I am Hubris the Great – just ask me.
It took the full extent of my greatness to guide my dearest Virago through the past week. I may have hinted to my readers that the love of my life and I met in a rehab clinic, and that we both left that seething den of recycled cliché vowing to replace our addictions with an addiction to each other. That premise was tested in the days following demise of Osama bin Laden.
What happened was that Virago saw the televised bin-Laden-is-dead celebrations. She saw the drunken, pot-bellied men holding a beer in one hand and pointing with the other hand to the USA logo on their stretched T-shirt; hot young girls, who had never experienced a second of self-sacrifice for a cause larger than their beauty-magazine-inspired micro-dramas, mounted on the shoulders of gullible male coeds and holding aloft signs reading “USA is Number One!”; and alcohol-crazed male proletarians turning over cars to demonstrate their machismo, especially in the wake of having rejected the advances of Armed Forces recruiters. In sum, the hedonistic orgy of unjustified congratulation made Virago want to join the party, and then some, which, for my lady, would not have stopped at a few beers and a blowjob delivered to the nearest U.S. Marine.
“Hubris,” said Virago, puffing on a cigarette with the abandon of an Arkansas mother of six going to town on a full plate of cheese nachos, “I’m having an Event Horizon Moment. Help.”
An Event Horizon Moment is a term I created to describe those times when my ex-party girl is being pulled into the black hole of a monumental bender. At such times, I apply a Hubris-powered tractor-beam to her psyche and haul her away from the pull of this all-consuming gravity field.
“My Siren!” I said, standing at center stage of our modest living room. “Remember that these bellowing blowhards are just looking for an excuse to celebrate something, anything. One night they are taking to the streets, beer in hand, to toast the assassination of a rich Saudi, when, on the preceding night, they were doing the same for other reasons, perhaps in honor of their favorite sports team winning a game, or their least favorite celebrity getting jilted by a lover. They may have downed shots of Jack Daniels because they performed the gaudy feat of vacuuming the rug in the foyer, or because they got a B on a multiple choice exam in Music Appreciation class, or because they taught their infant son to say ‘ga’ after ‘goo.’ Look at me. I am by far the most intelligent, perceptive man in the history of the Universe, which is truly something of a marvel, but do you see me pumping my fist in Kenmore Square after having run up a one hundred dollar tab at the Philistine Bar and Grill because I was able to conflate the writings of Herodotus, Gibbon and Wittgenstein?”
Virago was executing short, intense nods, and was beginning to go easier on the cancer-stick.
“Yet these raucous celebrants –“ I pointed to the TV screen that was depicting three South Boston goons wearing the obligatory backward baseball cap and yelling truncated phrases into the camera that, when translated into sound English, expressed the belief that they were in fact the heroes of the hour – “yes, these buffoons are taking credit not only for something they didn’t do but also for something they could never do in a million years. How? By employing the clever modern America trick of transferring the accomplishments of real heroes onto their own limited abilities. Their only talent is to imagine themselves – with the aid of a huge infusion of alcohol – as the protagonist in the ongoing movie based on how they saved the world for democracy. The Navy Seal Team Six were the ones who carried out the implausible mission to infiltrate Pakistan, put a bullet through bin Laden’s head and then abscond with Al Qaeda intelligence – not, mind you, weak-willed dolts. The Seals can almost be considered anti-American in that they do not give in to their every epicurean appetite, do not wear over-sized shirts not tucked into their pants, do not hunch over to make a point. Nor do they take credit for their own amazing feats, much less those of other people. What I am saying is that the Seals do not get hammered at the slightest excuse.”
I knelt down and took Virago’s hand. She put out her butt, and gave me a resigned smile.
“You’re the craziest fuck I’ve ever met, Hube. Only you would see it that way.”
“My sweet, just answer me this: Would a Seal act like an idiot in Kenmore Square? Would a Seal over-turn a car because he was happy?”
Virago’s smile progressed to a brighter shade, which, for my usually unsmiling flower, was still one-tenth the wattage of Kelly Ripa at the news that Regis just got a colonoscopy.
“Let’s get a coke and burger,” she said. “For the Seals.”