Some call Nessie a monster. To me, she is the misunderstood lady of the lake. And also my soulmate. When we finally meet—which will happen, despite the hater commenters on my website NessieandMe and my detractors on Reddit—I hope she will see that we have innumerable deep connections.
She lives at the bottom of a dark Scottish loch; I live in a dark basement apartment. She rarely surfaces when humans are around; I emerge only for my graveyard shift in the advertising department at the local free alternative newspaper. Few photographs of her exist; I’ve never been tagged on Facebook. To have all of that in common is far more than a coincidence.
But that’s only the start. To pass the time during my shift, I drink a lot of Scotch with water, which you could say is basically Scottish water—Nessie’s chosen elixir. I sip it as I separate the male escort ads from the female escort ads, check the Loch Ness weather webcam, and correct ignorant posts on “monster” tracking websites. With each nip, I feel more and more as if Nessie and I are each other’s oxygen.
I never tire of gazing at pictures of Nessie, admiring the way she navigates her world with serpentine ease. I, too, propel myself in an undulating fashion, especially on my way home from work after all that Scotch. When you travel city streets at night, weaving back and forth is the most efficient form of locomotion. It prepares you to dodge an approaching mugger, or bicyclist, or mugger on a bicycle, or someone looking for the bus stop. How can it be anything but destiny that, although Nessie and I have never met, we move with such synchronicity?
But don’t envy us yet. We also share something very painful: people doubt our existence. Last night, a few hours and Scotches into my shift, I got around to opening my work email to find a message from my editor saying, “Were you doing company business yesterday, or updating your Chupacabra website? No one separated the male escort ads from the female escort ads. The new intern, Jessica, had to do it, and it was not the best introduction to journalism for a college junior. I’m starting to wonder if you really work here.”
Instinctively, I ducked under my desk where I remained submerged. Nessie goes into hiding sometimes, too, vanishing deep into the loch for years. I’m sure it’s for the same reason. We both need emotional recovery time after being asked, “Are you a myth?”
I didn’t expect to sleep through the entire night, but when I awoke with a start at the sound of someone entering the office, it was daylight. I poked my head up over my desk and saw a young woman: Jessica, the intern. I tried to call out to her but my throat was dry from the Scotch; the noise that emerged was an unintelligible growl. Jessica screamed and backed away, aiming her cell phone camera and a Taser gun at me as I undulated over to the side door to flee.
I wove-ran all the way back to my basement apartment, in a panic at being caught asleep on the job. Jessica would post her photo of me on the newspaper website in no time. My editor would see it. And then what would I do? Get fired? How would I ever face Nessie if I were unemployed? Hands shaking, I clicked on the site and up popped a fuzzy photo of me with a headline: UNDER DESK MONSTER.
And there it was: the proof that my Nessie and I are truly, truly soulmates. I cannot wait until the day we recline together on the banks of Loch Ness and laugh about the time long ago when people used to call us monsters.