We met on the sidewalk on the line for security check-in at LAX. It was Thanksgiving. I was going to Atlanta to see my mother and sister. She was going to Chicago to see her father and brother. The symmetry intrigued me. Neither one of us wanted to go. My family had voted for Bush and Cheney. So did hers. The similarities continued. She went to college in Boston, so did I. She loved recorded music better than live music. I admitted I felt the same way. She had a hard ass. She kept looking at my forearms. I am a socialist. She was all for communes and Max Weber. I told her how much I hated George Bush. She told me she hated Dick Cheney even more. We didn’t even have to state the obvious of what had gone wrong with our country, both so weary of the last three years of fear and the helpless sadness that we just looked into each other’s sad eyes. We each had monstrous editorials ready in our heads, but it was early and just wasn’t the time to get into it. Besides, what was the use?
The line was endless. I had an eight-forty-five flight. She had a nine-o-five. The security matron walked by, with dyed red hair and a mildly happy and mildly stern face, she called out, “Anyone for an eight-forty-five flight?” I didn’t move.
“Roberta. My name is Roberta.”
Roberta asked me, “What time is your flight?”
I told her, “Eight-forty-five.”
She warned me, “You should go, then.”
I asked her if she had ever been to the Furama hotel on Lincoln Boulevard. She said she had not, but she always wanted to see the inside.
We got out of line. I hailed a cab. I told her my name was Dave, which it is. We were at the Furama within ten minutes.
We both got undressed. She said she could get to Chicago later on. There were a whole bunch of flights that day. I told her that I might cancel my trip to Atlanta. I was more interested in going up the coast to see the elephant seals near Hearst Castle. She said she loved the seals. I told her you had to go in December and January to see them mate. It was one of the most powerful forms of nature I have ever seen. She touched my right hip bone. I touched her left hip bone. She kissed my lower lip. I heard a plane fly over-head.
“Another one took off safely,” she said. I grabbed her ass. She let out a sound that told me to grab even harder. So I did.
“I’ll have to call my father later and tell him I’m going to be late,” she smiled, feeling like she was an adolescent getting away with something. She started to blow me. I was happy to be with a woman who did not need thirty minutes of kissing before she would blow me. Another plane flew over the hotel. I got on my knees, she kneeled over and once I was in, we went on for about fifteen minutes. I would stop every now and then so I could last. She liked that. At one point, we felt very familiar to each other, like we had been doing this for years. Instead of making it less exciting, it became more so.
I got off before she did. So, when I was done, I dove down to finish her off. I’ve learned that it is best to really get into it, though usually I just feel like going to sleep once I have completed my biological agenda. Best to be polite and even act a bit. But the acting has to be good or else it just becomes annoying.
I acted like I loved doing it, which I sort of did. She got off for real. Which was nice. We both rinsed what needed rinsing and then lay on the bed. Another plane flew overhead. I asked her if she was really going to go to Chicago. She said she really wanted to, though she was dreading listening to her father rail on about towel-heads and her brother, who has been divorced twice, showing up with his latest girlfriend in some monstrous S.U.V. talking about the weekend house he was building on a manmade lake just forty minutes from his house.
She told me, “That lake used to be just a small pond with frogs and ducks. Since they built the damn, it has these small powerboats. They’re not disgusting, but they’re awful anyway.”
“Does the dam provide electricity?” I asked her, hoping there was something good about what happened to the pond.
“No. Nothing. Developers got the land and the pond and did what they wanted. The area is now a gold mine. Can you imagine?” She wasn’t even emotional, really, just resigned.
“I can. Sure.” I felt empty, too. I was also a little hungry.
“I hate Bush,” she said.
“Me, too,” I said, “But it’s the people. This is what the people want.”
“I am astonished.” She dried her thigh with the sheet.
“I don’t know how this is ever going to end,” I said, offering no solace.
“I have no idea, either. It’s just, he’s so awful. And he’s a hypocrite and he’s stupid. I don’t think he follows some God or anything except for his bloated ego. He doesn’t care about anything except for power. Not even oil, not even money, not even family values or any of the other bullshit Karl Rove grabbed the pulse of. He’s an abusive, sick, sick man. I hate him. Fuck him.” She turned her head and stared out the window.
We both lay there for a few minutes. It was overcast. The sound of a maid’s cart rolled by outside the door. I was so happy I decided to go up the coast instead of to Atlanta. My mother and sister are easy enough to be around, but they have no point of view. Years ago, my mother voted for Kennedy. My sister hasn’t voted in a long time. She’s very busy raising kids. For a second, I thought I should get up and do something, anything at all. I was getting antsy.
She said to me, “I just hate how I can’t be myself any longer. I’m not easy going like I used to be.”
“That’s not the president’s fault,” I moderated. I listened for more planes. I didn’t hear any.
“Dave, you know what Id’ like to do this holiday season?”
“What?” I thought she would say something about going with me to see the elephant seals.
She kept looking out the window and she said, “I’d like to kill George Bush.”
This had a very calming affect on me.
Then I said, “You better kill Dick Cheney first.”