AFTERWORD Little Bitches At the Hospice at the Texas Medical Center in Houston, September 23-25, 2001 BY DEBBIE NATHAN “Three days before it happened, man, I had this dream that my balls were being bombed. My testicles. And since it happened, I’ve been having the dream every night. Man, I can’t take it!” Male New York City resident’s report to a phone hotline, set up by this writer after September 11, inviting New Yorkers to document their dreams. he World Trade Center as testicles. The sense thalt the dream foretold the attack. Such things frighten. me. And intimately related to this fear: George W. Bush on TV, like some globalized Elmer Gantry turned to Islam, teaching us the true meaning of the Qur’an. The “Koran,” he tells us in his teleprompter sincerity, says that it is a sin to kill. So the “tairists” have violated their faith by slamming into the Towers and the Pentagon. He, of course, neglects those basic passages that prescribe human slaughter, such as this verse, dealing with women accused of what English translation renders as “whoredom.” “Against them bring as witnesses four from among you; and if they testify to the whoredom, shut those women up in the houses till death take them or Allah appoints a way.” It doesn’t take a mul lah to find such a passage. Nor does it require a preacher to flip through Leviticus for “If a man lies with a male as with a woman, he shall be put to death.” Jerry Falwell played the New York-asSodom-and-Gomorrah card as he blamed the World Trade Center rubble on men who lie with males, as well as on women accused of whoredomi.e., feminists. The card came up short: For American bumpkins these days, Babylon is a place on Long Island, not the . Book of Revelations. For this we can thank cultural currents such as endless “Seinfeld” reruns. For those not into sitcoms, CNN showed endless video of New York City’s virile white rescue workersthe cops and firemen Pete Hamill calls the town’s noble Irishry, who tampered with fundamentalists’ usual Big Apple fantasies of buggerers, harlots, and shadow-skinned folk. So Falwell, too, bombed. Good.What scares me, thoughterrifies me is the epidemic of magical thinking, the sense of supernatural presentiment and ordainment. That this all happened because of our sins. Because of my sin? New York is still a Jewish city, still sucking Jews like me in from the hinterlands like Texas, just as it sucked my now-long-dead grandmother’s cousin David in 1910. David, who was drama critic for Hmity Fair in the 1920s, and whose reviews now seem stiff-languaged but natty as spats, talking about how some Broadway show thrilled him as he hadn’t been thrilled since childhood in a theater in downtown Fort Worth, where he’d sneaked into the balcony \(“Nigger Heaven,” he said the white Texans called it, with only the barest wink of pered years later in .my family, had quit Fort Worth for New York because he was a homosexual. I keep quitting from other kinds of lust. My sister, an opera and lieder singer who is known in the family as an extreme hard-ass, swears by handwriting analysis and insists that of all the siblings, my childhood penmanship was most like my mother’s.The daughter of shtetl immi 26 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 11/9/01
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