SECTION FOUR

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COLUMN EIGHTY-SIX, MARCH 1, 2003
(Copyright 2003 The Blacklisted Journalist)

SNIPER

WARNING!  FOR ADULTS ONLY!  PERSONS UNDER 18 YEARS OF AGE ARE NOT ALLOWED TO READ THIS STORY.

[Tsaurah Litzky is a poet and writer of fiction, non fiction and erotica. We call her America's queen of erotic literature. Susie Bright, editor of the yearly Best American Erotica books, calls her "Miss Dirty Stories." Tsaurah's work has appeared in Best American Erotica 95, 97, 99, 2001 and will be included in BAE 2002. She has also been published in Penthouse, LONGSHOT, The Unbearables, Crimes of the Beats, Appearances, Downtown Poets, The Outlaw Bible of American Poetry, Pink Pages, Beet and many other books and periodicals. Her poetry books include Kamikaze Lover (Appearances 1999) and the recently published Good Bye Beautiful Mother (Low Tech Press 2001). Formerly a columnist for the now defunct New York arts weekly Downtown, she now teaches erotic writing and literature at the New School University. ]

Everywhere I go people are talking about the sniper, in the bank, in the video store, in the supermarket. Even though he is three hundred miles away in the Maryland area, people in New York are scared. They worry about a copycat. Fear, like a crippling fever, is in the air.

 "It can't happen here," Carri tells me on the telephone, 'there are too many people around, too much traffic. He could never make a quick getaway."

I tell her she is just trying to convince herself of the impossible. Anything can happen. He could change his modus operandi, use a small, silenced pistol, shoot someone in the back in the midst of a crowd and vanish before the person hits the ground. She hangs up on me. I am far from immune from the general panic. Whenever I walk over a subway grate, I imagine he is lurking below. He will fire up between my legs straight into my heart and I will be permanently out of commission.

In the last couple of days the news reports are echoing what my friend Hal was saying a week ago.

"It has to be Arabs, Arab terrorists. They want to make us afraid to even go outside. The victims are all average Americans going about their daily lives. It has to be a conspiracy, a terrorist cell. Besides the sniper, they need a lookout, a driver. It's too much for one guy to pull off alone."

 "What about the tarot card? What about the message, I am God, " I ask him.

 "Red herrings,? Hal says

I have had some experience with Arab culture. I had an Arab boyfriend years ago. I met him in the flea market. He had a booth selling knock-off designer jeans next to my table of costume jewelry. Sometimes on our dates, we would get containers of coffee from Dunkin' Donuts and drive around in his van listening to tapes of Oom Katoum. Late at night we would find a secluded parking area. Like the one of the Belt Parkway right under the Verrazano Bridge. Ibrahim would turn up the volume of Oom Katoum and we would climb into the back of the van.

I would take off the fake Calvin Kleins he had given me and then my panties. He would unzip his fly and pull out his long, skinny tool. It was a cinnamon color, and always stiff and ready to drill me. Then we would fuck on the turquoise blue carpet remnant that covered the floor, his hips churning rhythmically to the soulful music.  We both had apartments, but we liked fucking in the van. Ibrahim liked it because he had lived in a van during the war in Lebanon. He said it was the only place he had felt safe. He pretended it was his space ship, his own Starship Enterprise. I liked it because it reminded me of my amorous experiences in high school.

After 9/11, the newspapers were saying that Arabs hated America, but back then Ibrahim loved it here. He made good money in the flea market, but paid hardly any taxes because there was no way his earnings could be checked.

"What a country," he said, " No one pays the right taxes and beautiful girls smile at you in the street."

In his country, he told me, the women were veiled and it was a crime to try to get a woman to talk to you.

As much as we enjoyed our evenings in the van, Saturday nights---after working in the market--we always spent in my apartment. He was introducing me to Arab cooking, teaching me how to prepare simple dishes. He had already taught me to make hummus, stuffed grape leaves


He said he had never
done it with a woman
who had her period


and j?aetera, an onion-lentil dish that everyone in the Arab world eats once a week. One special Saturday night I also had the opportunity to introduce him to something new.

