Signs and Poles: NYT’s anonymous source? Flavio Back from D.C.

By: Bill Whaley
7 September, 2018

Taos and the Rest

Part I: Who Dunnit It?

As the local and national media recently focused on the “Costilla Meadows Muslim 5” (AKA Amalia Compound), mainstream fugitives arrested and charged for conspiracy to commit “faith healing” and “gun violence,” so the pundits this week speculate on the anonymous agent, who has roiled White House by dint of an unsigned editorial in the New York Times, which act added to the apoplectic angst of MAGA’s chief. The exposure of WH Doings by insiders coincided, ironically, with the appearance of longtime Taos custodian, Flavio, who briefly made an appearance under leaden skies at the intersection of Taos Plaza during the noon spectacle.

Flavio said he had watched a local pole dancer look-a-like, an apparent representative of the “Beautify Taos” movement, confront the Taos Sign Man, which resulted in battery charges for the dancer and a hospital visit for the eccentric protester. According to Flavio, who arrived “in medias res,” the verbal affray escalated. “She cussed him like a sailor, grabbed a sign, and in Yojimbo fashion or Bruce Lee Chop-socky, wielded the ready-at-hand weapon like a Samurai sword.”

“In self-defense the aging picketer rushed the high-heeled skirt. She fell back against the parking lot barrier, her skirt hiking up to reveal shiny stockings. Then like a Marvel comics character the wiry Chicana squeezed the white-haired gent into a headlock and subdued the fragile Gringo” and left him looking up into the stars. According to reports, the sign man made the journey to Holy Cross Hospital, where ER personnel administered first aid to an errant injured ear.

As we discussed the Taos Doings, Flavio mentioned that he had just returned from a gig at the White House. “Some friends in house-keeping at Mar-a-Lago recommended me for the job,” he explained. “I emptied the white paper from waste baskets into the shredder. Call me `La Mosca’ on the wall.” He winked.

“I didn’t pass security clearance within 90 days, so they let me go. But I saw and heard some stuff,” he whispered. He looked over his shoulder and gestured toward an elderly-looking Taos visitor and nodded at a millennial waiting for the traffic light to change. “Those two are “Friends of Gerald” and they followed me back here. They know I know but don’t know what I know. I’ll let you in on the know when I know Mueller knows.”

Flavio hobbled off west when the light changed and disappeared among the cowboy hats, boots, and shapely blue jeans on the Plaza. As I ambled east on Kit Carson, thinking of pole dancers and sign-man foreplay, I stuck my hand in the back pocket of my jeans and pulled out a folded sheet of 8.5 by 11 inch copy paper with the name “Fortunato,” scrawled in cursive. I unfolded the picture below and remembered the last paragraph of Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Cask of Amontillado”:

“No answer still. I thrust a torch through the remaining aperture and let it fall within. There came forth in return only a jingling of the bells. My heart grew sick; it was the dampness of the catacombs that made it so. I hastened to make an end of my labour. I forced the last stone into its position; I plastered it up. Against the new masonry I re-erected the old rampart of bones. For the half of a century no mortal has disturbed them. In pace requiescat!” (RIP). In a sleight of the rhetorical hand, the American Avant Garde poet and gothic short story writer, Poe, tells the story of how the narrator-revenge seeker builds a barricade that imprisons the bricklayer himself…forevermore.

In Part II Flavio reveals the dastardly doings at the WH and The Sign Man Appears (Again)!

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