I was in a deep sleep, not like the nation as a whole, but dreaming of a better day. Picking up the intrusive telephone receiver, the cobwebs cleared immediately, however. Osama’s tears were terrible. The only other time I had experienced him broken apart like that was in Waziristan –as U.S. forces bombed Tora Bora— lamenting the loss of a colleague who had perished during the USS Cole attack.
Apparently, he had just gotten over Robert Fisk’s characterization of him on The Amy Goodman Show, Monday, when someone had handed him a copy of Tom Englehardt’s Osama’s Surprise piece He had been disappointed by RF’s suggestion that he had become a bit too enamoured of himself with the wearing of gold robes and such of late, when an underling handed him TE’s “Osama bin Laden as Shock Jock” tirade.
He always comes to me. For that I’m thankful; sometimes I feel it makes a difference for us all.
You see, the notion that had he “been capable of orchestrating the bringing down of another American tower or its equivalent, he certainly would have done so” by now cut him to the quick. It was as silly as the speculation coming from The Dennis Miller Show and the remarks of Dee Dee What’s Her Name (former Clinton spokesperson) suggesting that he was merely trying to prove he was a player with the release of his latest video.
But it was the dangerous edge that disturbed him. He could take chiding from Thespian-Turned-Pundit Ron Silver, but the Silver Lining, as he put it, which envelopes America made him mourn.
He didn’t know what he had to do to destroy our denial…deeper than caves, the dungeons where we dwell with holographic echoes turning over and over into themselves.
Where we have chosen to entomb ourselves, he intoned, will lead the whole world awry.
Didn’t Tom Englehardt know, he asked, that all the joking at his expense was wasting valuable time? Compounding ignorance with ignorance is how he put it.
He talked about the ease with which he could bring more towers down, not boasting, but grieving over our not taking his warnings in the right light. Making him into a Wannabe Celebrity, scratching for the spotlight like Madonna on Kabala had made him a bit sick.
He mentioned in passing something about it not having to be towers or airplanes, how the “few riyals” that TE had joked about (with regard to the low cost of the video) was all it might take to take down NYC’s subway system.
It was at that point he said something about wanting me to convey his displeasure at Bush having associated himself with Giuliani, W, apparently, thinking the Yanks were a lock (after the Sox were Three Down), believing he was associating with a winner. He seemed to think all that was working against his preferred scenario for us all.
I can’t remember much else coming down. But I did take notes that, perhaps, I’ll share with you at a later date.
The one chilling note, however, that lingers was the line he was whistling as he put the receiver down; like young Jeff who always ends each “I Love Toy Trains” video with a song, Osama always does that too. It was a really distinct line from Cole Porter’s “Anything Goes.” But the exact words fail me.
RICHARD OXMAN can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org