Arts & Culture

Letter from Jew-neau (Part I): Sweet, Crude Sex with Sarah

Dear Jewcy, Thanks for inviting me to be a guest blogger! I have to admit, at first I wasn’t sure what to write about. I mean, I do post every so often on The Huffington Post–but those are usually impassioned … Read More

By / September 22, 2008

Dear Jewcy,

Thanks for inviting me to be a guest blogger! I have to admit, at first I wasn’t sure what to write about. I mean, I do post every so often on The Huffington Post–but those are usually impassioned tirades about the calamitous political situation. You know: how George Bush and the Republicans have destroyed the country, and the Democrats have let them do it, and how if Obama doesn’t get on the stick we’re in for four more years of it? But let’s face it: that stuff’s just no fun! 

Between the occasional HuffPo rant, and co-organizing San Francisco’s Progressive Reading Series, and teaching creative writing, and promoting my new novel, Lady Lazarus, I’ve been pretty busy lately. Which is why I recently decided I needed a vacation. Somewhere beautiful, quiet, maybe a little on the chilly side. Somewhere slightly exotic, but not foreign, somewhere people wouldn’t constantly be talking about literature, or yammering on about elections. Somewhere far off the political map.

That’s how I wound up in Alaska.

And that’s how Sarah Palin and I met, and fell in love – if that’s what you call the hot, slippery, sexually supercharged relationship we’re carrying on in secret – and how, at last, I found something to blog about.

It all started at the Baranof Hotel, a dignified old establishment on Juneau’s North Franklin St., just a few blocks from the capitol. On weekday evenings the Baranof’s almost-swanky lounge, the Bubble Room, bustles with legislators and staffers in snow shoes and Armani parkas, hunting rifles slung amiably over their shoulders, talking policy over scotchcicles and bowls of moose stew. Light jazz tinkles from hidden speakers, but can’t drown out the baying of the sled dogs tied up outside. Everything about the Baranof says "romance," and when I made the reservation, I’d told them I wanted to splurge – what with the tsunami of royalties from Lady Lazarus, and the exorbitant salary of a creative writing teacher, I figured, sky’s the limit. They gave me Suite 604, a nicely appointed suite with plush couches in the sitting area and a beautiful view of the Gastineau Channel and Douglas Island. "Home, sweet home," I thought, flipping through the television menus to see what my late-night porn choices would be. Little did I know, I wouldn’t have to choose.

When I walked into the Bubble Room, I was greeted by waves and back-slaps and high fives. It seemed a little odd, but I figured Alaskans must just love left-wing Jewish artists from San Francisco. Everyone wanted to buy me a drink, and to talk about Lady Lazarus – again, I was surprised; I had no idea a book about poetry, punk rock, celebrity, and suicide would be such a hit on the Last Frontier. By midnight, when the sun had started to slant through the windows, I was in my cups, feeling pretty proud of myself for having chosen Juneau for my getaway. All that was missing was female companionship, so I called the bartender over and asked him if he knew where I might find some.

"Funny you should ask," he said, with a strange look of concern. "Someone’s been trying to get your attention." I started to turn around, but he lunged across the bar and grabbed me by the shoulders.

"Be careful," he said. He squared his jaw and leaned closer. "Be strong."

At a table near the back sat the brightest bubble in the Bubble Room. She was wearing a red leather jacket, tightly belted, with big black buttons and wide lapels. Her hair was swept up and shimmering under faux-tiki torches. When our eyes met, her smile flashed with the kind of megawattage that can only be generated by fossil fuels. I was paralyzed. I tried desperately to think of how to introduce myself.

Jewcy, it was love at first sight.

Before I could come up with an introduction, hands grabbed my elbows and lifted me off the stool. Two tall, blond men in hunting jackets stood at my sides. Their sunglasses reflected the torches; their earpieces buzzed with secret instructions. They had identical clefts in their strong chins. "Time for your appointment," one said.

"Appointment?" I croaked.

"Her Babeness doesn’t like your game. She wants to talk to you," snarled the other.

I looked over to where my beautiful bubble had been. Seeing a flash of red disappearing into an adjoining room, I suddenly understood.

They ushered me through the bar, slowed only by the many people trying to get me to sign their copies of Lady Lazarus. "I’m sorry!" I called back, as they dragged me through a door. The room was cold, windowless, concrete. There was a steel table on an incline, with a complicated network of tubes and pulleys overhead. Somewhere, the sound of water slowly dripping.

