A VULGAR DISPLAY OF POWER
In his private sleeping quarters, Senator John McCain records the day’s thoughts in his journal. A small oil lamp burns dimly in one corner. He sits in a wife beater and boxer shorts, scribbling furiously with a quill.
His brain tumor throbs in his head, making him grip the pen and the edge of the table tighter. He stares directly down at the paper and his own mortality.
I have invested my entire life into protecting The United States of America. I traveled across seas to fight her enemies. I put my life at risk to save every man, woman and child that walks on this dirt from a life of oppression.
I was shot down in Vietnam, spiraled to the ground, screaming for my life, begging God for forgiveness before my life blinked out of existence. One of my arms and both of my legs were broken upon impact when my jet hit the water.
The Vietnamese dragged my broken body carelessly from the water, threw me in a prison, stabbed and beat me. For five years I sat in Hanoi.
I came home, back to the land I had suffered for. Back to the people I had almost died for. To the people I had fought for and amongst those people was a man named Donald Trump.
Donald Trump recently ran for President where he called me a “loser” for being captured during the Vietnam War.
Since the inception of his brain tumor, McCain’s therapist has suggested he start this journal and begin recording some of his more emotional thoughts. The idea was that they are healthier to exist upon paper rather than within the mind and body. And by naming them, we can more readily understand and control them.
His writing began to take on its more aggressive tone as his emotions rose.
That soft-pecker Donald Trump has never volunteered for war. He has never volunteered for his country. He has never volunteered for anything.
He remembers sitting in his therapist’s office last week, crying into his hands. Across the room, an androgynous doctor sits cross-legged on a love seat.
Everything has started to pour out of McCain. It feels so cathartic. He lets it flow. He knows this conversation isn’t being recorded. “I hate him. I hate him so much. I have spent my life protecting-“ he signals to the entire room, the city, the country. “My entire life has been spent protecting this. And now…” he rests his head in his hands and his therapist is silent, understanding that he is referencing the active presence of his brain tumor.
“He called me a loser. Because I was captured in war. Volunteering for the country that he is the president of. At that time I served under President Johnson, who was a goddamn man. And now I have this tumor eating away at my brain and I understand that I’m going to die. I can’t escape this violent enemy.”
He lifts his head and looks out the window, his eyes glistening. He sees a little bird on a branch. It looks around and flies away.
“Why does he do what he does? Why is Trump the way that he is?”
The doctor begins to speak in a voice that is equal parts masculine and feminine. “He makes up for his cowardice, his lack of experience, human virtue and vocabulary by verbally abusing those around him. Because he doesn’t know how to do a good job, he has to tear everyone else down to his level so that he looks like he’s doing better. There’s a kid named Randy that I talk to on Tuesdays. He’s in second grade. Same thing.”
McCain considers this.
“I’m going to die. And I want my last war to be waged against the tyrant, Donald Trump. I have fought and served to make this land the greatest on earth and this man has arisen out of the ashes of ignorance. My final war cry, my final act of bravery shall be forcibly removing the usurper from the throne. I’m going to destroy him.”
“Professionally, I have to advise you that overthrowing the President of the United States is illegal.”
“I really don’t know.”
“In war, anything goes. If you can’t gut it, I guess you’re a loser.”
In his private quarters, the ink has gotten to the end of the page. He grabs another blank sheet of unlined paper. He dips his quill in the ink (a lost art form) and begins to scribble furiously. He notices that his penmanship has gotten more illegible in the last few sentences. He practices a free-flow journal entry technique that his therapist taught him. She had said, “Just write. Just keep writing. Don’t stop. Whatever comes into your head, just write it down. You might be interested in what comes out.”
And so he writes.
I want to rip out the throat of Donald Trump. He has not earned the distinguished honor of that seat and to remove him would be nothing short of justice. I don’t care about being remembered. I only care about making America great again. I want to save Lady Liberty from the spoiled, entitled frat boy that is trying to date-rape her.
He pauses and taps the pen against the paper, wondering if he should put down on paper (and leave evidence of) the next thoughts that rise into his head. He decides to heed his therapist’s advice and get it all down but he censors himself pretty heavily. Just in case.
I want to find myself in a locked room with him. Five years I spent in Hanoi. Give me five minutes. I would straddle his lap, grab him by his fat cheeks and begin to scream into his face. I would let The War Madness grip me and take over. Senator John McCain would be left in the hallway and Mad Dog McCain would be present. Oh, yes. It’s been a long time. But he’s still there, isn’t he? Oh, yes. Once they’re born in war, the voices rarely go away. Pills. Therapy. They just muffle. They don’t mute. Battle born.
I would carve an M into his forehead with my thumbnail. I would slam my face into his until we both bled and were screaming, he from pain and fear and me from ecstasy and madness, our blood mingling in an orgy of violence.
What would I say to him?
He pauses and thinks. What words would he speak to this man that he hasn’t already said?
I would not speak to him. I only want to hurt him. I only want to destroy him. I only want to over throw him.
My final act upon this Earth will be one of patriotic heroism.
And it’s a cause I’m willing to die for.
He lights the journal entry on fire and allows it to burn to ashes in the fireplace.