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 canaps 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.
* * *
So I went to the Riviera anniversary party. I thought about my cousin and my brother and my stupid ex-boyfriend (him I wasn't sad about), and I didn't think about Sept. 11 at all, or the terrorists would have won.
The DJ was excellent, starting with some Brazilian pop and mambo, segueing into some lazy French hip-shakers, and then moving into funk and old school. The food was excellent, and copious. And despite 400 of Riviera's closest and richest friends standing in attendance, there was never a wait for champagne.
And I danced and danced for two hours, until my son reminded me it was a school night, and would I like to go home?
On Sept. 11, just a few days later, I took him to a ball game. The Angels lost to the White Sox, but it was close and featured some great double plays. I missed the tribute beforehand to the attack on our homeland, because I didn't really care.
* * *
MELTING POINT WRAP-UP
This week's topic—and why wouldn't it be?—was Sept. 11 and the War on Terror. Armed with the knowledge that some media types had listened to our show and commented that I sounded ill-informed, I made sure to sound even ill-informeder. KJ from Austin went on at length about the smell of the morgue at Ground Zero where she volunteered, and Shawn Fago and Erik Brown on the Right talked a whole bunch about Iran wanting to wipe us off the face of the map.
I am particularly ill-informed on Iran.
Ron called in to say putting panties on people's heads is awesome—Ron loves torture—and I reminded him that people died in custody at Abu Ghraib from soldiers' abuse, and that conservative Christian Senator Lindsey Graham almost wept after seeing classified footage. It was, Graham said, footage of rape and murder. I am not ill-informed about Abu Ghraib.
Check out Melting Point Sundays at 11 p.m. on KRLA-AM 870 or at krla870.com.
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Orange County, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.