I Married a Spy - Chapter One (part 2)
Chapter One (part 2)
Spies just don’t pop up at NSA or CIA Headquarters, they come from somewhere else. It’s the somewhere else that should be the major concern. My story is about the man behind the mask. “Don’t pay any attention to the man behind the curtain,” isn’t that how it goes?
The four adventurers spend half their lives searching for answers then follow some half-wit girl from Kansas to Emerald City, only to end up being chased by flying monkeys. Americans do the same thing. They look to Washington DC for answers, and when they get there to check the place out, some intern laughs in their face.
The only thing in Washington DC is a photo opportunity to meet your Congressional representatives and senators, and go see the Spirit of St. Louis hanging from the ceiling of the Air and Space Museum. I stood in line to see the Hope Diamond, and there’s a really ugly piece of jewelry if you’re ever in the mood.
There are more people waiting to mug you at an ATM machine in Washington DC than there are public servants who actually serve the public. Washington DC represents the biggest steady paycheck in the history of mankind. Once you’re in, you’re in. You never have to move, you just sock away your retirement and push people around. If you’re lucky, they give you a gun to point at people.
This was Batman’s ultimate adventure. It’s what he lived for, what he stabbed backs for, what he crawled and scratched for, who he drove his car over to get to: a badge and a gun, and a Batcar he can drive into a tunnel. If he could find a pole to slide down, that would just be a plus. What better place for a man who spent his whole entire life reading Doc Savage novels and holding up for weeks reading Nazi atrocity books, than his own office at the NSA where he could stand back and roar at the rest of the world.
Until his ex-wife showed up. The one he left on welfare to raise his little girl that he never called, who had begged her never to leave him or he would have to kill himself. The woman who helped him to the toilet so he could vomit up all the booze he drank for eight years.
“Never tell the Navy that I’m an alcoholic!” Those words were burned into my mind again and again. “If you tell the Navy I’m an alcoholic, I’ll lose my clearance.”
Why on earth the Navy would even give someone who obviously is drunk a security clearance, is not my problem. That’s the Navy’s problem. The Navy has a drinking problem. Batman fit right in, so why was he so worried that I would rat him out to the Navy?
Because he was on report and he never told me. I found out he was on report in 2007, 30 years after our friend Marty Chiller put him on report. Marty and Ed our other friend, had caught Batman spewing national secrets and talking about things he wasn’t supposed to be talking about while he was imbibing. The intelligence people call it “blabbing while drunk.” Apparently, all that mystery about why I was forbidden to talk to the Navy, involved a pending dishonorable discharge.
He had been under threat that if he was ever caught drinking and blabbing again, he was going to get the ultimate toss to left field. So I let him continue to drink, believing that he was just a sponge for the Johnny Walker brewery, and he continued to blab. In fact, he blabbed everything to me that I”m not supposed to know about.
Like, the guy who defected to the Soviets in Viet Nam and compromised the entire intelligence unit. Shortly thereafter, we were followed by Soviet intelligence and blabbermouth just couldn’t get enough of that. He had found his piece de-resistance, he was now a kingpin in a cold war play that would eventually outrun Aldrich Aames. Every red-blooded French American boy’s dream, to hit a foul ball with Moscow.
When I say I married a spy, I mean it. I married a spy. I’m not kidding around. I’m dead serious. These spies at the NSA play for keeps and they don’t care who they crawl over to get there. The game is about themselves, not about you or me. It’s about living the American dream all alone in your own little private bunker under Berlin.