Summer DiVino, fresh from her FBI retraining seminar, described as a “Clarification on FISA Title 3 Monitoring” is all smiles. To hear Summer tell it, the Seminar was little more than a “Summer Retreat”. She was “invited” to attend the Seminar after her botched attempts to establish a romantic relationship with Yasser Affifi came to the attention of her FBI superiors. -I am getting pummeled at Chess by a snot nose 20 something college kid outside a local coffee shop when I spy Summer approaching from down the street where she has double parked. I can tell by her quick stride and severe profile she's a bee in a bonnet. Her short summer dress flounces off athletic thighs, the sun reflects off large square sunglasses and a festive straw hat even though she carries a sun parasol. I left my cell home hoping to avoid her. But here she is, a pale rider with a pink parasol and black heels clicking distinctly off the broiling sidewalk as she approaches our shade.
She's direct and to the point. "I need to talk to you, now."
"Summer, you can't just come up and ask me to abandon a game of chess."
"He's crushing you like a boa constrictor; you should resign. He either has your queen in 3 or checkmate in 6. It's over. I'm on a surveillance break, in a mood and short on time."
I study the board, decide she's right and tilt my king. The college kid smiles and not at my loss either. He's always polite and gracious after each inevitable win and as I smile and shake his hand I'm thinking of how I want to crush his soul, to leave him a broken and defeated shell of a man. I want to see post shock treatment drool trickle down his cheek like it did from Nicholson's Randal Patrick Murphy in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.
"Oh, this is Summer" I suddenly blurt. "Dresden's an awesome Chess player and a straight 'A' student in economics at the U, Summer, a gentleman and a scholar." I smile toward Dresden as he gazes hypnotically into Summer's eyes.
I feel like the offended narrator of "A Cask of Amontillado" as I coax them on. "You and Summer should take some time to get to know each other," I suggest, "I've got plenty to do, an article to write...lot's of work keeping Crazypolilticos.com's blog up and running you know." It's a shameless plug for my blog and excuse all rolled into one. Summer's eyes lock on me like the tractor beam of a galaxy class star ship:
"Nice meeting you Dresden". Summer turns extends her pale hand and flashes Dresden a playful flirtatious smile. "I'd love to get to know you, unfortunately I'm working and have to rush off, but if you'd like I could call you sometime."
"Really?" Dresden is both excited and somehow reserved. "Let me give you my number."
"I already have it." Summer announces with a bouncy smile.
A webby gauze of puzzlement comes over Dresden's otherwise bland face as he glances my way. "You do?
I shrug my shoulders innocently. I'm as surprised as he is.
Summer shoots me a look. "Time to go, come along. Goodbye Dresden."
And just like that we're off, parasol in the back seat, Summer's white knuckles on the wheel. She's furious.
"So what's up?" I say, hoping to break the ice.
Suddenly, in a heart breaking moment Summer bursts into tears. "Afifi's cheating on me!"
Yasser Afifi is a 20 year old American-born student at Mission College in Santa Clara. Summer is that girl who always wants what she can't have for the sole reason she can't have it and then gets it. Yasser Afifi had no idea that the young, voluptuous, long legged, vixen, fledgling FBI agent was a genetic mix of hyperactive Fraggle and high functioning Sociopath who preyed upon her men much in the same way pirahna prey upon river crossing livestock, when he encountered her on a Santa Clara beach one sunny day. Summer, with her new found FBI powers and under the aegis of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, has expressed her unrequited love for the hapless college student by relentlessly stalking him ever since.
When Summer first approached Afifi the young Arab-American was wary. Was it the wacked out "I'll do or say anything look" in her eyes, or the general over all demeanor which suggested insantity, Prozac and a heavy personality disorder that clued him in that Summer was a woman to be feared and avoided? I'd like to think it was the impromptu message I left in the sand that albeit cryptically, I admit, proclaimed, "Run Away!"
It began, innocently enough with Summer bumping into Afifi coming out of a coffee shop or rubbing elbows with him on a commuter train. Summer moved with sublime grace, a stunning synthesis of Angelina Jolie and Serena Williams with the concentration of Hannibal Lecter. She exuded a sense of the surreal as though delicate tonal qualities fell from her with each exuberant step. She was somehow the Greatful Dead and Pink Floyd and DMX rolled into one. Like a mirage she defied description and like a mirage she was soon forgotten. Was she hard metal or gangsta rap? Was she the newest thing or impossibly nostalgic? Did she bet short or go long? She was a dream you've awaken from in which you were rich and satisfied only to re-discover your beer can strewn graffitied apartment with the eviction notice nailed to the door. Every moment was a conquest for Summer. Amy Winehouse would have fled her.
So, Afifi made the albeit, polite mistake of gently brushing Summer DiVino off insisting he had to finish his run. Summer began running beside him carrying her Ferragamo's as she tried, without success, to gain young Afifi's attention. It was at this precise moment, and I swear that this happened, that a seagull dive bombed from out of a blazing blue and yellow sky and crashed into Summer causing her to fall, more or less face first into the hot, blistering sand. Afifi acted as if he'd seen nothing and kept on running leaving Summer to dig grains of sand from her ruined makeup. To make things worse Summer managed to drop her Ferragamo's in the tidal path where they were being gently washed by by a shimmering reflexion of the sun from the incoming tide.
"That terrorist bastard!" Summer exclaimed to the circling gulls and nearby recreationalists. Afifi by then had become a dot on the horizon.
"I'll get him!" she muttered under her breath as she struggled to get up and reclaim her ruined shoes.
