Thursday, April 28, 2016

My Hillary Dream

Local media always play on civic pride and act like Indiana is a major player in national politics (“Governor Doofus is on the short list!”) so it’s been fun to see our beloved state get national coverage, at least for a news cycle or two. We got a bump when Cruz announced Fiorina as his VP (and made the “basketball ring” gaffe that will probably cost him the primary here) while Trump appeared at a rally with Bobby Knight. Purdue students started lining up in the cold at 1:30 AM Wednesday for an appearance by Bernie at noon.

Bill’s been here, and Chelsea is coming tomorrow, but where’s Hillary? In my dream, that’s where.

I work for the US government in the Mideast. The entire office is abuzz because Hillary is touring the area. She’s met with OPEC people, sat on a camel, shopped at a bazaar, and done other touristy things (like she’s never been here before).

My boss Oscar (Richard Anderson, “Oscar Goldman” in “The Six Million Dollar Man”) slips quietly into his office after two-week’s leave. We’ve grown close over the few months I’ve been assigned here, so I go in and ask how was his trip home to the States. We’re joined by our colleague Gary (Gary Busey—I’m sorry it’s Gary Busey, I can’t help what my unconscious comes up with) and Oscar tells us the touching story of what will surely be his last visit with his 105-year-old father. (My dream Oscar is 80; actor Richard Anderson turns 90 this year.) He asked his dad what he wanted to do, and that’s how they spent the night in the Sonora desert under the stars, curled up in sleeping bags gazing at the night sky.

I feel privileged that Oscar told Gary and me the story because he’s not the sentimental type and will not likely repeat it. Oscar also shows us the pair of gold-and-pearl earrings his father gave him that had belonged to his mother. He was very moved by this gesture because he expected the jewelry to go to one of his sisters.

We’re sharing that moment when Hillary waltzes in. Somehow she knows Oscar has his mother’s earrings and asks to borrow them.

Oscar opens his mouth but, uncharacteristically, can’t find any words. I jump in and say, “NO!” and walk out. I leave Hillary yelling, “But I’ve got a book-signing tomorrow. I’ve got to have earrings!”

I return to my department of about twenty people and announce, “I said ‘No!’ to Hillary!” then add jokingly, “I’m being shot at dawn.” But nobody is laughing. They’re all in shock, murmuring to each other and not looking at me.

I return to my office and pick up my Meditation Box, a clear plastic box filled with clear plastic beads and tubes that fall into different shapes as you turn it. I’m trying to figure out how to turn some of them into a pair of earrings when Hillary comes in. I decide to meet my fate head-on and rise to greet her.

“Still friends?” I say.

She manages a weak smile and starts talking about her itinerary.

She’d never have been so nice if she’d lost her argument with Oscar, and I knew he’d loan her the jewelry for my sake if nothing else. I was right. She wore Oscar’s heirloom earrings the next day. Dammit.

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