This leads us to the two most often forgotten roles of a gatekeeper, and perhaps the most important ones: that of a compass, and of an editor/proofreader. See, as the sea of fame swells, so does the celebrity's ego swell along with it..and without proper guidance the celebrity can easily find themselves lost at sea. Couple the loss of a moral compass with a demanding and hectic work schedule, and you have the makings of a perfect storm that can sink the celebrity's ship in the blink of an eye. As an editor/proofreader, the gatekeeper is also there for the celebrity to bounce thoughts, feelings, and ideas off of. The proper gatekeeper will know the celebrity's heart, mind, and spirit intimately, and would ideally be the first to inform the celebrity when they are acting out of character, and to remind them who they are as a person. A gatekeeper is there to kick the celebrity's ego down a few notches when needed, but also to lift it a few notches when needed. As you can see, the ideal relationship between a gatekeeper and its celebrity would be the most intimate relationship they will ever have. The gatekeeper will know secrets no one in the world will ever know...not even friends and family. A good gatekeeper must be highly empathic and very strong and willing to speak openly and bluntly--especially during the times when the celebrity is most resistant to advice and opinions from others.
But you see, not all people that have a gatekeeper are celebrities, and not all people even realize they have a gatekeeper. So why do we common folk have and need a gatekeeper? Perhaps because we have been inordinately blessed and have a most precious sacred garden inside us that must always be protected from those who would do us harm--whether intentional or no. And because we're only human...and life happens.
And at the gate of my precious sacred garden, of course, is precisely where my beautiful gatekeeper Madeleine first met Caw-Caw Carl, the Stellers Jay, and his silent and invisible friend Gemini Cricket. It began something like this:
"Good day, beautiful, gatekeeper gatekeeper," the Stellers Jay uttered.
"Good sun greeting, we say here in our Xanadu Forest," Madeleine replied, and asked, "How may I help you?"
"I am Caw Caw Carl Carl, and I'm here here to begin my gatekeeper internship-ship. And this little little fellow you likely can't see see is my dear dear friend and guide, Gemini Cricket." Then Caw Caw Carl removed a wrinkled napkin from under his wing and handed it to Madeleine, adding, "You'll see everything is in order order. This letter letter from Headmaster Stevens at Atherton should explain it better better than I have."
Madeleine took the wrinkled napkin and adjusted her glasses, "Well, Mr. Carl Carl"--
But Caw Caw Carl interrupted her immediately saying, "Not Carl Carl, thank you you. Just Carl Carl."
Madeleine sighed, but remained patient, suspecting the Stellers Jay may have suffered from some sort of mental illness, "I see, Mr. Carl. Caw Caw, Carl, if I'm saying it properly?" Then she paused and Carl nodded his confirmation happily. Then my beautiful gatekeeper went on, "I used to attend Atherton myself you know, and actually was an assistant to Headmaster Stevens for a while during my own legitimate internship. I've never known him to use wrinkled napkins in lieu of official letterhead--or to write in Stellers Jay scratch. I'm going to tell you only once that you stand in the midst of the very heart of Interterrestria, and that lies and deceit are bound to get you permanently banned from the Xanadu Forest...if you get my drift?" And Madeleine handed the forged letter back to Caw Caw Carl.
To Madeleine's surprise the Stellers Jay got the drift perfectly. He sighed and said, "Fine fine. The truth is is that I was never a student at at Atherton. I was only the night night janitor there. But I have always always had a dream of becoming a gatekeeper like like yourself. The sacred sacred garden you watch over is renown throughout all lands. Please please don't turn me me away. And Gemini Cricket just just told me to tell you that you are very very beautiful."
Then, in a surprising move, Madeleine jumped up onto her desk, Achilles' Last Stand, and gestured for Caw Caw Carl to join her. Then she said to the grateful Stellers Jay, "The first job of a good gatekeeper is to notify the garden's master immediately when an unusual situation arises at the gate. Then she pressed a button on her GARCOM console and shouted through the loudspeaker, "Kev, please report to garden gate. Guest waiting. Kev, report to garden gate. Guest waiting!"
