I expected her to show up, but still started a little when I caught her unblinking glare from atop the monitor.
I glared back at her
She glared back at me
I returned to my writing
I couldn’t concentrate on my writing, though because I can’t break free of the catastrophe in Afghanistan. The magnitude of events in Afghanistan are incomprehensible to me. The CIC’s decision in simply closing the door and leaving Afghanistan is incomprehensible to me. The media’s reaction to the CIC’s tragic decision is incomprehensible to me. And those glittering eyes at the top of the monitor were disconcerting.
Biden caved. The media caved. I caved.
There she sat balanced on the edge in her tatty wool pencil skirt. That skirt should have been retired when she retired. And that was back in ….
“Yeah. Go ahead and say it, hero. You aren’t looking so spiffy yourself. What has it been now? 31 years that you have been moldering? And get a damned haircut! You look like **** with your six hairs streaming down your neck!” She started in.
“I wasn’t going to say anything!” I shot back.
“Then don’t!” She said smugly, knowing she got the last shot.
I went on, vainly trying to stay ahead of her, “I am just so emptied at watching the events in Afghanistan. I remembered Saigon and how the House Democrats pushed that off on President Ford. Joe Biden was in on the loop when that went down. He was a 35-year-old Senator then. I was a 32-year-old bartender then and disillusioned with government that was left after the failure of my own President. Yeah, I had voted for Nixon, and that wasn’t the only shortcoming I had. I feel the same hopelessness with government now that I felt back then.”
“Well, write about that.” she replied
“I can’t. I am just as empty now as I was then.” I bleated
“Well, what can you write? On second thought, cancel that question!” She snarked.
Snark. Humorless humor invented by left wing comics to convey their smug opinions, as if they were beyond question. But I ignored the jibe and went on, “Coffee posts. Inane meanderings while I munch cookies and absorb strong bitter coffee. I am so sick of that level of writing.”
“It is writing, though. You aren’t exactly Ernest Hemmingway, you know.” She went on, sensing she had the upper hand.
I ignored that jibe too, and went on, “Yeah. It is. But I am beginning to see why comedians want to play villains. Treacle becomes very tiring, and I do have my dark side. I want to play around with the primal urges, but when I do, I scare the hell out of everyone.”
“You have your hidden site still. Do you remember the password?” She suggested a bit more seriously
“Yeah, but the truth is I am not someone who writes for themselves. I like being read and I need peoples’ reactions. Even negative ones. The secret site has sat unused for at least a decade or more now. I lead a very sedate lifestyle today.”
“You are a bit staid.” She replied, stroking her chin a bit too thoughtfully. “Perhaps you could just write coffee posts until you feel like doing something different.”
“I tried that. But when you are sipping coffee in a perfect world every morning, it is hard to punch it up into something interesting. I have a few fans who can tell me how many perfect pots of Snookums coffee I have helped empty over the years. (14,890) But most don’t care.”
“Maybe you can have a fantasy about the two of us!” she said brightly, changing one knee over the other and exposing the tops of her stockings again.
I averted my eyes again. My dark side isn’t that dark. “I think I’ll do a little challenge to write three or four 500 word pieces a week. I dunno. Maybe six weeks would be the end point?”
“I’ll be here” she said, recrossing knees.
“I was afraid of that” I said, again averting my eyes at the flash of white skin above the hose.