Hallow

Published 9/11/03

Oscar bin Laden: Archives and discussion at http://www.greatsociety.org/forums/index.php?topic=1241.0

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PICK YOUR 9/11 UPDATE!

Nacho Sees the Future and It’s a Big Vacuous Void With No Pussy

Werdna spun around in my executive leather model C4150 chair and grinned.  “A question of your revolution,” he said.  I kept quiet, sitting down in one of the two fuzzy chairs facing my desk.  “The whole thing.  Dirtyfreaks, Greatsociety, the whole saga.  All of this writing, all of these words.  Thousands of pages.  What are they doing?  They go out and sit there and then drop down below the fold, read by a handful of closet queers and vague intellectuals.  It’s a waste of what meager talents you have.”

“I’m just writing.”  I said, “Most of those thousands of pages would never publish.  It’s ranting, off the cuff stuff.  I wouldn’t want them published anyway.  Besides, ranting is what I do, it’s my business.”

Werdna stood and shouted, “Getting published should be your business!”  His words whipped out and echoed in the room with an unnatural, thunderous roar.  On instinct, I leapt up and backed away.

Werdna, shaking, sucking in labored breaths, stepped around the desk and walked towards me.  His eyes, unblinking, never left mine.  “You will be visited tonight by three – “

“Oh my God!” I couldn’t help but laugh, “And you call me a fucking hack!”

“The first will come – “

“Yes, yes, I know.  I can read, you fuck.”

Werdna shrugged and looked away, “Okay, then.”  Without saying anything further, he walked out of my office.  After a few minutes, I rushed over to the window and watched him climb into his clap-trap Acura and drive off into the night.  Then I sat at my desk and exhaled.  It felt as if I’d been holding my breath the entire time.  Of course, there was nothing to do but stare at the clock.

* * *

I awoke at the touch of a hand on my shoulder.  It was a gentle rise from sleep but, as soon as I opened my eyes, I screamed and came surging out of my chair.  Texas Billionaire Oscar bin Laden was sitting on the edge of my desk.  The last man I was in the mood to see on the eve of September 11th.

“Nacho baby,” he said, popping his fingers like an extra from West Side Story.  He leaned forward and rested his chin on his fist, his elbow on his knee, “So I’m writing a song, maybe you can help?  What do you think should come after this?”  He started to sing in his weird broken English:  “I could while away the hours/Conferrin’ with the flowers/Consultin’ with the rain.  And my head I’d be scratchin’ /While my thoughts were busy hatchin’…?”

I blinked a few times, wondering if this was a crazed dream, “Um… ‘If I only had a brain’?”

“By Allah’s brown back hair!” he shouted, “You’re brilliant!  And that rhymes with ‘rain,’ too!”  He pulled out a worn notepad like you see cops use and scribbled the lyrics down, then he sighed contentedly and sat there gazing at me.

“So,” I ventured, “What are you doing here?”

“Right!” He said, shouting again, “I’m the Ghost of 9/11 Past!”

“Oh, come on.  This is so stupid.”

“What?”

“It’s plagiarism!  It’s disgusting.  I’m not playing along.”

Oscar shrugged, “You have to.”

“Why?”

“You remember that scene in the imperialist parable, <i>Lord of the Rings</i>, where Gwyneth Paltrow turns into a really scary monster for a second?”

“Yes.  It was Cate Blanchett.”

“I can do that.  And no it wasn’t.”

“No you can’t.  And it was.”

“Sure I can.   Let’s make it a logical argument:  Do you want to find out if I can do that?”

“That’s not a logical argument.”

“Well, then, here’s another logical argument:  Are Cate Blanchett and Gwyneth Paltrow both cute blondes?  If yes, then it doesn’t matter which one played the scary elf.”

“That’s not a logical argument, either.”

“It is!  Look, never mind, you’re going into the past whether you want to or not.” And, with that, he snapped his fingers.

There was a sense of time passing, though in a totally alien way.  I felt as if I were on top of a huge drain and a superior power had pulled the plug.  My vision blurred into a rainbow, and there was no air, no wind, no thought for what seemed to be an eternity.  When next I opened my eyes, Oscar and I were standing in my office, late at night.  I saw myself as in a mirror, but it was not a duplicate image.  My other self lay with his head on the desk, sound asleep.

“So, when is this?” I asked as soon as I had caught my breath.

“This, Nacho Sasha, is one half hour ago.”

We were both silent for a moment, then I turned to him.  “What the fuck are you talking about?  A half an hour ago!  Who takes me back for half an hour?  This is insane!  You’re totally off the level!  I can’t believe this!”

“What?  It’s a half an hour.  Destinies are decided in that amount of time.”

“So what am I here to learn?  What’s the destiny I should understand?”

Oscar shrugged, “Um, nothing, I just thought you’d gain a better focus if you saw yourself at work.”  He indicated me with a broad sweep of his arm, “Or, asleep, rather.”

I looked at myself, then looked back at Oscar, “Okay.”

