Counter Intelligence

Seventy degrees. At a different time of year, seventy degrees can feel warm and toasty. This morning, though, seventy degrees felt so delightfully cool that I was confident I could live in seventy degree temperatures all day, every day, for the rest of my life and be deliriously happy doing it.

When I walked out on the deck just after daybreak, carrying the hummingbird feeder, the cool morning air met me like a passionate lover. She embraced me and kissed me and urged me to stay with her. “Linger with me. Hold me close. We will make one another happy for the rest of time.”

Her charms almost were beyond my capacity to resist; I could make no argument against the portrait she painted, that of a life of stunning perfection in one another’s arms. But in spite of my willingness to give myself over to her, I broke away and fled her beguiling, hypnotic, intoxicating spell.

Why, in God’s name, did I do it? For THIS? To sit in front of a tiny little screen and pour out my soul to a machine? Am I out of my mind? Well, of course I am. We all are out of our minds. Instead of exulting in a tryst with an ardent paramour, we pry into our own psyches, attempting to unleash secrets best kept hidden beneath layers of emotional rubbish, sediment left from waves of regret. Had I just stayed outside, I could have ridden the wave of cool, soothing affection. But, no, I slipped beneath the surface, filling my life with the warm, sticky perspiration that drips from my fingers after a pointless keyboard workout.

How’s that for a lesson in mangling metaphors and otherwise throttling language with a cudgel made of scraps of sibilant syllables? When I am otherwise lacking for creative energy, I attempt to make up for the emptiness by using words. Usually, that simply exacerbates the problem, focusing attention on the emptiness of the sentences within which the words are hopelessly lost.

Yet, I can return to my conversation with the cool morning air. I can imagine our conversation deepening. And I feel her embrace tighten, pulling me closer. I feel her, as she strokes my face and my arms and my legs, eliciting from me an urgent desire to envelop her just as she envelops me…but then a damn squirrel scampers across the metal roof of the screen porch, grabbing my attention and shaking it like a roadrunner shakes a snake in its beak. Ach! An out-of-place simile ruins my thrilling entanglement with the sizzling chill of a cool embrace.

I could write about current events and make predictions about the likelihood of an international economic collapse that leads to the use of thermonuclear  weapons in the fight against a global pandemic. But where’s the joy in that? I could write about a sweet group of retired females who, unbeknownst to one another, are embroiled in a torrid extramarital affair with the same guy, a retired professor of linguistics. Or, perhaps, this group of females should be CIA operatives working to thwart the socialist’s (it goes without saying that the linguist is a socialist) plans to recruit candidates for local school boards and such. Maybe the guy is not a linguist; perhaps he is a retired CIA operative who uses linguistics as a cover for his extensive collection of Russian language erotica. None of this sounds especially enticing. I think I would rather just allow the day to play out so that, when five o’clock rolls around, I can make a gin rickey without guilt.

Today’s the day for another Zoom video conference about food. It began as a video conference about fiery/spicy food. It has devolved. I am not sure I have the mental energy to ramrod this failing venture. I will need a gin rickey or its brethren to get me through it. Perhaps I could spice up the conversation by manufacturing a story about cooking up a dish of wilted oleander with summer oysters, which I used in a failed assassination attempt on Vladimir Putin’s bodyguard. I barely got out of the country alive. Speaking of espionage, I wonder whether the life of foreign intelligence operatives is as dangerous or as exciting as books and films suggest? I think I could make a damn fine CIA operative, given my propensity for fabricating elaborate ruses, keeping treacherous secrets, and flirting with danger. Flirting with danger. That gives me an idea for the name and personality of a spy: Danger Sensua, a woman who “retires” from a corporate job in Seattle, Washington to join MI-5, with her assignment being the close surveillance of…no, no, no. This is not working, either.

It is almost nine o’clock, HOURS beyond the time I usually write. This is evidence I should stop early. And so I shall.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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2 Responses to Counter Intelligence

  1. Meg, you are not to blame! In fact, you are among the few who had sufficient interest to keep it going for a little while longer. In fact, others just do not have the same level of interest that I have. Such is life. I’ll continue to enjoy my food! 😉

  2. kozimeg says:

    Sorry about the food meeting. Maybe I signed it’s death warrent by removing the spicy part. Meg

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