Eduardo*: The Company Man**

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*The protagonist of this true story tale of whimsy shall be referred to as Eduardo. (Make sure to roll the “r,” or the fake name loses its charm.) His true identity shan’t be revealed. I assure you this is quite necessary, as I would meet a certain death were I to reveal it.

**Eduardo insisted I refer to him as Company Man rather than Company Lizard. He called me specist, but I think he’s just being sensitive. I say we should refer to him as the Company Being and be done with it. He told me to stop being an asshole.

This is a true story, except for the parts that aren’t almost all of it.

~

Chance Encounter with a Company Man

I first met Eduardo the night he appeared outside my bathroom window. I was startled, to be sure, but immediately smitten. As soon as I laid eyes upon him, I clasped my hands and gave a sopranic* shriek of delight before dissolving into a mass of giggles. (*Sopranic is definitely the adjectival of soprano; trust me on this.)

He hadn’t meant to blow his cover, and he blames me for the Lavatory Rendezvous. You see, he’s drawn to the light. It’s a serious weakness for someone in his line of work. But so long as the bathroom light beckoned into the darkness, Eduardo was my prisoner and I was in control. (Eduardo is an opportunist, you see. And nighttime lights provide a veritable buffet of light-drawn insects.)

Before we parted, I asked Eduardo to pose for a photograph. He tried to refuse but knew I would have my way so long as the light switch was in the up position. But he did adamantly protest a portrait. I readily acquiesced; after all, I wouldn’t want him being taken out. So long as I couldn’t pick him out of a lineup, there remained plausible deniability. Besides, he said, his belly is his best side.

Eduardo, shamelessly exposing his soft underbelly. He asked me not to tell you that I pet his belly through the glass. Oops. Sorry, Eduardo.
Eduardo, fearlessly and shamelessly exposing his soft underbelly. He asked me not to tell you that I pet his belly through the glass. Oops. Sorry, Eduardo.

Eduardo returned every night for weeks after that initial encounter. Drawn by the light that I switched on at dusk and left on until bedtime, summoning him to the window.

I learned that it’s tough for a lizard (skink, whatever) in The Company. Shower times are particularly problematic. People don’t seem to understand his need to climb the walls and peer down, flicking his tongue at rogue water droplets in hopes that one of them turns out to be a bug. So now he showers alone, but he hasn’t found anyone to turn the faucets on for him. No thumbs, you see.

Besides, he’d always aspired to be an Observer.

The resemblance is uncanny.
The resemblance is uncanny.

I told him the Observers weren’t real, and he said, “You know nothing, human.” This time I called him a specist, but he only snorted in derision. According to Eduardo, the requirements to become an Observer are far more rigorous than those of The Company. But it’s on his bucket list. For now, he just tries to avoid being called a spook. He prefers Company Man to that.

spook

Over the course of our nightly visits, Eduardo filled me in on his life story. He’s Brazilian, which you may have surmised from his chosen pseudonym. It was no accident, that, though he hasn’t worn a ponytail since his days as a capoeira instructor when he used it as a weapon.

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We talked about music – he turned me on to salsa and water drumming; I turned him on to the Chili Peppers and LL Cool J. And he spoke of his wandering eye, his philandering ways, hence why he’d chosen this life over settling down and having a passel of lizardlets. I swear I saw a glint in his eye, the tiniest scintillating hint of a tear, but he dismissed it as a shimmering scale left behind from his last meal. I let it go. A lizard man has his pride.

~

It’s been nigh on a month since last we met. I’ve all but given up on the nightly lighting ritual. Try as I might, I can’t help but think the worst.

Eduardo is most certainly floating face-down in the Mediterranean Sea, subsequent to being shot when he had a change of heart in the midst of an assassination attempt. I can only hope that some gruff but kindly fisherman will happen upon Eduardo and rescue him before he freezes to death.

But until I know for sure, I’ll leave the light on.

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