My Checkpoint: Jim's Story
Nicholson Baker’s new novel Checkpoint will be released on Tuesday. The publisher says the "book is set up as a conversation between two old high school buddies. One of them, in despair about the direction the country is going, is convinced he must kill the president; the other tries to talk him out of it." The main character, Jay, discusses murdering President Bush in considerable detail. Slate called it 'assassination porn'. Read the review here. NYT reviews "this scummy little book" here.
In this spirit I offer the entirely fictional monologue of a character I’ll call Jim, in a bar, talking to a nameless companion. Reviews are welcome but please, no fatwas.
I figured the first plane was some kind of accident. These things happen, you know. But the second one was right there on TV and, well, everyone knew that was no fucking accident. I couldn't sleep right for the next week. I’d get up in the middle of the night and watch C-SPAN or stare at the back of the door.
I’d just gone through a bad divorce. Living in a beige apartment. Half my stuff was gone. The rest in boxes. It was a shitty time all around.
I was surprised how well we took it. I mean we all knew it was Muslims, even before the al Qaeda tapes and all the evidence came out. Who else would it be? But I only heard about one guy in Arizona who killed a man for revenge. And the poor bastard wasn’t even a Muslim; he was some other foreign religion that had nothing to do with it. But that was it. One guy. They killed three thousand and one guy lashed out for revenge. I was sort of proud. At the time.
They’d always been there, with the beards. I’d seen some of the women at the grocery and the mall. But I never really saw them. I was dealing with my own shit and they were just part of the background. Another bearded immigrant and his covered wife. Hey, it’s America right. Live and let live.
But afterward I started to notice them. Lots of them. A woman working at Target with her hair covered. Another at fucking Nordstroms. I saw one in my doctor’s office once. In the waiting room.
The one that really got me was when I took a day off, a Tuesday, to run some errands and I went to the grocery like three miles from my house. It was early afternoon and this guy walks in with the full beard and the long robes, like he just came from Kandahar or someplace. Dressed like a Taliban chieftain for Christ’s sake.
Then his wife. It was the first time I saw a women with the nijab, the full face covering. All you could see was her eyes. Hell, it may not have even been a woman. My fucking mouth fell open. Nobody cared. I mean these people were the enemy, right? People dressed like that, in the suburbs, you think they support the separation of church and state? You think they believe in free speech? Democracy? Freedom of religion? You think they are tolerant of goddamn diversity?
Nobody stared or pointed or blinked an eye. Think if you walk into the grocery with your face covered, say, wearing a ski mask ,you’d get the same treatment? Shit, they’d call the cops on you so fast… But if it’s Muslim women, “Well, c’mon in ma’am, there’s a sale on humus.” Fucking shame.
Yeah, give me a Jack and coke. Open the phonebook, man. Look on the internet. It’s not just New York or LA or Detroit. They’re all over the place. Even middle-sized cities have 8, 10, 20 mosques. You think they’re for show? Shit, they’re packed every Friday. I dropped by one across the interstate, maybe 10 or 12 miles from my house. It’s like Little Medina over there for Friday prayers. So many cars they had a cop out front directing traffic. A cop! That’s your tax dollars at work. A cop kept things moving so men who believe Sharia should replace the Constitution don’t get held up in traffic. Fucking rich, huh?
The media harps on diversity and tolerance and the religion of peace. All that shit. But it’s not a fucking coincidence, is it? They catch these guys all the time. Trying to buy missiles or launder money. Or sneak explosives across the border. Plotting to blow up tunnels. It’s never Buddhists or Eskimos, is it?
Don’t give me that Iraq shit. This war started long before Iraq. Anyway, the military can bomb the fuckers overseas but we don’t do dick about the ones already here. They get Constitutional rights and lawyers like they don't hate our way of life. Like they'd grant you those rights if they were in charge. No fucking way, infidel. Don’t kid yourself.