He nodded, “Okay,”

He sat down in one of the fuzzy chairs and became preoccupied with the back of his hand.  “What do you think this white spot is?”

I slapped his hand and stared down at him, “This is totally retarded.”

“Well, while I have you here,” he said, “Maybe you can help me with the new Al Quada uniforms.  I figure we need a makeover for the 2003-2004 season.”

“No!”  I shouted.  “No, no, no!  It’s a terrorist organization, anyway.  It doesn’t need uniforms.”

“Everybody needs a good uniform!  The Nazis were so cool because they had a great uniform.  Even the Japanese had that puke yellow thing going on!”

“I’m not going to help you select uniforms for an insane ass raping terrorist organization!”

“Come on!  We have half an hour to kill until we catch up with your timeline.  Here, I have some drawings.”  He handed me his notepad and I looked down at the page and saw three illustrations.  The first was entitled oscar dress, the second was oscar winter and the third was oscar summer.

“I like them all.” I said after a few minutes.

“Ah.  Well, good.  Okay.”  He cleared his throat and took the notepad back.  We sat across from each other, without speaking, for half an hour, at which point he whipped off his white turban and put on a blue one.

“What’s that?”

“I’m the Ghost of 9/11 Present now.”

“Ah.” I said.

We sat in silence a bit more.  If I wore a watch, I would have checked it constantly.  Unfortunately, I had chosen the chair that wasn’t facing the clock, so the best I could do is look at my wrist and then look out the window.  Finally, after an eternity, a gaggle of scantily clad women burst into the room, wearing the ‘Oscar Winter’ terrorist outfit.

“It’s about fucking time!” Oscar shouted, throwing his dirty blue turban in my lap.  He stood and pulled two of the women to the floor which, somehow, caused all of them to fall on top of him.

I stood up, ready to start cursing, but instead watched in horror as Oscar started removing bras and panties and throwing them in the air.  He buried his natty face between a brunette’s legs and made a crude blowing noise like you do to a child’s stomach.  The girl screamed hysterically and started rolling, squeezing Oscar’s head with her legs.  The other women were laughing so hard their eyes were sealed shut like newborn kittens.  I slipped away and out into the hallway, then ran down the steps and leapt onto the concrete with a painful thunk.

Actually, that wasn’t intentional.  I meant to leap into my car but, you see, here’s the odd thing, my car was fucking gone.  Now, I could share some of my thoughts about this discovery, with the animal like squeals of depraved women on the night air, but I was grabbed from behind before any coherent words could come to mind besides, of course, ‘motherfucker.’  Before I could fight, a bag was pulled over my head and what felt like a small moon hit my skull.  I say it was a moon because a starfield filled my vision and all awareness dropped into nightsong.

When I woke, Oscar’s long time compatriots, Ali and the boys, were all standing around me.  They had Russian guns and a look of snarling distaste that they shared between them as if incapable of having individual looks of snarling distaste.  It was like when long time couples could finish each other’s sentences, except Ali and the boys were finishing each other’s snarling look of distaste.

I’d encountered Ali many times before, but never without Oscar around, so I put myself on guard and turned my own face into a look of snarling distaste.

Ali gestured with his gun and I turned to see Wheaton, Maryland.  But it wasn’t the Wheaton I knew.  It was still night, but the little rundown suburb had become a bustling metropolis.  An upscale family walked past me, and I flashed them a look of snarling distaste, then I let Ali drag me over to the trashcan where he picked up a copy of the Washington Post and pointed at the date in the upper right hand corner.  September 11th, 2028.

“Well, I’ll be a box of Chiclets.” I cursed.

Then Ali moved his arm so I could see the entire front page.  I tore it out of his hands.

“Ah ha!” I shouted, “Laser eye surgery causes brain cancer!  I knew it!  I fucking knew it!  Just they wait until I get back to the past!”

A passing couple flashed me an odd look and I ran towards them, gesturing wildly, “Just they wait till I get back to 2003!  Brain cancer!  I’ll show them <i>all</i>!”

Ali grabbed me and yanked me away, punching the headline with his finger.  And there it was.  My name.

“That rocks.  I’m in the paper and I’m like, 900 years old or something!”

Then he pointed at the first paragraph.

“Oh, I was in the woods.”

Ali looked defeated, his shoulders sinking and his eyes rolling towards the saucerport of the Wang building.  Then he raised the paper again and shook it.  I looked at the article.

“Dude I was killed by a lynch mob.”

Ali made a sick, strangled sound, so I kept reading and tried not to look at him.

“For…the brutal…” I read out loud, eyes squinting, “Rape and torture murder of an entire Boy Scout troop.”  I looked up at Ali, “Oh my God.”

He nodded.

“Why’d I do that?”

Ali sighed again and pointed at the article.  I read some more.

“After 27 years running an alternative webpage,” I turned to one of Ali’s companions, “Alternative, dude!” But all I got was a snarling look of distaste so I went back to the article, “Hey I’m not a Shut-in!” I barked at the paper.  “Or an alcoholic!”  I snatched the paper out of Ali’s hands, “Or a bi-polar, insecure, paranoid, schizophrenic… Dude, what’s this word mean?”

