Slimey turned towards me, eyes pleading. “What should I do?” he exclaimed.
Slimey, as you may know, is a 9′ tall reptile with typical claws and sharp teeth as you might expect from a creature of the swamp around DC. Yet somehow he is capable of blending in with others, and indeed, had served in lobbying firms dealing with this past administration, now in exile.
I let him in through my door and he ducked his head as he entered. “Slimey, I wasn’t expecting you. Last time I saw you, you were working for QAnon. What happened with that?”
Slimey carefully maneuvered his tail around so as to not knock over anything found on low surfaces in the room. “Q? The market for that kinda petered out after the election. I could see the writing on the wall. So I had a good offer, one that I really would like to accept. I’ve been offered a position with the Secret Service!”
“Why, that’s great,” I said. “I figure you would snap up an opportunity like that quickly” You know, it’s amazing how many times my words around Slimey focused on one of his overwhelming physical characteristics.
“It is great. It would involve working security for an ex-President. But it is contingent on something.” Slimey swung his ponderous head from side to side, seemingly indicating his conflict concerning this offer.
“What’s the contingency?” I asked.
Slimey set his bulk down upon a sofa before replying. “It’s contingent upon my being willing to relocate to the town of Ossining, NY. And it is contingent upon the New York court system acting first so that there will be someone to guard there.”
Slowly I realized the central part of Slimey’s dilemma. “You’ve been offered the job to guard President Trump in Sing-Sing.”
Slimey looked up at me. I could see a tear forming in one of his eyes. I thought about crocodile tears, but quickly put that thought away before it escaped my mouth. “Yeah, that’s it. I could be one of the guards who would keep him safe while he’s in prison. You just don’t know what that would be like. I’d have to be kept there myself in order to prevent someone from taking him out.”
I thought for a minute, then I said “I’ll bet there’s some times when you wished you never left the swamp.”
“You don’t know the half of it. The problem is I’ve gotten addicted to having this stuff called money around. I can exchange it for things I never knew existed when I was down there. But the more I keep trying to get it, the worse it is for me. I mean, I have my standards. I just don’t know if trying to keep the ex-President from being shived is worth it. I mean, if the word got out, nobody respectable will want to talk to me.”
Part of learning how to relate to all kinds was knowing when it was best to just listen, and not offer any guidance. So I sat down myself, and just made a little noise of affirmation.
Slimey thought for a long moment, which seemed like a really long time when you are dealing with something as large as he is. You hope that the reptile portion of his brain wouldn’t grow active and take over, and slash out with his deadly claws and massive tail. Even if I didn’t lie in a pool of blood with my entrails scattered, he could make a real mess of the upholstery if he tried.
Finally, he stirred, and gathered his limbs to stand. “I know what I have to do. I have to go back to the swamp. I just can’t deal with this human world any more.”
I realized that our time together was near an end. Not just this meeting, but probably any meeting in the future. Once Slimey had re-acclimated himself into the murky waters, I couldn’t see any chance of him re-emerging and trying another round at taking part in human society. And I certainly had learned my lesson, and would steer clear of the Tidal Basin so as to avoid any accidental contact. I counted myself fortunate that I had managed my relationship with Slimey and still had all of my organs intact.
Slimey went towards the door. “Friend, I don’t know if I’ll see you again. Thanks for listening to me and helping me decide what to do.”
I held the door open as he once again ducked his head on the way out. I said to him “I’ll miss you.” And then he was gone.