The Lisa Files: Love in the Time of Terrorism

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Love in the Time of Terrorism

September 24, 2001

In the past two weeks, since the world changed, I’ve learned a lot about Afghanistan, about civil liberties, about what an ignorant person I’ve been all my lucky life and about how my next-door neighbors really feel about Arabs. This is also the first time in my (completely un-college-educated) life I’ve approached something so visceral from such a distance — learning from the computer and television screen rather than from what goes into and goes on around my body. It felt lonely. “Unilateral,” “overt force,” “evil” — what do these things mean, really? But the interaction between two people’s bodies, the meaning of that is right there in the action. We’re all ghosts, and these bodies are like our pads of paper or our bullhorns.


So, in an attempt to understand what this new war has meant to people’s lives, in this country and others, I thought someone should ask them about the sex they’ve been having since that first airplane crashed into the World Trade Center. I was surprised (and maybe a little jealous) at
what some of them reported — the solace found and the big, unique orgasms. As for me, I felt physically useless and uninterested in sex for ten days straight.

Erik Swanson

I broke up with my girlfriend. This tragedy made me realize what a self-centered jerk she is. The Globe had an article on post-traumatic stress disorder. It said that a common response when we feel threatened is to create enemies. It makes me think I’m wrong, I should love her and
understand her. Realize that nobody’s perfect. I’m not perfect. The first day, it was worry, protect, hold. We had sex almost the whole time. But when I got the call about Ann Marie’s death it all changed. Clearly, my girlfriend considered this death a hassle. On Thursday night I went to her house, partly because she has cable, partly because I needed to be close with someone. I was utterly exhausted. I would react negatively to something on the news and she would respond with “What
do you expect?” Well, Ms. know-it-all, nobody expected this. She was getting
ready to go out to the bar, and expected me to accompany her. The next day I had to go to
Ann Marie’s funeral. I was so angry at her I couldn’t see. I want to burn every one of those American flags.
Lisa Carver is the author of the books Dancing Queen, Rollerderby, The Lisa Diaries and Drugs Are Nice. She’s written for Hustler, Index, Icon, Feed, Newsday and Playboy, among others. She lives in New Hampshire.

Lisa Carver and, Inc.