The Many Loves & Lies of Senator Xbymaxdname©
(Note — Due to recent legal entanglements the subject of these interviews will be referred to as Senator X)
Traveling at better than twice the legal speed limit, highway offramp signs could be deciphered, but few other details. I leaned towards the driver extending the butane torch to the glass bowl that contained the green 2000 dollar-an-ounce treasure. There was an immediate sickening feeling in the pit of my stomach as the car veered across two lanes of open Interstate punctuated by the "thump thump" of the "Helen Keller" bumps. We had picked up the Senator's new Porsche only twelve hours earlier.
"Pay attention to the godamn road," I screamed above the Grateful Dead jam blasting from the 1200 watt-sound system. "I'll worry about the godamn pipe you fuckin' mad man! You'll get us both killed!"
As the smoke enveloped Senator X's head he nodded, his mouth full of the sweet smelling smoke. His cheeks puffed out like Dizzy Gillespie blowing some wicked trumpet solo outside the gates of Saint Peter.
"Christ, you'd think an elected official could handle his drugs better!" I screamed, as Jerry Garcia began to twist the guts out of his electric guitar on the bootleg recording of one the last performances the Dead gave before "the great one" collapsed in a drug, alcohol and Little Debbie induced flame out. His passing marked the end of an era: a period that will be known to future historians as the "age of excess." Sex was everywhere, liquor was brown and the worst thing that came from drug abuse was the future President of the United States.
What an age the 1960's must have been: marijuana came in lunch bags at ten dollars a whack, AIDS hadn't been invented by the cruel bio-terrorists at the CIA so "Bush" was what hid the secret pleasures women carried between their legs and not some demented punch line to joke involving politics and intercourse between first cousins.
Senator X had given me volumes of information about that wonderful time when he had been a Congressional aide. I had been assigned to interview the man for my dissertation in political science. We were finishing the last of our interviews. Was a Master's Degree worth dying for?
Suddenly, the Senator applied pressure to the brakes as he downshifted rapidly. I had to put both hands on the panic bar to keep from falling into the windshield as the six-cylinder German beast came to a halt in the far left lane of the interstate. The torch fell from my hands and I had to stomp on it to put out the flame.
"What are you doing?" I yelled as the Senator kicked his door open and yanked the hand brake to the locked position before we had come to a complete stop.
"Gotta piss," he yelled as he leapt into the road and unzipped his pin-striped suit pants in one practiced motion.
"Hey," he shouted over his shoulder. "Hit the emergency flashers in case somebody sneaks up on us." The clock read 4:23 AM that Sunday morning.
"Who's gonna sneak up on us," I yelled back. "A bread truck?" We had careened down the Beltway at better than 140 miles per hour for half an hour without passing another car. It would be another half hour before anyone could catch up, that included the Highway Patrol (State Troopers) in those new fire-breathing Mustangs they were issued. The only difference between the HP version and the racing models were the stickers on the doors and the shotgun rack; and NASCAR was thinking of incorporating that last detail to create the illusion of a "stock car."
"Just fucking do it!"
I pulled on several knobs before the lights began to flash in unison. One knob sent a stream of wiper fluid bouncing into the windshield which splattered onto the Senator's Brooks Brothers suit.
"Fucking moron! Can't you tell the difference between an emergency flasher and the wipers?" he screamed.
"I could before we started smoking this shit. Now, I'm not so sure!" I shouted back.
Climbing behind the wheel again he beamed at me.
"This comes in a diplomatic pouch from Cameroon every week. They mix in some herb they use to stun fish. It's great! They dump a handful of this stuff onto the lake and collect the floaters."
The Porsche 930's engine howled as the Senator missed the detent gate at first gear. He cursed and ground the knob into gear and, with a cloud of white smoke billowing from the wheel wells, we were flying down the highway once again.
I hoped my dissertation reviewers would accept my unorthodox methods of interviewing my subject. Under the influence of mind altering drugs, that arrived replete with diplomatic immunity from some African witch doctor, I had listened to the Senator call all the Kennedys "communist bastards" and now I knew who carried the nuclear launch codes in a black briefcase handcuffed to their wrist (I thought anyone with a briefcase handcuffed to their wrist was a suspect).
