Friday, May 31, 2013

Angela (AN-je-la): messenger

There are two Angelas, and neither seems acquainted with the other. 
The first is a diplomat’s wife, always in a tweed suit, sensible heels and pearls, moving among teacups and bed linen. 
The other is a weather girl in a polyester-blend suit and four-inch heels. She has caught the eye of a junior official at the foreign ministry but does not know this yet; she is too busy making an impression. She delivers her forecasts at ungodly hours, so that by the time she slips out of her heels and sinks into her great chair—the biggest piece of furniture in her tiny walkup—the diplomat’s wife is slipping out of bed and into her fur-lined slippers. 
She makes herself a pot of tea and catches herself thinking, “Tomorrow I must tell her to buy a real suit, better shoes, and a bed.” She does not know for whom the advice is intended, but dutifully writes it down in her to-do list. But because the next day is a long one, she accomplishes only the teacup- and bed linen-related tasks.
The weather girl lingers in obscurity until the day the junior official walks into the station, declaring himself and his long-standing admiration for her. Weeks later, he interrupts her forecast and announces, on air, that he has been posted to Paris: would she be interested in coming with him? In Paris, he buys her first silk suit, sensible leather heels, and chooses their matrimonial bed. Why is it, then, that she feels she has failed to heed a critical piece of advice from someone who loves her, but who is so far away?

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