I was peacefully asleep upon the Persian rug when the loudspeaker shrieked, of course, and was annoyed that Madeleine had managed to interrupt yet another sweet dream I was enjoying. I jumped up and muttered something I won't repeat here, and stomped my way toward the garden gate. "That wasn't very nice, Kev!" the loudspeaker shrieked as I marched on, grumbling. While I was making my way to Madeleine's desk, she returned to her gatekeeping lesson, and said to Caw Caw Carl, "See, we always tell the garden master that we're notifying them immediately so that they are aware of everything that is going on. But the real reason we do this is because the sooner you get the garden master to the gate, the sooner you can pass the work onto them...and the less work you have to do. If you get my drift?"
Caw Caw Carl got the drift very well once again, hopped off of Achilles' Last Stand and rushed to greet me. Knowing that my annoyance was no fault of his, I greeted the Stellers Jay warmly and shook his extended wing. Then I turned to Madeleine and raised my voice, "So we're just letting anyone into my sacred garden now?!" Then I clarified with Carl that I meant no offense toward him.
Madeleine wasted no time stating, "He's not just anyone, he's Caw Caw Carl, a lovely Stellers Jay from my Alma Mater, Atherton, who has come to here to begin his gatekeeper internship by request of Headmaster Stevens. But he's not doing it here in the sacred garden, I can assure you of that! Which is where you come in, Mr. Kev...I need you to take Mr. Carl into the forest and find him a job as an assistant. And before you leave, I need you to sign off on the garden gate activity logs."
It seemed a lot of information for me to process while a portion of me was still slumbering, but Madeleine's assertiveness and commanding tone somehow made it all make sense. It was also effective in me forgetting that I still wanted to shout at her. She is such a clever beautiful gatekeeper! I signed off on the activity logs and asked her if she might have Cousin Eddie bake up another batch of pumpernickel while I was away. She thanked me for signing off on the logs as I handed her the clipboard, and assured me she'd pass the message along to Cousin Eddie. With that, Caw Caw Carl and I were off. I wondered briefly, as we exited the garden gate, why Madeleine wasn't shrieking at Cousin Eddie through the loudspeaker as she did with me, but the thought quickly fluttered away. I was sure I heard Edwin the Bee chuckling behind me when I told Him I loved Him.
Carl and I had spent hardly any steps at all before I became aware of his odd and seemingly random double-speak. He said he was quite quite unaware of what I was talking about about and reminded me that it's not "Carl Carl. Just Carl Carl." Okay then. Then Carl introduced me to his invisible and silent friend friend and guide, Gemini Cricket, and I pretended to shake hands with the unseen cricket upon Carl's back.
Though we walked past the Record Emporium, I decided we would begin our job-hunting at the Library Tree, so we kept walking past it. We saw a few fat squirrels from Walnut St along the way, and I took the opportunity to warn Caw Caw Carl about the squirrels. He seemed to appreciate the warning. Then he told me how he attempted to deceive Madeleine--that he was just just a janitor with big big dreams--and how he was so so grateful that we were helping helping him despite his dishonesty. I reminded Carl that Madeleine was right--that deceit is very much looked down upon in the Xanadu Forest. And I added that we are friendly folk on the whole, and assured him that I trusted his heart. And that he would fit in well in our magical forest. By then, we had found ourselves at the Library Tree.
The main reason I decided we should begin job-hunting at the Library Tree was because the three dogs had grown quite fond of one another's company, and were often found conversing there together. My instinct was correct...for as we entered, dear Caesar Emeritus, Ptolemy the gentle Boxer, and T-Yay the record-retrieving Labrador were gathered around Caesar's desk, chatting and sipping tea. They greeted Caw Caw Carl and I warmly. And I warned the three dogs immediately that it's not Carl Carl, just Carl. Though the Caw Caw part was properly meant to be doubled. Dear Caesar seemed most fascinated with Carl's seemingly random form of double-speak, but I could see that Ptolemy was appreciating the oddity of it as well. T-Yay simply replied, "Nice nice." So clever, T-Yay can be when he wants to be! Caw Caw Carl graciously accepted a warm cup of tea that dear Caesar had offered him, and I filled the three dogs in on the sun greeting's events that led us to the Library Tree.
After I suggested to Caesar Emeritus that Caw Caw Carl would make a fine assistant manager in the Library Tree, he heartily agreed, "It's a kind and excellent thought on your part, Kev. And indeed, I would be honored to have such a fine and lovely Steller's Jay as my assistant manager. Unfortunately, I have already offered that very position to Ptolemy the gentle Boxer, and he graciously accepted. I'm sorry."