Whenever a bomb goes off or whatever they say, “Don’t blame all of us. Don’t blame the religion. Those are terrorists. We’re peaceful, blah blah blah.” And the media laps it up and repeats it to us 24/7. We buy it too. We take them at their word, from the president on down, like there’s no connection at all. But if some American soldiers accidentally shoots a woman or if some hick guard abuses a prisoner in a war zone then American gets the blame. That’s some shit, huh?
Our goverment just takes the shit these jihad assholes dish out. I mean in Michigan, a mosque announces the call to prayer over loudspeaker. Five times a day. A fucking loudspeaker. How do they think Americans are gonna take this? C'mon, if the government isn't gonna do something, it's only a matter of time until some American do something about this themselves.
One more round then I’m done. Really. Now listen. I think, maybe, we need our own terrorist group. To remove the fifth column here at home. To do all the nasty shit that we don’t want any part of. They would reek havoc and we would say “Hey, they’re a terrorist group. We condemn this cycle of violence, blah blah blah.” Ha! That would be something, wouldn't it?
Hell I’d join them. I was in the Reserves for a while. I can handle a rifle. But it’ll never happen. We’re lazy and ignorant and smacked out on TVand malls and trivia.
But one man, you know, one man could still do a lot. I dunno, I'm just sayin'. One man. Look at me for instance. What do I have to lose? I’m 41. I spend all day sitting in a gray cube, staring at a computer, and hating my job. I come home, drink, get mad at the news and their silly bullshit. “Iran is building a nuclear bomb, but first, new developments in the Michael Jackson case.” Bastards.
Like I said, Shelia had left me before the attack. I don’t have many friends anymore. Not that I blame them. I mean, what’re they gonna say? “Sorry your son died. Sorry you’re marriage fell apart. Sorry you’re life is a bag of crap.” They got they’re own problems. I’m a downer. I bring up bad memories.
No, I’m done. Well, ok, one more if you’re buying.
Think about it. One man, with nothing to lose. Dedicated. All he has is a mission. Sell my house. Cash in the 401(k). Buy a used SUV. Silver, the most popular color. The kind of vehicle that blends in anywhere. Buy a nice rifle. Take your time. Surveillance is essential. Patience is the key. Leave town. First rule: don’t shit where you eat.
These guys, the fanatics, the fifth column, they’re in any city. Just search for ‘masjid’ and you’ll find ‘em. Wait outside. Take a few pictures. If men and women enter the mosque by different doors, that’s a good sign that the imam or the sheikh or the ayatollah or whatever is a bad guy. You know, not a fan of our way of life.
Like I said patience is the key. Change hotels frequently, maybe sleep in the car once in a while. Don’t draw attention to yourself. Follow the beard for a week or so. Get his routine. And then, when his guard is down, maybe in the grocery store parking lot, POP! He gets to meet the 72 virgins.
Remember John Allen Muhammad and a teenage boy killed 10 people in a 3 week shooting spree. Put the three states on edge. And he was a dumb son of a bitch. No planning. All psychodrama. But someone disciplined. Prepared. You could be a one man terrorist group.
Stay on the road, move from city to city. Hit those jihad motherfuckers where they live. And not just the religious beards. Hit the public leadership, the so-called moderates. The CAIR guys. The Saudi agents who run the North American Islamic Trust. The Holy Land Foundation. Shit, all these 'foundations' are just cover for terror groups. That's not bigotry. It's just a fact.
Hit the spokesmen. The lawyers. The professors. Hit 'em in their driveways. As they leave their precious mosques. In the head or upper chest. Use Glaser Safety Slugs or Flechette Rounds. That would make a statement wouldn’t it? That might send the message that America has some balls, that we’re not all spineless zombies swallowing their bullshit wholesale. That some of us know what they're doing. That enemies hiding behind a "religion of peace" are still enemies. And we'll kill our enemies.
No, no, I’ve had too many. Call me a cab. Really, I’m babbling. I should go home, watch a little porn, sleep it off. It’s all a stupid idea. Drunk talk. What the hell do I know? I’m nobody.