I love the snow in Washington. Almost as much as the cherry blossoms. One after another, like a rhythm of some kind. Snow—blossom—snow—blossom—midterms—snow—blossom.
Surely work by God—not Gore.
It being Valentine’s Day Season, a season of expectation and expectancy and blood flow to otherwise dormant parts of the body for both the young and spinster in all of us, I grieve at this country’s fascination—lo, its preoccupation— with celebrity, with superficiality, with, alas, a lithe African American man who achieves greatness while never quite embracing it. Reagan, whom I adored, embraced, as a matter of fact (See what I did there?), just as I yearned for him to take me in his arms and show me America--that was greatness ... our AMERICAN IDOL, our VOICE, our X FACTOR.
Come back, breath.
In fact, Reagan sometimes did hold me, as he did a nation, his arms, massive yet merry, his shoulder, steady but sympathetic, caressing me as no man has ever done—before or since.
Breath, oh, heck, fly, if you must.
He was to America what Donald Trump, what Nucky Thompson, was to the Atlantic City boardwalk—larger than life, a person for whom all the young Jersey girls (and didn’t Springsteen sing of them?) would giggle and squeak as they sat in jitneys playing with their hair and sporting tats and primping for their boyfriends with thick hair and tats of their own. Only with Reagan, it wasn’t girls in Jitneys, it was the Washington press corp. They were candy—dare I say, Jelly Beans—in his hands. A delicious ride it was, too—ask who were there, ask who were disarmed by his charm and obscure movie knowledge (that man knew Akim Tamiroff!) if we cared about AIDS or Al-Qaeda. We did not. We were in the presence of elegance. Whereas Reagan smiled, Obama grins; where Reagan waltzed, Obama boogies.
And the snow in Washington has stopped.
I digress again. It's so tough not to. So, so tough.
This America cares when it shouldn’t; this America shrugs its collective, massive flabby pectorals at greatness gone by, greatness that lies in a grave, improving the terra firma just for him being there—that is Ronald Reagan. That is celebrity. That is worth celebrating. It should spark rejoice. That is worth throwing yourself, heaving breasts and all, on a sandy grave overlooking the Pacific and saying, as Travolta did in GREASE, “You’re the one that I want.”
Obama, this president (and, oh, that toothy grin, those know-it-all, broad, white mass of teeth) will not increase the surrounding value, either intrinsically or monetarily, when he is buried. There’s sadness in a grave that holds a grinning black man who was respected but not loved. Who will throw him or herself on that grave?
I have found my landing place, the place I will frolic and romp (which is not always the same thing), dream and make snow angels
America knows where it, and I, shall be.