This is by request from one of my online forums, where they’re compiling angel stories.
Back when I was 16 and the whole world was magic to a neophyte philangelus, one of my brothers had a birthday. As a gift, he got a board game which we tested out that night. I don’t remember the name of the game, nor if we ever played it again, but it was a railroad game. I remember the layout of the board had one track inside another, and you had to get money and goods and things of that nature.
If you rolled doubles, bad things happened to your piece. Again, the specifics escape me, but you had to pay a certain amount of money or lose pieces whenever you rolled doubles. I was having a good time, not really winning or losing, just enjoying myself.
But at one point, I landed on a space that said I had three tries to roll doubles, and if I did, I would get to move wherever I wanted on the board (which would have been helpful.)
I jokingly thought to him, “Hey, Angel, can you give me doubles?”
(You’ll notice that back then, in pre-nickname days especially, it was either “O Most Esteemed Guardian Whom God Has Given To Unworthy Me,” or else it was “Hey, Angel?” There was nothing in between. It was either longwinded high language or else it was one step up from “Dude!”)
I rolled three times and didn’t get my doubles. “It’s okay,” I thought. “Next time.”
Later on I decided maybe he was distracted doing things like, you know, guarding my soul and couldn’t get away from that at the precise second I asked for help. But he’s awesome, and the next turn, I rolled doubles.
And the next turn.
And the one after that.
In my journal, I recorded that it happened seven or eight times in a row before I actually put it all together in my head that I had asked for doubles, and I was getting doubles. The problem was, every time I rolled doubles, I was being penalized by losing playing pieces. I was pretty much at my bottom dollar (and everyone else was laughing at me) when I started laughing. I thought, “Angel, it’s okay, really! No more doubles! Please, only if I ask for them.”
At which point, I guess either he realized what was going on, or else that had been the point of it (ie, “Okay, you want them, I’ll give ’em to you, silly,”) because it stopped right then. And from then on, just about every single dice roll went in my favor.
So I did what a neophyte philangelus does best, and whenever I got a good roll, I said thank-you to him. And according to my journal from back then, as soon as I began thanking him, we started winning big-time. We did actually win the game, a complete come-from behind shot in a game where you really had no strategy and the entire thing was die rolls. (Although in the journal I admitted that at one point, I had a choice whether to buy a certain piece or not. I felt pressured to do it, so I did. And that piece apparently helped me win the game.)
I remember how good it felt, how I was entirely giddy at the thought that there was this being in my house that could probably have turned the moon plaid if I’d asked for it (that’s another story in itself) but instead was at a kitchen table with me playing a board game.
That night, before I went to bed, I said to him, “So what put you in such a good mood?” But twenty years later, I think maybe he was in a good mood because I wanted to play with him, and sometimes playing together is enough in itself.