Literary Yard

Search for meaning

By: Ruth Z. Deming

 more perfect day cannot be imagined for when the former President retired to Mar-a-Lago on the Palm Beach barrier island with the Atlantic Ocean to the east and Florida’s Intracoastal Waterway to the west. The sea was calm, shimmering as the brilliant sun seemed to bless Trump’s arrival. 

This is some house! When he bought it, there were 58 bedrooms and 33 bathrooms. What does the mansion actually look like?  

Created for socialite and cereal heiress Emily Meriweather Post and finished in 1927, the house has been deemed a “historic place.” On one of my “day trips” I visited the house. The weather in this part of Florida was stifling hot, like a blast furnace. Sweat poured into my eyes and my vision blurred as we waited in line to tour the air-conditioned house and to visit the myriad gardens and reflecting pool. 

Does this remind you of the Taj Mahal? Of course, but Trump could never summon the love and devotion that the Mughal Emperor had for his favorite wife, Mumtaz Mahal. Completed in 1643, his wife died an exhausted woman with her with her played-out innards, after giving birth to their fourteenth child.   

Fourteen children! 

The calligraphy on the Great Gate of the Taj Mahal reads “O Soul, thou art at rest. Return to the Lord at peace with Him, and He at peace with you.” The calligraphy was created in 1609 by one Abdul Haq. In memorializing other calligraphers,  he writes – modestly, we think – “Written by the insignificant being, Amanat Khan Shirazi.”  

A bevy of important visitors stayed with Trump and his then-wife Ivana, and later Melania. Visitors – including the prime minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, and Melania’s parents, with the decidedly unAmerican names of Viktor and Amalija Knavs – slept under one roof as if they were at a teenage slumber party.  

For a man so freaked out by “foreigners” and whatever taint or contamination they brought  to America, we can only wonder how the blond, blue-eyed “monster,” as many countrymen thought of him – slept at night. 

Did he, in fact, ever sleep? He worked ferociously to gather more followers and to make outrageous remarks like “It’s one person coming in from China and we have it under control. It’s going be just fine.”  

With the cleverness of a rat surfacing from an underground grate, he called it “The China Virus” when he was interviewed by CNBC. “It’s one person coming in from China, and we have it under control. It’s going to be just fine.” Not to worry, he assured Americans. 

And if you believe that, then “I have a bridge to sell you.” The Brooklyn Bridge.    

Back at Mar-a-Lago, Trump yelled at his wife. “Leave me the hell along! All you do is bitch. I can’t stand you anymore. Get the hell away from me.” 

Sure, the bully and sore loser had to take his loss out on someone. She was the victim. 

The former president had rarely been alone. This is what he now craved. But where at Mar-a-Lago could he go?  

He changed into a pair of khaki shorts and a blue and red striped T-shirt that did not identify him. In sneakers and dark sunglasses, he walked across the property.  

There was absolutely no shade, dammit. He kept walking, his head spinning in grief. 

Then he saw it. A spit of land under swaying palm trees. He looked up and saw the brilliant blue sky with a smattering of white clouds sailing by.  

“Why, that’s Uncle Henry,” he thought. This was a childhood game they had played making shapes of the clouds. 

He lay face down on the smooth grass, removing his sunglasses. Knowing not what to do, he squeezed his eyes and tears began rolling out. One at a time, at first, and then more and more and more. 

“Lord,” he thought, “why have you forsaken me?” 

A golf cart rolled by. And then he heard a small airplane.  

“Have I been such a bad guy?” 

Astonishingly, the airplane swooped down as if this were the film North by Northwest with Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn. 

He envisioned Mount Rushmore from the film and was certain his visage would some day appear on there. 

“I am a handsome dude,” he thought, puffing up his blond bangs and cleaning out his ears with his fingers. 

He stayed there all day.  

“Shoot,” he thought. “Forgot my Neutrogena Suntan Lotion.” 

Walking back home, he limped as the sunburn repelled his skin. 

Thoughts of Mount Rushmore calmed him down.     

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