We were climbing the steps to my place, our arms filled with grocery bags. I was ascending first, Ibrahim following directly behind me. I heard a loud sniff, and then another even louder one.

"You have your period?? he asked.

"Yeah," I answered, reaching my landing.

I hurried down the hall, the packages were heavy and I wanted to get inside and put them down.

"I got it yesterday," I called back over my shoulder.       

Dinner was going to be braised lamb and babaganoush. Usually we talked and laughed while we were cooking, comparing notes about the events of the day. This night he tersely gave me instructions on how to mince the garlic and scarcely seemed to be listening while I was telling him about a pesty customer.

Finally, I said, "What's the matter, Aladdin (my pet name for him)? You're not talking to me??

He was silent, looking down, intently peeling an eggplant. Then he looked up, met my eyes. His golden skin seemed to pale.

"I have never done it with a woman who has her period,? he mumbled.

 "Oh that, it just adds spice, you'll like it, " I told him.

"You don't understand," he said, his voice rising, "it's forbidden in my religion, a man must never do such a thing."

"No, no," I tried to reassure him, "It's sexy, you?ll see. There's nothing wrong with it. Oh, maybe it's a little messy, but it makes it so wet, so juicy. Besides, you drink your Johnny Walker Black every night. Drinking is against your religion also, right??

There was a bottle of Johnny Walker waiting for us on the table.

"I drink Johnny Walker because it is part of the American dream. It is patriotic to drink it," he shot back, "But to make love to a woman when she is unclean, Never!"

I found my voice rising too.

"What's unclean is how you think about it," I said. "It's not an UN anything, it's natural, part of nature, it's---?

He interrupted me.

"I will not do it, I will not do it!," he yelled.

I had never heard him yell before. The knife with which I had been chopping the garlic was still in my hand. I could have easily stabbed him with it, but I forced myself take a few long, deep breaths. I didn't want our evening to be ruined.

"O.k., o.k.," I said, "Fine, so we don't do it tonight, my period will be over in a couple of days."

I put the knife down, went into my bedroom and put Born in the USA on my tape deck, extra loud. The meal was excellent. We didn't say much while we ate it, but we nearly finished the Johnny Walker. After we put the dishes in the sink, we went into the bedroom. Usually Ibrahim would undress me with the lights on. He liked to take off my top and bra. Then he would push me down on the bed and suck at my pale pink nipples until they became hard and rosy as the pits of a pomegranate. After that, he would peel off my bottom clothing and decorate my upper thighs. He used his thick lips and big, white teeth to make delicate mandalas of purple marks , like a henna tattoo, on top of my legs, just below my crotch. On this night, however he quickly stripped and climbed into bed facing the wall. In a minute he was snoring. I turned off the lights and music and stripped myself down. I remember thinking, you win some, you loose some as I joined him under the covers.

I was dreaming that I was a shepherd girl tending my flock in an oasis of date palms when Ibrahim came riding up, naked, on a camel. In my dream, he seized me, pulled me up in front of


She woke up to find Ibrahim's cock, hard as cedar, pressed between the globes of her ass


him on the saddle. He had lifted my long skirt, and plunged his scimitar into my back hole. We galloped off along the silver sands. I was bouncing up and down, taking him higher and higher into my body. Just as I thought he would cut me in two, I felt another burning sword pressing into my back.

