National Post

We’re no angels

- Jonathan Goldstein

I’ve had angels on my mind lately. Maybe it’s because as our four-month-old Gus grows chubbier, he looks more and more like a cherub.

I wonder if those diaperless angels, depicted as flying over the world, pooped down upon the masses. Maybe that’s where mana came from.

As a kid I thought that when I died, I wanted to be an angel. And so I decided to live a perfect life. This decision lasted about 10 minutes. ( My father had asked me to turn down the volume on the TV game show I was watching and, being too lazy to get off the couch, I declined.)

It was then that I first learned a perfect life is difficult if not impossible to live. I continue to relearn this lesson just about every day. But it doesn’t keep me from trying. While in college, my girlfriend asked if I’d go camping with her. “What would an angel do?” I wondered. She loved the outdoors so, in spite of the fact that life outside my apartment door terrified me, I went.

The entirety of the trip was taken up with my worry about bears. It wasn’t so much getting eaten by one that bothered me. It was what I would look like being eaten by one; the cowardly squeals I’d make.

Also, I was pretty sure that bears would smell pretty bad.

I worried about deer as well, and thought how weird it must be to be an animal – just standing around outside in the nude and never getting to go inside. If I were an animal, I’d be unable to concentrat­e long enough to enjoy nature.

Not long after our camping trip, my girlfriend and I broke up. She said she couldn’t be with a man who was incapable of enjoying the natural world. An angel would enjoy nature world as it should be enjoyed – from above.

On most days I at least try to listen to my better angels. Yesterday, a radio producer appeared at my office. He introduced himself as visiting from Romania. I misheard him as saying he was visiting from “Wrestleman­ia.” “You work for the World Wrestling Federation?” I asked.

I’ve since emailed him an apology, but he’s not responded and so I now worry my missive will appear in the next RomanianAm­erican Wikileaks dump of failed foreign diplomacy.

We might never lead the perfect life of an angel, but at least we have apologies to help us smooth over our imperfecti­ons. Maybe an apology is the sound of an angel, somewhere, getting wings.

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