Like Melania Trump, I am often inspired by Michelle Obama and many other Important People. And, while I never may be the first lady, thanks almost entirely to my husband’s shady past, I do get to write this column and other articles in this fine publication. And, like most other writers, I do a lot of reading. I also like movies, TV and loud music.
I’d like to share some of my experiences with you:
Call me Ishmael. It was never easy for me. I was born a poor black child. I remember the days …sitting on the porch with my family …singing and dancing down in Mississippi. I am angry nearly every day of my life, but, like I always tell my sister Beth, anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.
My anger comes honestly though; in fact, one recent morning I awoke from uneasy dreams and found myself transformed in my bed into a gigantic insect. Suddenly, I realized, lying there on my mattress, there are no heroes. In life, the monsters win.
Given that I was now a cockroach, and, thereby a monster, I was a winner too! And, like my mother always told me, “You were born to win, but to be a winner, you must plan to win, prepare to win, and expect to win.”
So I heaved my body over and rolled onto the floor. I was a Very Hungry Cockroach. So I ate through one piece of chocolate cake, one ice-cream cone, one pickle, one slice of Swiss cheese, one slice of salami, one lollipop, one piece of cherry pie, one sausage, one cupcake, and one slice of watermelon.
That night I had a stomach ache. But, you know how it goes: Curiosity is gluttony. To see is to devour. And so on and so on. Same as it ever was. Same as it ever was. Time isn’t holding us; time isn’t after us, I said to myself.
Usually, the best way to handle the discomfort of a stomach ache is to write a poem, so, I held a pencil between my pincers and I composed this little ditty:
I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast;
A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;
A tree that may in Summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;
Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.
After that I felt much better. My anger melted away and I felt at peace. I looked in the mirror, and I said to myself, and I’ll never forget it, I said: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”
And, with that, my exoskeleton fell away, and like my cousin, I emerged from the flames, transformed, this time into a young girl with skin as white as snow, lips as red as blood, and hair as black as ebony. My mother saw me, and she named me Snow White.
Soon, I met my husband, Tom, who was very tall, 63 axe-handles high. You may have heard of him. Before we met, he had spent time with his buddy Jim on the Mississippi River on a raft. He told me about it: “We had the sky, up there,” he said, “all speckled with stars, and we used to lay on our backs and look up at them, and discuss about whether they was made, or only just happened.”
Tom rescued me from myself, pulled me out of the chains of my anger and self pity, he looked in my eyes one night and he told me, that I may say that he’s a dreamer, but, he said, he’s not the only one.
So, what did I do? Reader, I married him. And like Melania and Donald before us, we have lived our truth, that our word is our bond. And we do what we say and keep our promises.
Anyway, that is my story, and I’m sticking to it.
With thanks to Herman Melville, Steve Martin, Louisa May Alcott, Mark Twain, Franz Kafka, George R.R. Martin, Zig Ziglar, Eric Carle, Victor Hugo, David Byrne, Joyce Kilmer, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., ancient Egyptians, the Brothers Grimm, American tall tale tellers, John Lennon, Charlotte Bronte, Michelle Obama, and Dan Rowan and Dick Martin.