Interlude

Published Sep. 2004

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

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Texas Billionaire Oscar bin Laden told me he had a plan to end hatred in the world.  I wasn’t doing anything except picking a scab that had formed after I sliced an old childhood scar with a knife, so I went along for a Saturday in DC.

OBL had a syringe to his neck when I pulled up to the Greyhound station.  Apparently, he was holding a family at bay by threatening his suicide.  When he looked over at me, the relief was visible in his eyes, and I reached over to throw the passenger side door open.

“Goddamned city’s full of lunatics.” He muttered darkly, climbing into the car and pounding my dashboard, “Go forward now!”

I took off, rattling through DC streets and the worst of Northeast, veering through scum and projects and new hope until we blasted out into the suburbs and cleared ourselves of darkness.  Oscar told me to hit 270, the Interstate feed leaving the city to points north & west.  It was a nice day and I hadn’t had my dose of strange yet, so I obliged.

I-270 fans out into 12 lanes and powers up to Frederick where it becomes I-70.  The road always held magic for me.  Like watching trains and planes, I always think of where the highways can take me.  That said, I felt that every Interstate was quietly trying to anally rape me as I hurtled blindly past sites and history and pit-stops, surrounded by the gentle pulse of fast food haunts, outlets and strip malls.  Once I started on 270, my goal always became a western glide to old US 40, where I could lose myself in back road history.  But such sentimentalism has no place when Oscar’s involved, so I kept my mood to myself.

“What’s the scenario here?” I asked as we approached Sugarloaf Mountain.

“The Third Column.”  He replied cryptically.

He told me to pull off at Sugarloaf, an hour outside of DC, and we wove our way to the Comus Inn, where a reserved table waited with three bottles of wine, fried Calamari and a somewhat forlorn-looking young woman.  Her black hair was pulled into two ponytails and her body was lost amongst dark, baggy clothes that looked well out of place for June.  She introduced herself as Beaver, smiled apologetically, and made room for Oscar.  I pulled a Merlot closer to my heart and drank from the bottle even as the waitress brought us glasses.

“Beaver here represents the disenfranchised youth,” Oscar said.  “I want you to write about her.”

“Hi,” I said to Beaver.

She smiled and twirled her hair.

“Are you the disenfranchised youth?”

She nodded shyly.

“Excellent.  Who are you voting for?”

“Nader.”

And there it was.  I knew she was going to say that.  Either Nader or a write-in Howard Dean.

I have little issue over Dean.  He’s obviously a monster, a grinning, leaping madman bent on the rape of eight year old girls and the murder of nuns, but that doesn’t mean he’s a worse man than the Democrat’s Gunga Din.   Upon reflection, Dean’s campaign-killing Iowa yell was reminiscent of the yell my Confederate ancestors let loose as they charged, shoeless, across battlefields amidst a hail of musket balls.  It was a shout of victory coming from the lips of a doomed angel.  It was impetuous, child-like nonsense blown up by the media into a moment of terrible madness.  I thought it was funny, but I’m a connoisseur of self-destruction.  I seek it out and relish the taste that the death of great men leave on my palate.  There’s a tortured, withered elegance to Dean’s rapid and humorous fall from grace.  The aftertaste was slightly fruity with a hint of caramel and flowers in a Paris spring.

Come Kerry, a man I had supported since early on in the game, there’s no elegance, tortured or otherwise.  The aftertaste is bitter, like napalm and rice.  I was and still am behind a war president in order to combat another war president, and I was doing so with the full knowledge that setting a political see-saw in motion would do nothing but confuse and corrupt what little remained of America’s diseased and subdued awareness.

But, then, my family’s been voting strictly Democrat ever since Abe Lincoln betrayed us.

“What gives?” I asked Beaver.

She sort  of shrugged and made an animal like sound.  Then, leaning forward, she whispered harshly.  “He’s good people.”

“Good people?”

“We’re being blackmailed,” Beaver said, glancing around as if for government troops, or a treacherous Republican waitress, “The Opposition party versus The Party In Government.  That’s the story, ain’t it?  Ain’t it?  Like a game.  Like they’re wrapping us all around and spitting us out, day after day, election after election.  Never a solid run, either, huh?  Never a good time.  One comes, one goes, and four years is just long enough to campaign for the next time around.  The laws change and whip around and never make sense, don’t it?  Huh?”