I woke up to find Ibrahim's cock, hard as cedar, pressed between the globes of my ass, straining downwards. His arms were around me, his hands rubbing my vulva, his fingers pulling, stroking, reaching towards my wet, red gladiola. Fast as an asp, my own hand slid between my legs. I found the sticky string of my Tampax, pulled it out and flung it across the room. It was so sodden it made a squishing sound as it hit the floor. The blood smell from inside me spread out into the room, a heavy tang ; a mix of  rising yeast, fish, old cabbage, caramel. Ibrahim did not seem to notice. His cockhead had just entered me, sliding up into a river of syrupy juice. The combination of my blood and my juices yielded an oily lotion, thicker than honey but so smooth, smooth as liquid satin. My clit, my pussy lips, my cunt stroked him with this wonderful fluid as I moved faster and faster on him, sliding up and down. He started to moan, the sounds rising from the bottom of his throat. Uuh,Uuuh, UUUh, he was ululating  like Oom Katoum. My belly began to shudder, and as he came I came too, my body erupting with pleasure, drenching us in even more pungent oils.   

He continued to moan as he held me in his arms. He warmed the back of my neck with his breath. We slept.

In the morning, when we woke up, the sheets were red and we were glued together by jism and blood. We unstuck ourselves and went into the shower. I stood in front of him under the hot water as I lathered up a washcloth with my orange blossom soap. I knelt and started to wash between his legs.

'see," I told him, it didn't fall off, it wasn't that bad. "

He smiled down at me,

"It's you who are not so bad," he said.

Later that week, he told me he wanted me to be his alone, his only.  He gave me a gold pendent, a little jug, on a gold chain. He said it was twenty-four karat gold.

"In my country," he said, 'this is the customary engagement gift."

I accepted it and thanked him with a super deluxe blow job in the van later that night. I thought about giving him a Jewish star but decided to wait.

A few weeks later his brothers, Ali, Yousef and Hamid, come over from Lebanon. They were planning on expanding Ibrahim's business, buying a second van, setting up in other flea markets. When they found out he was seeing a Jewish girl, and that he had actually given me an engagement token, they were enraged. They told him if he did not break it off with me, they would not go into business with him. They would go back to Lebanon and never speak to him again.

He broke it off with me on the telephone.

'there is nothing more important than the business," he said.

I couldn't believe he could be so spineless, he who had immersed himself in my most sacred waters. Before I hung up I lied and told him I never liked doing it with him anyway and that I hated Oom Katoum. When I took the little jug pendant to the pawn shop, they only offered me five dollars. They said it was merely eighteen karat and it wasn't even gold, it was plated. Next Saturday at the flea market, there were two women selling knitted dog sweaters next to me in his spot. The only consolation was that he ended it before I broke the news of my engagement to my conservative Jewish parents.    

For at least a decade I wouldn't even go to an Arabic restaurant with my friends. Eventually I got over my sour grapes knowing that any kind of prejudice is self-limitation. I think we were victims of the intense tribalism that has made the world such a mess, and now, the sniper fever has got me thinking about Ibrahim again. I can't get him out of my mind. I know he is thoroughly duplicitous. I remember how about a year before I met Ibrahim I briefly dated a guy my friend Sandy introduced me to, a Vietnam vet in her acting class. I only saw him a couple of times. A month after I stopped seeing him his picture on page two of the Post over the caption, "Vietnam Vet, suspect in Abortion clinic bombings." It is impossible to tell what anyone is capable of. Maybe Ibrahim and his brothers are now terrorists, maybe they are even the sniper crew. As I told Carri, anything is possible.

The sniper shoots a thirteen-year-old boy on his way to school. Who could be capable of such horror? Could Ibrahim do it? The professional profilers say that the sniper is probably a white guy, in his late twenties or early thirties, someone who desperately craves attention like the Son of Sam. Still, they are not ruling out the idea that the sniper might be an Arab.

Six people die terrible deaths before the law catches the snipers: two black guys sleeping in a blue Chevrolet in a rest stop. Like every one else I am enormously relieved they caught them, but I am so sickened by this reign of terror. For a while there, I was even actually thinking it might be Ibrahim, evil Ibrahim aided by his brothers. I feel like an obsessive fool, not for the first time, and I am sure, not for the last, but then I start to worry. I wonder what will happen next.   ##

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