I love my neighbor Steve. He's TALL - at least 6 foot 8, with a huge smile that goes from ear to ear. He used to be a basketball player, now he's a marketing guy, teaching kids - from schools to trade conventions - to use condoms to have safe sex. Yes, I guess it's all in a day's work.
A few months ago, I ran into Steve in the lobby of our building. You have to picture this. There he was, this really big black guy wearing bermuda shorts that were miles above his knees, holding a cardboard box with a tiny little white dog peaking out. "Steve, what's in the box?" "Hi Nancy, this is my new friend Cleo, she is my friend Doug's dog. I'm babysitting her."
Well, you gotta laugh. "You're babysitting a dog?" "You bet," said this gentle giant who typically carried a small black leather purse. "And by the way Nancy, I like the way your hair puffs."
That was Steve. He always made me feel good.
One day, I needed coffee - I had just run out. So I walked over to Steve's loft to borrow some and a beautiful woman with long dark hair answered the door. "Who are you? Do you live with Steve?" I guess that was rather rude of me, since I was sure Steve sailed in the other direction - if you catch my drift. "I am Beverly, his friend from Texas. I'm here until I find my own place to stay."
"Oh hi, Beverly," I said, while Steve stood fidgeting in the background. "Come on over to my place anytime." I borrowed my coffee and left.
A half-hour later there was a knock on my door. There they stood - extra tall Steve and extra short Beverly. "I just thought Bev needed to get to know you - after all, you are 'the spirited woman,' and she could use some right now."
So we smoozed. We talked about what color my bedspread needed to be - Steve definitely felt olive green - but Bev and I weren't sure. She told me she had broken up with an abusive boyfriend and she needed to leave Texas and how Steve took her in after they met at a job.
Then out of the blue, Beverly announced to both of us, "Do you know there is a smell in your loft?" "A smell? Like in bad," I asked her. "No, just a sweet smell." "Steve?" I asked. "Well, now that you mention it maybe there is." I got rather nervous, and said, "It's probably just me."
That night, I could barely sleep. As often happens in my loft at about three every morning - even with the air conditioning on - it gets stifling hot. I mean to the point that I throw off my covers and pour sweat.
But, this night all I could think about was the smell.
Next day, there was another knock on my door. This time it was Beverly - solo. "Nancy, I have to tell you something." "What?" I asked, so curious about this whole situation. "I told Steve that I saw angels in your place and it was their smell. He said, "Well, I could see that." As I said, he really is kind.
"Angels? Hmmm, Angels? I certainly am a believer in just about anything. If she sees angels...
"Beverly," I asked, "Do you ever get hot in the middle of the night here?"
"Oh-my-god, at about 3 am I throw off all the covers. I can barely stand it - it's like there is a presence in this building."
Confirmation. If she see angels, then so do I. Angels that go bump in the night.