No worries. We had only begun the job hunting. Thinking myself very clever, I turned to Ptolemy and said enthusiastically, "You know what every good assistant manager needs, dear Ptolemy? An assistant to the assistant manager. Am I right?" I raised my arms into the air a bit for emphasis.
"Right you are!" Ptolemy exclaimed. Then he continued, "It's a brilliant idea, Mr. Kev! But I have already asked T-Yay to be my assistant to the assistant manager, and he kindly accepted."
Caw Caw Carl looked up at me, and I wasn't going to let him down. Hmm. Then I turned to T-Yay and suggested that Caw Caw Carl would be a fine assistant manager for the Record Emporium. "He is a fast learner," I added.
T-Yay agreed that Caw Caw Carl seemed like a sharp bird. Then T-Yay refilled his cup of tea and replied to me, "But, sorry, Kev. I've already hired Ptolemy as my assistant manager, and Caesar Emeritus decided he would enjoy being Ptolemy's assistant to the assistant manager of the Record Emporium. Again, I'm sorry, Kev, but it's nice nice, you know."
I could see Caw Caw Carl was really becoming concerned now, and was starting to feel awkward and unwanted. I stroked his beak comfortingly and assured him it was going to be fine fine. In a last ditch effort (somewhat of a plea), I turned to Ptolemy and suggested to him that surely he could use help making and serving his now almost famous Ptolemy-ce Cream.
Yes, of course--just as the other dogs--Ptolemy offered both a compliment and an apology, "I've no doubt Caw Caw Carl would make a fine assistant or even assistant to the assistant manager, but as you might have guessed, T-Yay has already signed on as my assistant manager...and Caesar Emeritus agreed to be T-Yay's assistant to the assistant manager. I'm truly sorry, both of you. Don't despair. We've got some good minds in this room, we'll figure something out." Then Ptolemy the gentle Boxer stroked the feathers upon Caw Caw Carl's head reassuringly and refilled the Steller Jay's cup of tea.
I must admit I was feeling a bit defeated by that point, and I could feel that Caw Caw Carl was feeling defeated too...and unwanted. I pulled the Stellers Jay up onto my lap upon the Love Seat where I was now seated. I stroked his soft and lovely feathers and searched my mind for ideas. There really were no other places in the forest for Caw Caw Carl to work. Olga the bartender fairy only ever hired other fairies to work at the Sacred Pub, and the Otterman Empire Services was made up only of otters who were blood relatives. There was no way I could let Carl work for the sleazy fat squirrels of Walnut St--that would destroy and corrupt him for sure.
But I must give credit where credit is due: it was my beautiful gatekeeper Madeleine (via the GARCOM speaker above dear Caesar's desk), that saved the sun greeting. "Umm, Kev, if you don't mind me interrupting, I felt I should remind you that you are the assistant manager of the County Clerk's office still. And unless I'm mistaken, you don't already have an assistant to the assistant manager. If you get my drift?"
Caw Caw Carl and I got the drift immediately, and we nearly jumped for joy! For once, I didn't mind Madeleine dropping eaves on our conversation, and our lack of privacy seemed much less intrusive that moment. In the blink of an eye eye, the Stellers Jay and I bid fond farewell to the three dogs and rush rushed off to the County Clerk's office office. It seemed to take less steps than usual to arrive there, and Carl was truly overjoyed as I introduced him to his new forever home. It was perfect, actually! I was able to set up a computer terminal for him upon the desk, and connect him with the garden servers so that Madeleine could help him with gatekeeper lessons electronically. Caw Caw Carl literally laughed out loud when he saw that the garden server was named DoctorPenisOstrich. I assured the happy Stellers Jay it was a long story, and that I'd save it for another sun or moon greeting. Caw Carl particularly seemed to enjoy the costume closet and makeup and lip gloss file cabinet when I completed the tour of the County Clerk's office.
As I bid Carl farewell, he shook my hand and thanked me again in his odd and random double-speak. And he informed that Gemini Cricket also wanted to thank thank us from the bottom of his little heart heart. I pretended to shake shake invisible Gemini's hand above Carl's back, and I blew them a kiss kiss, and vanished into the forest feeling more than satisfied. Everything was nice nice.
And that is how Caw Caw Carl the Stellers Jay (and his friend friend and guide, Gemini Cricket) came to be gatekeeper intern and assistant to the assistant manager of the County Clerk's office. Our magical Xanadu Forest will love love them for sure.
Thank you for taking this journey with me, lovely of lovelies.
I love you.