Saturday, April 21, 2007

The Love Song of Richard McBeef

I can tell you now that it was me in the pictures. The ones the police have refused to release. The ones that have yet to appear in Drudge's pornographic mirror.

My relationship with Lisa Nowak, the scandalized astronaut, was brief but intense. We met online, exchanging double entendres on a message board devoted to live recreations of minor disasters of the twentieth century. Soon, I was driving the three hours to Houston every weekend for our clandestine assignations.

Locked in a hotel with the anti-gravity Betty Page, I read technical manuals and surgical texts aloud while she prepared for the abduction of her rivals. She hunched over the hotel desk in her black underwear, jury-rigging inventive devices of temporary imprisonment. She completed the proofs I read from the physics textbook, saying it helped her forget the names of her children.

The hotel was a Doubletree on the George Bush Intercontinental Airport access road. From the balcony, I watched windowless 747s land with their strange cargo, unloaded after midnight in hangars out of view of the passenger terminals.

Lisa described Antarctica as viewed from space, and I planned our private colony on the far side of the moon. We were not in love, but we completed each other in a strange way for those four weeks.

That was before the invasion. Before the tanks rolled down the Avenida Ahmad Chalabi, the Galleria fell under the bombardment of our unexpected liberators, and all the signals went dead.

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