With the Senator's disturbing revelations, coupled with my photograph of the Senator "mooning" a seated Abraham Lincoln at the Lincoln Memorial, I felt I stood a good chance of dancing through my thesis defense first-go-round.
Actually, the Lincoln Memorial thing was a bonus: the Senator had explained, as he hiked up his pants, that Lincoln took away states' rights and implemented federal control over the entire country.
"If it wasn't for that cocksucker we'd still have slavery in my state." A National Park cop listened in on the the Senator's diatribe while he eyed the Congressional ID Badge suspiciously. Some nosy citizen had alerted the Home Security offices via cell phone when the Senator exposed himself to the huge pale statue. After a brief scuffle, the cop accepted the ID Badge and now spoke breathlessly into the microphone clipped to his shoulder.
"Now, Jefferson was a president who understood how things really worked. You know all about Mary Hemmings, don't you?" he asked as an aside. I nodded as the cop handed the badge back to the Senator. "Hell of a good American. Jefferson, I mean."
"Sorry to have bothered you, Senator." The cop sounded like he really meant it.
"That's okay, son. You're doing a hell of a job." The Senator's arm snaked around the cop's shoulder as he spoke. "You a registered voter?"
"Yes sir. Registered in D.C."
"Hm..." the Senator continued. "Too bad. Keep up the good work, soldier."
The cop smiled at him. The cop smiled like the Senator had singled him out of a crowd and commented on his good looks. The cop should have broke his kubaton across the Senator's "Congressional" forehead. Instead, the Senator and I were now walking along the reflecting pond discussing the present administration while we sniffed ampules of amyl nitrate he produced from his pocket. His eyes opened wide as the rush of oxygen hit his brain and he blurted out an answer to my question.
"Fuck no! George W. is an idiot. If someone said 'Gesundheit' he'd ask for a 'executive summary.'"
"Didn't you host a fund raiser for him in your home state?"
"Sure. You think I want that commie bastard, Kerry, in the White House?"
I shook my head. "Is everybody on the beltway a commie bastard?"
He wrinkled up his nose. "Nah... just the Democrats." He finished with a smile as he cracked open another ampule and waved it under my nose. This was government at its finest.
This interview had begun 36 hours earlier on a Friday afternoon.
A limo had picked me up and then stopped in front of a brownstone in the quiet DC neighborhood. A well-dressed man with dark hair emerged. The man turned, pecked a middle-aged woman on the cheek, trudged down the steps and climbed into the waiting car.
"Woo Hoo!" the man shouted as the door slammed shut and his demeanor changed dramatically. "James, once around the park and then take me to Sodom City!" Slapping the glass partition with his open palm the man shouted at the back of the driver's head, "Spare no horsepower! If I'm not into some serious woman flesh by midnight it'll be your fault!" Then the man fell back into the seat and extended his hand.
"Hiya kid. You must the grad student, huh?"
I introduced myself as he produced a flask from under his coat and removed the cap. He took a long pull on the flask and handed it to me.
"Go on," he urged. "I don't have cooties." I fought back a choking sensation as the liquid left a trail of fire down my throat. "Wild Turkey and Ridalin," the Senator said with a wink. "When I can ditch the 'ball and chain' I gotta stay sharp." With that the Senator let loose with another loud whoop. We were on our way.
I asked the Senator if there were any subjects he would rather not cover.
"That 'Penthouse Letters' thing," he said with a dismissive wave of his hand. "I was really drunk when I wrote it and there wasn't five women..." He winked again as he turned to face me. "... it was only four." He laughed out loud at this. "Come on kid loosen up." He nudged me with his elbow.
My first question was about the Senator's economic bill that was pending in Congress.
"I don't talk on an empty stomach." He kicked the back of the driver's seat several times and shouted, "You know I've got dinner reservations, hurry up!" He fell back into the seat and told me we were to dine in an exclusive club that featured live entertainment.
The driver rolled to a stop in front of a neon sign that flashed, "Girls, Girls, Girls."
When we stepped through a door the bouncer eyed me suspiciously. With his arm around my shoulder the Senator pulled me past the mountain of a man blurting, "He's with me." The bouncer smiled now and nodded
"Have a good time, Senator," was all the man said. We walked towards a table that had a cardboard cutout figure of a seated nude woman with the words "This spot reserved" emblazoned between her wide-spread thighs. As we sat a pretty young waitress quickly came to the table.
