How Donald Trump Inspired Me
I’ve been thinking quite a bit lately about my purpose in life. I know that it is to write. I’ve known that for a long time, actually. My problem is that I don’t yet really know what it is I’m supposed to write. Today I got a little closer.
This afternoon, I met with my creative-pal-slash-writing-buddy-slash-muse, Shayne. We each went to separate corners of her house to work in silence, and I decided to freewrite by hand, just to see what would come out. I turned off the little voice that kept trying to remind me about all the other stuff I had to do for work and school and life, and I just wrote. Here’s what came out:
The message I want to give to the world is the same as the one I give to my loved ones on a regular basis. It’s pretty simple, actually. Be happy. Appreciate what you have. Forgive. Accept. Love. I would even give this advice to him. That man whose name I don’t want to say because it’s already everywhere. The business-man-turned-politician. Would he listen? Does he know what it is to be happy? I don’t think he does. What would I say to him if I met him face-to-face? Let’s say that for some crazy reason he and I actually decided to meet for real and have lunch. Would I give him a hug? Maybe. I would definitely smile and at least shake his hand. And yeah, why not? I would give him a hug. And then I would ask him how his day was going. What would he say? I think that he would tell me his day had been spectacular, whether or not it really had been. Then he would probably try to impress me with either something he’d accomplished or by saying something funny, maybe at the expense of someone else. I would let him talk. I would not be impressed, I don’t think. If he made a rude joke, I would probably nod and say, “hmm.” I might even pretend-chuckle. I do that sometimes, give a little snort. Eventually, I think he would probably ask how my day had gone. I would also try to impress him, but in a different way. I would tell him something unexpected. Something kind of weird, but not too weird. Would I tell him about our hen laying her first egg last week? Yes, I think I would. I would tell him how sick she had been, and how my daughter and I had to help her out a bit, and how we made her better, and how the next morning there was a soft-shelled, elongated egg right next to her, and how proud and relieved we had been. And then I’d turn to him and ask, “Did you ever have a childhood pet?”
And I would listen to what he had to say.
Nevermind the crazy hair, the permanent scowl, the rolling eyes, the suits. Nevermind the hateful comments, the half-truths, the whole-lies. He is a human being, somewhere, deep down.
In my conversation about this with Shayne afterward, I asked her to imagine this man coming out of the shower. Old. Wet. Naked. Pale. Wrinkled. Balding. Clean. Imagine, I said, how excruciatingly difficult a task it must be to be that other version of him at every moment of every day, instead of the one looking back at him in the bathroom mirror. Imagine the pressure! How terrible it must be to have to be this persona you’ve created, to not let anyone in the world see the real outer you, much less the real inner you.
Does he cry sometimes, alone?