Part 8: Stacy: The Desert Eagle
When I first met Grant, he was a great guy. Sweet, charming, everything I naively wanted him to be. But all I was doing, as with all doomed relationships, was projecting my owns wants and desires on to the blank slate I had set aside for him in my mind. And unlike perfect unions, my power to project was limited.
I ended up with Grant, indirectly, because of my college life. I went to college with a kid named Paul at the University of Wisconsin at Fox Valley. I didn’t really know Paul, but I had him in Introductory Ethics and he was always pushing the issue of pot legalization. The subject did not matter, he would bring the topic back like that. American history would turn into a “Washington grew hemp” conversation… euthanasia discussions would become “let’s give terminally ill patients medicinal weed” talks. This line of reasoning had no end. So, I was curious, and talked to him after class one day. I lit a Newport and asked him what his obsession was.
As I would soon find out, not surprisingly, Paul was a dealer. Just weed and ice, nothing too harsh. No coke, no horse, none of that really addictive shit. Why he wanted the marijuana legal is beyond me — logic says that legalization would reduce his profits. I mean, the costs are artificially inflated because of the dangers involved. If weed was freely traveling around the country or sold in stores, he would have no hold on the market. But I didn’t waste my breath getting into the debate with him — I was intimidated because his bushy eyebrows protruded over his eyes like a canopy, forming deep shadows, and I don’t dare trust a man who can’t even make eye contact if he wants to.
Anyways, he started inviting me to his parties — Paul was renting a lower half of a house in the center of Appleton. I think he just wanted a chick there to lure other guys — mostly losers — but I can’t really pass up on free beer and the occasional high, can I? Another guy I met there was named Jake, who always wanted me to listen to a band called Amorphus. I listened each time, and I never really got into the band. The music was pussy shit, I thought, and to this day have never thought to pick up an album. I introduced him to Eternal Hell as well as my my friend Halperin’s band, Ivan and the Terribles, and he liked my selections. Or at least he told me he did — he said the riffs were “killer” and the lyrics “stellar” which is exactly what you’d expect a strung-out bum like Jake to say. He made a living selling suits at the Men’s Wearhouse, but you’d never guess his employment from his attire, ponytail and sunken eyes with heavy metal t-shirts and a chain wallet. Built like a brick shithouse or a WWE contender, though.
One time at a party, and I remember the night clearly, Jake brings along this guy named Grant. Yeah, Grant Zwilling — my current and hopefully soon-to-be-ex boyfriend. We were playing some drinking game called “Boat Races” and Grant is just going off on some rant about how the Jews have undermined the world’s infrastructure or some such nonsense.
Apparently, the Jews banded together some time in the late 1800s and wrote a book called the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion” where they set up a plan for global domination. Personally, I think the book was written by the Russians as a way to smear the Jews, but is my belief any more credible than Grant’s? Allegedly, due to racial prejudice, the Jews historically were forced to do the dirty lower class job of money-lending. When they grouped together, they formed banks and controlled the interest rates around the world. The names of these bankers are now written in large letters across the sides of banks the world over. They could control prices and inflation at will by limiting the flow of funding. Grant was quick to point out that in America the head of the Federal Reserve, Alan Greenspan, was Jewish. The theory got weirder, though.
The Jews, controlling essentially all the world’s funds with the help of the Rothschild family, a powerful clan in Europe, set up the stock market crash and the Great Depression of 1929. When everyone else was suffering, the heads of the world’s banking families prospered. People starved to death and jumped out of skyscraper windows, while the Jews kept the money to themselves to re-invest, creating the over-abundance of Jewish doctors and lawyers we have today. Not to mention actors, which have a largely disproportionate grasp of power in Hollywood. But hold on, because the theory gets weirder still.