"The usual, Senator?" she asked without looking at me.
"Yeah, make it two," he replied with a nod. "Oh yeah, bring two for my friend," he roared over the pulsing music. The waitress smiled and left only to be replaced by a naked svelte blond who climbed onto the Senator's lap.
"Daddy, I missed you." She yelled to be heard above the music.
The Senator leaned forward and kissed the young woman's breast.
"I missed you two," he shouted, addressing her amble bosoms. "But I gotta work, baby." He now looked into her eyes. She made a pronounced "pouty face" and stood up. The Senator pinched her behind which caused her to squeal and jump.
"We can get together later," he yelled with a wink. She clutched at her genitalia and simulated masturbation before she strolled back to the runway to continue her dance set.
"Great kid," he shouted as he leaned towards me. "I think she's got potential to become a lobbyist."
The noise in the club made any sort of a cogent conversation next to impossible so we ate without much discussion. Our only interruptions were the constant attention the girls heaped on the Senator. As each new girl approached the runway for their dance set they stopped and paid their carnal respects to the Senator. One girls broke down and began crying while she sat on his lap. The Senator fished an envelope out his jacket and handed it to the girl. She broke into a broad smile as she examined the contents and kissed the Senator, trailing a line of affection down his shirt and towards his belt. He lifted the girl's face to his, spoke into her ear and she sprinted towards the curtained doorway that served as the girl's "dressing room."
"I treat these girls like I would treat my own," he quipped with a mysterious smile.
After we left the club, we rode through the Warehouse District so I could continue our interview. Rolling along we were interrupted by a steady thumping sound of techno music that could be heard inside the limo. The Senator spotted a line of people next to a nondescript brick wall. He leapt forward and began viscously kicking the back of the driver's seat while he screamed.
"Stop! Stop this fucking car, you moron!" As the driver glided to a stop in front of an open doorway, where the line began, the senator jumped out before the driver could open the door. By the time I slid across the seat and pulled myself out of the car the driver was stationed at the door holding it open. I peered under the man's snug fitting cap to catch his eye.
"Is he always like this?" I asked.
"Like what, sir?" The driver spoke without any discernible change in his expression.
I shook my head at his answer. "Never mind."
The Senator was yelling at the bouncer when I arrived at his side. The man sounded apologetic as he explained that the fire marshal would only allow a certain number of people inside the club at any given time.
"Fuck the fire marshal, you retard!" the senator bellowed as he pulled me past the velvet rope. The man stared red-faced at the people in the waiting line as they booed.
"Always arrive in a limo!" Senator X shouted over his shoulder as we walked inside. "You can get in anywhere..." the remainder of his comments were drown out by the pulsing rhythm of the music.
The rest of that evening is unclear but I do remember snippets. I remember being with a woman who had silky ebony skin and long blond hair. We were both naked. I was either making beautiful passionate love to her or strangling her with a carpet remnant. I scanned the paper for days afterward searching for some clue, but found none.
As other early morning drivers began to show up on the Interstate the Senator began to curse vociferously.
"Fucking Catholics! Why can't they go to church at a normal hour?" Let's get some breakfast kid," he offered as he slalomed his way through the cars traveling at the legal speed limit.
Spotting his exit the Senator darted across three open lanes of freeway pitching me hard against the wrap-around bucket seat. The six-cylinder engine howled while the Senator fought the wheel. We sailing through a red light, gliding sideways, then the Senator flew through a series of corners ignoring the engine's high-pitched cry for a gear change. As the car settled onto a straight away he slapped the gear shift to the next higher number and the machine floated over the striped line and into the opposite left lane with a slight shudder of yaw. Standing on the brakes while turning the wheel hard to the left, the Senator dodged a car in the turn lane and launched us into the parking lot of a Denny's where we came to rest in a "handicapped" parking spot. He fished a blue card out of his coat pocket and hung it on the rearview mirror in one swift move.
"Man, I could use some waffles. How about you, kid?" he offered as he slammed the driver's door and strolled into the brightly lit restaurant.
When I returned from the bathroom the Senator smiled.
"I ordered for ya. Hope you like waffles."
We ate in silence while my inner ear began to slowly stabilize.
