It is a desolate, moonless night on the Mississippi delta. There’s nothing there at the intersection of Highways 61 and 49, just outside of Clarksdale. Eerily silent, only the sound of your own tinnitus.
Just before midnight, a long black limousine quietly rolls up. A door opens from the back and a lone, burly figure steps out into the dark, an ankle-length topcoat shrouding his frame, his bright orange hair burning noticeably in the absence of any other light. The limousine slinks off, leaving the solitary man standing there, his lower lip pushed forward. It’s not a cold night, but you can almost see his breath.
From nowhere another figure appears, a stranger, an apparition. He glides, it seems, without moving his legs. He’s wearing a raggedy top hat and tails. It’s too dark to tell his color, but you can see that he’s smaller, more compact, smoking a spliff the size of a cucumber. He’s carrying a guitar, looks like an early 1930s Gibson L-00, kinda like Robert’s…
The stranger’s voice is a rasp, sawing wood. It’s got a mirthful, almost gleeful edge to it.
“Well, Donald. Here we are again. What is it now? You want something else?”
“Yes sir, I do…” says the man and his orange hair flames up again.
“So you want to make another deal, do you?” He roars with laughter like thunder, and smoke comes out of his mouth. “Shall we review where we already stand? Let’s see, there was the real estate empire…for that you gave me your soul. You swore that was all you wanted, but you weren’t ready for the bankruptcies, were you? So you owed me all those minority evictions. Then there was the casino, and how’d that work out for you, huh? You promised me Ivana for that, and I wanted her so bad that I agreed. I didn’t realize that you didn’t own her, and she got away.”
Another roar of laughter. “Then The Apprentice…Oh, you loved being a small-time TV star, didn’t you, you and that Reagan. For that you gave me your first born son. Poor kid, still doesn’t know about it…So what is it now, Donald? And, more importantly, what can you offer me?”
The stranger waits.
“I want to be president,” the man whispers.
Another thunderous laugh from the stranger. “Well done, Donald. Well done. I think we may be able to do something here. But here’s what you have to do. You must be prepared with untruth, incite violence, turn people against one another. Can you do that?”
“I’m okay with that,” says the man. “To be president…”
“And you have to humiliate yourself. Every day. When I told you last time you could kiss and grab any woman you wanted, you didn’t have to go and brag about it. So we’re going to release the tape. And you have to keep the hair…”
The man trembles.
“You’re going to have to lose televised debates…to a woman…”
The man looks as if he’d been stabbed.
“But you’re going to win, even though you lose,” the stranger cryptically tells the man.
The man falls to his knees. “What’s in it for you?” he croaks.
“Well, I’ll tell you…you’re going to deliver to me, through the votes you’re going to win, all those evangelicals, hah! They’ll all be mine; all those poor middle-class people, you’re going to somehow make them believe that you care about them. I’m going to tell you who gets cabinet positions, jobs. Just ask Reince about that, he’ll tell you who. You’ll do away with Social Security and Medicare, and education, and the environment, Ooo, no more tree huggers…Oh, it will be worth it, Donald, I’m telling you. Before you know it, all these nations will be at each other’s throats, and it will all be your doing, you, you, Donald, you…”
A huge crack of thunder claps and lightning pierces the sky as the man collapses face first on the ground. The stranger puffs up to three times his size and disappears in a cloud of sulfur smelling smoke.
I wake up in a cold sweat.