You Call and You Call and You Call

You call and you call and you call, but I am busy -- I have secret plans, you see, documents to obtain and exchange, bathroom rendez-vouss to attend. You have caught me at a bad time. A time when I cannot afford to get caught at all: My life, my livelihood, the nation all depend on me to get the job done.

I admit, I do it well. Artfully, even. Under cover of darkness and foreign bedsheets, trenchcoats and all that (I'm sorry I can't be more specific; most of these details are fabricated in fact; trust me, please, it is for safety of millions, and you). Work of this quality eventually demands historical record. Unfortunately, my work can never be written about. There are exactly three men who know what I do, and no women. Each knows what is absolutely necessary to get his job done. What is absolutely necessary? Who determines that? I don't know, or can't say.

You keep asking me questions I cannot answer: Can I have dinner on Friday night? Will I make it to your party? What type of music do I best dance to? I have told you before: you put me in a compromising position. I know your motives (I have learned -- in my line of work you must -- everyone has them) are pure -- good, even: unsmirched by decades of scandal, clandestine coups -- all the baser forms of power men aspire to. But, then again, do I? You say you work part-time at a temp agency, but how do I know you are not an agent, as skilled or worse -- more so than I, attempting to let the last shoe drop, so to speak, to draw the final straw that breaks the camel's back that shifts the Struggle irrevocably in the favor of those hidden forces who conspire to make every American's waking life nothing short of a nightmare?

I cannot afford to take this risk.

(Although it is true that sometimes, lying awake under the star-filled sky of an undisclosed location, I questions my own motives. There may be a river nearby, I may be able to hear the sound of boats cutting through the pre-dawn current, their oars noisy as doubt or a persisting fly. There may be shouts from aboard the larger ships, and I sometimes permit my mind to imagine the men and women below deck, shackled for a better cause than they are authorized to understand -- how they rage in place against the chains and their vital, yes vital role in this. our one and only life, which is exactly when I start to think dinner sounds nice, and wonder to wear.)


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