As the waitress laid down the bill on the edge of our table the Senator leapt to his feet and moved close to her.
"Hey honey, you know what a 'rider on a bill' is?"
The waitress backed away slightly but stared at the Senator nonplussed.
With a lascivious smile he finished, "Some people call me, Bill."
I bounded out of the booth, grabbed the Senator's elbow and turned him towards the door hoping to avoid an unpleasant scene. I saw the waitress clinch her fist in an unmistakable karate-like pose. I certainly couldn't go ten rounds with the buxom woman and didn't want to resort to the Taser the Senator had given me earlier in the day. I figured I'd have to use it on her first. As we walked he yanked his elbow from my grasp and slowed his pace.
"Son, you've got to learn to take it easy," he said as he fished around in his coat pocket. He produced a small bottle and emptied the contents into his hand. Myriad colors tumbled out as he picked through the pill selection with his index finger.
"Here, take this one," he said when he finally settled on a small blue pill.
"I'll take it, if we can do this outside." I heard tension in my voice.
"Sure kid," he said as he pushed the door open for me with his hip.
I popped the tablet into my mouth as the Senator pushed the remaining pills around in his palm.
"I hope that wasn't RU 486," he said not looking up from the pharmacy in his hand. "I keep some of those 'just in case.'" He separated another identical tablet from the rest. Popping it into his mouth he smiled and said, "We'll find out together what that..." He stopped when several of the pills fell from his hand onto the pavement of the parking lot.
"Shit." He ground the pills into dust with his heel as he cursed. With a wink he added, "We don't want some drug addict getting ahold of this."
As we climbed back into his Porsche he asked me, "So, what is your major?"
"Political Science," I told him for the fifth time.
"Atsa' dead end," he said with a shake of his head. "You need something else."
"I don't know... if you wanna be like Clinton, take Women's Studies."
"Clinton?" I queried. "Bill or Hillary?"
He smiled at this. He had a very genuine smile. That's probably what got him elected, it certainly wasn't his stand on the issues. The man had one stand on all issues: what's in it for me?
The Porsche awoke quickly. In reverse, the transmission whined in protest at the Senator's hard acceleration. With a flick of the wheel, a quick heel-and-toe shift into first gear and a whoop of excitement the Senator had us aimed out of the parking lot and headed towards the Interstate, scattering a group of well-dressed teenagers headed towards the restaurant.
"Do you think Clinton has a chance?" I asked, holding onto the panic bar to stay in my seat.
"Hillary Clinton for President?" He shook his head slightly. "Nah. If I'm gonna spend the weekend banging some other guy's wife in a Catskills' Hotel: Hillary is my number one choice. But president: not a chance. I stood behind her at a subcommittee mixer and got to feel her ass... man, that tomato is ripe fer pickin.'" The senator concluded his observation with an obscene gesture that required both hands allowing the automobile to drift towards an SUV parked at the curb.
"Watch this," the senator grinned as he aimed the speeding vehicle at the driver's open door. One foot had touched the pavement as we flew by with the horn blaring.
"God, I love German engineering," he exclaimed gleefully.
Craning my neck to look out the rear window I watched the SUV driver, now lying in the street, wave his cane at us as we skated onto the onramp in a full four-wheel drift.
In Senator X's office Wednesday afternoon — I slept for 36 hours after our first interview — I found the man looking trim and happy.
"Hey, kid. Where ya been?" I was greeted with a handshake and warm smile. A well-proportioned young blond stepped between us.
"You've got twenty minutes until we meet the Representatives from Bayer and Johnson n' Johnson, Senator." The business-like voice from the statuesque beauty seemed incongruous until the Senator placed his palm firmly on the woman's bottom and introduced her.
"You remember Katerina from the club?" The Senator's face beamed as the beauty turned towards me, licked her lips lasciviously and punctuated her greeting with pouty air kiss aimed in my general direction. I acknowledged her with a nod. She was one of the dancers who heaped attention on the Senator that night at the private club called simply "Girls Girls Girls."
"Come on, kid. She deserves better than that." The Senator's hand disappeared beneath her short dress momentarily. "Show 'em, Kitty cat." The woman fell to her knees quickly and began to fumble with the Senator's zipper.
"No. Show, him." The man directed her face towards me and she began to crawl towards me on her knees.