She had a point.  It was a sport.  I shrugged and poured her some wine.

“I’m underage.” She muttered.

“Fuck them.”  Oscar barked, turning to the waitress, who looked like she needed a cigarette.  “Fuck every inch of them.  This 20 year old girl is going to have a fucking civilized motherfucking drink!”  The waitress shrugged, so Oscar turned to a polite, well-cleaned couple at the table beside us, “Cunt!” he screamed.  The couple froze, eyes wide.

“I can’t tolerate lesser-evilism,”  Beaver continued.  “What’s the point?  That’s something you old guys invented.”

“<i>We</i> old guys?”

Beaver shrugged, “Well, you settle for it.”

“Fuck you, child.” I replied sharply, taking the wine glass away from her and spilling half on my hand and the other half down my throat, “Take away two party politics and you’ll have fucking four or five lesser evils to choose from instead of one!  What?  Do you think getting multiple parties into play will bring humanity beck to politics?  Get your head back on, retard.  You’ll surround yourself with more than the standard darkness.

“It’s not lesser-evilism,” I told Beaver, “What should fear you out is pussification.  Now, allow my political correctness to lapse for a bit, but the pussification of the American political machine is unforgivable.  We have a choice between two simpering, bleeding, sappy cunts.  It’s NASCAR versus Electability.  And that’s the wave of the future.  Intellectualism, literacy, independence and spirit have all faded in favor of this shit.  Even if there were a dozen parties representing the individual wills of entire blocks of politically active and thoughtful Americans, we’d be backing down on all the real issues.”

“Faggots,” Oscar said.

“Education,” I chimed in.

“Health.”

“You name it.  Any of a thousand things that would be of social benefit.  But nobody – Nader, Dr. Happy – nobody can run on domestic issues anymore.  We’re so far gone we don’t even care about our own Humanity anymore.  I can forgive not giving a dead man’s cock about anyone around you, but you’d think we’d at least worry about ourselves.”

Beaver clapped excitedly, “But that’s what I’m saying.  People like me, we’re the New Culture.  You’re Generation X, but we’re not.  We’re New Blood.  We’re changing things.”

“You’re fucking dirty whelps.  You’re the rape victims of the PC generation.”

“We give a damn about Humanity!” She said, “More than you do, Nacho!  All your preaching about change and awareness and you’d steal a blind man’s dog.”

“Dogs, like young women, are too expensive.”

Beaver smiled, her lips full, “You’re an empty man.  And so are all the others from your camp.  The unsettled, the unplanned, the unachieved.”

I was getting tired of this.  In my head was <i>Speed</i> by Atari Teenage Riot, which always cycles around right before I murder a 20 year old Naderite with a bottle of merlot.

“Defend your choice.”  Beaver said suddenly.

“I want to get a Vietnam vet in office because he’ll be consumed by a bitter resentment and fight our wars with massive conventional ground forces and, possibly, nuclear holocaust, instead of pussy-footing around.”

Both Oscar and Beaver gaped at me, unable to respond.

“Oh, come on.  Tell me you don’t want to see a fucking tank battle.  Tell me you don’t want beleaguered troops retreating from a winter in Moscow, hand to hand combat with the rear guard…”

“Maybe some good old island jumping and a few death marches, right?”  Oscar asked sarcastically.

“Whatever it takes to pass the time.”  I stood and leaned in close to Beaver, putting my finger in her face.  “You’re the fool, little girl.  You’re the unplanned, the unsettled.  This is the modern era, this is the time of war and terror, these are the days of the coming Empire.  Your waterhead Republic is sliding into the gutter and everything – <i>everything</i>– from here on out is going to be horrible.  We haven’t had a non-military president since FDR, and look what he got us involved in.  Even Jimmy Carter was a Navy man.”

“You come from nowhere,” Beaver smiled fondly, “You have nothing to say.”

“Well,” I replied, “So what?”

It was childish, and she had called me out, but that’s not what’s important.  What’s important is that I walked away without paying the bill, and decided to leave Oscar behind with his little beast.  Let her drive him home.  He was needling me in the middle of an election summer and I had things to do, like make it to Montgomery County Liquor before the Stoli Sale ended.

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