Coffeehouse Angel
John A. Ward
I have been coming to this coffeehouse since the turn of the century and most of the regulars know not to disturb me.  Gina just comes to the table, says, “The usual,” brings me a cappuccino in a cup the size of a bowl and seafood on croissant with fruit instead of chips. 
But the girl with the tattooed eye makeup was not a regular. 
“What are you writing?” she asked.
“The Bible,” I said.
She wore her underwear on the outside, a red silk corset over black motorcycle leathers.  “It’s been done,” she said. 
“It’s still being written,” I said.  “There are new books all the time, the Dead Sea scrolls, the apocrypha, the deuterocanonicals, the Book of Mormon.”
“Are you going to write it on parchment and store it in earthenware urns in a cave in the Middle East, to be found by an anthropologist?”
“No, there’s too much unrest in the Middle East and I’d like to make money on it while I’m still alive.  I’m hoping for an angel to give it to me.”
“I am that angel,” she said, and led me to her Harley, lipstick glitter red with chrome pipes.  We headed north by northwest to join up with Old Route 66 in Oklahoma City.
The most amazing thing happened.  As soon as we left the Oklahoma City limits, we were back in the sixties on the old blue highway with no sign of I-40.  I learned a lot from her, rolling across the desert, sharing a bedroll atop mesas in  the moonlight and listening to the  coyotes howl, things that were never in any scripture that I’d read before.
We had our last dinner in Winslow, Arizona at the Valentine Diner.
“Take these and translate them,” she said, and handed me six hundred sixty-six sheets of thinly rolled titanium, covered with mathematical equations.
“Is this it?” I asked.
“You must do this before you die.  You must spread the Word and create a new faith.”
“Will I ever see you again?”  I asked.
“We will be together in a better place,” she said.  Then she gave me a gift card for a lifetime supply of extra fine rolling ball pens with a window on the side that lets me see how much ink is left and she went out the door and throttled her hog into the sunset.
Today, I am one hundred twenty-two years old.  My Bible has been published and is a best seller.  In a few minutes, I will walk across the street and get hit by a bus.  I am wearing clean underwear, like my mother always told me.  I am going to meet my angel.

First published: May, 2013
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