"If you wanted to impress me, staying in Suite 604 isn’t the way." Behind me, in a high-backed leather chair, sat my lovely bubble. Her smile was the only source of heat in that chamber. She wrinkled her nose – so adorable! – as she pulled on a pair of latex gloves.

"W-why?" I said. "What’s wrongwith Suite 604?"

The two Aryan goons started to snicker. "Like you don’t know," one said. "Why else would you be here?" said the other. "All you New York journalists come here because of 604." In the chair, Her Babeness tilted her head and blinked a lot. I said I wasn’t from New York, and I wasn’t a journalist – which seemed to confuse the goons. "But… you look like a New Yorker."

"I’m a novelist," I said, somewhat indignantly. "From San Francisco. I’m on vacation."

"Boys," said the bubble. "Maybe you should take a lunch break."

When they had left, she motioned for me to have a seat on the steel table. I said I preferred to stand and she giggled, then stood and shoved me backward. I sat.

"See, not many people request Suite 604. It’s got what we Alaskans call ‘a history.’" That’s when she explained about VECO, the oil pipeline company that bribed basically the whole state legislature, not to mention Alaska’s only U.S. congressman, Don Young, the ornery senator, Ted Stevens, and for good measure, Stevens’s son Ben. The Feds had caught them by bugging Suite 604 and capturing some pretty incriminating discussions on tape. Suddenly I understood the warm welcome I’d gotten from all the government staffers: they thought the gravy train was back!

It turned out that my bubble of charm and sex appeal was none other than the governor of Alaska, who’d made much of her reputation by denouncing Alaska’s good ol’ boy system of corruption, even while she worked hard to help Stevens continue to extract pipelines full of pork spending from the federal government.

"Not a bad trick," I said. I pressed my palms against cold steel. It may have been the chilliness of the room, but I was shaking like a kid at the eighth grade dance.

"I know!" she said, biting herlower lip. "I like to play both sides."

I was sure now that Her Babeness was flirting with me. How I longed to pull her close! But I didn’t dare.

"Governor of Alaska," I said. "And so smart, and so, um, physically, you know, attractive. You’re doing pretty well for yourself."

That’s when Sarah Palin put her hand on my chest, leaned close, and said, "It gets better than that, even…"

Jewcy, I’m sure you’re reading this with your mouth wide open. I’m sure it’s as hard for you to believe as it was for me – but I swear every word of it is true! As she led me out through a back door, and up a hidden staircase to the sixth floor of the Baranof, she told me something that blew my mind: She’d been chosen to run for Vice President. Of the United States!

Needless to say, by the time we arrived at Suite 604 the governor and I were weak-kneed and frothing with desire. She shoved me into the room and dimmed the lights and we fell onto the couch in a sweat. I fumbled with the belt of her jacket, but she pinned my arms under her knees and whispered in my ear, "Is it true about Jewish men? Are you really the Chosen Ones?" How to describe the look on her face? She was still smiling broadly, but her eyes pierced me with intensity, drilling into my skull as though I were a coastal plain in the ANWR, and she’d just caught a whiff of light, sweet crude.

Sarah unbelted her jacket, undoing each button with an unblinking wrinkle of the nose. What do you think she was wearing underneath?

"I like novelists," she said. "I like them a lot. In my administration, we’re going to outsource the fiction to professionals. That way, we can privatize, and keep our hands clean, at the same time." Stark naked except for her mukluks and the latex gloves, dazzlingly beautiful, Her Babeness glanced around Suite 604 with a proprietary, satisfied look. "You know," she said in a husky voice, "a lot of people have gotten royally fucked in this room…"

Somehow, though my throat was parched, I managed to whisper, "Why do you think I requested it?" Sarah threw back her head and laughed. Then she picked up the remote control and tossed it in my lap.

"Stop talking, novelist," she said. "Save your words for the next war. They comped us the all-night porn package. You’d better conserve your strength."

Tomorrow: Sarah takes me on a moose hunt; the Secret Service roughs me up while Sarah watches; First Dude Todd Palin suspects something…

Andrew Foster Altschul, author of Lady Lazarus, is guest blogging on Jewcy, and he’ll be here all week.  Stay tuned.

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