Oscar the White
Published October 2004
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I was dreaming about a weekend in August, 2002. Standing beside the Cheat River in West Virginia in a woods shrouded with deep country night. With me was an old girlfriend, her lesbian lover and a forty year old burn out by the name of Alice.
If ever the name Alice made you think of Wonderland, all you need do is meet this Alice and you’ll wish for a looking glass. She was aged physical beauty and dynamic past blended into a damaged mind and twisted soul.
West Virginia has long been home to the burnouts. It’s the place where rebels go to die. Che Guevara is buried there. He came to West Virginia, thoughts scattered, illusions faded, and he drank his life away in the Church Key, unforgiving and misunderstanding, spreading local gossip and voting Republican and mourning mistakes he made when he was a ten years old.
I always find West Virginia haunting, yet beautiful. It’s the place where you’ll see wasted genius, shattered dreams and ignorant pride wrapped into a glory-star and thrown at your feet with disdain. It’s the State of the grievous angels.
Skinny dipping was the idea Alice cooked up that Friday night. I’d just gotten off the highway after a long day of customer service and I was waiting for God to put a gun in my hand. Instead, I was filled up with seven beers and lots of high quality weed. Why women insist on getting men drunk, stripping naked in front of them, and then being shocked at the reaction will forever be a mystery to me. I wonder if women also stuff raw meat in their panties, capture wild hyenas and then tease the animals by hitting them with a newspaper? It wouldn’t surprise me if you told me that happened on a regular basis. Women, for lack of a better word, are stupid. We’re men. We’re the same species. Women have known men since they were born. They’ve been surrounded by men since they could focus on objects. It’s not like our spaceship just landed, is it?
So Alice peels off her leopard-print thong and stood there, shaved and all. She’s lucky I didn’t rip out her intestines and howl at the moon because, let me tell you, I was an inch away from turning into a werewolf. As I stared at her fit, nude, matured figure I had to pause for a moment. I heard a voice in the back of my head that came from the bubbling, reptilian cortex and belonged beside a firepit on the Serengeti.
She fed me more beer and, to the horror of my captive female audience, I kissed Alice. Then I kissed her chest, between her breasts. Then I told her she was beautiful and, I wasn’t lying. It’s an intoxication, it’s a drug, flowing off every woman and awakening the madness in my mind. Shaking hands, closed eyes, deep sighs, haunting lips.
But Alice was angered and my girlfriend, who spent two years living and breathing my life, was stunned by my actions.
“Who do you think you are?” Alice barked.
Always a great question and a sobering moment. I gave my usual answer: “Genghis Kahn.”
There was a brief verbal fracas which served only to anger me. We returned to my car and I drove the women through the woods, wheels in ruts, rocks in the wells.
“What are you thinking?” Alice hissed through her teeth, face red with her anger.
A variation! I answered honestly. “I think you’re an ignorant, sad woman whose life is doomed to an unfocused misery that you’ve probably felt since you were a teenager.”
My old girlfriend made a small sound in the back of her throat.
“Oh, don’t get offended,” I said, “It’s just my opinion. Everybody has a right to an opinion. Only ignorant, sad women such as Alice would think otherwise.”
* * *
That night stayed with me as I woke up beside the sea chantress, Rita Sullivan, on a cold February morning. Texas Billionaire Oscar bin Laden was dead and I felt an indescribable relief. My relationship with Oscar had always been a mistake. It cost me a dear friend and my insistence on putting Oscar’s letters on our old webpage insulted and offended the small group of readers and friends that we had.
So, with his death, I felt free to write again. I felt cleansed of my misguided youth and able to move on, able to apologize for what I had written in the past. For the people I had offended.
The grand experiment of Oscar’s presidential bid had been shattered by a sniper’s bullet. Ali and the Boys had been deported by a Minnesota judge after refusing to pay $4567 in parking fines. I had held onto Rita because she could make me cum and, well, that’s reason enough to respect and love a woman.
Rita encouraged my writing and, in me, she saw a new Oscar, a new leader, a new strength. She fed my spirit and my body and I worked on my grand novel project. I lived my New Years Resolution – to write, to be happy, to help the world.
In the second month of 2003, all seemed well. Then my hideously deformed manservant answered the door and accepted a package from the UPS woman. A next day air letter. He opened it up, knelt at my feet and offered me the letter.
My Dearest Nacho,
I know it’s been hard. I have news. I have something special. I have a change. Come to the Audubon Naturalist Society mansion on Jones Mill Road. Tonight.
Now there was a mystery. I wasn’t a man of mystery, but there was no denying the temptation. I stared hard at the letter, then I looked down at my manservant and waited until his yellowed eye focused on me.
“Prepare the car.”
He nodded and scuttled out, leaving me with a glass of straight gin and a handful of bourbon creams.
* * *
The Audubon house was bathed in security lights. A Georgian Revival mansion atop a hill. I walked through the woods to the front door and leaned against the cold metal handicapped railing. My hideously deformed manservant waited in the car, keeping the engine idling.
I heard the voice before I felt the presence. I heard my name called from the low hedgerow running along the side of the mansion. Walking into the greenery, I spun when a hand touched my shoulder. There, standing amidst the holly and the berries – blood and semen in a more pagan world – stood Oscar bin Laden in shimmering robes, his beard white as snow, his eyes an eerie violet.
“Nacho Sasha,” he spoke my name.
My lips moved, I shook my head, I could say nothing.
“I have returned,” Oscar spoke, his voice sounding hollow and distant. “I have been asked to do what is right, to correct the mistakes of a powerful nation gone terribly wrong. I have come back to continue my candidacy. To oppose no man. To propose only ideas.”
He raised his arms and a light more intense than I had ever known burned into my skull. I fell to the ground, shielding my face. When my eyes opened, I was on the pavement and my manservant was bent over me, tapping my cheek lightly with the palm of his gnarled hand.
I looked into his eye and sighed. “It was Oscar.”
He nodded, looking up and over at the car. I twisted my head to follow his gaze. Oscar was sitting in the passenger seat with a copy of Hustler on his lap. He smiled, waved, then closed the door.
“Fuck,” I breathed.