By On the occasion of our 20th anniversary
By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
I had just walked my son to his first day of junior high and helped him get his schedule when I realized there were only about two other moms in sight. "Okay, go find your classes," I told him. Sink or swim, fucker!
Then, on the way home, and with a flashback to the first day of kindergarten, I cried, just a tiny.
A few hours later, a co-ex of mine called up and asked me if I was marrying our mutual ex-boyfriend. She'd heard a wedding was in the works and thought it might be to me, but thank the good and loving lord, it wasn't. Bullet dodged!
That afternoon, my mom called and said my cousin had died. He was a frightening kid, really messed up, and it wasn't a surprise, but I cried.
The next day my little brother Cakeyboy had a grand mal seizure at the side of the road after he got off the bus from school. He was unconscious for 30 minutes, and when he woke, he thought the paramedics at his side were CIA guys come to take him to Guantanamo.
And I worried about him and I cried and cried.
It was the perfect time to jet off to Riviera's anniversary party.
* * *
Now, I hate Riviera magazine, honestly. It's run by one of my very best friends, Kedric Francis, who this year finally saw fit to add me to the sexy list (he'd had eight years to add me to the 20 in Their 20s when he was at OC Metro from the time we met until I got too old, and several more years after that to include me in some List of Hotness or other), and I hope you saw the picture. I'm convinced I looked like Brigitte Bardot, all naked and in bed. But the magazine, while beautiful to look at (especially with me in it), is like Exhibit A in How to Start Class Warfare With Your Friends and Neighbors. It's for Newport people, and it reads as such. Its very first issue, just five years ago now, included stories on Tiffany, and throwing thousand-dollar tea parties for your 4-year-old princess, and columns on "Why We Live on the Riv." That launch party, five years ago, came two days after Sept. 11.
There were canapťs that Sept. 13, and I enjoyed them, and it was probably good to get out of my house and actually interact with people, but I needed at the time to be back in bed with my television on, the teevee news pumped directly into my veins, playing a little game I like to call "Did They Confirm That?" (correct answer: No) and weeping and sobbing and sitting shiva for the prescribed seven days.
I was grieving, but I was also frightened—terrorized, really; it worked, I guess—and wished my boyfriend—the one who's getting married, not to me, bullet dodged, thanks & etc.—would bring his gun to my house so when society unraveled and mobs of looters came, he could shoot them for me, or at least brandish the thing. He went backpacking for a week in the mountains instead.
Now do you see what I mean?
Then, one day, I got over it. I'm the person the Right talks about when they say Americans haven't learned the lesson of 9/11: I'm not scared of terrorists, even though I'm pretty sure they'll hit us again, and again. I'm not "vigilant," and I don't care to be. I don't spend my days seething about Islamo-Fascists trying to wipe America off the map. I don't think multiculturalism weakened America, and I think people who say so are retarded. (And what multiculturalism has to do with 9/11 confounds my puny liberal brain, but I don't get the connection between 9/11 and homosexuality and feminism either, as Falwell does, or the connection between 9/11 and promiscuity, with noted thinker Dinesh D'Souza saying Al Qaeda was right to be disgusted by our freedoms. If you ask me, and you implied that you did when you picked up this paper, Falwell and D'Souza would be happier in Afghanistan.)
I may not be booking a vacation to Beirut (or even Spain), but I'm pretty sure I'm okay here, even if my mom does live right on top of the Port of LAand I can practically spit on The Matterhorn. I don't think we're facing the most terrifying enemy we've ever known: one in a long list of people the U.S. said were "madmen" with whom we could never negotiate because they were just too fucking crazy: Khrushchev, Qadhafi, Saddam, Noriega, now that unpronounceable guy from Iran. You know: the one who now wants to negotiate with us over their nuclear program.
We always have an enemy. We like to. Fear and violence stimulate the reptilian, primitive part of the brain. But the rest of the entire world thinks President Bush is the madman now, and you'd think we'd take pause to consider that instead of just planning for our next title weight bout.
Looking at you, Iran! And Syria, don't get too cozy!
Because if there's anyone you'd trust to prosecute a war, it's our War President, President Bush.