Ali nodded knowingly.

“All this is wrong,” I said, “I wouldn’t rape and murder Boy Scouts.  Girl Scouts, maybe.  Brownies.  But <i>Boy</i> Scouts?  That there is a deviated septum if I ever heard of one.”

Ali flashed me a confused look and I stared at him with a blank mind for a moment.  Finally, he pulled me out to the main street, which was a river of traffic, and he pushed me up against a young woman waiting to cross.

“Hi, I’m Nacho Sasha.” I said automatically, stretching out my hand.

She looked at me without any expression.

I grinned, “You may know me, I ran an alternative webpage for 27 years.  You wanna go and, uh, catch a, uh, you know, a thing or something?”

She cocked her head, looking at me as if I were from Iowa, “I do not understand.” She said at last.

“I’m thinking maybe you and I could hook up.”

She shook her head.  “This is most unusual.  Are you saying you wish to mate?”

Oh, me droogies, the future was looking veddy good indeed.  I winked at Ali, then turned all my attention to the woman, “That’s right, baby. Mate like two praying mantises in Des Moines.  Or is it ‘manti’?”  I glanced at Ali, who shrugged, then I turned back to the woman, “No, it’s mantises.  I’m sure of it.  Or it might just be mantis.  You know, like moose.”

She laughed, “Oh, what an excellent joke!  This is most amusing.  These are ‘chat-up’ lines, yes?  Have you studied this from a book?  Is this how it was done?  Okay, okay, I’ll play along.  Hey, hottie, I want you to fill me up!”  She laughed again, “That is, if I had anything for you to fill up.”

“Well, that means, you know, I do it inside you and – “

She stepped away, horrified, “Inside me!” her voice broke.  “How is that possible?  President DeLorbe has spoken often of how filthy that was in the old days.”

“DeLorbe?  Jesus Christ, they have no taste in the future.  But it is possible, I just have to—“

“No it is not possible!”

“Well, sure it is,” I glanced worriedly at Ali, who flashed me a look of snarling distaste, “You know, the man bone goes into the…girl socket.”

“What the blue asteroid is a girl socket?” She asked.  She was kinda cute when she swore.

“You know, a pussy.” I flinched and looked around at some of the bystanders that had gathered around us.  They all looked confused, so I said, “A vagina.  A clam.  A cunt.  A, uh…” I looked at Ali for help, “Oh, come on, Ali!”

The girl started laughing again, relaxing, “A vagina!  Oh, you’re great.  Are you an actor?  Those things sounded so awful!  I’m glad President DeLorbe did away with sexual reproductive organs and replaced them with autoevactors in 2015!”

At that, everyone in the crowd that could hear crossed their arms over their chests and looked up, chanting in unison, “Hail President DeLorbe!”

“No sexual organs?” I asked.  Ali was nodding smugly.

“No, silly!” The girl said.

“What about anal punishment?” I asked.  Ali rolled his eyes.

“What’s…’anal’.”

Ali dragged me away and I was shouting in his ear, “Dude, come on, she still has a mouth!  And there are Boy scouts, I hear…”

He threw me against the wall of the Bebong building and a robot eye shot out of the slick masonry.

“Help you?” It squeaked.

“There’s no pussy in the future.” I said.

“I know!” It squealed.

“Well… Goddamnit.”

“Thank you!”  It slurped back into the wall.

I grabbed Ali’s collar, “Please say this is only a possible future!  I mean, I’m the shut in schizoid master of a 27 year old alternative webpage!  Take me from this place you murdering fanatic!”

* * *

A car horn out on the road brought me awake with a start.  I’d slept through the night.  Glancing around my office in the early morning light, there was no sign of Oscar, Ali or the boys.  Or a dozen scantily clad women.  I felt renewed.  Powerful.

I threw on the extended mix of Safety Dance and ran down to the street.  There was my car!  Everybody’s taking the chance!  Safety Dance!

I saw the error of my ways.  Being a schizoid shut in and writing for an alternative webpage was a waste of time!  My increasingly alarming disrespect for the terror and horror of September 11th, 2001, was doing nothing but damaging my soul.  Was I so cold and uncaring that I was willing to forget people dying on 9/11?  To forget the heroes that died saving them?  To cheapen their loss by making a cruel mockery of the event?  Was I so empty and so misanthropic that I had forgotten people leaping out of windows and falling to their deaths?  That I had forgotten watching the planes hitting the Towers and the buildings toppling down?  Was I that sad?  That empty?

I saw a young Hispanic boy walking by.

“You there,” I called out, “Boy!”

“Whada fuck you call me, Gringo?”

“What day is it, Boy?”

“September 11th you fucking—“

“Good,” I said to myself, “I haven’t missed it.”  I flipped the boy a billfold stuffed full of money, “Go to the market and fetch me the largest canister of jet fuel you can find!”

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