by Wayne Scheer
A dwarf angel
sits on my shoulder singing songs that sound like
roses smell. Only without the thorns. Which, of
course, have no odor, but can hurt if they get in
I'm glad the
angel is small or I'd be more round-shouldered
than I am now. Actually, I'm not round-shouldered,
but growing up my father always demanded I stand
up straight or my shoulders would sag and I'd be
a stooped over old man. Now that I'm old, I
expect my shoulders to drop any day.
an angel sits on them.
But I'm not
here to talk about my shoulders or my awkward
childhood. I once asked my therapist how he can
tolerate listening to me droning on about my life.
Who listens, he said.
That's an old
joke. But I'm an old man so I can get away with
telling it. Young people likely never heard it
and old people probably forgot it.
But back to my
predicament. I don't know how to write music and
I'm so tone deaf a mere hum can cause dogs to
howl at the moon in the middle of the day. So the
sweet angelic strains of my diminutive muse are
lost forever. Kind of like the famous tree
falling in the forest.
just annoy people.
that song you're whistling?
a tune in my head.
might want to get your head examined.
My own wife
hates it when I hum.
can't get the melody right, please don't hum.
have music in my soul.
nice, dear. Maybe you have the soul of a composer.
One with a bad case of tinnitus.
So I tell my
angel--I call him Ralph, but to be honest I don't
know if my angel is male or female. You see,
Ralph wears a flowing robe and I fear looking up
an angel's skirt brings at least seven years of
So, I tell my
angel to please whisper stories or poems to me.
Music goes in one ear, bounces around a like an
old-fashioned pin ball, and comes out as bruised
as a week old banana at the bottom of a
supermarket bin. But Ralph still sings.
Which is why
this story falls flat.
grateful I didn't try to sing it.