Some Jews, called political Zionists, decided the sacrifice of a few of their own was conducive for the greater good of all Jews. They capitalized on the Jews slaughtered by the Nazis and later inflated the figure to six million when the actual count was closer to three. Not that losing three million people was a small trifle, but doubling such a number would create an even bigger tragedy. Using this insanely high number as a leverage point, they lobbied for a state to call their own through such groups as AIPAC — resulting in the creation of Israel in 1948. Previous attempts had been made to establish a Jewish state and the Balfour Declaration in England — which controlled the land — seemed to suggest that Israel was inevitable. But the breaking point was clearly World War II, where the Zionists won over the non-Zionists — who wanted a binational state alongside Arabs — and preyed upon the sympathetic British and Americans to have their goals achieved.
Israel, in turn, became very disliked by surrounding Arab countries such as Lebanon, Syria and Egypt due to the displacement of the Palestinians, who perceived themselves as being unjustly punished for Germany’s crimes. Israel was able to get support from the western world through the assistance of AIPAC because the newborn country was getting “bullied” by their neighbors, who rightfully owned the land the Israelis stole for their homes. Furthermore, with the tight grip the Jews had on the market — always able to threaten a second Great Depression or restrict campaign funding to potential electees — they coerced the United States into providing military equipment at wholesale prices, putting Israel years ahead of their Arab neighbors. Even now, we are slowly having the noose tightened around us, Grant said.
I told him I was Jewish at this point in the impromptu history lesson. Half-Jewish, to be more precise. My father, who is coincidentally a lawyer for a respectable financial institution, is a Reformed Jew. My mother, bless her lucky stars, is Bohemian. Officially, one cannot be considered Jewish unless their mother is Jewish, as the inheritance travels in an arbitrarily matrilineal fashion. Just as some would say the surname passing from husband to wife to children with no recognition of the wife’s heritage — outside of Latin countries — is arbitrary. And together, these two factors make me nominally Jewish — while not “officially”, who is going to assume otherwise with a strong Jewish last name?
Grant was oddly attracted to me despite his prejudices. I was oddly attracted to him despite his closed-minded eccentricities. Perhaps we were experiencing a Stendhalian thunderbolt, but I tend to think the allure might have just been the Malibu and Coke. We started dating that same night, and here we are two years later, soulmates with no souls.
Now, he has never treated me awful or physically hurt me in any way. At first, he was all sunshine and daisies, opening doors and treating me to dinners at some fairly nice places by Appleton’s standards. The inexpensive but classy Italian restaurants, the grill-your-own steak establishments and once even a fondue sampler. While some pressure to impress my parents was there, I truly believe most of his affection was entirely sincere.
We were a cute couple, holding hands in the park and being more or less ignorant of the outside world. This custom, by the way, is an unusual one. Many couples in their twenties and thirties like to hold hands, but are mildly repulsed by seeing others in their own age group doing the same thing. Yet, catching little kids or the elderly holding hands is the most reassuring thing in this world that everything is going to turn out alright. Now, that is a mystery worth pondering for a while.
Once Grant and I had stopped living for the moment and started talking, which came over a year later, we started to see we had nothing in common. That, and he turned twenty-one a year before me and took the liberty to spend enough time in the bars to meet a few new women that were more to his liking. I have no proof of these attractions, really, but if he just went for the drinking he could have damn well stayed home with me. As I’ve made painfully obvious, I’m sick of his shit and never again will I be the victim.
Meanwhile, we’ve got Kevin here. Lapping away like some kind of puppy who just found the toilet. And now I’ve probably got AIDS. Monkeyfucking AIDS, of all things. I mean, we are not talking fucking herpes, but we may as well be.
Then the phone rang; probably Grant returning my call. What did that fucker want now?
“What the fuck do you want now, creep!?!!?” Kevin didn’t even look up through this whole thing to notice the disinterested look I would have given him.
“This is Officer Benson of the APD. Have I caught you at a bad time?” A cop, a goddamned cop. How very opportune of him to catch me in mid-foaming rage.
“Oh, shit. I thought you were my piece of shit boyfriend.” You would think this would distract Kevin, but again nothing.
“I take it he’s not with you?”
