I’ll always remember the first time I met Senex, because that was the day I became MarbleGargle.
I was sitting at a table at the Midway Cafe on Washington Street in JP. I was drinking a soy latte and conspicuously “reading” volume 3 of Marcel Prousts In Search of Lost Time (because I was addicted to the trivial in the before-time).
A shadow fell across the page, and my trap sprung, I looked up and readied myself to take umbrage at whomever would dare to stand in my light while I was “reading”.
I never got a word out.
“Hey MarbleGargle!” he said in tones of ultimate familiarity.
“uh, excuse me?”
” ‘MarbleGargle’, that’s your name now.”
“uhh, no. my name is-”
“And I’m Senex. Nice to meet you.”
I realized I must be speaking to a crazy person. No-one walks into a coffee shop and starts talking to people. That would violate the Social Contract. I tried to break eye-contact. No luck; in front of me he remained. I excused myself, and gathered my things, already thinking about what other public place I could go to and demonstrate my obviously superior intellect and disdain for the plebs I was desperately trying to impress.
Senex just sat down in the chair across from me and said “sit down”. Those two words were like a skyscraper landing on my head. Somehow, those two words made me ready for what happened next.
Senex explained that he was here to protect this dimension, but he needed allies, and that he had chosen me. He told me that “MarbleGargle” was an ancient saying on his planet, roughly translating to “instantly recognized friend”. Somehow, I knew these words were true, I knew that MarbleGargle was my true name, and Toby was just a lie I invented to convince my guilty conscience. I swore loyalty to Senex then, in that coffee shop. I have never regretted nor broken that oath.