Once, an angel accidentally fell out of heaven and landed on the Earth. As anyone who’s ever tried can tell you, it’s very hard to get to heaven from the Earth, so for the time being, the angel decided to try to blend in. It saw this as an opportunity to study up-close the creatures that it had loved so much from afar.
Unfortunately, it soon found that humans were best loved from a distance. To an eternal being, it is easy to wave aside the slaughter of millions of unimportant mortals and focus on the incredible creations of beauty from the few, as well as the impressive achievements of the race as a whole. Up-close, however, their pettiness, close-mindedness and selfishness was disgusting to a creature made of pure love.
Doubly unfortunately, the angel soon found that as distanced as it was from the source of all life, it needed to find its energy elsewhere, namely in food. Having never attended university, or indeed any school at all, the angel had no marketable skills, and its physical form was much too frail for manual labor. It did, however, have one remarkable talent. It could sing songs the likes of which the human mind could barely conceive. Up until recently, the angel had lived in the midst of the divine, and could, with its voice, conjure scenes of such sweetness and light that even the most cynical couldn’t help but listen.
Every time it sang, however, it grew more and more depressed, as it reminded itself of the beauty it would never experience again. It tried to cope with its depression in the same way humans do. It tried drugs (both pharmaceutical and otherwise), sex, TV, even religion. Nothing could soothe the soul of the poor creature. Although great damage had already been done, it adopted the human phrase “better late than never,” and quit singing to become a dishwasher. People who had heard it sing tracked it down and begged it to come back.
“You must sing for us!” they shouted, “Your gift is too good not to share! Your songs lift us up and bring us visions of a greater world than this one! Your songs make everyone better for having heard them!”
Although jaded, its love for humanity was still too great to refuse their demands, especially with the knowledge that its songs were making them better. The years went on and the angel’s light darkened, until eventually one day, it didn’t appear to sing at its appointed time. They found it in its bedroom, a bullet hole in its head and a gun in its hand.
And the people wept. Not for the angel, of course, but for themselves because now they wouldn’t be able to hear its songs.