From democratically-trained pilots
I had decided to give up on men for awhile.
This was after the guy I had fallen in love with confessed he had fantasies of urinating on me in the shower.
"It's not degrading. It's an honor. It's like marking my territory." Even though I was appalled at his words, I was turned on by his Russian accent.
Earlier that day I had played a video clip on ABC News Online website which showed Russians burning miniature American flags and one-dollar bills, throwing eggs at the American Embassy in Moscow, and urinating on the Embassy wall. This was during the height of the Kosovo crisis. The American position was not popular in the Russian Federation. I didn’t know much about the U.S. was doing but, according to the newscaster, the U.S. general in charge explained that while it was true we were dropping bombs, they were only “democratically-dropped bombs from democratically-trained pilots.”
"What part of me would you actually urinate on?" I asked.
“You could draw a little target, or an American flag on your butt-cheek,” he said.
“Okay.” I couldn't think of anything else to say.
A year later. I began to wonder if the bombings in Moscow that immediately followed Kosovo had been planned by NATO allies rather than the Chechen rebels they were blamed on.
Whatever it was, it worked. Not a single Muscovite bothered to picket the U.S. Embassy. Everyone was too busy worrying about Chechen rebels planting bombs in apartment buildings and high-traffic areas.
Terror is so psychological it’s difficult to manage – however, I think that hysteria is surprisingly easy to instill in a populace. It was suddenly very easy to believe that Chechens (or Muslim fundamentalists) were running around with bombs in lunch bags and the Russian equivalent of Ryder trucks.
A Muslim was scape-goated in Oklahoma City after the bombing. He was released after they found a different pair of culprits. They were white and working-class.
Perhaps the answers are unknowable. Conspiracy theories are sometimes more attractive than the quotidian.
I ran into the guy who had shared his shower fantasy with me. I was more in love with him than ever, but more afraid than ever to let him know. For that reason, I hadn’t seen him in a few months.
“I want to be rich,” he said. “I want to have my own business, just like all Americans.”
“What kind of business?” I asked.
“One with lots of employees.”
“Have you thought of a Doomsday cult? Make it look like a resort, and promise you’ll take care of them. All they have to do is become a member of the club.”
Later that night, we decided to rent a movie & see if we could rekindle old times. We were watching the news, and I saw grim-faced Muscovites watching a Russian police officer check the documents of a Muslim man.
“I used to do some work for a small Turkish trading company -- offices in Vevey, Switzerland. I was good friends with Hilmi – the son of the founder. People were rude to him because he looked Turkish.”
“But he was Turkish, wasn’t he?”
“But he was educated and he contributed to society. I liked him. His mom said she was sorry we weren’t dating – I was the only decent woman he seemed to meet.”
“That was just your blue eyes and bleached hair,” he said.
“Yeah, if I were kidnapped for someone’s harem, they’d have to beat me after a few weeks. Dark roots. I’m not a natural blonde,” I said.
“Would you let me beat you up?” He looked interested.
“Hey. I’ve got to go home. I want to take a shower,” I said.
He didn’t remember last year’s request. Just as well. It was late. The streets were dark, and it had been five years since our own bout with terrorism. I felt complacent and mildly angst-ridden. I remembered last year’s Kosovo bombings, and our own “democratic and democratically-trained” SWAT teams who conducted “democratically-correct” interrogations – all the allowable atrocities when a populace is held in the grip of terror, rage, and useless longing for what can’t be ever guaranteed – a place to live, things to eat, ways to feel happy, and at the end of it all, Heaven, or at least a comfortable spot on a UFO.
“I know it’s stupid of me, but I love you,” I said, as I was walking out the door.
He didn’t hear me. It was probably for the best.