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Sex for America takes us to the intersection of our desires and our political beliefs. These provocative stories by some of today's best writers, including Anthony Swofford, Jerry Stahl, Rick Moody, and Jonathan Ames, will inspire new discussions of sexual freedom and fascination. A surprising encounter between a lesbian and a young man shipping off to war, a liberal Hill staffer falling for the wife of a Republican senator, and Dick Cheney's duck hunt accident as jilted lover's revenge. See your government—and ...
Sex for America takes us to the intersection of our desires and our political beliefs. These provocative stories by some of today's best writers, including Anthony Swofford, Jerry Stahl, Rick Moody, and Jonathan Ames, will inspire new discussions of sexual freedom and fascination. A surprising encounter between a lesbian and a young man shipping off to war, a liberal Hill staffer falling for the wife of a Republican senator, and Dick Cheney's duck hunt accident as jilted lover's revenge. See your government—and your most recent sex partners—as you've never seen them before.
I did not mean to sodomize Dick Cheney.
I mean, I'm not even gay. Or not usually. But when, to my surprise, I bumped into him—literally—at the counter of Heimler's Guns and Ammo, in Caspar, something clicked. And I'm not talking about the safety on my Mauser.
You see, there's another side to "Li'l Dickens," as the VP liked to refer to himself. Or, at least, a certain part of himself. En privato. He's tender. He's funny. He's pink. And he's a gun man, just like me.
But there I go, getting ahead of myself. . . . See, I was in Wyoming to pick up some German pistols. Not, you know, that I'm some kind of Nazi gun freak. Not even close. I just like the workmanship. The craft. A taste, as it happens, shared by Mr. Cheney.
"Schnellfeuerpistole," he smiled, eyes aglow as he surveyed the weapon.
"Model 1912," I smiled back. "Recoil, single-action."
He held out his hand. I had yet to recognize him. In his black-and-red hunting cap, flaps down, he could have been any pudgy hunter. Some sneering Elmer Fudd. But his nails were beautiful. Buffed as a showroom Bentley. I slapped the gun into his palm, butt first. "Good heft." His lips parted—fleshy magenta outside, meat-red within. "What are we looking at, ten inches?"
The VP licked his lips and let out a trademark grunt. "Mmm . . . Barrel?"
"Looks can be deceiving." Our eyes met through his bifocals and I felta shiver. "Short-bolt travel makes the rate of fire astronomical. But there's no control."
My new friend gave a little laugh that sounded like hug-hug-hug. "Believe it or not, I lose control myself."
Suddenly I had feelings I couldn't name. We'd drifted to the back of the store—no more than a counter, really, flanked by locked rows of guns on the wall and a signed photo of George Bush, Jr., in his flight suit, helmet under his arm, eyes triumphant, basket padded. His "Mission Accomplished" moment.
At some point the owner, a scruffy fellow who looked like Wilfred Brimley, had slung a Back in Ten sign in the window and disappeared. Maybe my future lovemate had given him a signal.
"Gee," I heard myself say, "you look a lot like—"
"I am," he said, "but you can call me . . . Dick."
He held open a door to the backroom. Which turned out to be more than that. My eyes took it in—sturdy mahogany desk and chairs, the portrait of J. Edgar Hoover over the crackling fire, the shelves stacked with sheaves of documents, busts of Lincoln, Jefferson and Julius Caesar and finally, as my eyes adjusted to the dark, the single bed in the corner. Rough green blanket tucked sharply under the mattress in military corners.
"Spartan," he growled. "A man in my position can't afford to be soft. We are, after all, at war."
"Wait? Is this the bunker?"
"Negative. The Veepeock is technically in the White House basement. Everybody knows it. That's the problem."
"Veepeock. I'm not sure I—"
"VPEOC." He cut me off, clearly a fellow used to getting his way. "White House terminology. Short for Vice Presidential Emergency Operations Center. You didn't think the bunker was in Washington, did you? That place is a cesspool of acronyms."
"But shouldn't there be security? Surveillance? Cameras?"
"Sometimes you don't want anybody looking." Hug-hug-hug. He tapped the cot. "Come on over here, soldier."
"Okay." Jesus. . .
In spite of myself, I drifted toward him. The man had tremendous animal magnetism. A musky aura of power seemed to emanate from his scalp. But, still . . . Shouldn't there be pull-down wall maps? Advisors? Data banks? A red phone with a key in it: hotline to Moscow . . . or Baghdad? Or Crawford?
I had, I realized, conflated Cheney's love nest with the president's war room in Dr. Strangelove. But I wasn't hobnobbing with Peter Sellers. Instead, here I was rubbing cheek to grizzled cheek with the real vice president, arguably the most powerful man in the free world. Freakish but true. While I stood there, frozen with fear, he sidled over and licked my face.
"Did you just lick me?"
My breath, as they say, came in short pants.
Cheney chuckled, ignoring my question, and swept his arm before him, indicating his little patch of heaven.
"I like a barracks feel. It's more Spartan. More . . . manly."
"But you didn't actually serve, did you? What was it, five deferments? You dropped out of Yale, then went to community college 'cause of the draft. I heard your wife even had a baby nine months to the day after they ended the childless married deferments."
His face reddened. A tiny wormlet of vein began to throb at his left temple. For one bad moment I thought he was either going to kill me or stroke out on the spot. Instead, he began to hug-chuckle all over again. "That Lynne. Bent her over the sink and slipped her the Dickens. Out came l'il Mary, right on time. My daughter's good people. Even if she is gay as Tallulah Bankhead's fanny."
With that he gave me another smooch. I wanted to recoil. And yet . . . I couldn't fight it. There was no other way. I had to ask.
"Are you gay, Mr. Vice President?"
"Me?" He leapt from the cot and ripped off his flannel with such ferocity I feared he might tear a ligament. "I had so many chicks in high school they used to call them Cheney-acs." Before this, I admit, I never knew the meaning of the word swoon. I couldn't help but stare at his tufted belly roll, his hairless chest, and—be still my heart—his pacemaker. Yes and yes again!
Embedded under the skin over his left nipple was the outline of what looked like a pack of Luckies.Sex for America