I’ve been walking this route for years, stretching my muscles and expanding my lungs after nightfall. Alone in my dreams and affairs, I watch the clouds and the moon and the stars, listen to the houses, and yield my primitive self to the scented air.
Yesterday evening, just as I was passing by, an old man fell in the street near his mailbox. I was the angel who rescued him. In the dark, near the sidewalk, blood running from a scrape above his eye, I made a quick, reassuring assessment of his condition. We were immediate friends. Perhaps now he no longer remembers me. All the better.
Ninety if he was a day, I went to the house for his wife, let myself in through the door in their garage, called out, tried not to startle her with the strangeness of my voice. She, not much younger than he, back curved, trusting, followed me to the curb.
“I think you’d best call an ambulance, my love.”
It was that “my love” that made an angel of me.
Help arrived. One last touch of the hand.
The moon took me home.