I live on a four-walled-wooden-house on the
top of a pole dug deeply into a wasteland tentatively called:
Earth. And I keep the gates. I keep the gates open yet sometimes
they seem to close on me; it is harsh work. I keep the gates clean
and polished. I protect them, but I am alone. For the others went
through the gates millennia ago, they are all in heaven now or
whatever we can call the place I've never seen. I am left here
to wait for the command to close them. I am bored stiff every
day. Chess no longer entertains me, and I've read all the magazines.
It is only when they walk around my kitchen that I am amused.
Today, the first savior comes and asks:
"Are you still here?" he asks mockingly
in his own angelical voice, browsing around in the kitchen for
coffee crumbs. Today he wears what seems to be a bathrobe, some
kind of white overalla white robe. Though, his wings are
as bright and blonde as ever.
"I have no choice and there's no coffee
there," I reply pointing at the empty cupboards. And he comes
He smiles and pats me on the head.
They come through here sometimes, the ones
from over there, from beyond the gates, from heaven. They
stop to talk; they also ask questions and have a crippling addiction
Sometimes they walk right through the kitchenangels
and demons alikeacross the living room and out the front
door leading to nowhere.
I sometimes wonder where they go, but I've
never dared to ask. This one is different. This one stays, and
I enjoy his company. This one grabs a chair and sits in front
of me. He has become a friend, though I know not his name. He
has eyes, deep engrossing ones, heavenly brownish eyes that penetrate
you and readily ask you for a cigarette. And his wings are different
from the rest also. His wings carry the scars of war, yet they
are blonde and always bright. I sometimes wonder which one is
him: Gabriel or Uriel? But have never summed up the courage to
ask. He has visited me since the beginning, since the day everyone
crossed over there for the first time. Out of pity? I don't know.
"I don't smoke either, so I don't carry
cigarettes on me. I have enough keeping the gates open for you."
I say to him sharply, tossing a small mound of lint that had gathered
on my coat, predicting what he would ask for.
He gives me a look that deserves the word
'pity' and spreads his wings.
"We never close," he chuckles mockingly
and adds with a small and rapid movement of his hands, "you
in part are lucky, having a nice view from here."
He refers to the horrid view of the long-dead
Earth that adorns my window.
A crumbling Earth is not a nice view, I've
always thought and for my sins I've had to endure it day after
day. It has all paid off in some way though, for I have a living,
breathing, desolated painting for a window. I hate it.
"You cannot speak, for you come here
once a week, sit on the same chair and drink my coffee,"
I say to him seriously, but he chuckles.
"I hear eternity is coming to an end.
That means you will retire soon. Your punishment for the unacceptable
individualist thinking crime will finally end," he says,
casually emphasizing on the mentioning of the sin that cursed
me and playing with my salt-shaker in between his fingersreminding
me of my past life deeds and just grinninghis wings fluttering
lightly and glittering under the small rays of light that the
gates irradiate behind himI just grin at him politely, and
give no apparent trust for him to take.
"Or so you hear." I doubt. I had
heard these words in the past several dozen times already and
had started to grow skeptical of them. The day eternity came to
an end would be the day they would stop coming to eat my coffee
which keep me awake for the guarding of their
"Actually, that is the main reason I
arrived early today" he declares and drops the saltshaker
accidentally; it rolls on the ground, stopping at his feet. Noticing
this, he bends to pick it up, but I grab his arm forcefully, with
a very menacing grip, for the first time in my life, stopping
him and bidding him to continue. The arm feels cold; he looks
at me and my hand with his own confused eyes and I retire nervously.
"Pack up then. You are pardoned. The
Lord has invited you to salvation and his breast; you close the
gates today. However, there will be paperwork to sign and a passport
to acquire before joining us in the heavensas well as a
non-disclosure agreementyou know how things are," he
says, fluttering his wings, still confused by my actions. I keep
my emotions hidden behind a straight face. In my thoughts I clench
my teeth and punch his face right in.
Damned fool, I curse.
Damned gates, polished and bright golden
arcs of mechanized teeth, damned gates that took up almost all
my kitchen space, the space I had reserved for a small wine cabinet,
Whatever happened to the old idea of heaven
as a place of illumination? I don't know. But it went away with
My home, my house stuck on a pole dug deep
into a decaying land would soon be gone, I curse: as matter would
dissolve into thin air forever.
Damn it all, I curse.
This one rises upthe savior and angelwaves
goodbye, turns around and walks calmly towards the gates, his
wings lolling from side to side as he goes, but just before he
crosses them I askfor curiosity had overrun me and I had
finally summed up the courage, to hell with it all:
"Which one are you?"
He turns around slowly, smiles, and with
a slow, steady movement of the arms he says:
"I am Lucifer."
My eyes widen in surprise, but I am not angryI
find it curious though and ironic, that such a criticized beast
from old myth would be deemed more important than a gatekeepera
gatekeeper that guards the way to the heavens for that matterand
allowed to cross the gates firstly than him.
He winks at mesarcastically?and
says, "Goodbye, old friend."
He crosses the gates and leaves me alone
to my thinking.
All is silent now, but the sudden silence
gets to me and I grow anxious.
I must pack, I tell myself desperately and
I think about the gates, polished gates; damned old friends. I
ready the keys and cast one last look out the window:
A wasteland it is, an endless wasteland,
no remnants of man at all to be seen, end's edge. There is no
evidence of reality, surrealism or any form of existence.
Let it all go to hell, I say. It is my turn
For it would all dissolve when the gates
close, matter would stop being matter, and I would stop being
human, last, but sure.
That one and this one, the other way around,
they all wait for me at the other side of the
old and polished gates. So I instantly go into the solemnity of
my quarters and toss all my clothes into a small, flimsy bag.
I flick off the light-switches and disconnect
all the electronics out of old habit and lock the front door.
I turn to face the gates. And I see they stare back, light radiating
from them as it does everydayno traffic though, so they
must be ready for the closingI walk towards them to test
the keys. The keys still turn, and my mind burns with anxiety.
I have to go home, I think. I have to join
them, it's my turn. At last!
Eternity is coming to an end after all, so
I must make haste.
I keep the gates; I close them, and wait.