There were long days of driving her from where Yassir had his pants pressed, to the ice cream shop, then on to the art gallery. There were nights of boring poetry readings, coffee house rants and visits to various pubs and restaurants. There was school during the day. There were clandestine meetings with nefarious characters in slick oily raincoats in underground parking structures at 2 am and exchanges I can't even begin to talk about. For some reason it's all a hallucinogenic blur to me now. Sleep deprivation is a big risk when you're with Summer.
After replacing her Ferragamo's by downgrading to a spiffy new pair of Jimmy Choo's, Summer installed the Onion Guardian STB250 GPS tracking device on Afifi's car . And now she kept a complete log of all Afif's movements. For Summer the other women in Afifi's life were a threat. Many an hour she sat outside Afifi's house, pining for him and filling out field reports. Actually, she just doodled on the forms - hey it doesn't make me Judith Miller if I spruce the truth up a little bit to make it interesting does it? Summer “made clear that she knew intimate private details of Afifi's life”, that he was recently hired for a new job and that he had excellent taste in restaurants.
Then, Afifi's car broke down. Summer was furious.
"He'll take it into the garage and they'll find it!" she exclaimed.
"So, Summer? It's not like you needed to get a warrant or anything to tag his car, right? I mean 'court decisions have consistently upheld that there is no warrant necessary for GPS tracking of a vehicle when the vehicle is in a public space', right?"
Summer was circumspect. "Yeah, but it will mean bad publicity for the Bureau, and who knows Justice may be all over this. There's going to be a cover-up. I just need you to say you're with the Bureau...that you're my partner! And we need to get that device back!"
"Summer I can't do that...man that's heavy shit...isn't that like a federal offense, impersonating a federal officer? And besides what business do you have following Afifi around anyways? You are way out of bounds! Do you really think you were in the right attaching that device on Afifi's car to find out who he's seeing or not seeing? I think I'm entitled to the truth here.
You can't grasp the truth! Gerald, we live in a world of sluts, and those sluts have to be guarded by women with balls. Who's gonna do it? You? A wimp shrimp of a man like you? I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly understand! You weep for Afifi and you curse and hate America. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know: that following and tracking Afifi, while intrusive, probably saved him from those liberal ho's. And my romantic life, while incomprehensible to you is very important to me! You don't want the truth, because deep down in places you don't talk about at parties, you want me in a dungeon decked out tight in black leather playing the role of a Dominatrix, or Ann Coulter! You need me holding that crop! ! We use words like "submit", "buy me new boots", "don't fuck up my laundry". We use these words as the backbone of a life spent shopping and going to spas. You use them as a words to use against me cruelly! I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to the miserable little man who rises and sleeps under my feet in the rags of the very small amount of freedom that I allow him, and then questions the manner in which I provide it! I would rather you just said "Thank you," and kissed my Jimmy Choo's. Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a mop, and clean my floors! Either way, I don't give a hoot what you think you are entitled to-moron! "
“But Summer, what about the Bill of Rights, the Constitution, Miranda? I mean Afifi was born in the US...” I ask before she jumps in and interrupts:
"Oh don't pay attention to all that legal mumble jumble. And who's Miranda? Never mind! But tell me Gerald did Ronald Reagan and Ollie North and Fawn Hall allow either Congress or the Boland Amendment to step in the way of National Security? Didn't Bush get a pass for lying to Congress about weapons of mass destruction? Did it matter he ended up losing both elections when he was clearly able to hold the Presidency? Today's Bureau is more lenient and understanding when it comes to inadvertently overstepping our boundries and violating the civil rights of suspects to further National Security objectives Gerald. Laws are open to interpretation and rogue operations are bound to happen!”
I feel her next salvo coming from a mile away “You're not a terrorist sympathizer are you? Like you wouldn't throw a few cups of water on a suspect to keep a bomb from going off! How many times do I have to tell you to grow a pair?”
Summer then continued her rant: “Not to even mention 'the war on terror' When they find out Afif's father is a Muslim cleric no mention of you or I will be made. Later that day I drove Summer to Afifi's residence. Afifi opened the door wearing boxers, pink fuzzy slippers and a hangover. His hair was tousled and he had lipstick smeared over his chin.
“Give me back my tracking device you cheating bastard! NOW before I have your sorry ass deported! You think you are so exotic, so cool with your Omar Shareef looks, your cool restaurants and hot babes. I find you boring Afifi – that's right you bore me!”
A week later I tried to extricate myself from her rogue operation again but Summer simply said: “Don't be a pussy, here comes the press, straighten your tie."
Of course my continuous refrain was "No comment" and I managed eventually to slip away from the ravenous crowd of reporters without exposing my real identity. Close calls have become part of my every day routine with Summer around. Summer's struggle to reach a sense of National Security and protect Afifi from “subversive ho's” as she put it, was the product of her own dark demons and whatever obsessive dark journey she was on with Afifi was between her, the Bureau and Afifi. I hopped a freight train with a couple of sterno bums and three pints of Jack Daniels and headed home and away from Summer. It was a dark windy night when I left and there was an unpleasant odor emanating from Key Biscayne as the moonlight waddled on the incoming tide like a poisoned seagull. The train let out a mournful whistle as it trailed into the desert. I settled in for the long ride knowing I'd have a grueling delousing to endure when I got back to Salt Lake City. And do not suppose, dear reader that I am unaware of your skepticism regarding my tales of Summer, but I swear to you on Rupert Murdoch's honor every word is true. I can tell you that totally without qualification!