Later that night, I walked home with purpose. Clutched in my hand, wrinkled from the wear of several readings, was the day’s newspaper. I walked through the door to find Frank sitting on the floor, hard at video games. I didn’t care that I still smelled strongly of Frijoles Locos and Queso Bacon Bombs; I had something to say.
“Read it,” I said as I threw the paper down in front of him.
“Aw dude, it’s the boss,” Frank moaned helplessly, “just read it to me.”
I didn’t need to read it, I knew exactly what the article said, “It happens to be the story of Chet Jenkins, who, after escaping from the mental health clinic on 43rd, reportedly ran through this neighborhood before being found this morning, asleep in a trashcan.”
“This affects me, how?”
I delivered the coup de grace, “and, when they dug him out of the garbage, he was wearing paper maché angel wings!”
Frank’s character on screen had apparently suffered a gruesome death, because for the first time in the conversation, he turned around to look at me. He said, “You have so little faith, man,” as he crossed the room walking towards me he said, “Take off your glasses and close your eyes, I wanna try something.”
So shocked by his sudden gentle forcefulness, I complied. With my eyes closed I could hear him take the last few steps and stop. The sound of him spitting into a cupped palm came next, but for reasons unknown to me, I kept my eyes closed, and I waited. He put the tips of his fingers on my face, rubbing what he would later call “the liquid miracle” into my eyelids.
Finally regaining my sense, I opened my eyes and pushed him away. I meant to yell at him; to tell him that he’d gone too far with this Jesus thing, that I proved that his angel was nothing more than a crazy hobo, that he’d gotten spit and cheeto dust all over my face, but I couldn’t. He was there, walking toward his room, and I could see him. He disappeared through the door, flashing a peace sign with two fingers and all I could do was stand awkwardly with my mouth open while I stared at him with new eyes.