Jacques the Mouse came and got me last time.
I was in Paris.
Jacques prefers Paris to other places, as do I, but he, unlike me, is not confined to space and time and airline and Metro schedules.
This time I was back again in boring, vastly over-rated Seattle.
The big deal in Seattle today was that they had finally closed a viaduct that was designed to kill people.
It only needed to have a good sized earthquake to fulfill its mission.
We had one in 2001 – an earthquake - that nearly did fulfill its mission, and the city fathers and mothers have ever since been arguing about whether its mission was really death and destruction or being the backbone of a system designed not to let anyone get in or out of Seattle between the hours of 03H55 and 00H15 daily.
Somehow – I have never understood what it was that caused this – some faction voted in a tunnel to replace the viaduct so we could have underground gridlock between the hours of 03H55 and 00H15 daily; it was deemed more desirable to have gridlock underground where no one could see it, and where, when the earthquake comes nobody will get crushed in a collapsing viaduct, that viaduct having been, starting today, removed.
Being buried in a tunnel has been deemed to be more cosmetic.
Anyway, Jacques showed up again.
I had just finished a pretty good dinner of linguine with sautéed shallots with Pomi tomato sauce laced with Mamma Lill’s.
The last time Jacques showed up – in Paris in 2012 – I had just finished a great dinner of saumon avec champignons sautéed in huile d’olive et calvados.
I liked that better.
But the Pomi was good too.
He came in and just said “we need to go back and see the President again”.
I like it when a relationship has matured to that level of simple directness.
He and I, apparently, have been together for several thousand years, over hundreds, at least, and thousands, probably, of adventures; but it was the 2009 – 2102 period in Paris that refreshed my memory – dimmed by time and tide – of our on going, and, in creature terms, eternal collaboration.
So I finished my glass of wine in a gulp and took his hand – we can do that after all these centuries – and went where he wanted to take me.
It was the Council of the Leaders Again.
This time though the meeting room wasn’t as described last time.
This time it had a feeling – not a look, it still had that central table and the same principal occupants of that table, as had been there the last time in 2012 when I had been there; but this time there were no walls to the room.
The lack of walls allowed one to see what “felt” (I say “felt” because it was tangible and palpable that sensation) like overwhelming sadness, grief and hopelessness; and that “feeling” was reinforced by a distant sound of moaning concurrently overlaid with groaning concurrently overlaid with various voices in various languages saying whatever it was that they were saying in staccato bursts interleaved with the other sounds.
And there were faces.
And the faces were people.
Leaders all were they.
And the leaders all were there.
Pretty much all of them.
The history of the world had apparently gathered there and then and Jacques, for some reason, had wanted me to be there.
The head of the table was The President (that, we learned last time, was what The Council calls Washington).
“I don’t like speaking”.
“And I am by no means the chairman of this body”.
“But this crisis is mine”.
And then he fixed me with those General’s blue eyes and I felt myself wilt as I simultaneously felt myself enlist in his army.
“No wonder America was born” I thought as I looked back at him.
“How sad” I said to myself as he returned my gaze with his century spanning clarity “that we can’t have people like him anymore; how sad that we end up with donnie the charlatan, the grifter, the criminal; how sad; how sad”.
The President spoke.
“Shape up Citizen; the one of whom you are thinking will not prevail; we did not freeze our asses off that winter; and risk everything we had – all of us – to have donnie win out; we are going to bring that to a halt now; and you are going to be at the forefront of bringing it to an end; and my country, my America, will be greater and stronger when the slime has been purged”.
Things began to fade and I woke up from sleep on the couch watching Fox News.
I have the oddest dreams.