Saturday, May 20, 2006

Y Tu Rumsfeld Tambien (Part 3)

He won't leave the apartment. He talks for hours and hours. Saliva glitters on his lower teeth when he smiles and pushes his eyeglasses up his nose. He's been here for two weeks now, slapping the rumps of the cattle who followed him here from his inauspicious little bungalow in Taos, where he spent a memorable summer as a Boy Scout in 1948. He talks for hours and hours.

Yesterday, after another gory dawn ritual sacrifice, I asked him, "When are you going back to Taos? When are you leaving my home?"

"Shimmy, I can't tell you if I will stay five days, five weeks, or five months. But I won't stay any longer than that."

"You really have no idea, do you?" I said. "You've just put your feet up and made like you own the place."

"From where you sit, the White House may look as untidy as the inside of a stomach. As is said of the legislative process: sausage-making and policy-making shouldn't be seen close-up. Don't let that panic you. Things may be going better than they look from the inside."

He settles each night in a green sleeping bag in "the parlor room" -- his peculiar, vainglorious name for the living room of my apartment. The cattle step over and around me like I'm a crumbling old tabby.

Late last night, as Rumsfeld slept a sound restful daze -- the world aright and snappy, someone else's blood gushing in Baghdad and all the body armor in the world disappeared -- I made my break. If he wouldn't leave my home, and if no one would rescue me, then I'd have to escape the apartment myself.

I don't care how many dogs live out the back porch, or how many potato chips they eat, nor do I care that The Mayakovsky Tree out back went silent this past fortnight as fiftful spastic squirrels made a new home in its bole. I'd just escape out the front door, where the worst I could encounter is Brian's cat, Clyde. And I'm sure I can run faster than him.
But I had to get past the cattle. Last month, I hissed at a blind dog and made him cry. If I could mangle the heart of a old, blind Bichon Frise, then I could terrify Rumsfeld's cattle!

I dodged their hooves, but played a bit to keep them off-balance, snapping at their fat, clumsy legs. They tried to bruise me with their snouts. I bit a little harder, broke the skin. Rumsfeld stirred. I ran into the bedroom closet. I remembered that I don't know how the front door opens. Usually, you just look at it long enough until something happens to it. Or Tony and Shelly open it, then you scurry into the hallway. But what now? I couldn't do anything till daybreak at least. I fell asleep on top Shelly's backpack.


Blogger dave said...

Dude, you like cats.

8:29 AM  

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