A Beltway Fan Fiction from the later time of the GW Bush administration.
She found me at the Ritz Carlton, Chicago. I was having a drink and eyeing the gams in the Greenhouse. Fifty degrees in January allowed–no, called for–a little show of ankle. She walked with a cane and was accompanied by bookend bad boys. She wore a current style and an unassailable smile. She said something to the goons who muscled into chairs, a setting to the left of us.
I rose. She offered and I took her hand.
” Nice tie,” she said.
” I wear it to exorcisms.”
” So you knew I was coming,” she said while sitting.
” I re-tooled my will. What’s with the stem?”
” I had a stroke,” she said.
” Me, too.”
She waved her hand dismissively. “Yours was tiny and due to your selfish and self-destructive lifestyle. Mine was massive and a direct result of service to my country.”
” Let me see if I can get Nathan Hale to bring us a drink,” I said.
Armed with a thirty dollar pour of scotch, she began her pitch.
” Name two of our current President’s major accomplishments?” she asked.
” He put butts in the seats of Arlington Stadium and bodies in the ground in Arlington Cemetery. For the most part, both needlessly,” I offered and felt the bad boys tense.
” Come back to work….”
” Not on your alpenstock,” I interrupted.
” As a consultant,” she smiled.
” As an idiot,” I said.
” Think of your country.”
” Like the country thought of me?”
” Spilt milk. Thanks for the scotch,” she said rising.
I stayed seated. She banged her cane on the floor. Three times. It was conversation stopping, long and loud. Her two thugs elevated. People turned to look. “Please, think about it,” she said. “You have twenty-four hours.” She turned and walked away.
I followed her until I caught and held the eye of a well-heeled tea sipper. She radiated a bit more substance then a laurels lay. She smiled. I shrugged.
I gave Nathan Hale two U.S. one hundred dollar bills to handle booze and gratuity. He handled the currency gingerly. I’ll bet Nathan’s still washing his hands.