Bravo has been running To Wang Foo, Thanks For Everything, Julie Newmar again.
I’ve been thinking about what the Stockard Channing character says to Miss Vida Boheme (Patrick Swayze’s character) at the end of the movie.
“I don’t think of you as a man. I don’t think of you as a woman. I think of you as an angel.”
“That’ll work,” replies Miss Vida, now empowered enough to face the folks in Bela Cynwad.
Aren’t we angels when we follow the voice of God inside of us? Isn’t engaging our calling the path to being an angel?
I bet even Oprah would agree with that. The bit that she might have trouble with is the idea that dressing up, running from the cops and beating up people is at all angelic. It’s awful tough to convince anyone you are an angel when you are the angel of death. Poor John Dye — everyone remembers Roma & Della, but not him.
The angel in us is beyond gender, but that doesn’t mean our gender, both the essence and the training, isn’t part of our angelic job. We are who we are because some part of us was made that way, while the rest of us was shaped that way, and if you don’t believe that, if you believe it’s all as random as a Dungeons & Dragons dice throw, well, then, I’m not sure that we have much to talk about.
The problem with the angel in us, just like the angel in Miss Vida Boheme, is that it walks in a world of flesh, where choices have to be made, where needs have to be met, and where pain is real. To choose to just be angelic is to choose not to be human, and I don’t think that’s a healthy or practical choice for any of us.
For me, not being a man or not being a woman doesn’t work so well, and I suspect it doesn’t really work that well for Miss Vida, either. Being in the system of desire, being desired and desiring, well, it ain’t angelic, but it is enervating, nourishing, affirming and delicious. Most women have figured out that it’s good to be an angel, living in spirit, but a little devil can keep the life fires burning too.
Angels need things too, at least while they live human lives in human bodies.