Illustration Credit: Arba Bardhi
Rumours swirl around campus of a mysterious visitor — has the archangel come to save us from finals?
Sulaiman Hashim Khan, Staff Writer
During the middle days of Lent, a collection of scared little first-years reported a curious sight — camping in the nook between St. Basil’s Church and the stairway down to the backdoors of the Windle Historic House was a man claiming to be Saint Michael the Archangel himself.
Rumours quickly spread across the college, as students from as far as the Kelly Library, and even a few curious attendees from neighbouring Victoria college, came to peek at the mysterious mage.
But just as quickly as fascination festered, so did fear and scepticism. Was the man who claimed to be the one who leads the armies of God against His adversaries, and escorts good men to the pearly gates, actually resting on the grounds of his eponymous institution?
Curious, I, the dedicated journalist, took leave from (begged) news editor Shmily Lin in order to seek out the truth about the enigmatic individual, and sought him out to interview him. The journey from the Coop, through the exit of Brennan Hall, and up the stairs to St. Basil’s was arduous, but my quest for the truth — and a coffee I had grabbed from the Starbucks on Bay Street that morning — fuelled my voyage.
I found myself at Clover Hill Park across from the Kelly Library in search of St. Mike. I finally found the man, who now sat nearly bare, cloaked in what looked like a bedsheet, at the feet of Primrose, the donkey. Before I was able to approach him for an interview, I was astonished at my observation of the absence of the pink casts that usually clasp at Primrose’s front legs! Could Saint Michael have healed her maladies? Was the ass to become a beautiful mare? My confidence that Saint Michael had actually descended to Earth grew.
I walked up to the man, and asked if I could interview him, to which Mike assented. He spoke with a thick Hebrew accent, and his voice was coarse, but I assumed that banishing Satan from the heights of the universe down to the lowest of lows would take a toll on a person’s health — archangel or not.
After exchanging some pleasantries, I asked the angel his purpose for showing up at St. Michael’s College.
“I’ve come here for one reason, and one reason only, my child,” began the archangel with a warm paternal flair. This elegance was short lived, however, as the angelic entity continued, “And that reason is to inquire: is that goddamn eyesore in the middle of your quad supposed to be me?”
At this point I, speechless, let the soldier of God continue.
“I mean, look at that thing! It’s fucking insulting! Look at me. Do I look like a stupid sheet of metal bending back on itself, Sulaiman? I’m an angel for God’s sake!”
I experienced great anxiety at this point. How could an angel of the Lord use His name in vain so flippantly — could this be an imposter? But Primrose’s legs and his sudden appearance made his identity more convincing to me. I was about to ask him how he knew my name, as I had deliberately not mentioned it before beginning the interview for fear of eternal damnation, but my thought was cut off as the angel began yelling even louder.
“You know what? I don’t even want this place to be named after me! How can I be proud to give this place my namesake? Raphael has an entire artistic legacy behind his name!”
I had the urge to clear his confusion between his fellow archangel and the Italian Renaissance artist, but my thoughts were once more interrupted. This time, however, it was not by Michael.
Another man appeared walking over to us with his hands in the air in a manner that could only be read as frustration.
“Santiago! What are you doing?” Asked the man as he came.
I watched their interaction, and I shall present it to you with the greatest fidelity:
“Gabby! What? What is it?” Replied Saint Michael.
“Santiago, I’ve been looking for you for two days, where have you been?”
“I had some business to attend to. So, if you’ll excuse me–”
“No, you’re coming home. Dad wants you home.”
“Let me just take care of th– “
Before Michael could finish his protest, the man, who the archangel called Gabby, grabbed him by the arm and pulled him along. I, not wanting to lose our Patron Saint, stopped them, and explained to the man what Mike had told me.
“Archangel? Statue? Saint Michael? What? No. This is my brother Santiago Miguel. I lost him after a party on Saturday and when I heard about a strange man found here at your college, I came to collect him.”
My hopes were shattered, and the illusion was ruined. This Saint Michael was no saint at all. He was a simple partygoer who got lost in what was probably an inebriated stupor. I began to walk away dejectedly, but I remembered the miracle of Primrose and how Michael, or Miguel rather, knew my name. But, as I looked behind me — just quickly enough for my eyes to register their movement, I saw Santiago Miguel’s bedsheet transform into a flowing robe, and with his hand interlocked in Gabby’s I saw the two ascend toward the sky like rays of light.
Primrose the Donkey declined to comment.