'd swear, hovers, as well. No longer must I go to bed to get comfortable—I fall asleep, now, during Jeopardy.

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And my old chair? Callously shunted aside for a full-figured beauty half her age, she resides, now, broken and exhausted, on a mountain of waste on the outskirts of town, where, I imagine, she shares her feelings of abandonment with others like herself, perhaps tearfully recalling her many years supporting a man who splattered her with sticky stuff and clogged her folds with popcorn and pizza droppings, though allowing, in spite of everything, how very much she misses me and how truly grateful she is to have been slouched upon, for all those years, by someone of modest girth who liked the same TV programs she did, perhaps crediting her guardian angel.