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A Strange Pleasure
One Knight in NYC
By Judith A. Hancox (2007)
"What's a gal like you doing here alone, in Time's Square, the night before New Year's Eve?" He questioned me, looking down from his almost seven foot slim and elegant frame. He was a light-skinned dark man who made the dark night glow with his aura. He was like a bright jewel sparkling in a transparent World Cup—or so it seemed—as he beamed down on me, towering above the crowd that was getting thicker by the minute. It was at the corner of Broadway and 47th, December 30, 2006.
I felt the energy of the City reverberating in every cell of my body; his kindly words took on a surrealistic air… “You shouldn't be here in this crazy crowd. What's this all about?” The stranger's reprimand made me smile and I nearly giggled my reply: “My husband's right over there, you see?” I pointed to the New Year's Eve Alliance trailer across the street, “He's the ‘Executive Manager'of tomorrow night's show! I just arrived and called him for a visit, but unfortunately I'm not allowed beyond this barricade—security is tight. So I just have to watch him from afar,” I said sadly, “I'm imagining what he's doing in there. But the people out here have been marvelous to watch! I noticed you were not getting much action either!”
He had been handing out Rockefeller Center Discount Coupons in the center of the sidewalk. People had been brushing past him all night, without giving him so much as one courteous “no thank you” as they passed. They were oblivious to his being; I had been observing it for some time. As I turned to walk past him, to go home to my hotel, I made a point of saying, ‘Sure, why not, thank you so much!' as he held out his goods. He had generously given me four coupons for my non-present friends. He would have given me more if I asked.
“You see, we've never really been fans of New Year's Eve parties,” I continued, “we moved to Vermont this past September, and in our 37 years together we probably met with friends only two or three times on New Year's Eve. Usually we're alone, the way my husband likes it. He hates crowds. Go figure; we move to Vermont, he gets an offer he can't refuse, and here we are now—in Time's Square! Of all places!
“That's an amazing story!” his smile seemed to brighten the Broadway lights surrounding me. “I am SO GLAD you are here! I would be honored to show you around, my lady. I've been here over 42 years; it's actually a wonderful place to be on New Year's Eve. No place like it in the world!” He had changed his tune quickly I noticed. “Is there anything at all I can do for you madam?”
“Actually,” I didn't miss a beat, “I've been looking for that ball. I wanted to see where it drops. I know it's around here somewhere , but I haven't had much luck finding it!”
“Well, let me be your guide tonight!” And with that, he took my hand and glided me behind him through the mob, like a warm knife melting through butter. People were shoulder to shoulder, thick and wide as the entire sidewalk. My head level came up to most people's chests, so I saw nothing but darkness. This almost impenetrable wall would be impossible to pass without him. In a dense sea of bodies, I could feel the crowd's frenzy, people caught up in the energy of the night, focused on their own agendas, thousands of individual worlds colliding together at once. In my little world, I totally enjoyed him leading me like a puppy on a leash—safe, sound and secure. We arrived at the corner of #1 Times Square in no time. The four city blocks felt like a hop, skip and a jump to the ball!
He touched my shoulder with one hand and pointed up into the sky with the other. “Look, there, you see? There, over the sign, way, way up, at the top. He was pointing to the ‘2007' sign, faded and barely noticeable in the night sky. It's dark right now, but tomorrow night you'll see it, bright as day when it's all lit up; and right before that, the beautiful Waterford Crystal Ball will be making its descent slowly, slowly. It will be the most exquisite sight you will ever see! And the crowds will gather early; they'll be penned into a fence, one section at a time, as they grow. The excitement is amazing! The police will barricade them in, and if you get caught in that barricade, you may not leave until the clock strikes midnight, or later. So don't be in there if you don't want to. You won't be able to get out once it begins.”
“Well, that's not where I want to be. I'm supposed to be at a party, but who knows? Maybe I'll be watching from my hotel… Do you think I could climb up to the top of that ball?” I grinned, “I promised my neighbors in Vermont I would ride down with it and wave to them on camera.”
“Somehow, I don't see you riding that ball down. It's way too high up for you.”
“Me neither, especially considering I'm afraid of heights.” I shared.
He told me everything about Times Square that night, its history, and some of his story as well. I remember the moment he noticed I let go of his hand. I'm sure he was aware I was studying his energy, being a bit more cautious about our contact. But his aura was so beautiful, and the night so charming, I knew instinctively, in one moment, that I couldn't be in safer hands. I believe we both felt that moment. “Is there any more I can show you tonight, my dear?” he questioned with an angelic smile.
“I think I've taken more of your time than I should have. I hope I haven't taken you from your job too long, or gotten you in trouble.”
“No way,” he responded quickly, “You see, I'm the supervisor.”
With that he took my hand. “Come now.” And again, he moved me easily through the crowd, not stopping until we were in the exact place our little cosmic journey had begun.
“My name is Judith.” I introduced myself finally.
“Michael. You know Michael, I really love your name. Michael is truly one of my favorite names.”
“I know. Like Archangel Michael.”
I stood totally silent for a moment. “Oh yes, I often call upon Archangel Michael when I'm having difficulty. I just called for him yesterday, and he helped me out of a jam, immediately. He usually does! He's one of my favorite angels!”
Michael smiled at me and bowed his head slightly, “I must tell you Judith, this has been a very strange pleasure.”
“Yes, a strange pleasure,” I agreed. We hugged each other tightly and I said, “Have a wonderful new year's, and please stay safe!”
“Be GOOD,” my angel called out to me as I was departing.
“I AM!” I called back to him, turning and shouting it over the crowd's noise.
Walking away, the smile felt painted on my face. I stopped again, turned, and he was gone. At that moment I realized I might never see him again. But I knew I would never forget him and I would forever cherish our strange and pleasurable encounter.
When the T.V. News reported the very next week that an angel by the name of Wesley A. had jumped onto the subway track in NYC and saved a man's life, I stared at the TV screen in disbelief, recognizing that face. He looked almost identical to my Archangel Michael! Could it be possible? Did he have a twin?
What a strange and wonder-filled Life this is! How I joyously wish you the very best of all life, my friends! I pray that you experience many wondrous and strange pleasures, especially those little magical moments you can recognize and cherish, each and every day!