The Angel

By Viv Vermaak

The universe does work in mysterious ways. It’s weird. I never expected to meet an angel on the highway. And yet I did. I suppose we have pre-conceived ideas on what an ‘angel’ or a ‘prophet’ would look like. I wonder how many important messages I missed in the past, because I expected the messenger to look different. For instance, I did not expect the Bearded Prophet to be a woman – and yet she was.

I was headed East on the M2, towards Germiston, when I noticed a group of interesting-looking people on the back of a bakkie. Tra-la-la. I dunno, there was something about their dirty sun-burnt faces, wind-swept mullets and one poor black guy sitting in the corner that appealed to me. Traffic was bumper to bumper. Everyone else pretended not to look at them. I think people were embarrassed for them, but I could not stop looking. I maneuvered closer to them – and took some pictures.

That is when the bearded angel spoke to me. Shouted, actually. She waved her hands and said:

“Get a life, you stjoepit fakken bitch!’

The subtlety and poetry of what she was trying to say was lost on me the first time. I suppose I was not yet ready for the message from the angel.

‘What?!’ I gestured. She repeated her missive, moustache bristiling, this time throwing a zap sign:


What did it mean?

I thought about it. I suppose what the angel was trying to say to me is basically the same conclusion I have come to after months of soul searching, she just said it more succinctly.

‘Get a life, you stjoepid fakken bitch!’: Is that not the bottom line of all the motivational speeches, self-help books, preaches against being judgmental and other types of flowery platitudes infesting Facebook posts – but neatly captured in one potential sugar packet message? Hu?! Yes! I got it. I heard her.

I waved the angel goodbye, and then I maked like a snake through the peak-hour traffic, because if I took one more photo, the prophet was going to fuck me.

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