Jim & Janis: A Scandalous Love Story

It was inevitable, Jim thought. It always turns out this way, and I never seem to learn.

She came into his life unexpectedly, and he had no idea of her origins, nor, really, anything about her. But if he was being honest with himself, that mystery didn’t matter a whit to him.

If he had a type — Jim never really spent much time thinking about it — she fit it perfectly. Lithe and sharp-faced, quick on her feet, exuding a kind of animal attraction that he found irresistible even as something told him that she was trouble.

Why she seemed to find him irresistible was the bigger mystery. Jim wasn’t exactly a great catch: no visible means of support, no friends to speak of…living in a low-rent room that had all the trappings of a garage.

In retrospect, he realized that his instinctual urges played perfectly into her plans. There was a brief and white-hot fling of intimacy, followed by an increasingly distant relationship that was not of his making. 

It would be a mistake to think that Jim was shocked when Janis — she said she was named after the hard-living, raspy-voiced singer who met a tragic end decades ago — informed him about the result of their short-lived but torrid affair. This was obviously her goal from the start.

So, when he awoke one morning to find that she’d disappeared, he was saddened but not surprised. She was, after all, a lizard.

But then, so was he.

OK, raise your hand if you saw through my clumsy attempt to dramatize the events that have recently transpired in our garage, involving our resident Texas spiny lizard, Jim Morrison, and his now-you-see-her, now-you-don’t reptilian paramour.

We were surprised a couple of weeks ago to discover that a second lizard had appeared in the garage. In fact, it took a while before I decided that it wasn’t my imagination…that Jim really wasn’t so fleet-footed as to be able to almost instantaneously appear in two different spots around the treadmill.

The new arrival, who I named Janis Joplin in a continuation of our dead rock stars theme, was thicker in body than the relatively svelte Jim, and much less comfortable with our occasional presence. She quickly vanished under the treadmill almost immediately. And, of course, the only time I saw the two in close proximity with each other was the one time I didn’t have my phone with me to document the event.

I’m far from expert in the ways of Sceloporus olivaceus but I’ve concluded that Janis was *ahem* with child, and Jim was the contributing partner. I do know enough about the species to understand that the females dig a nest, deposit their eggs, and cover it up, never to return even when/if the eggs hatch. So I wasn’t shocked when she disappeared a few days ago; after all, it’s pretty hard to dig a hole in concrete.

I doubt that she’ll return — at least, not until next breeding season, the saucy wench — but it was pretty cool having them both around. Jim’s not exactly moping, although he’s really good at hiding his emotions, and his body language is giving nothing away.

But, every now and then, I think I see a sly, self-satisfied smile flash across his face.

I would be remiss if I failed to mention the sad fate of Mick Jagger, the resident garage anole. It would be unfair and possibly inaccurate to imply that he was a victim of a love triangle gone tragically wrong, but at this moment in time, his desiccated body lies in mute testimony to a lifetime of bad choices. He still resembles his namesake, except for that whole…you know…being dead thing.