“Fuck no. I hope that prick rots for what he’s done.” I hung up, my nerves reaching their very edge.
“Kevin, stop. You have to work in the morning.” I realize now much later the Freudian slip in using “you” rather than “we” — subconsciously I think I knew I was not going back to the office for at least a few days.
“Am I doing something wrong?”
“You’re a pro, darling, but I need to take care of something.”
He looked really embarrassed, which is too bad because I was serious when I said he was doing alright. Nobody should ever be good their first time and he was better than most. I guess watching as many Asia Carrera or Mike Honcho videos as he does can pay off in real life.
He welcomed himself to my bathroom, probably to check out my medicine cabinet, and I excused myself into the living room. My coffee table screams “modern woman” no matter how you interpret the trappings of my domain. Issues of Cosmopolitan (one promising “orgasms unlimited”) spread out in a fanning motion for my girlfriends to page through. The TV Guide next to that to read about next week’s “Sex and the City.” A book written by Pulitzer Prize-winning, New York Times bestselling author Maureen Dowd. And a vase to keep a bouquet of plastic flowers in because Grant sure as hell hasn’t bought me real ones in the past few months.
I heard Kevin making guttural noises in the bathroom and knew he would be awhile. The old familiar sounds of a man letting loose. I think they try to be as loud and obnoxious as they can. My dad was the best at this when I was growing up — we would hear him while we were walking up the driveway after school. You could tell when he had the most problematic cases to defend because he would be in there those extra few minutes longer. Heaven forbid we try to use the bathroom after him to shower or straighten our hair because we’d reek of shit all night if we even set foot near the door. Who knows what the fuck he ate — the culprit certainly was not kosher, that’s all I can say.
My kitchen is attached to my living room, divided by a counter, making them almost one room. Nothing unusual about that. Do you have a “junk drawer” at your house? We always had one growing up. We would throw everything in there — the stapler, playing cards with a missing four of hearts, number two pencils, and rubber bands. If you could not find what you were looking for anywhere else, I guarantee your treasure was in that drawer. I continued the family tradition, but my junk drawer has only two things. A stapler — a Bostitch, to be precise — black and sleek with enough PSI pressure to drill through steel. And my handgun, the ever-present Desert Fucking Eagle. The hand cannon was my father’s.
The gun is in my possession because my father is no longer allowed to use the Desert Eagle. The Department of Natural Resources busted him a few years ago. He was deer hunting one time and before he went out, he would say to me, “Stace, honey, grab me the Deagle.” That’s what he called his gun — a Deagle. I would get the weapon out of his gun rack — he kept the bullets hidden somewhere — and bring the gun to him. Although illegal for obvious reasons, he used the gun for deer hunting and most of the time he got away with his illicit misadventures.
One day, though, he accidentally loaded the gun with hollow tips rather than full metal jackets. If you’re not a gun person, you can’t really tell the difference. While he was a walking encyclopedia on matters of finance, armaments were not his specialty whatsoever. I myself still can’t tell the difference and I’ve gone to the range with him since I was knee-high. So, anyway, he loaded up the hollow tip and he found a doe and lined her up in the sights. Shot her in the hindquarters, which is great way to wound a deer. However, when the bullet hit her ass the shot blew her tail and one of her legs clean off the fucking torso. I wasn’t there, but he said the scene was awful. The miserable doe dragged itself across the snow for several yards before the deer bled to death and my father had to put his prey out of its misery. Fearing he would load another hollow tip for the killing shot, he had to slit its throat with his bayonet.
He loaded the deer and the leg into the back of his jeep and drove home, but as my father was leaving the woods he was stopped by a DNR man to check his hunting tags. The tags came up legitimate alright, but when the officer saw the deer’s hindquarters blown off, my father lost his hunting license and was told never to bring the Desert Eagle into the woods again. So when I moved out, he gave the weapon to me for protection. Luckily, I have never had to use the gun for anything.
Until now, that is. I’ll let Kevin find his own way home and meet him at work in the morning. I had a date with destiny.