Jun 25 2010

All About Me, Chapter 3.5

Published by at 7:24 am under All About Me



There was a knock on the hotel door room, and everyone jumped. It wasn’t a really loud knock or anything. But, you know how it is when everyone is focused on one thing, and then something else happens, kind of unexpected. Everyone’s attention suddenly gets shocked out its orbit. For me it was no big deal. I get distracted a lot, if you haven’t noticed. I have this A.D.D., thing, remember? But, anyway, when that knock came, even they looked at the door as if it might explode or something. It didn’t. Of course, Leon became hysterical anyway. “Oh my God,” he shrieked, “Who’s that?”


No one seems to pay much attention to his panic attack. Even the rabbi didn’t seem to pay much attention to it, which was kind of surprising to me. I mean, Bobby and I were used to it, having lived with him all these years, but most strangers seem to take his drama seriously. I know you’re probably wondering who this rabbi was and what he was doing there in the hotel room with Leon, Bobby and me. I mean, that is, aside from filling out a great opening for the joke. I wish I could tell you. The truth is, I had no idea myself.


Actually, truth is, there were actually a lot of rabbis in the hotel. We, that is the terrorist and I, had taken over this whole convention of rabbis as a protest against all the inhumane and horrible things that were going on over in Palestine. Of course, unfortunately no did nay research as to what kind of rabbinical conference it was, which was a bit of a problem because this particular convention was a conference of rabbis who were against Zionism.


It took us all a bit by surprise, actually. We never expected a bunch of rabbis to be against themselves. I mean, the rabbi that was trapped in the room with me told me that Zionism was a part of Judaism from the time of the Bible. Which kinda makes sense to me. Not that I know anything about it.


By the way, it was Mustafa’s idea, actually; the takeover of the hotel, not that rabbi should be stuck in that hotel room with me. You see, this particular rabbi had nothing to do with the convention, or the takeover for that matter. Well, that is except that he was there now, so I guess he was one of the hostages. He certainly wasn’t one of the terrorists. Though, he didn’t seem to act much like a hostage to me. Then again, I was having a hard time in my role as a terrorist, so I guess we were even. For some reason, he came with my parents. They were outsiders too. I mean, they were insiders, now, I guess. I mean you’re not really allowed to take your parents hostage, are you? Isn’t that part of the Geneva Convention, or something?


Does anybody really understand that thing anyway? I mean, whose idea was that anyway? What bunch of people sat down and tried to figure out rules for killing each other? I mean, wouldn’t it have been a better idea to work out a bunch of rules for getting along, or at least tolerating each other? And, it’s really kind of silly idea, too, if you think about it. Like there’ll be some referee walking around the battlefield throwing little yellow flags, every time someone violates a rule? “No, sorry France, you’ve violated rule 16a. You’ll have to withdraw your troops from that city you just conquered, give the other side a chance to regroup, and then try and take it again, according to the rules.” I don’t really remember reading anything like that happening in the history books. It seems that the only people that ever violated the Geneva Convention were the ones that lost the war. Kind of funny the history works, huh?


Anyway, I made the mistake of calling Bobby before we actually took over the hotel. To tell you the truth, I was kinda nervous. As, I might have mentioned, I’ve never really ever done anything to feel guilty about. You might consider this to be a pretty big exception. I thought I might die or something, and wanted to give a final farewell to my loved ones. I think I may have inherited some of my father’s drama.


Don’t get me wrong. It’s not like I told her we were taking over a hotel or anything. I’m not that big of a loser. I didn’t call her up and say, “Hey, Bobby, guess what I’m doing this afternoon.” But, you know how mothers are. Or is it fathers? I don’t really have a good point of reference to tell you the truth. Anyway, parents always seem to be able to figure out what’s going on, even when you think you’re hiding it pretty well. Growing up, I was convinced my mother worked for the CIA or something.


I remember one winter. I think I was in second or third grade. I came home and Bobby asked me why I didn’t wear my coat during recess. How did she know about that? I wondered. It spooked me out, to tell you the truth. I mean, how could she have possibly known? The next few days I was always on the lookout for cameras hidden in the trees of the playground. You know like the stuff you see on television, where the camera cuts to some hidden camera in the knot of a tree that the hero didn’t know about as he was infiltrating the enemy base. I figured my mom probably contracted out to some secret spy organization or something to keep an eye on me at school. As I’m sure you figured out, I never took my coat off again during recess.


Anyway, as I was saying there was this knock on the door. We all stared at the door. And then, there was a second knock. No one moved. Finally the rabbi said, “Maybe you should see who it is?”


I looked at him for a moment like he was speaking Swahili. Is that a real language? “Why me?” I asked.


He made one of those faces that most people make when I tell them my name, and said, “You’re the one with the gun. That tends to make you in charge.”


“Oh, yeah,” I said. He had a point. He really did. So, I took a deep breath, unlocked and opened the door a crack and peeked outside. It was Steve, a fellow member of S.TO.O.P.I.D. I released a deep breath. I didn’t even know I was holding it.


”It’s okay,” I said to the rest of the people in the room. “He’s one of us.” I looked at the others in the room. “Well, I mean, he’s one of me.” Bobby gave me one of those looks that made me feel like I was eight years old and had just lost her favorite fishing rod. I try to offer her a smile, but it didn’t melt any of the ice, even with the million degree heat. I let Steve into the room.


“Where’ve you been, man?” Steve asked.


Steve’s not so swift, really. For some reason he had trouble realizing the obvious. Couldn’t he connect the fact that he knocked on the door, and that I was the one to let him in? I know what you’re thinking, but no, it wasn’t him that came up with the name for the organization.


Anyway, to help him out, I tried to answer him as directly as possible. “I’ve been here,” I said.


It didn’t help much. “No,” he said, “Like, where’ve you been?”


I gave him “the look,” which is now becoming quite popular and Steve said, “Everybody’s like wondering what happened to you man. Mustafa sent me to check all the rooms.”


To tell you the truth, I wasn’t so concerned that Mustafa wanted to know where I was. He can manage just fine without me.


But then Steve said, “Alisa’s worried about you too.”


Have I mentioned this thing I have for Alisa Copper before? “Really?” I asked Steve. It wasn’t that I thought that he was lying or anything, but sometimes the truth is difficult to believe. You need to hear it at least twice.


“Yeah,” Steve confirmed. He noted my expression, I was getting a little excited, and then thought about it a second. “More like concerned, really,” he said. He knew I felt about her and didn’t want to give me any false hopes.


He succeeded. “Oh,” I answered.


“Yeah, man, so like, are you coming or what?” Steve asked.


I took a deep breath. “My parents showed up.” I nodded in their direction. Steve looked up and suddenly noticed that there were other people in the room.


“Oh wow,” Steve said, “What a drag. It’s kind of like you’re mommy driving you on your first date.” He then looked towards them and said, “Hello, nice to meet you.”


“Nice to meet you too,” everyone responded.


“Finally, we get to meet one of your friends,” Leon added.


“Yeah, anyway,” I said to Steve, “So tell Mustafa, and Alisa, where I am, and tell them I’ll join you guys in a minute. I got to finish up with my parents, ok?”


“He’s going to be pissed,” Steve said. “He’s counting on you.”


“I’ll be there in a minute,” I said, and pushed him towards the door. “I got it under control.” Of course, you know that was a bald faced lie, but what else could I say. I don’t think I’ve ever had it under control. Even if I was the one holding the gun.


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