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February 2012

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February 2012
Rachel often feels that something is missing. She's not sure what it is, because her life is, as always, full and way too busy. The lack, whatever it is,, hasn't kept her from doing good work, remembering how to make a gimlet(Most Americans skimp on the bitters, but not Rachel,) and going with Susan to pick up art supplies.


One night, she gets a link to an article about how Mitt Romney talks out of both sides of his mouth, and it makes her heart beat faster. Not because the article itself breaks new ground...it's Romney, after all, but because of the note that comes with it:Have you seen this? Might make a good commentary-KO
So much history in two little letters.She's not fooled by the casual tone of the "might" or the fact that he kept his personal missive so short...if Keith has considered something as a commentary, he has probably written about it backwards and forwards at least once, but there is something that kept it from fitting into one of his Special Comment barn-burners.Keith was always generous that way.

Even if the first time she met him in person, it had taken all of her indie-radio-girl cred not to burst out with dumb jokes about Dick Trickle and gush about how her dad had *loved* the Olbermann- Patrick SportsCenter The whole thing was beginning to take shape in her mind as if it were one of those televised tributes her friend excelled at, so rather than ponder that like a world-class ponderer, she e-mailed. Thought you weren't talking to me...

It's not that...didn't want to put you in the middle, toots.

Even as the endearment turned her cheeks pink...maybe because she was sitting around in her sleep shirt and that made everything naughty in the best kind of way, she couldn't help thinking that there had already been a lot of middle for her to get in. Both Keith and Griffin had sought her out, told her things, and ultimately? Left her office after making eerily similar "Talk some sense into him," gestures. She'd declined to participate, telling both "Dude, I'm Switzerland. Let me prove it...I even have chocolate," She handed them each a Hershey's kiss.

It wasn't like the accords at Yalta, but it worked for a little while. She'd rather think about that than the parting that was as wrenching and sudden as it was inevitable. She knew she’d get emotional if she tried to get that down so she just replied "Toots?!"

It's a perfectly cromulent sign of affection, Ms. Maddow. I call Evie toots, too, sometimes. Although her attacks on John Boehner are less focused than yours.

The Simpsons reference made her smile, as he had to know it would, so she sent him a quip back, aiming for an airy tone, while wondering how to be airy on the intertubes...lots of ellipses, maybe?

She wrote Give her time...maybe by then, everyone will carry Current.

She spent every bit of the next five minutes wishing she'd written a smiley after that, although Keith has never been an emoticon guy.

Even though his next message had Argh!The unkindest cut... in the subject line, she suspected he took it in stride until she read to the end Can I tell you a secret?

That made her brace herself. Because they both half-remember that long night when Obama was elected and they all toasted an end to the insanity too many times, knowing that meant the insanity would take a different shape.She'd made an innocent comment about his being in DC alone, and she learned about his parents, feelings about mortality, and why he'd broken up with his young girlfriend.

Rachel had liked Katy, but she always had the urge to ask her what was the hurry?Soon enough, Rachel knew, you stop being the youngest person in the room, and maybe that's when you finally realize how little that matters. She was struggling to put together a kindly version of that thought, struggling more because she was beyond buzzed, when Keith called her”So terrific,” and just laid one on her.

She laughed it off, turned away, called the occasion New Year’s for political geeks(and for that was rewarded with the envy-provoking spectacle of Chris Matthews kissing the luscious Ana Marie Cox in the elevator at the hotel.)

She never told Susan it took her a moment to turn away, much less that she felt something akin to the first mellow sip of a good drink when he did it. Safe to say, she didn’t need to hear any more secrets like that. After all, the only way Keith Olbermann would use “Can” when he meant “May” involved some kind of spirits.

Ok… Keith, have you been drinking?

Rachel was torn between hope and fear that he wasn’t going to say anything else when he finally replied, so much like himself that she could picture the expression on his face as if they were still in the same room: half hangdog, half glint of humor in his eye.
A little…does it show that much?
She accepted his premise(Her inner twelve-year-old says she threw him a bone, and will not stop giggling) so she lied.
“No, …what did you want to tell me?”

“Rach, I don’t give a crap about that article.”