Desert Fever

Since the moment I became self-aware, I knew I was unlike others…that I was different…that there was something terribly wrong with me. But what exactly, I was unsure.

Upon finding myself sitting on the couch on September 11, 2001 with my half-Pakistani daughter on my lap, celebrating her first birthday while simultaneously watching Tom Brokow cover the fall of the Western world (coincidence, I swear), I told myself,  “This has to stop!” Pictures of the terrorists were unveiled. The entire United States shivered with horror. And all I could think of was, “Atta’s hot!”

A few years ago, a student at the hospital where I work diagnosed me. Finally. Thank you Lauren, wherever you are, for putting a name to my condition. A weight has been lifted. I have a disease. Its name–Desert Fever.

As a prepubescent girl, I longed to ride a magic carpet and learn to belly dance. At a slightly older age, my dream was to join the Peace Corps. And then came my driver’s licence. With this, an ever-present necessity to visit the gas station, dollar by dollar, over, and over, and over again. And again. I’m serious.

I routed for Diana and Dodi.

I even succumbed to watching television. My darling Sayid in Lost, why did you have to sleep with that blonde bimbo? She didn’t deserve you. The hot Indian-type pathologist on Crossing Jordan. And of course, Bollywood.

My favorite part of Disney World? Magic Kingdom? Splash Mountain? Spending quality time with my family? No. Epcot’s Morocco. Once was not enough. I had to settle for twice. Mohammed and I had a definite thing going on. An understanding. He’d show me expensive merchandise and I’d buy it.

My turn ons? Dark hair, mocha skin, the smell of curry, and sometimes just word falafel.

For now, I am resisting the desire to convert to Islam, join the military, and start giving pilot lessons.

So the next time you see a female in a body-length, face-covering, real-deal burka, stop and ask yourself, “Is that Lonna? Has she finally given in?”

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