Gwenllian as the lady of the island screams bloody murder as if doing so will bring her back to life.
“Get off, off, off my island,” she yells, feeling lightheaded after her sudden rage against the machine that is her Butler.
“Oh, come now. Don’t be such a bore,” says her un-laid-off Butler from the nearby Tudor Mansion.
He motions to the catering crew to set up tables in one long row at the edge of the island forest. Apparently, there is not enough room in the mansion’s dining room or library to host a Mind Meeting of this magnitude. The topic is genetics & personality: the warrior vs. worrier gene.
I am the warrior
Well, I am the warrior
And heart to heart you’ll win
If you survive
The warrior –Patty Smyth, ‘The Warrior’
Curious, Gwenllian quickly grabs the confidential case file to read the letters “COMT Gene,” before placing the file back at the center of the table. Knowing the name of the game is almost as fun as carefully opening Christmas presents hidden in the attic and then re-wrapping them before Santa arrives.
Gwenllian suspects other INFJs are like her – the balanced Genotype AG. But, alas, understanding behavioral phenotypes and how gene variants alter activity within neuronal circuits is far too complex for her half-wit mind.
“I have place settings for 103 guests – well 102 and a half since this name tag for elda was accidentally ripped in half,” the Butler reports. “I’m guessing it was meant for Esmerelda. Without a complete name tag, she can attend the half-moon meeting for half of the time or bring only half of herself.”
A drone delivers Gwenllian’s outfit for the day – a pair of jeans and hoodie that, she is pleased to note, makes her look like a druidess.
“It’s a good look, don’t you think, in case those premillennial dispensationalists turn out to be right about the rapture?” Gwenllian fishes for a compliment from Professor Plum, who intentionally wore jeans to the Mind Meeting on genes.
“The rapture is a brilliant eschatological theological position for evangelical preachers who want to trigger anxieties about a zombie apocalypse,” Professor Plum lectures. “It surely keeps the worriers in their seats, enraptured, even, but the rapture is not a traditional Christian interpretation of end times.”
“Why do you care?” Gwenllian asks.
“I don’t bother about theology although it is compelling that you suppose dressing like a Druid will make you fit in with the others zapped up to heaven,” the good professor says growing serious. “I am more gripped by where you buy your clothes because I am a long-term and prudent investor. And I’m not going to invest in volatile retail stocks without good cause.”
“You aren’t what the French call a Gentleman impulsif,” she observes.
Reaching for his name tag on the worrier side of the table, Professor Plum adjusts his eye glasses and prepares to leave.
“Although I’m all agog to know about my worrier gene, I have to run,” Professor Plum says, triggering a song to play with the word, “run.”
You run, run, run away
It’s your heart that you betray
Feeding on your hungry eyes
I bet you’re not so civilized
Well, isn’t love primitive
A wild gift that you wanna give
Break out of captivity
And follow me stereo jungle child…
Gwenllian turns to the Butler who seems content now that he is back working in his preferred profession.
“I don’t think the Good Witch Esmerelda likes me – at least not her half that’s not already caught up in the heavens,” she says.
“Does any part of Esmerelda like you, Lady Tudor?” the Butler chuckles. “Esmerelda thinks you think that you are better than her because you keep deleting your social media accounts and live on this island like a bum. But, good news. One of the invitations is for Jacob from the television series, ‘Lost.’ And I know how much you love Jacob so I’ll place him at the head of the table. And, since you love to hear yourself talk so much, you can control the microphone.”
She sits up just as the Butler takes her hand. He folds her hand into a ball and then awkwardly kisses her knuckles. She thinks about the way the Butler is her Watson when she feels like Sherlock Holmes and her Wilson when she feels like Dr. Gregory House of the TV series House. Only, she isn’t really anything like Sherlock Holmes or House other than the fact that none of them are real people and they like to solve mysteries.
“I have no desire to control the microphone,” Gwenllian tells her Watson/Wilson Butler man-machine. “I rather lay on the sand from a distance and cast my spells. Although it’s true, I do like the sound of my voice. It’s melodic.”
You talk, talk, talk to me
You’re eyes touch me physically
Stay with me, we’ll take the night
As passion takes another bite, ohh-ohh
Who’s the hunter, who’s the game?
Fishing again, she persists, “And yet, I have nothing of real substance to say, do I?”
The Butler is silent.
“Besides I was not invited,” Gwenllian sighs. “I received an official gold-lettered un-invitation that suggested I might like a different event on a completely different island even though I own the island.”
“Not to change the subject, but what do you suspect is Professor Plum’s Genotype for the COMT gene? He is an INTJ. I’m curious,” the Butler presses.
“As a Genotype AG, I’m balanced between the warrior and worrier traits. I am fairly certain Professor Plum is a Genotype AA mainly because of his OCD and the way he becomes unstable when under stress. Remember how he freaked out over that fender bender? You would have thought he drove off a ravine and was eaten by an alligator. His OCD could be related to an HTR2A gene, but I don’t want to talk about that gene because it’s depressing.”
“Well didn’t he get eaten by an alligator and die?” the Butler asks.
“Metaphorically when I ghosted him, but I’ve come to appreciate his analytical nature,” she smiles.
“What about the other game pieces?” he continues.
“I think it’s fairly obvious which game pieces have the warrior genes in the Tudor Mansion,” she replies. “All that high risk behavior. But it’s not the COMT gene variants that concern me. I like warriors and I like worriers although it’s disconcerting when a warrior enlists a worrier for missions of meanness.”
“I gather you aren’t a hunter. So, are you going to stay for the Mind Meeting, Lady Tudor?” he inquires.
“No. But, I was thinking, Mr. Butler man-machine, about the Theory of Mind. And how sad I feel about that theory. How sad I feel. And, I was thinking about the irony of it all. The exquisitely sad irony.”
The Butler cheers her up with a duet of Joe Jackson’s song, “You Can’t Get What You Want (Till You Know What You Want).”
“Sometimes you start feelin’ so lost and lonely. Then you’ll find it’s all been in your mind,” the Butler sings.
“Sometimes you think someone is the one and only. Can’t you see, it could be you and me?” the Lady of the Island sings holding the high note.
But the Butler skips ahead to the lyrics that make his point — deflating her moment of joy.
“If it’s right, you could sleep at night,” he speaks the words.
“The worrier tosses and turns with nightmares over what he will lose and the warrior sedates himself so his conscience doesn’t torture him over what he did to win,” Gwenllian says. “My endgame is to throw the game. Although it’s fun to rally the ball back and forth on the court for a while. Good exercise.”
“Very good, my lady Gwenllian. Take a break from your spellcasting tonight and I’ll turn on the lights of the mansion’s tennis court. Meet me at 3 a.m.”
“The witching hour it is,” she says, disappearing into the forest.